Federal | Agencies | Legislative
Posing as CSRA Executives, Thieves Conduct Fake Interviews and Solicit Banking Information from Job Applicants
FALLS CHURCH, VA – CSRA Inc. (NYSE:CSRA) is cautioning members of the public, particularly those in the job market, to be on the lookout for fraudulent activity targeting prospective job applicants. CSRA has reported this scam to law enforcement and federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and is fully cooperating with them.
Fraudsters posing as company executives and board members of CSRA have been soliciting victims to apply for jobs at CSRA. The perpetrators use fake gmail accounts to communicate with victims, and then conduct interviews while posing as a CSRA executive, often using the name of a real executive at the company. The scams solicit personal information and send applicants what appear to be checks in order to obtain their financial information.
Such nefarious practices are a common tactic; however, there has been a steady uptick in activity over the past few weeks and CSRA wants to protect the interests of future hires. These scam artists often prey on people as a cold call, although CSRA has not observed any issues with candidates who have applied for jobs. The scheme appears to be a global operation that has evolved over the years, with countless victims.
For the public, and especially those interested in applying for jobs with CSRA:
Use caution when approached by individuals you don’t know.
Never provide banking information during the interview process.
CSRA will always provide a formal offer letter when offering employment.
All CSRA electronic communications contain email addresses with the domain of @csra.com.
Members of the public are advised to report these fraudulent solicitations to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their website, which can be found here or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
Victims can also report the incident to their state attorney general. See this list of attorney generals by state for more information.
About CSRA Inc.
CSRA (NYSE: CSRA) solves our nation’s hardest mission problems as a bridge from mission and enterprise IT to Next Gen, from government to technology partners, and from agency to agency. CSRA is tomorrow’s thinking, today. For our customers, our partners, and ultimately, all the people our mission touches, CSRA is realizing the promise of technology to change the world through next-generation thinking and meaningful results. CSRA is driving towards achieving sustainable, industry-leading organic growth across federal and state/local markets through customer intimacy, rapid innovation and outcome-based experience. CSRA has over 18,000 employees and is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia. To learn more about CSRA, visit www.csra.com. Think Next. Now
Researchers used patterned stimulation of neural activity to facilitate encoding of episodic memories for military personnel suffering from the effects of brain injury or illness
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., March 27, 2018 -- A joint effort between the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and DCS Corporation recently won the Neurally Augmented Image Labelling Strategies, or NAILS challenge, at an international machine learning research competition in Tokyo.
Dr. Vernon Lawhern, ARL mathematical statistician and Amelia J. Solon, DCS scientist, led the joint research project. Other team members included Drs. Brent Lance, ARL and Stephen Gordon, DCS.
The team presented its paper, Deep Learning Approaches for P300 Classification in Image Triage: Applications to the NAILS Task, at the 13th National Institute of Testbeds and Community Information Access Research Conference on evaluation of information.
Teams participating in the NAILS challenge developed machine learning methods to detect – through brain activity – whether an image that a person was seeing was a task-relevant image or not. In performing the research, the researchers calibrated an in-house tool called EEGNet, which is a deep convolutional network capable of learning robust representations of specific brain responses using relatively sparse training sets. Using this approach, they trained a unique instantiation of EEGNet for each subject and subsequently obtained the highest classification performance, averaged across all subjects, of the participating teams.
"EEGNet allows researchers to train models for different neural responses using examples of those responses collected under a wide variety of conditions and from multiple individuals," Gordon said. "In this way, EEGNet provides both a 'common framework' for analyzing disparate data sets as well as a tool for extrapolating results from simplified to more complex domains."
The team participated in conference discussions focused on the state of brain computer interface technology and how it can be leveraged for information retrieval applications; future directions for the NAILS task; assessing models with IR oriented evaluation metrics, and encouraging the development of general BCI algorithms that are not calibrated per-subject or task and hold greater potential for measuring human state in complex, real-world, environments.
