December 2018
Volume 3, Issue 12
Dear Friends:
I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathy to members of our community affected by the wildfires that have ravaged our state.

Despite the great loss and sadness suffered by so many, it is reassuring to see neighbors come together to help each other.
Spotlight: Cyber Team Helps Safeguard County Voting Systems
In the run-up to the November general election, the District Attorney’s Cyber Investigation Response Team (CIRT) lent a hand in protecting the county’s election information systems against online attacks.

Operation Election Overwatch was a 10-day effort to detect, prevent and investigate illegal attempts to access the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s website, LAvote.net and other county computer networks. The five-member CIRT worked closely with the county’s Internal Services Department (ISD), which provides computer security countywide.

“The county’s network security personnel are very effective at defending the network and blocking malicious internet traffic,” said Deputy District Attorney Donn Hoffman, pictured above, of the Cyber Crime Division and CIRT. “Our mission is to identify and prosecute the perpetrators.”

Senior District Attorney Investigator Clint Dragoo said the team dedicated additional resources given the heightened concerns nationally about the integrity of election systems.

“In the past, we would respond if ISD security had something,” Dragoo said. “We thought this year we would take a little more of a proactive approach.”

The operation reviewed more than 400,000 suspicious access attempts that were blocked by network defense measures over one week, including 281,339 attempts on Election Day. This was an expected uptick from the usual traffic of mostly automated attacks.

Hoffman said ISD vigorously monitors online traffic between county networks and outside entities by using a variety of measures to guard against hacking, denial-of-service attacks and data theft.

During the operation, CIRT intensified its review of suspicious network activity and was able to quickly investigate to determine where questionable IP addresses were located and to whom they belonged.

In some instances, investigators suspect that computer networks owned by unwitting third parties had been used by cybercriminals to cover their tracks when attempting to attack the county election information site, Hoffman said. CIRT contacted these parties to alert them to the potential compromise.

“We want to be good internet neighbors,” Hoffman said. “It’s the cybersecurity equivalent of telling a neighbor that you saw someone take a package off their porch.”

Investigators also forwarded details of attempted hacks to the FBI.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
People who want to help first-responders should beware of crooks using a uniform to con others.

Read the Fraud Alert and watch the video here .
  • Four people were charged with running a sophisticated real estate scam. Learn how they were able to embezzle more than $1.4 million from their victims.

  • A Boyle Heights man is facing a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Find out what drug allegedly contributed to this deadly crash.

  • A 36-year-old Long Beach doctor must register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. Read about his contact with an undercover detective.
Excellence Applauded at Jemison Awards
A mentoring paralegal and a sharp-eyed investigator were given the office’s highest honors at a ceremony last month.

The Jemison Awards annually recognize a top investigator and support staff member. The award was named for Frank Jemison, a former district attorney lieutenant, and his wife, Jane.

Honored at the Nov. 15 ceremony were Senior Paralegal Belinda Herrera and Senior Investigator Jenelle Meier.

Herrera, of the Priors/Probation Violation Unit, was acknowledged for her talent in locating criminal history information and the training she provides her colleagues. She also frequently is called on to testify in court as an expert on prior convictions.

Meier, who is assigned to the Bureau of Investigation’s Administrative Unit, was recognized for her many behind-the-scenes accomplishments that help the office’s roughly 250 investigators do their jobs effectively and safely.

Awards also were given to recognize humanitarian efforts by an employee and an outstanding prosecutor.

Senior Investigator Greg Hernandez, who has been a foster parent to 23 children and led other charitable and community efforts, received the office’s Michael P. Noyes Humanitarian Award.

Deputy District Attorney Brian Kelberg received the Ken Lamb Distinguished Achievement Award for his prolific work with the office’s Habeas Corpus Litigation Team and generosity in sharing his knowledge with colleagues.
Did You Know...?
Fifty years ago, the District Attorney’s Office had just one woman serving as a head deputy district attorney, Florence E. Linn. At the time, she was a 21-year veteran of the office. Today, there are 14 women serving as head deputy district attorneys, six as bureau directors, one assistant district attorney and, of course, District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 | info@da.lacounty.gov

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