Every executive in agriculture or food processing needs to be aware of cyber-security, so here’s a guided tour through the world of cybercrime. One of the strange features of cybercrime is how much of it is public, a cybersecurity professional tells the BBC. A quick search will turn up forums and sites where stolen goods, credit cards and data are openly traded. But a glance into those places may not give you much idea about what is going on. “Everyone can join as long as you speak Russian,” said Anton, a malware researcher at security firm SentinelOne, who has inhabited this underground world for more than 20 years. “By Russian I mean the USSR, so there is Ukrainians, there is Kazakhstan, there is Belarus. The Romanians are doing all the dirty work like spam and maintenance so they are not really involved in developing malware,” he said. “But, today, is it mainly Russian? Yes.” READ MORE

Now let’s visit ‘Crimicon Valley’: We’ve got Silicon Valley, and Russia has the so-called “Crimicon Valley.” In the mid-1990s, the perfect storm occurred in Russia with the fall of the Soviet Union, fostering the creation of the criminal underground as unemployed and under-employed IT professionals sought to earn a living. Globalization of the Internet and the rise of e-commerce provided great opportunities to conduct cyber attacks for financial gain. The system is quite sophisticated; everybody has a role to play, each with expertise ranging from money laundering and malware development to exploit and kit development. Depending on the type of attack, individuals specialize in doing each step. READ MORE

PROCESS SECURITY

Dog food meat supplier in the clear: The Food and Drug Administration has completed its investigation into the supplier that furnished meat used in recalled canned dog food that was found to contain the animal euthanasia drug pentobarbital. The unidentified supplier provides meat used in Evanger’s brand Hunk of Beef and Nutripack’s Against the Grain Pulled Beef brand dog foods, both of which have been recalled because at least five dogs have required medical treatment and one died. The Sher family, which owns Evanger’s and Nutripack, had cast blame on the meat supplier for the pentobarbital adulteration, but the FDA determined the supplier appears to “… have systems in place to ensure that euthanized animals are segregated from animal protein going for animal food use,” an agency spokesperson told Food Safety News Thursday. READ MORE

FSMA whistleblower lawsuit: Food Logistics reports that the food industry saw one of its first whistleblower suits invoking the new Food Safety Modernization Act’s protections brought earlier this month by a longtime employee of Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. In a 31-page compliant in the Northern District of Illinois, a former global product compliance director for Mead Johnson alleges she was marginalized and eventually fired after raising concerns about “serious safety issues” related to defects in the manufacturing of the company’s ready-to-use infant formula. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Potent nerve agent used in Kim killing: The BBC reports that Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed using the highly toxic liquid nerve agent VX, Malaysian police have said. VX – also known as O-ethyl S-diisopropylaminomethyl methylphosphonothiolate – is classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction. As a weapon, VX does not quickly dissipate and can remain on material or the ground for long periods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes VX as the most potent of all nerve agents; only the United States and Russia have said they possess VX or a similar agent, but North Korea is thought to have one of the world’s largest stockpiles of chemical weapons. READ MORE