"This work is part of a larger research program at ARL that focuses on understanding the principles that govern the application of neuroscience-based research to complex operational settings," Lawhern said. "By competing in this competition we were able to showcase our expertise in this area to the broader scientific community. Ultimately, we are interested in using neuroscience-based approaches to develop human-computer interaction technologies that can adapt to the state of the user."
The researchers conducted the work as part of DCS's Cognition and Neuroergonomics Collaborative Technology Alliance contract with ARL. The CaN CTA is the U.S. Army's flagship basic science research and technology transition program in the neurosciences.
More information on the winning research is available on Google Scholar Citations.
DCS offers advanced technology and management solutions to Government agencies in the DoD and national security sector. The transformative ideas, commitment to quality and entrepreneurial spirit that characterize our 1,100 employee-owners allow us to ensure the success of each customer's mission and actively contribute to the well-being of the Nation. For more information, visit: https://www.dcscorp.com.
CONTACT: [email protected], 571-227-6000
SOURCE DCS Corporation
Chief Executive and Four Associates Indicted for Conspiring with Global Drug Traffickers by Providing Encryption Services to Evade Law Enforcement and Obstruct Justice
Vincent Ramos, the chief executive of Canada-based Phantom Secure, and four of his associates were indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges that they knowingly and intentionally participated in a criminal enterprise that facilitated the transnational importation and distribution of narcotics through the sale and service of encrypted communications.
This is the first time the U.S. government has targeted a company and its principals for knowingly and intentionally conspiring with criminal organizations by providing them with the technological tools to evade law enforcement and obstruct justice while committing transnational drug trafficking.
“With one American dying of a drug overdose every nine minutes, our great nation is suffering the deadliest drug epidemic in our history,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Incredibly, some have sought to profit off of this crisis, including by specifically taking advantage of encryption technologies to further criminal activity, and to obstruct, impede, and evade law enforcement, as this case illustrates. The Department of Justice will aggressively prosecute not just drug traffickers, but those who help them spread addiction and death in our communities. I want to thank the FBI, DEA, Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, Washington State Police, the Bellingham and Blaine Police Departments, and all of our law enforcement partners around the world, including Australia, Canada, Panama, Hong Kong, and Thailand for their hard work on this case. Today's indictment sends a clear message that drug traffickers and criminals cannot hide, because we will hunt them down and find them wherever they are.”
“When criminals go dark, and law enforcement cannot monitor their phones or access evidence, crimes cannot be solved, criminals cannot be stopped and lives can be lost,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “As a result of this groundbreaking prosecution, we will disable the communication infrastructure provided by a criminal enterprise to drug traffickers and other violent criminals. Phantom Secure was designed to profit off of criminal activity committed by transnational criminal organizations around the world. We are committed to shutting these criminals down.”
“The indictment of Vincent Ramos and his associates is a milestone against transnational crime,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Phantom Secure allegedly provided a service designed to allow criminals the world over to evade law enforcement to traffic drugs and commit acts of violent crime without detection. Ramos and his company made millions off this criminal activity, and our takedown sends a serious message to those who exploit encryption to go dark on law enforcement. I want to thank our partners at the Department of Justice, as well as our Australian and Canadian law enforcement partners, for their incredible work on this case.”
Ramos was taken into custody in Bellingham, Washington, on March 7. Ramos made his first appearance in the Western District of Washington and will face charges in San Diego. The remaining four defendants are fugitives.
According to court documents, Phantom Secure advertised its products as impervious to decryption, wiretapping or legal third-party records requests. Phantom Secure also guaranteed the destruction of evidence contained within a device if it was compromised, either by an informant or because it fell into the hands of law enforcement.
The indictment alleges that as a result of its efforts to facilitate international crime, Phantom Secure has generated approximately $80 million in annual revenue since 2008 and facilitated drug trafficking, obstruction of justice, and violent crime around the world.
