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Nathan Hamblin, LPC, CORCI promoted to Sr. Loss Prevention and Safety Business Partner for PetSmart

Nathan has been with PetSmart for more than six years, starting with the company in 2014 as Regional Loss Prevention, Safety & Accuracy Manager - Supply Chain. Before his promotion to Sr. Loss Prevention & Safety Business Partner, he served as Loss Prevention & Safety Business Partner and Senior Manager of LP & Safety. Earlier in his career, he held LP/AP roles with Office Depot and Target. Congratulations, Nathan!

Rowdy Durci promoted to Manger, Omnichannel Fraud for GNC

Rowdy has been with GNC for nearly five years, starting with the company in 2016. Before his promotion to Manager, Omnichannel Fraud, he served as Senior Loss Prevention Program Analyst for the company. Prior to joining GNC, he held loss prevention/security roles with Giant Eagle, Sears Holdings Corporation, and Marshall Protection. Congratulations, Rowdy!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   |   Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position






Retail Fatalities & Violent Incidents Up 40% in the U.S. in 2020, According to D&D Daily Reporting

Five-Year 40% Spike in Retail Fatalities Reflects Nation's
Increasing Murder Rate & Gun Violence Trend

Despite COVID shutdowns, violent fatalities in retail reached an all-time high in 2020, with 256 customers, 128 suspects, 123 employees, and 16 security officers dying in stores or parking lots.

CLEVELAND, OH - January 19, 2021 - The D&D Daily - retail's leading digital news source for Loss Prevention, Asset Protection and Cyber Security - released its industry-exclusive 2020 U.S. Retail Violent Fatalities Report, with support from Interface Security Systems.

Based on publicly reported data, the new report shows fatalities and violent incidents in retail were at an all-time high in 2020 and up roughly 40% since 2016. There were 485 fatal retail incidents last year, resulting in 523 deaths across the United States, reflecting 256 customers, 128 suspects, 123 employees/associates, and 16 law enforcement/security officers.

The Retail Violent Fatalities Report outlines a five-year trend of violence in the retail industry and reveals the stunning reality that COVID-19 shutdowns have had virtually no impact on bringing down violence. In fact, violent trends have continued unabated since 2016.

"With murder rates and gun violence trends skyrocketing across America, it's no surprise to see fatality rates continue to climb in Retail America as well - especially given the protests and rioting around racial injustice, the historical unemployment rates, the business failures from the COVID-19 shutdowns, and the digital transformation retail is going through," said Gus Downing, Publisher & Editor of the D&D Daily.

Read the full press release here  |  See the Daily's full report and analysis here

Protests & Violence

Facebook Blocks Creation of Events Near Capitol, Halts Ads for Weapons in Lead-Up to Inauguration Day
Following the recent unrest at the US Capitol Building, Facebook is taking extra precautions around Inauguration Day, amid suggestions that Trump supporters may be looking to disrupt the event in a last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election result.

Or worse. According to reports, it seems that some of Trump's passionate supporters could be seeking to cause chaos at the inauguration, in response to Trump's loss in the November poll.

In order to counter the potential threat of further violence, and division within US society, Facebook has announced some tough measures to ensure that its platforms are not being used to organize or contribute to such.

First off, Facebook is blocking the creation of any new Facebook events in close proximity to the White House, the US Capitol building or any of the state capitol buildings through Inauguration Day.

Continue Reading Facebook Measures

First Conspiracy Charges Filed Over Capitol Riot
FBI says communications among alleged Oath Keepers showed talk of 'sticking together and sticking to the plan'; directions for making explosives with bleach found in one home.

Prosecutors filed the first conspiracy charges related to the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, saying in a new complaint that three rioters had acted in an "organized and practiced fashion" and communicated before the breach to create a plan. A search of one of their homes had turned up directions for making explosives from bleach, according to the complaint. wsj.com

Why T-Shirts Promoting the Capitol Riot Are Still Available Online
Merchandise with phrases like "Battle for Capitol Hill Veteran" could still be purchased on major e-commerce sites, a sign of how the platforms have struggled to remove the goods. nytimes.com

FBI vetting Guard troops in DC amid fears of insider attack
U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. startribune.com

Two National Guard members removed from inauguration duty over militia ties: report
The move comes two days after it was revealed that the FBI was conducting extra background checks on the approximately 25,000 National Guard troops deployed to secure the inauguration festivities.

No organized plot has been found against incoming Democratic president Joe Biden, the report said.

More Capitol Rioters Being Terminated Across the Country
Firing Workers When Political Expression Goes Too Far
Political expression by employees takes many forms-from friendly office banter to shouting matches that disrupt the workplace. Off-duty political expression can run the gamut, too, from yard signs supporting certain causes or candidates to unlawful activity, such as what the nation witnessed on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol building.

When can employees who've engaged in disruptive political expression be disciplined? Employers must tread carefully, as there are constitutional protections for public-sector employees and some state law protections for private-sector workers. But employees who break the law, violate an employer's policy, disrupt work or harm an employer's reputation all may be subject to discipline, including termination, legal experts say. shrm.org

Murder Rates & Gun Violence in NYC
"It's only going to get worse," Retired NYPD Sgt Blames Failed Bail Reform

NYC shootings continue sky-rocketing surge in 2021
Murders in the Big Apple spiked 125% in the first 10 days of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, increasing from four to nine. And shootings continued to surge up 24% - and gunshot victims nearly tripled, up 29% increase.

