Briefing & Opinion

cutting-edge knowledge

Keeping abreast of the latest developments in Critical Risk help Schillings stay ahead of the perpetrators.

10 things you need to know this month

10 things you need to know this month

  • 01. British-Australian, Jolie King and her Australian fiancé, Mark Firkin, were released on 5 October after being detained for three months in Iran. The couple were reportedly arrested for flying a drone without a permit. At least five British nationals are still being detained in Iran.
  • 02. Allan Hyrons, a British national, and his Filipino wife, Welma Paglinawan-Hyrons, were kidnapped on 4 October by armed men in boats from their beach resort in Mindanao. The provincial government in Zamboanga del Sur offered two million pesos ($38,786) reward for information leading to the kidnapper’s arrest. The region is home to numerous kidnap for ransom groups, including Abu Sayyaf.
  • 03. In August, The Wall Street Journal reported that criminals used AI software to synthesise a voice to de-fraud a business of approximately $240,000. The CEO of a UK-based energy firm believed he was talking to the chief executive of the firm’s German parent company. This is the first reported incident of its kind.
  • 04. A Chinese student, kidnapped in Australia in August and held for two weeks, was rescued following a reported ransom payment of 80 bitcoin ($828,000). The Chinese Consulate General in Sydney confirmed that Ye Jingwang was “safe and in good health”. In 2018, Australian Federal Police issued a warning about Chinese and Taiwanese students being the target of kidnapping.
  • 05. The cousin of Asma Al Assad, the first lady of Syria, was kidnapped in September while travelling between Beirut and Damascus. The kidnappers initially demanded $10 million for his release. He was reportedly released on 19 September after “intensive efforts by Lebanese officials”.
  • 06. In September, a Japanese man accused of stalking and sexually assaulting a Japanese singer told police he located her through the reflection in her eyes in a selfie she posted. Hibiki Sato told police he zoomed in on the image and then used Google Street View to identify the photo’s location. He also studied videos the woman shot in her apartment, looking at the placement of curtains and the direction of light coming through the window to determine its location. Japan has recently seen several attacks by fans on female pop stars.
  • 07. The No More Ransom Project, a joint initiative by tech security companies and law enforcement, released decryption tools on 25 September for FortuneCrypt, Yatron, WannaCryFake and Avest.
  • 08. Mohammad Sharif Panahandeh, an Iranian sailor held captive for four years by Somali pirates, was released on humanitarian grounds on 21 September. The European Naval Force states that attacks in the region are now “negligible” compared to a peak of 275 reported incidents in the region in 2011.
  • 09. A Saudi Arabian woman was kidnapped in Istanbul on 21 August. Security cameras showed a man spray the victim in the face with a substance, before she lost consciousness. The kidnappers reportedly demanded a $150,000 ransom. A police operation, involving the family, rescued the woman who was reportedly being held by a Syrian gang.
  • 10. Accenture iDefense engineers announced in August that they had identified an updated version of the ransomware MegaCortex. MegaCortex has been used in manual, postexploitation, targeted attacks where important files on servers and network hosts are encrypted. The attacks focus on companies in the USA and across Europe and involve ransomware bitcoin demands between two ($20,000) and 600 ($5.8 million).

Contact information

To discuss how we can help you, your family or your business, please call 646 934 6219

US Address

Schillings
One World Trade Center
Suite 8500
New York, NY 10007

Our 24 hour number
646 934 6219
Legal information

© 2019 Schillings International LLP. SCHILLINGS is a trading name of Schillings International LLP and Schillings International (USA) LLP.

Schillings International LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registration number OC398731. A list of members of Schillings International LLP is available for inspection at our registered office 41 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HX. Schillings International LLP is an Alternative Business Structure regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Schillings International (USA) LLP is a registered limited liability partnership organised and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, United States of America, whose principal place of business is at One World Trade Center, Suite 8500, New York, NY 10007. We are registered as a foreign legal correspondent in the State of New York.


ATTORNEY ADVERTISING