The international operation to arrest the company’s chief executive and seize Phantom Secure’s infrastructure involved cooperation and efforts by law enforcement authorities in the United States, Australia, Canada, with additional assistance from U.S. and foreign law enforcement in Panama, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
Over the past two weeks, in cooperation with Australian Federal Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, more than 250 agents around the globe conducted approximately 25 searches of houses and offices of Phantom Secure associates in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and in Australia and Canada, seizing Phantom Secure devices, assets, and evidence of the charged crimes. The coordinated effort led to the seizure of servers, computers, cell phones, and Phantom Secure devices used to operate the Phantom Secure network, as well as drugs and weapons.
Ramos and the others - Kim Augustus Rodd, Younes Nasri, Michael Gamboa and Christopher Poquiz - are charged with participating in and aiding and abetting a racketeering enterprise and conspiring to import and distribute controlled substances around the world. The defendants have been charged with Conspiracy to Commit RICO in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962 and Conspiracy to Aid and Abet the Distribution of Controlled Substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 and 846.
Authorities have seized Phantom Secure’s property, including more than 150 domains and licenses which were being used by transnational criminal organizations to send and receive encrypted messages. Authorities also seized bank accounts and property in Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.
This case stems from an investigation in the Southern District of California of a Phantom Secure client who used Phantom devices to coordinate shipments of thousands of kilograms of cocaine and other drugs throughout the globe. According to court documents, there were an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 Phantom devices in use worldwide before the authorities dismantled the company. This coordinated action means Phantom Secure’s clients can no longer use these devices to commit crimes.
According to Timothy O’Connor, Executive Director of the Criminal Investigations Division New South Wales Crime Commission, “The disruption of the Phantom Secure platform has been one of the most significant blows to organized crime in Australia.”
In addition to our foreign law enforcement partners, the U.S. Attorney’s Office further recognizes the support and assistance of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Customs and Border Protection; the Department of Homeland Security; Seattle and Las Vegas field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Washington State Police Department; the City of Bellingham, Washington Police Department; the City of Blaine, Washington Police Department; and the Canada Border Services Agency, among others, without whose help this prosecution could not have been possible.
Speaking on behalf of Australian law enforcement authorities, Australian Federal Police (AFP) Assistant Commissioner Organised Crime, Neil Gaughan said today Australia’s role in this complex and unique investigation began in early 2017 following an exchange of intelligence with the FBI and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
As a result, Australian authorities executed 19 search warrants across four states last week as part of the international action, where more than 1,000 encrypted mobile devices were seized.
“The action taken in the U.S. directly impacts the upper echelons of organized crime both here in Australia and offshore, who until now have been able to confidently control and direct illicit activity like drug importations, money laundering and associated serious criminal offending,” said Assistant Commissioner Gaughan.
“Our thanks go to our international partners – the FBI and RCMP – who have been outstanding in working methodically around the clock together with us on this unique investigation. Without their cooperation, commitment and shared singular drive, Australian law enforcement agencies would not be announcing this significant result today.”
Australian agencies involved in this investigation include the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the New South Wales Crime Commission, state police from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, the Australian Tax Office and financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC.
“This investigation is a prime example of law enforcement agencies from around the world working together to identify, investigate and charge people involved in transnational criminal activity,” says Assistant Commissioner Jim Gresham, RCMP Criminal Operations Officer, Investigative Services and Organized Crime. “We remain committed to investigating and disrupting these illegal activities that adversely affect each of our communities.”
This case is the result of ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.
The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Vincent Ramos (1) Richmond, British Columbia Canada
Kim Augustus Rodd (2) Phuket, Thailand
aka Visith Vongthai
Younes Nasri (3) Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Michael Gamboa (4) Los Angeles, CA
Christopher Poquiz (5) Los Angeles, CA
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Racketeering Conspiracy to Conduct Enterprise Affairs (RICO Conspiracy), in violation of 18 USC §1962(d)
Maximum Penalty: Life in prison
Conspiracy to Aid and Abet the Distribution of Narcotics, in violation of 21 USC §841 and 846; Title 18 USC §2
Maximum Penalty: Life in prison
President Donald J. Trump is making sure our schools are safe and secure, just like our airports, stadiums, and government buildings.