2020 number matched the totals for the two prior years combined.  nypost.com

LA homicides double in first 12 days of 2021 compared to 2020


COVID Update

US: Over 24.6M Cases - 408K Dead - 14.5M Recovered
Worldwide: Over 96M Cases - 2M Dead - 68M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 260   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 200
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Coronavirus deaths rising in 30 US states amid winter surge
Coronavirus deaths are rising in nearly two-thirds of American states as a winter surge pushes the overall toll toward 400,000 amid warnings that a new, highly contagious variant is taking hold.

As Americans observed a national holiday Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pleaded with federal authorities to curtail travel from countries where new variants are spreading.

As things stand, many U.S. states are already under tremendous strain. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths is rising in 30 states and the District of Columbia, and on Monday the U.S. death toll surpassed 398,000, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University - by far the highest recorded death toll of any country in the world.

Ellie Murray, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health, said cases have proliferated in part because of gatherings for Christmas and New Year - and compounded previous surges from Thanksgiving and the return of students to schools and universities in the fall.

One of the states hardest hit during the recent surge is Arizona, where the rolling average has risen over the past two weeks from about 90 deaths per day to about 160 per day on Jan. 17.

The death rate from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County - an epicenter of the U.S. pandemic - works out to about one person every six minutes.

But challenges to the vaccine campaign are surfacing worldwide. startribune.com

Biden to Sign Sweeping Executive Orders Day 1 - Overturning Trump
on a Number of Issues

COVID Order: Requiring masks be worn on fed. property & during interstate travel.

He plans to order actions aimed at expanding virus testing and speeding up the reopening of schools and businesses whose operations have been curtailed. A day later, he will focus on delivering further economic relief, Klain said.

In his second week on the job, Biden plans to take additional actions related to criminal justice reform, climate change and immigration, including steps to speed the reunions of families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under Trump. latimes.com

Editor's Note: No further information provided beyond that he plans on taking action on CJ reform. We'll hear more soon enough.

Biden to call on Congress to extend, strengthen FFCRA
President-elect Joe Biden will call on Congress to put back into place paid-leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and strengthen the law by eliminating exemptions for employers with more than 500 or less than 50 employees, according to a statement released this week. hrdive.com

Biden & Harris Calling on Essential Retailers' CEO's - Compensate For the Risk Workers Took

UFCW, FMI applaud key elements of Biden's coronavirus relief plan
Proposal includes hazard pay, beefed-up vaccine rollout, but NGA says legislative battles lie ahead

UFCW hailed the legislative package's call for more coronavirus safety measures for essential frontline workers, including COVID-19 vaccines, as well as enhanced pandemic-related compensation and benefits, namely hazard pay for frontline grocery and retail workers.

Meanwhile, FMI credited the Biden plan's focus on boosting the rate of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, an area where the grocery industry trade group said supermarkets can play a pivotal role. Fellow food retail trade organization the National Grocers Association, however, said the overall bill faces significant hurdles in Congress.

UFCW International yesterday noted that a number provisions in the American Rescue Plan seek more investment in protecting and supporting essential workers. Topping the list is hazard pay - retroactive and ongoing - for the extra efforts and risks faced by grocery store associates and other frontline employees in doing their jobs during a surging pandemic. supermarketnews.com

New Variant Likely Become Predominant Strain in U.S. by March
CDC: More contagious COVID-19 strain could lead to spike in U.S. cases by March
The CDC warned that the strain, called B.1.1.7, could lead to a spike in cases across the U.S. It has already been detected in ten states.

The strain has been circulating in the U.K. since September and has quickly become the dominant COVID-19 strain in the region.

"Taking measures to reduce transmission now can lessen the potential impact of B.1.1.7 and allow critical time to increase vaccination coverage," the CDC said.

The variant is not known to cause more severe cases nor increase the risk of a fatal infection.

It is likely the vaccine will protect against B.1.1.7 as vaccine designers take into consideration the potential for mutation when creating vaccines.

There are currently three known variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, including strains first detected in South Africa, called 1.351, and Brazil, called P.1.

Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said the coronavirus pandemic will get worse before it gets better, projecting another 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the first five weeks of President-elect Joe Biden's administration.

Speaking to CNN's "State of the Union," Klain said Biden was inheriting a dire situation, saying even with vaccines, "It's going to take a while to turn this around." abc27.com

Hey New York, No Jumping Ahead in Line to Buy the Vaccine

NY Governor Cuomo Looks to Bypass Federal Govt & Buy Pfizer Vaccine Directly
Pfizer says it would need federal approval to sell its coronavirus vaccine to New York, dashing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's hopes of buying the shots directly.

Cuomo asked the Manhattan-based drugmaker about placing a COVID-19 vaccine order on Monday as he complained that the feds had left the state facing a shortage.

But Pfizer said the US Department of Health and Human Services would have to approve such an arrangement based on the emergency use authorization that the Food and Drug Administration granted for the groundbreaking vaccine. nypost.com

Mass Inoculations Begin of 65+ in Calif.
Starting Thursday LA County to Offer Vaccines to Anyone 65+
"The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been an enormous undertaking, especially during an unprecedented surge where cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to skyrocket," Solis said in a statement. "However, if we are to ever get out of this dark winter, it is critical that we make headway vaccinating people 65 years of age and older as soon as possible."

LA County, the most populated county in the country, public health department will hold a vaccine town hall Tuesday evening and is posting vaccination information online.

"Gov. Gavin Newsom has encouraged all counties to start vaccinating residents 65 and older," Supervisor Janice Hahn said earlier on Twitter.

Great News: Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said Monday that even a single dose of the two-dose vaccine regimen appears to have driven down infection rates among staff members. Since vaccinations began in late December, positive test results have dropped from 18% to less than 6%, fire officials said in a news release. "As the county continues to surge, new cases among department personnel began dropping precipitously as did our test positivity rate," said Clayton Kazan, the county Fire Department's medical director. latimes.com

National Trend: California COVID-19 unemployment benefits fraud could reach $9.8B
Unemployment fraud is happening across the nation and being reported on. However, the Daily is not posting these.


