The Verge: Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter team up to crack down on hackers who steal rare usernames

The Verge: Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter team up to crack down on hackers who steal rare usernames. “Instagram has disabled hundreds of accounts that were stolen as part of online hacking operations designed to gain access to and sell rare and coveted usernames, the company tells The Verge. Both TikTok and Twitter also took action on some of the accounts belonging to the same hackers, reports journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs.”

The Art Newspaper: In the battle against antiquities trafficking, Germany develops app to identify looted cultural heritage

The Art Newspaper: In the battle against antiquities trafficking, Germany develops app to identify looted cultural heritage. “One of the biggest challenges for police and customs officials in combating the illegal trade in looted antiquities is in identifying stolen objects. While drugs or weapons are readily identifiable as illegal imports, stolen antiquities can be passed off as modern copies or legitimate imports if they are accompanied by convincing documentation…. German information technology experts are developing an app to help them, and a prototype may be ready for practical trials by the middle of the year, says Martin Steinebach, the head of media security and IT forensics at the Fraunhofer Institute in Darmstadt.”

Stealing to survive: More Americans are shoplifting food as aid runs out during the pandemic (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Stealing to survive: More Americans are shoplifting food as aid runs out during the pandemic. “Shoplifting is up markedly since the pandemic began in the spring and at higher levels than in past economic downturns, according to interviews with more than a dozen retailers, security experts and police departments across the country. But what’s distinctive about this trend, experts say, is what’s being taken — more staples like bread, pasta and baby formula.”

Atlas Obscura: How German Librarians Finally Caught an Elusive Book Thief

Atlas Obscura: How German Librarians Finally Caught an Elusive Book Thief. “On the afternoon of February 21, 2006, Norbert Schild sat down at a desk in the reading room of the City Library of Trier, in western Germany, and opened a 400-year-old book on European geography. Working quickly, Schild laid a piece of blank white paper on top of the book, took a boxcutter from his lap, and discreetly sliced out a map of Alsace from pages 375 and 376.”

Auditor: Iowa misallocated at least $21 million in COVID-19 funds (Des Moines Register)

Des Moines Register: Auditor: Iowa misallocated at least $21 million in COVID-19 funds. “Iowa’s government misallocated at least $21 million of federal assistance intended for COVID-19 relief and must correct the error by the end of the year or face having to repay the money, State Auditor Rob Sand says. Iowa used the money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act to help pay for a new accounting system.”

Antiques Trade Gazette: ILAB president announces launch of missing books database following re-election

Antiques Trade Gazette: ILAB president announces launch of missing books database following re-election. “Australian book dealer Sally Burdon said she will use her second term as [International League of Antiquarian Booksellers] president to consolidate changes and launch a new missing books register following the international book trade association’s recent election.”

Apollo Magazine: The late Robert Freeman was the Beatles’ favourite photographer – and now his entire archive has been stolen

Apollo Magazine: The late Robert Freeman was the Beatles’ favourite photographer – and now his entire archive has been stolen. “The archive stretched back to Freeman’s work in the early 1960s for the Sunday Times, where he made his name shooting portraits – from Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev to jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. His moody monochrome shots of the saxophonist – bebop was rather more to Freeman’s musical taste than pop music – subsequently brought him to the attention of Brian Epstein, manager of a Liverpudlian four-piece who were at that time storming the ‘hit parade’. In short order, Freeman became the Beatles’ most trusted photographer; he travelled with them on tour, discussing music and sharing a room with John Lennon, and was the go-to man for their album-cover portraits.”

Smithsonian Magazine: The Inside Story Of The $8 Million Heist From The Carnegie Library

Smithsonian Magazine: The Inside Story Of The $8 Million Heist From The Carnegie Library. “There are two types of people who frequent special collections that are open to the public: scholars who want to study something in particular, and others who just want to see something interesting. Both groups are often drawn to incunables. Books printed at the dawn of European movable type, between 1450 and 1500, incunables are old, rare and historically important. In short, an incunable is so valued and usually such a prominent holding that any thief who wanted to avoid detection would not steal one. The Oliver Room thief stole ten.”

Feds begin prosecuting fraudulent PPP coronavirus loans. Some cases will be hard to win (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: Feds begin prosecuting fraudulent PPP coronavirus loans. Some cases will be hard to win. “Ever since the public backlash last April against some large, well-off or nationwide companies that helped themselves to emergency government funds intended to rescue small businesses during the pandemic, federal officials have vowed to crack down on any abuses of the popular program, also known as PPP. That effort is now underway with more than a dozen criminal cases filed in 11 states in recent weeks. All involve allegations of blatant fraud, such as lying on applications, falsifying tax or business records and misappropriating money. And most involve relatively small businesses or individual owners.”

EurekAlert: No honor among cyber thieves

EurekAlert: No honor among cyber thieves. “A backstabbing crime boss and thousands of people looking for free tutorials on hacking and identity theft were two of the more interesting findings of a study examining user activity on two online ‘carding forums,’ illegal sites that specialize in stolen credit card information.”

Reuters: Monkeys steal coronavirus blood samples in India

Reuters: Monkeys steal coronavirus blood samples in India. “A troop of monkeys in India attacked a medical official and snatched away blood samples of patients who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus… The attack occurred this week when a laboratory technician was walking in the campus of a state-run medical college in Meerut, 460 km (285 miles) north of Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh state.”

CNN: One man lost his life savings in a SIM hack. Here’s how you can try to protect yourself

CNN: One man lost his life savings in a SIM hack. Here’s how you can try to protect yourself. “Robert Ross was sitting in his San Francisco home office in October 2018 when he noticed the bars on his phone had disappeared and he had no cell coverage. A few hours later, he had lost $1 million. Ross was the victim of a SIM hack, an attack that occurs when hackers take over a victim’s phone number by transferring it to a SIM card they control.”