- President Trump’s Administration will assist States to train specially qualified school personnel on a voluntary basis.
- • Department of Justice (DOJ) assistance programs will be leveraged to enable schools to partner with State and local law enforcement to provide firearms training for school personnel.
- • The Administration will support the transition of military veterans and retired law enforcement into new careers in education.
- • The Administration will encourage States’ Attorneys General to audit school district compliance with State emergency preparedness activities.
- • Federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, will partner with States and localities to support a public awareness campaign modeled on “See Something, Say Something” to encourage awareness and reporting of suspicious activity.
STRENGTHENING BACKGROUND CHECKS AND PREVENTION: President Trump supports legislation and reforms to strengthen background checks and law enforcement operations.
- • President Trump’s Administration is calling on every State to adopt Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs).
- • The President is directing the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to States, at their request, on establishing and implementing ERPOs.
- • ERPOs allow law enforcement, with approval from a court, to remove firearms from individuals who are a demonstrated threat to themselves or others and temporarily to prevent individuals from purchasing new firearms.
- • ERPOs should be carefully tailored to ensure the due process rights of law-abiding citizens are protected.
- • President Trump supports improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The President supports the legislative framework introduced by Senators Cornyn and Murphy that will help improve the accuracy and effectiveness of NICS.
- • The Cornyn-Murphy bill will hold Federal agencies more accountable for reporting information to NICS and will incentivize States to improve their reporting to the system.
- • The President supports the framework of the STOP School Violence Act, which provides for State-based grants to implement evidence-based violence prevention programs.
- • Grants will provide States with funds for training, technology, and technical assistance to help schools identify and prevent violent acts.
- • The Administration requests that Congress provide funding in 2018 to jump start implementation of this evidence-based program in middle and high schools nationwide.
- • The President’s Administration will audit and make accountability improvements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) tip line, and will promote its use.
- • DOJ will provide emergency and crisis training for local law enforcement.
MENTAL HEALTH REFORM: President Trump is proposing an expansion and reform of mental health programs, including those that help identify and treat individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others.
- • The President is proposing increased integration of mental health, primary care, and family services, as well as support for programs that utilize court-ordered treatment.
- • The President is calling for a review of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other statutory and regulatory privacy protections.
- • Reviews will determine if any changes or clarifications are needed to improve coordination between mental health and other healthcare professionals, school officials, and law enforcement personnel.
INVESTIGATION: In addition to these immediate actions, President Trump is establishing a Federal Commission on School Safety chaired by Secretary Betsy DeVos and will recommend policy and funding proposals for school violence prevention.
- President Trump’s Administration will establish a Federal commission, chaired by Secretary DeVos, to address school safety and the culture of violence.
- While the Administration is taking immediate action on school safety, the Federal commission will develop a process to evaluate and make recommendations on school safety.
- The commission will study and make recommendations on the following areas of focus:
- • Age restrictions for certain firearm purchases.
- • Existing entertainment rating systems and youth consumption of violent entertainment.
- • Strategies to advance the science and practice of character development in youth and a culture of connectedness.
- • Effects of press coverage of mass shootings.
- • Repeal of the Obama Administration’s “Rethink School Discipline” policies.
- • Best practices for school buildings and campus security from Federal Government components, including the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and also from other State, local, and private sector sources.
- • A plan for integration and coordination of Federal resources focused on prevention and mitigation of active shooter incidents at schools.
- • Opportunities to improve access to mental health treatment, including through efforts that raise awareness about mental illness and the effectiveness of treatment, reduce barriers to the recruitment of mental health professionals, and provide training related to violence prevention.
- • Best practices for school-based threat assessment and violence prevention strategies.
- • The effectiveness and appropriateness of psychotropic medication for treatment of troubled youth.
- • Ensuring that findings are sufficiently supported by existing and additional Federal, State, and local funding sources.