NRF Big Show Chapter 2 in NYC Goes Virtual
NRF Issues Statement about Changes to NRF 2021: Retail's Big Show
The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay regarding changes to the planned in-person NRF 2021: Retail's Big Show - Chapter 2.

We have recently learned that the Javits Center, which is being used as a venue for vaccine distribution for New York residents, will most likely be unavailable during the first week of June, which is when we had planned to hold the Second Chapter of our annual NRF Big Show.

"Vaccinations and the overall state of our nation's response to the pandemic were always a primary consideration for an in-person gathering this year. And while we were optimistic about the prospects of a quick timeline for vaccine distribution, the reality is that it is taking longer than we had all hoped and experts believe the process could extend through the summer.

After successfully launching the popular and virtual Chapter 1 of Big Show this month, we are preparing to return online in June to provide even more expansive content, networking, entertainment and expert insights for registrants. nrf.com

Improper Pat Down in Home Depot LP Office Results in Shooting Death
of PD Officer, Puts LP Officer in Critical Condition

- Shooter is Sentenced to Life Without Parole

- Family Sues Over Improper LP Search & Detainment

- Loss Prevention Office - Apprehension Safety Practices

Armando Juarez, who shot and killed Dallas police Officer Rogelio Santander Jr. in April 2018, pleaded guilty Friday to capital murder and was sentenced to life without parole.

Juarez fatally shot Santander and wounded his fellow Officer Crystal Almeida and security guard Scott Painter at the Home Depot store near Forest Lane and North Central Expressway on April 24, 2018.

The families of two Dallas officers shot last year inside a Home Depot have filed a lawsuit against the alleged killer, the home-improvement store, a Dallas-based security company and two people who worked security that day.

The two families allege negligence by Home Depot. At the center of the suit is the allegation that security officers at the retailer "failed to perform an adequate search" and properly detain shoplifting suspect Armando Luis Juarez.

LP Room & Subject Safety
Using Proper De-Escalation Techniques When Apprehending a Hostile Suspect

Loss Prevention Interview Safety Tips From the Interview Experts at WZ

by Dave Thompson, CFI - VP of Operations at Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates

In an interview setting, investigators should be aware of the emotional vulnerability of their subject. Regardless of the case amount, these conversations may cause the subject to contemplate the multiple consequences ahead of them and the embarrassment or shame that comes along with it. They may also feel an aggravation towards the company or the interviewer themselves. With a non-confrontational interview, focused on rapport development and respect, we aim to pro-actively manage these concerns by empathizing and showing understanding towards the subject.

Read the full timeline of events & LP apprehension safety practices

Kroger Joins Amazon In The Race To Add 'Smart' Grocery Carts
Kroger recently became the latest entrant when it rolled out new "KroGO" shopping carts on a test basis at its Madeira, Ohio grocery store outside of Cincinnati.

Built by a company called Caper Inc., the new carts come with a built-in video screen that is essentially a smaller version of the scanners that Kroger has at its checkout lines.

Customers can swipe rewards cards, weigh produce right at the cart, scan the bar codes on items as shoppers plunk them off of shelves, and even put things back and remove them from the tab. The cart gives shoppers a running subtotal of purchases as items are added, helping people stay on budget.

Done shopping, shoppers can scan debit or credit cards and walk out without standing in line. The only things the KroGO carts can't currently handle are gift cards, coupons, cash, purchases of tobacco or behind-the-counter pharmacy items like certain decongestants, and U.S. government food aid programs like EBT and WIC.

Promoting the new technology in the Ohio store with signage that plays well in the COVID-19 era, reading "Faster Checkout. Limited Contact."

Kroger has also posted a slick video on YouTube to promote the new carts.

Smart Carts Don't Just Benefit Shoppers

● Skipping checkout lines stores hire fewer cashiers, saving on wages.

● Smart sensors gives grocers the elaborate information they collect from online shoppers.

● Customers bought about 18% more than average. pymnts.com

McDonald's Facing Dozens of Sexual Harassment Lawsuits
McDonald's is navigating 3 new sexual harassment lawsuits
McDonald's is managing three new sexual harassment lawsuits that include allegations of sexual assault and quid-pro-quo harassment. The suits were filed in Kansas City, St. Louis and Los Angeles, according to an email sent to Restaurant Dive.

The suits include claims the workers were ignored, mocked and retaliated against when they complained about being harassed.

These cases come on the heels of a $500 million sexual harassment lawsuit filed in April, as well as a class-action lawsuit filed in November 2019 alleging sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. Prior to that November suit, more than 50 complaints were brought against the company, while McDonald's was one of only 15 American companies to be sued by the federal government multiple times for sexual harassment between 1998 and 2014. hrdive.com

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Vice President, Loss Prevention job posted for Williams-Sonoma
in San Francisco, CA
The Vice President of Loss Prevention reports to the Company's General Counsel and is responsible for leading the organization's global asset protection and security efforts. You will collaborate effectively across the Company, partnering closely with leadership across all brands, both internal and external clients, and law enforcement when necessary. The position demands a substantial amount of independence; however, the successful candidate will operate as part of a close-knit team of supportive, open, and friendly professionals. linkedin.com

