• United States



by CSO Contributor

U.S. Tightens Rules for Foreign Airlines; Online Crime Up in 2003; Internet Scam Baffles Police; Al Qaeda Links Seen in Attacks on Top Saudi Security Officials

Dec 30, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

U.S. Tightens Rules for Foreign Airlines

The U.S. government announced yesterday that it will require foreign airlines to place armed air marshals aboard certain international flights entering U.S. air space when intelligence officials deem it necessary to combat terrorist hijackings. According to The Washington Post today, U.S. officials said that countries that do not have air marshal programs could meet the requirement by putting other trained law enforcement officials aboard. Officials also said they would take diplomatic steps to share intelligence about terrorist threats before taking dramatic actions, such as revoking landing rights, if requests for air marshals are refused. Online Crime Up in 2003The Register today, the organization (which is run by the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center) will change its name to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), to reflect the broad nature of complaints it handles, including international money laundering, online extortion, intellectual property theft and computer intrusion, in addition to identity theft and the usual array of online scams.

The Internet Fraud Complaint Center reports receiving over 120,000 online fraud complaints through its website this year—an increase of 60 percent over the 75,000 complaints counted in 2002. According to a story in

Internet Scam Baffles, police in Port Huron, Mich., said they are at a standstill in an international credit-card scam that has victimized two local women, plus dozens of others in Florida, Georgia, Connecticut and elsewhere in Michigan. The scam is believed to have originated in Ghana, because, as the Times Journal reports, police said the scam’s ringleaders meet people, typically women, in Internet chat rooms and romance them by sending them flowers. Eventually, the ringleaders get permission to have merchandise, bought with a stolen credit card, shipped to the victim’s home. They tell the victim that companies wont ship to Ghana, and ask the victim to do he shipping, allowing her to keep some of the goods. Police plan to mention the scam to Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge on his upcoming visit to the Port Huron area to tour locations local leaders feel are terrorist risks.

According to a story in the (Michigan)

Al Qaeda Links Seen in Attacks on Top Saudi Security OfficialsThe New York Times today, Islamic militants in Saudi Arabia with links to Al Qaeda appear to be making a concerted new effort to destabilize the Saudi government by assassinating top security officials, according to senior American officials. The Saudi royal government has long been the principal target of Osama bin Laden and his followers, but the extent of the Qaeda network inside the kingdom that has become evident in recent months has surprised many Saudi and American officials, the Times reports. A series of assassination attempts in the last month, including a failed car bombing in the Saudi capital on Monday, have also included a previously undisclosed shooting in early December of Maj. Gen. Abdelaziz al-Huweirini, the No. 3 official in Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry, and the kingdom’s top counterterrorism official.

According to a story in