Tag: Extortion and Blackmail

Woman Who Alleged Affair With Trump Sues Fox News for Defamation

A former Playboy model who has said she had an affair with Donald J. Trump before he was president sued Fox News on Thursday, saying that Tucker Carlson, one of the network’s hosts, had intentionally defamed her on his television show. The model, Karen McDougal, said Mr. Carlson had falsely accused her of extortion last […]

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Did Trump Commit ‘Bribery’? Pelosi’s Impeachment Accusation, Explained

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week explicitly accused President Trump of “bribery,” suggesting after hearings in the impeachment investigation opened that he is guilty of one of the few specific offenses listed in the Constitution as a basis for impeaching and removing a president. “The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in […]

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The Distinctly American Ethos of the Grifter

EVERY AGE HAS its defining minor characters, those who briefly light up the public’s imagination not for their achievements but for how they personify our anxieties and most fervent human desires. Consider the half-Chinese, half-Malay Princess Caraboo, who in 1817 was kidnapped by pirates from her native island of Javasu in the Indian Ocean and […]

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Ransomware Attacks Are Testing Resolve of Cities Across America

WILMER, Tex. — At the public library in Wilmer, Tex., books were checked out not with the beeps of bar code readers but with the scratches of pen on notebook paper. Out on the street, police officers were literally writing tickets — by hand. When the entire computer network that keeps the small town’s bureaucracy […]

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Ransomware Attack Hits 23 Texas Towns, Authorities Say

Computer systems in 23 small Texas towns have been hacked, seized and held for ransom in a widespread, coordinated cyberattack, the authorities said this week. The Texas Department of Information Resources said Monday that it was racing to bring systems back online after the “ransomware attack,” in which hackers remotely block access to important data […]

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Don’t Pay the Ransom

In July, Europol celebrated the third anniversary of its No More Ransom initiative, announcing that the public-private partnership had helped more than 200,000 ransomware victims recover their files using its library of freely available online tools instead of giving in to hackers’ demands to pay a cryptocurrency ransom. All told, the recovered files saved victims […]

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2 U.S. Tourists Admit Killing Police Officer in Rome, Officials Say

ROME — Two 19-year-old American tourists were arrested and charged on Saturday with murder and attempted extortion in the fatal stabbing of a military police officer in Rome, Italian officials said. The tourists, identified as Lee Elder Finnegan and Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, both born in San Francisco, were accused of stabbing the officer, Deputy […]

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A City Paid a Hefty Ransom to Hackers. But Its Pains Are Far From Over.

LAKE CITY, Fla. — Audrey Sikes, city clerk of Lake City, Fla., has a thing for documents: She does not like losing them. It falls to Ms. Sikes, as official custodian of records for this city of 12,000 people about an hour west of Jacksonville, to maintain Lake City’s archives. She keeps a log of […]

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Another Hacked Florida City Pays a Ransom, This Time for $460,000

MIAMI — Even the phones went down in the government of Lake City, Fla., after hackers launched a cyberattack that disabled the city’s computer systems. For several days after computer systems were paralyzed by a ransomware attack, the staff of the small North Florida town worked with the F.B.I. and an outside security consultant to […]

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Hit by Ransomware Attack, Florida City Agrees to Pay Hackers $600,000

MIAMI — The leaders of Riviera Beach, Fla., looking weary, met quietly this week for an extraordinary vote to pay nearly $600,000 in ransom to hackers who paralyzed the city’s computer systems. Riviera Beach, a small city of about 35,000 people just north of West Palm Beach, became the latest government to be crippled by […]

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Nxivm Trial: Allison Mack Lured Woman Into Sex Cult, She Says

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.] The young actress from California was at a low point during her first winter after moving to New York City when Allison Mack invited her to join Nxivm, a purported self-help group near Albany. The woman, who was identified […]

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How a Secret U.S. Cyberweapon Backfired

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher A criminal group has held computer systems for the city of Baltimore hostage for nearly a month — paralyzing everything from email to the real estate market to the payment of water bills. But what residents […]

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In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services. But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals […]

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