Senior Dir. Programs & Infrastructure job posted for Albertsons in Boise, ID
We are looking for a compassionate, inclusive leader to develop and implement asset protection initiatives that support and protect our store, distribution center, manufacturing plant and office teams. In addition, the Senior Director Programs and Infrastructure will help set and implement the strategy that will boost customer confidence when shopping with us and protect our company from potential loss. Develop and implement asset protection strategies for a leading food and drug retailer with stores, distribution centers, manufacturing plants and office locations throughout the US. recruiting.adp.com

In Case You Missed It

Director, Field Asset Protection job posted for Chipotle in Columbus, OH
The Director of Field Asset Protection is responsible for developing field level asst protection and loss prevention programs designed to reduce loss of cash and product while also serving as key cross function partner for all physical security and safety programs for the restaurant organization. Lead a team of Asset Protection Field Managers in execution of comprehensive Loss Prevention/Physical Security and Safety Program including hiring/training/development of a high performing team, creation of actional goals/metrics and delivering on margin improvement. chipotle.taleo.net

Last week's #1 article --

'Million Militia March' on All State Capitals Being Planned

Far Right Group Plans DC Rally 1/20 & in Other Cities on 1/17
Police Reassess Security for Inauguration & Demonstrations After Capitol Attack
In the wake of last week's assault on the Capitol, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington called for officials to expedite security preparations for the inauguration.

Federal and local authorities across the country pressed their hunt this weekend for the members of the angry mob that stormed the Capitol building last Wednesday, as Washington's mayor issued an urgent appeal to start preparing immediately for more potential violence before, during and after the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Security experts warned this weekend that some far-right extremist groups have now started to focus attention on Inauguration Day and are already discussing an assault similar to the one on the Capitol.

As of Sunday, nearly 400 people had joined a private group online dedicated to what is being billed as the "Million Militia March," an event scheduled to take place in Washington on Jan. 20.  nytimes.com

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A Sure Thing... Don't Bet On It

The NFL Playoffs began this past weekend, resulting in heartbreak for some and hope for others. Millions of dollars were also exchanged over the weekend as sports bettors invested their "interest" in the games as well (not that I would know anything about that). There is rarely a bet that is considered "a sure thing" as many who lost money can empathize with this statement. However, there are many fans and bettors that feel otherwise and entered the Wild Card weekend with full confidence in their teams performance and guaranteed win. Truth be told, this same error is made often in investigations.

Read more





Working Together on Halting the Sale of Stolen Items Online

Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM) Act

We want to take a moment to express our focus and commitment to helping and improving the lives of loss prevention and asset protection team members. PPS is a company dedicated to being your trusted advisor for all your LP needs.

As we begin 2021, a growing concern for the LP industry is finding a way to prevent stolen merchandise from being sold online. The ongoing COVID-19 restrictions are forcing more people to buy online than in previous years. This shines a bright light on the continued problem of stolen merchandise being sold using third-party platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Amazon. This is a significant concern for retailers because the marketplace requires little authentication, which makes tracking the criminals increasingly difficult. It has even drawn the attention of Organized Retail Crime (ORC) networks, which use these online marketplaces to resell their stolen merchandise anonymously. The Department of Homeland Security's 2020 "Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods" report, read here, stated this is not only a United States problem, but it's a global problem. It explained counterfeit and pirated goods "amounted to as much as a trillion dollars in 2016".

In 2020 the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM) Act was introduced to Congress, read here. The INFORM Act will require any online marketplace to collect and verify the third-party sellers' business information. It will include government ID, tax ID, bank account, and contact information, and high-volume sellers will be required to provide their contact information to consumers. This act will make it increasingly difficult for ORC networks to create and sell from fake accounts. Any ORC network that attempts to resell stolen items, law enforcement and retail asset protection teams will be able to track them better.

As we begin the year, please be sure to take the time to educate those around you and lobby for the INFORM Act.

If you would like more information about PPS's services or products, please contact Tim Gates by phone at 888-542-3065 or 252-362-1232 or by email at tgates@productprotectionsolutions.com.

Product Protection Solutions (PPS) will listen then guide with excellent, trustworthy advice that ensures rapid, complete, custom, and technologically advanced LP solutions to deliver the desired outcome every time.






What the CFO's Are Reading
What Good Looks Like in Cybersecurity
Naturally, C-level executives want to know what good looks like and how to measure it. Penetration tests, internal vulnerability scans, and IT control checklists remain go-to tactics, but a new generation of tools is taking things to the next level.

Cyber risk ratings firms. Boston-based BitSight Technologies leads an industry that continuously monitors externally visible risk factors that indicate an organization's vulnerability to a data breach. Ratings are expressed in numerical and alphabetic scores that non-technical leaders can easily grasp. These firms don't purport to offer a comprehensive assessment, as you would need permission to look inside a company to do that. Nevertheless, it's amazing how much you can objectively determine about a company's security posture by looking from the outside.

Cloud access security brokers. About 20 years ago, Salesforce.com became the first notable company to offer software as a service (SaaS), delivered from the cloud, a radical alternative to traditional, licensed software products. Over 30,000 companies operate as SaaS application providers, including Microsoft's Office 365, Workday, ServiceNow, and Box, as well as infrastructure as a service providers like AWS and Azure. Because these providers require a connection to the customer's network, numerous data security and privacy compliance issues need proactive management.

The not-for-profit Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has developed dozens of security and privacy risk factors that are distinct to cloud service providers.

It's FAIR to measure risk. Well-respected organizations such as NIST and CIS have developed control frameworks that guide IT teams and are foundational to proper management. Compliance with the elements of these frameworks typically gets measured qualitatively in traffic light indicators.

Third/fourth party applications. An organization is only as strong as its weakest connected partner, and you can also apply these tools to the ecosystem of third and fourth parties. cfo.com

US Response to Russia's SolarWinds Attack
Biden's $10 Billion Cybersecurity Proposal: Is It Enough?

