How Pirates And Hackers Worked Together To Steal Millions Of Dollars In Diamonds

Joseph Bernstein reports:

Late on a Friday afternoon in early 2015, Chris Novak got a strange call. As the director of Verizon’s investigative response team, he was accustomed to desperate corporations dialing into the group’s 24-7 hotline to stanch the bleeding caused by cybersecurity crises — credit card fraud, financial fraud, intellectual property theft. “We operate an emergency room for IT and data breach emergencies,” Novak said.

But the company on the other end of the line, a major Middle Eastern shipping concern, had a new one. In recent months, pirates — real pirates, in the South Pacific — had boarded a half dozen of this company’s ships and stolen millions of dollars worth of cargo.

That was a problem, but it wasn’t an unusual one, and hardly one for a data breach investigations team. No, what had the shipping company freaked out was that the pirates seemed to have advance knowledge of what was on its ships. In most cases, it can take hours or even days to go through the tens of thousands of shipping containers on a major cargo vessel, or to siphon off oil or gas.

Read more on BuzzFeed. Not only was this a fascinating look at how Verizon investigated the problem, but Bernstein’s coverage reads like a real thriller.

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