Daily Archives: March 23, 2015

Societal Damnation 40: Crime / Piracy

These damnations have been around longer than supply chains, and they aren’t going away any time soon. THe only difference is that today the types of crime an organization is exposed to today are much more varied than the crimes an organization was exposed to in the past. For example, terrorist attacks, identity theft, and cybercrime were not something the average large organization had to deal with on a regular basis, if at all.

But now, terrorist organizations, many of which are composed of individuals who are ex-military or trained by military and/or government agencies, are becoming common in many countries where there is significant civil unrest or animosity towards a people or government. And these terrorist organizations often target large shipments of goods that they need to sustain their efforts near the territories that they are based in — and this is not just restricted to weapons but also includes fuel, food, clothing, and personal electronic devices. It’s not just common thieves and criminal groups plotting to steal a few boxes or empty an 18-wheeler when the driver takes a lunch break — it’s a terrorist organization planning to steal an entire convoy of 18-wheelers (because they want the trucks too).

It used to be that identify theft was when one person impersonated another to fool an unsuspecting individual at a company or bank to gain access to funds or products, and this could easily be protected against by good security measures, passwords, and biometrics, but now we have the situation where the identify of entire companies is being stolen. This has become especially prevalent in the US since the introduction of MAP-21 (which SI likes to call RIP-21) which resulted in thousands of small transport companies going out of business when the minimum bond was increased from 10,000 to 75,000. Shortly after this happened, some very enterprising individuals decided to setup fake companies that pretended to be the company that was out of business. They faked registration documents, insurance certificates and bonds, and personnel records, presented themselves to 3PLs that the company previously worked with (stating that they managed to raise the bond money and were back in business), and even presented themselves to large manufacturers and retailers the company used to do business with. When contracts were awarded, they acquired trucks, hired drivers, and made deliveries. Some of them even operated just like a legitimate company for months until they were trusted with a multi-million dollar shipment of products that would fetch a similar sum on the black market — then they vanished overnight with millions of dollars of products. (See SI’s post on how increased cargo theft is the next impact of MAP-21.

And cybercrime has hit entirely new levels. It used to be that the best a hacker could do was steal a bank account number and password, do an ACH transfer, and make off with the operating account. But now, hackers can infiltrate your networks and make off with all of your bank account numbers and passwords, hack other networks and replace the corporate director and officer records, falsely represent themselves as your company to banks and lenders (by stealing the identities of your corporate officers and then hacking your virtual private networks and spoofing your IP addresses to access your bank accounts in what appears to be a legitimate access by the bank), take out massive loans and not only make off with every dollar in every account you have, but leave your company on the hook for millions more. And that’s if the hackers are being nice. Plus, while the hackers are at it, they hack your merchant terminals, steal all of your customer’s credit card information, sell it on the black market, and leave you with a massive media black eye that puts your brand reputation in the toilet.

If you thought the Fraud and Corruption (as chronicled in Damnation 41) was bad, just wait until you have to deal with the new terrorists, identify fraudsters, and cyber-criminals. And if you survive this first wave, then you get to deal with the Somali pirates! (And they are a whole lot meaner than the Saskatchewan pirates.)