Security Experts Say Proposal Amounts to a 'Down Payment'

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion proposal for COVID-19 relief includes nearly $10 billion in cybersecurity and IT spending.

Tucked away near the end of the "American Rescue Plan" is a proposal to spend $9 billion to help the U.S. Cyber Security and Information Security Agency and the General Services Administration complete cybersecurity and IT modernization projects.

The Biden administration also proposes spending $1 billion for several other cybersecurity and IT initiatives, including:

$200 million for the rapid hiring of security experts to work for the Office of the U.S. Chief Information Security Officer as well as the Digital Service unit in the White House;

Advertisement$300 million to fund additional IT projects within the GSA;

$690 million for a CISA project designed to improve monitoring and incident response across federal agencies.

The proposed new spending on security and IT improvements is in direct response to the SolarWinds supply chain hack, which has affected federal agencies, including the Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security, Justice and Energy departments, as well as numerous private firms. Biden said earlier the hacking incident reflected a gap in U.S. cybersecurity capabilities. govinfosecurity.com

Fourth malware strain discovered in SolarWinds incident

Symantec said it identified Raindrop, the fourth malware strain used in the SolarWinds breach, after Sunspot, Sunburst, and Teardrop.

Cyber-security firm Symantec said it identified another malware strain that was used during the SolarWinds supply chain attack, bringing the total number to four, after the likes of Sunspot, Sunburst (Solorigate), and Teardrop.

Named Raindrop, Symantec said the malware was used only during the very last stages of an intrusion, deployed only on the networks of very few selected targets. Symantec said it encountered only four Raindrop samples in the cases it investigated until today. zdnet.com

Regulations Are Coming
Bezos' Newspaper - The Washington Post - Are They a Little More Connected?

Silicon Valley braces for tougher regulation in Biden's new Washington
The Democratic Party's calls for regulation have grown more urgent in the days since Biden won the presidency, his party took control of the House and the Senate - and Trump and his allies further exposed the risks of a largely unregulated Web.

The aftermath of the DC attack now sets the stage for a political reckoning between Washington and Silicon Valley, as long-simmering frustrations with Facebook, Google, Twitter and their digital peers threaten to unleash the most aggressive regulatory assault against the tech industry in its history. On the eve of his inauguration, Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress are pledging to take aim at the country's largest social media platforms out of concern that they imperil the very fabric of American democracy - and the billions of people who use these digital services every day.

"The Biden administration knows we need to update our technology regulations for the 21st century," said Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who has long called for wide-ranging reform.

Democratic leaders for years have proposed a bevy of new legislation to shrink Silicon Valley's corporate footprint, restrict its insatiable appetite for data and stop the spread of falsehoods online. washingtonpost.com

Detecting The Act of Stealing - Concealing - Lying - Emotions?
Emotion Detection in Tech: It's Complicated
The advancement of human-machine partnerships requires emotion detection and appropriate responses in context, but it's a tough problem

Of all the potential types of analytics, emotion analytics is one of the toughest to perfect because human emotions are complex. For example, there are genuine reactions and fabricated ones as well as cultural and individual differences that shape our perceptions and behaviors. There are also other things to consider such as context. While emotion analytics is clearly important to the future of analytics, AI, robotics, intelligent automation and applications, the early-stage excitement can lead to unrealistic expectations.

"Detecting and classifying emotionality is still a challenging problem," said Manish Kothari, president of research institute SRI International, which is currently developing advanced Emotional Artificial Intelligence automotive technology that will enable the next generation of vehicles to detect drivers' emotions and respond accordingly. "It's easy to detect extreme arousal, extreme happiness or extreme unhappiness, but to detect the subtler elements is still challenging."

Context improves accuracy, such as having a diagnosis or knowledge set indicating that a person is depressed, he said.

Who's adopting emotion analytics

Dan Simion, Capgemini North America's VP of AI and Analytics said his company is seeing more adoption among consumer-facing clients in the media, entertainment, retail and travel and hospitality industries. informationweek.com

Senior Job
Director, Cyber Security job posted for Securitas Security Services USA
in Trenton, NJ
The Director of Cyber Security is responsible for the setup and operations of the Securitas Global CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team). The scope of the CERT is to identify, across the entire IT estate of the Securitas Group, any operational security issues and to raise associated tickets for the responsible IT functions to address these issues. These operational security issues will be detected via security monitoring processes, vulnerability detection and threat hunting. linkedin.com




Work From Home Hack

You may not have your dual monitor set up while working from home, but you can easily use your single monitor's real estate more efficiently if you are a Microsoft Windows user. When you have multiple items open right click on the task bar and select "show windows side by side". This is a quick and easy way to make more useable space.




Price-Fixing Conspiracy?
New lawsuit accuses Amazon of e-book price fixing

Lawsuit alleges pricing deal between e-commerce giant and top five publishers
hurts competition

Amazon Inc., which originally came up with the idea of charging bargain-basement prices for electronic books, is now being accused of forcing customers on other book sites to pay too much for them.

A lawsuit filed Thursday in a federal district court in New York alleges that a deal between Amazon and five major book publishers has led to higher e-book prices for all consumers, because it prevents rival retailers from selling any of these publishers' e-books at a lower price than on Amazon.

The suit, which was filed by the law firm Hagens Berman and is seeking class-action status, said Amazon charges high commissions and other costs to publishers, "which in turn significantly increases the retail price of the e-books they sell on Amazon.com." As a result of the deal with the five big publishers, the price they charge on Amazon also has to be the price they charge everywhere else.

