Cisco

How a phone scam tied up a Maryland police call center

In a previously unreported event demonstrating both the risks all organizations face from threats to the telephone system and how to mitigate them, an Arabic-speaking phone scammer tied up the nonemergency police call centers in Maryland's Howard County with a flood of calls over two days in August, briefly disrupting services.

Why it matters: The scam was against the phone company, not against Howard County, a target picked at random. So while the county didn't lose money, it briefly lost use of its nonemergency call center.

City-sized Facebook hacker markets shut down

A phone displays the Facebook logo
Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Cisco's Talos research team announced Friday it had discovered 74 Facebook groups where hackers bought and sold cybercrime tools and services. The groups networked together as many as 385,000 members speaking a bevy of different languages.

What they're saying: "Tampa — it was basically the size of Tampa," said Craig Willams, director of outreach for Talos.