"In a competitive market, the Big Five could sell e-books at a lower price on their own websites or through Amazon's retail competitors that offer lower commissions and fees," the lawsuit said.

Calling it a "conspiracy to fix the retail price of e-books," the suit alleges that the deal between Amazon and the five publishers-which it said account for 80% of all books sold in the U.S.-violates antitrust law. wsj.com

COVID Pushes 3 Years Of Median Online Sales Growth in 1 Year
Online holiday sales grow north of 45% in 2020
U.S. shoppers spent $201.32 billion online during the season, up an enormous 45.2% from $138.65 billion in 2019, Digital Commerce 360 estimates. That's more than triple the year-over-year growth rate during the holidays for the year prior, when web sales grew at a rather sluggish 13.6%.

COVID-19-related shifts in buying behavior translated into an additional $41.54 billion in digital revenue for November-December.

Online's share of total retail sales in November-December soared to 25.7%, up from 19.2% in the year before, according to Digital Commerce 360. That means more than $1 in every $4 spent on retail purchases during the holidays came from online orders in 2020. digitalcommerce360.com

The great mall of China
The next big thing in retail comes with Chinese characteristics
Chinese apps are to 21st-century shopping what American malls were to last century's

Banks warned against scrapping protections for online shopping scam victims

Walmart's e-commerce chief resigns after nearly 5 years




Tipton County, TN: Suspects wanted in identity theft ring spanning across
the Mid-South
Many of people return gifts after Christmas but investigators say identity thieves are also busy making bogus returns at big-name stores. Tipton County Sheriff's investigators are working with law enforcement in Shelby County, Middle Tennessee and north Mississippi to break up an ID theft ring. The crooks are targeting citizens and retail stores. Investigators believe they are working out of Tipton County and Memphis.

"We believe the individuals and maybe more are in the photos are involved in the identity theft ring," said Bill Daugherty, chief deputy with Tipton County Sheriff's Office. Investigators have released pictures of some of the people connected to the theft ring and of the vehicles being used -- a 2013 to 2015 Lexus RX has been seen in surveillance video. Investigators say the crooks get credit cards from retail stores using a stolen social security number. Those purchases are returned for store gift cards at other stores in the region. Investigators say the main stores targeted are Best Buy, Target, JC Penney and Kohl's. It appears, according to law enforcement, to be well coordinated. wmcactionnews5.com

Ventura County, CA: Commercial theft and burglary cases lead to multiple arrests
Authorities arrested suspects in several commercial theft and burglary cases around Ventura County this week. In one case, repeated thefts at a Target store in Camarillo prompted the felony arrest of an Oxnard man, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office reported. The agency is contracted to provide police services in Camarillo. The thefts started Jan. 8, when a suspect allegedly stole more than $350 worth of merchandise from the Target on Ventura Blvd. The following day, the same suspect reportedly returned and stole more than $3,800 worth of goods. Camarillo detectives launched an investigation that identified 26-year-old Erick Edward Allen, an Oxnard resident, as the suspect. Allen was out on bail at the time for a felony grand theft case involving the Home Depot store in Thousand Oaks earlier in the month, authorities said. He has pleaded not guilty to that charge in Ventura County Superior Court, court records show. vcstar.com

Lewisburg, PA: Couple charged with allegedly under-ringing $1,636 of items at Walmart
The couple took bar codes off plastic tumbler cups priced at $.25 and put them on other items. They initially started under-ringing essentials at the self-checkout register such as food, but that escalated to under-ringing power tools and other high value items, PA State Trooper Spiece wrote. northcentralpa.com

Johns Creek, GA: Target Associate arrested for $1,300 felony theft of merchandise, later sold online
Patrick Raymond Shealy, 31, was booked into the Fulton County jail on a felony charge of theft by taking. Police responded to the Target store on Dec. 29, according to the arrest report. Loss prevention officers reported that Shealy was caught on camera several times concealing items and leaving the store without paying. Police said that Shealy admitted he stole the items while working at the store and sold some of them on websites like Letgo.com. The thefts occurred between Dec. 2 and Dec. 22, the report stated. Among the items stolen were an Elgato video capture device, two pair of Beats headphones, a Cyberpunk video game, a Harry Potter film collection, a Fitbit smartwatch, a pair of Apple air pod pros and a pack of batteries. The total value of the stolen items was estimated at $1,375, the report stated. northfulton.com

Yolo County, CA: Davis man arrested on suspicion of stealing from Target
store 19 times
Davis police have arrested a man already on trial for bike theft, alleging he stole from the city's Target store on 19 separate occasions. Joshua Pofek, 20, was arrested on suspicion of felony grand theft and booked into Yolo County Jail last Tuesday. Pofek allegedly stole from the Target on Second St. approximately 19 times before DPD officers met with the store's loss prevention manager on Dec. 10, according to the Facebook post. Security tapes allegedly showed Pofek taking $1,054 of merchandise between the 19 visits, concealing each item and walking out the store without attempting to pay. 9news.com

Clearfield County, PA: Man steals $1,112 in items from Walmart, Ollie's, Rural King

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Shootings & Deaths

Arlington, TX: Police searching for man who fatally shot convenience store clerk
A convenience store clerk in Arlington was shot and killed around 3:30 a.m. Sunday in an apparent robbery, according to Arlington police. They're asking for anybody with information to reach out. Police believe the clerk, a 30-year-old man, was unconscious behind the counter of the EZ Mart at the 100 block of East Bardin Road for about an hour after the shooting, spokesman Christopher Cook said. When officers arrived, the man was found to have been shot and pronounced dead at the scene. star-telegram.com

Ocoee, FL: Police search for gunman after deadly triple shooting at Aldi parking lot
Ocoee police are asking for help to try and track down the person behind a deadly shooting in a grocery store parking lot. Officers said three men were shot at the Aldi parking lot on West Colonial Drive near Good Homes Road early Saturday. Officers were called for a traffic crash which led them to discover the shooting victims. Police said all three men inside a silver Nissan Altima had been shot. One of the men died, and the other two were taken to a hospital in critical condition. One of the victims being treated is 22-year-old Jamy Blanc of Orange County. Police said it was his car. Police have been struggling to identify the other men, which means they haven't been able to notify their families. Despite hours of processing the scene, detectives said they have not found anything that can lead them to the shooter. wftv.com

Belleville, IL: Gas station employee shot, killed during armed robbery attempt
The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis is investigating after an armed robbery at a Belleville gas station turned deadly Saturday night. Just past 10:30 p.m., police said 51-year-old Douglas Cimperman was working at the ZX gas station on Carlyle Avenue when an armed man tried to rob the store. Cimperman was found dead in the parking lot after being shot. kmov.com

San Diego County, CA: Suspect Arrested After Midnight Homicide Outside Ramona Convenience Store
A man was fatally shot early Monday outside a convenience store in Ramona. The shooting happened shortly after 12:30 a.m. outside the Circle K on Main Street near Seventh Street, according to San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Thomas Seiver. nbcsandiego.com

Easton, PA: Man convicted for cell phone store robberies, murder wants new trial after accomplice recants allegations
The man convicted in a string of Northampton County robberies that included the fatal shooting of a cell phone store employee is asking for a new trial after his accomplice recanted his incriminating statements in a Berks County murder case. A Northampton County jury convicted Gregory Lewis Jr. in April 2019 on 56 charges in connection with a series of cell phone store robberies. Jurors found the now 30-year-old guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Michael Davis, a Verizon store employee Lewis and his co-defendant, Vaughn Felix, kidnapped in order to later rob the store. Authorities said Davis refused to cooperate and was shot in the face. Felix admitted to the shooting and pleaded guilty. wfmz.com

Indianapolis, IN: Circle Centre Mall shooting: Customer fires at another after store theft
A customer fired a gun at a person who had taken goods from a Circle Centre Mall jewelry store on Monday afternoon, says the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. IMPD says no one was injured. Authorities were looking for a suspect after a shot was fired about 2:30 p.m. Monday at Twin Jewelers during what was initially described as an armed robbery, police said. The store is on the second level near the food court. wishtv.com

Memphis, TN: DoorDash driver accused of shooting McDonald's employee
Authorities launched an investigation after a DoorDash driver was accused of shooting a McDonald's employee overnight in Hickory Hill. It happened at the store located at 7101 Winchester early Monday morning. According to authorities, the alleged shooter arrived in the parking lot around 3 a.m. Monday to pick up a food order. The McDonald's worker took the order to the waiting driver, who, for reasons still unknown, started shooting. The victim was struck in the hand and stomach. He was rushed to the Regional Medical Center in critical condition. wreg.com

Bibb County, GA: Deputies looking for man accused of shooting at store clerk in robbery attempt
According to a news release, it happened just after 1:30 p.m. Monday at the M&M convenience store on Montpelier Avenue. It says that a man entered the store and got into an argument with a clerk over a drink. During the argument, the man demanded money from the clerk. When the man didn't get any money, he allegedly said, "I ain't got nothing to lose," and fired shots through the security door at the clerk before running away. A detailed description of the suspect was not immediately available. No one was injured in the shooting. 13wmaz.com

Tobyhanna, PA: Pocono Mountain Police investigating two shootings outside Dollar General and Tobacco shop


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Santa Maria, CA: Police evacuate Walmart after gun threat reported in store
Santa Maria police evacuated a Walmart store Monday afternoon following reports of a possible gun threat. Around 2:30 p.m., police said they received an anonymous tip regarding a gun spotted at the Walmart on Bradley off of Betteravia in Santa Maria. Officers responded to the scene and evacuated all shoppers as a precaution. During their search, police said they did not find any evidence of the gun and store owners said they did not see a gun brandished in the store. The scene was ultimately deemed safe and cleared after 20 minutes. keyt.com

Tulsa, OK: 2 Men In Custody After Breaking Into Jewelry Store,
Leading Officers On Chase
According to police, Promenade Mall security called TPD after they saw two men breaking into the south end entrance on camera. Police said that once the two men we inside the shopping mall, they broke into the Abbey's Jewelry store and stole multiple bags of jewelry. The suspects were able to flee the jewelry store however, officers who were driving nearby spotted the vehicle and began to chase the suspects. The chase eventually came to an end in the parking lot of a hotel, when both men fled from the vehicle. According to police, one man ran through a parking lot and was caught, while the other suspect ran into an extended stay hotel and attempted to break into rooms on the second floor to hide from authorities before being caught. Police said both men are from out of state and the vehicle was a rental. newson6.com

Memphis, TN: Caught On Camera: Nutbush C-Store clerks turn tables on
would-be robber
An armed robber was stopped in his tracks by employees of a Nutbush convenience store Sunday night, and it was all caught on camera. Memphis police have released video of the brazen attempted armed robbery inside the NA Jack Market. Police say the suspect approached the counter like he was going to purchase an item, but then pulled out a black handgun. That's when the clerks behind the counter closed and locked their service window. In the video, you can see the would-be robber repeatedly try to break into the enclosed area, and then run out of the store when one of the employees starts firing a gun at him. The robber also fired shots at the employees as he fled from the business. No one was hurt during the attempted robbery. wreg.com



Dallas, TX: U.S. Customs Seize More Than 33K Counterfeit E-Cigarettes, suggested retail price of $719,453
U.S. Customs and Border Police (CBP) officers seized 33,681 counterfeit e-cigarette units resembling the Puff Bar brand at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. The effort was made in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of an initiative to intercept counterfeit or other violative e-cigarettes, including ones that do not meet the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requirements. CBP found more than 93,500 units of e-cigarettes in fiscal year 2020 that did not meet federal regulation. cspdailynews.com

New York: U.S. Customs at JFK Seizes Counterfeit 3M N95 Masks;
Suggested Retail Price of $158,400




AT&T - Pittsburgh, PA - Burglary
Appliance - El Paso, TX - Burglary
Auto - El Paso, TX - Burglary
Barber shop - Ottawa County, MI - Burglary
C-Store - Macon, GA - Armed Robbery/ shot fired
C-Store- Memphis, TN - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Laurens, SC - Armed Robbery
Dollar Tree - Little Rock, AR - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Pelion, SC - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Fayetteville, NC - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Columbia, SC - Robbery
Dollar General - Newark, DE - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Indianapolis, IN - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Springfield, VA - Robbery
Jewelry - Dickerson, TN - Robbery
Jewelry - Lafayette, IN - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Albuquerque, NM - Robbery
Jewelry - Portage, MI - Robbery
Jewelry - Ann Arbor, MI - Robbery
Jewelry - Canoga Park, CA - Burglary
Jewelry - Woodlands TX - Burglary
Jewelry - East Hempfield Township, PA - Robbery
Jewelry - Tulsa, OK - Burglary
Restaurant - Lubbock, TX - Armed Robbery (Burger King)
Restaurant - NYC - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Greensboro, NC - Armed Robbery
Thrift - Ottawa County, MI - Burglary
7-Eleven - Salt Lake City, UT - Robbery
7-Eleven - Long Island, NY - Robbery
7-Eleven - St Louis, MO - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Chicago, IL - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 23 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed


Click to enlarge map



Genetec's Team Expands with Two Promotions

Phillip Sandoz promoted to Genetec Vertical Account Manager South Central Region
Genetec is proud to announce Philip Sandoz has been promoted to the Signature Brands Vertical Sales Team. Phillip will be responsible for the Retail, Financial, Hospitality, Gaming, & Cannabis Vertical Markets for Genetec.

Philip started with Genetec in 2018 as a Dedicated Account Manager in the Central Region. In this newly created position, Phillip will be responsible for business development and sales channel support in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas & Missouri. Prior to joining Genetec, Phil was a Territory Manager for a National Integrator and has vast experience in access control, video, intrusion, visitor management, LPR, and analytic solutions and deployment. Philip is based in Baton Rouge, LA and graduated from Louisiana State University.

Karen Solomon promoted to Genetec Strategic Account Manager
Genetec is proud to announce Karen Solomon has been promoted to Strategic Account Manager for Genetec Signature Brands USA. The Signature Brands Sales Team is responsible for the Retail, Financial, Hospitality & Gaming Vertical Market Sales in the United States.

Karen has been with Genetec since 2004, starting her career as a technical support engineer. By 2005 she became Genetec's Global Support Manager focused on enhancing Customer Experience. In 2013, Karen was promoted to Product Manager for Retail and Transportation. In 2016 she joined the Sales Organization as a Strategic Account Manager. With vast industry experience and her deep knowledge of Genetec, Karen will be a key contributor to our team and the key strategic accounts she supports. Karen Graduated from Concordia University with a degree in Computer Engineering.

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Featured Job Spotlights


Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Raleigh, NC - posted Dec. 14
As a Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability...

Leader, Asset & Profit Protection
San Fran/Chicago/NY/West Palm Beach - posted Dec. 14
As the leader of the Data/Analytics & Investigations strategy, you should have strong analytical/investigation skills, the drive to innovate, and the ability to build strong partnerships to lead through the influence of others. They will be personable, open to learning, collaborating with others...

District Asset Protection Manager
Seattle, WA - posted Dec. 11
As the District Asset Protection Manager you will lead administration of Asset Protection programs and training for an assigned district in order to drive sales, profits, and a customer service culture

Regional Manager LP, Audit & Firearms Compliance
IL, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD, NE, OK, MO & KS - posted Dec. 9
The Regional Loss Prevention Manager is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage at the stores in their Territory. Investigate and resolves all matters that jeopardize or cause a loss to the company's assets

Customer Success Specialists
Multiple Locations - posted Oct. 9
The role of the Customer Success Specialist is to engage, empower, and excite our community. As a Customer Success Specialist, your primary responsibility is to ensure both retailers and law enforcement, who make up our community, have great experiences and achieve real crime reduction outcomes from using our platform.
Apply Here

Sales Representatives
NuTech National - posted Oct. 13
NuTech National, an established and rapidly growing 40+ year electronic security company is expanding our National Sales Team. Seeking motivated, driven and successful sales reps to expand our national retail and governmental vertical markets. Top pay, benefits and signing bonus available. Please apply to melissa@nutechnational.com

Featured Jobs

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Getting advice from trusted friends, family members, co-workers and former bosses is always a great thing to do and, quite frankly, it can help you to see more clearly. But remember, at the end of the day it's your decision to make and it's your decision that you have to live with. Your friends, co-workers, and former bosses won't be living with the consequences, but your family will be. So you've got to be more sensitive to their advice. Advice is easy to give, hard to follow and almost impossible to live up to. And everyone has a lot of advice to give; it's the easiest thing to give. Just remember, at 5 a.m. after all the advice has been given, the mirror may be where the answer lies.

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