Thursday, January 18, 2018

Congress Slips CISA Into a Budget Bill That’s Sure to Pass

Privacy advocates were aghast in October when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21, leaving intact portions of the law they say make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security. Now, as CISA gets closer to the President’s desk, those...

NSA accused of spying on Brazilian oil company Petrobras

Accusations that NSA is conducting intelligence-gathering operations that go beyond its core mission of national security. The US National Security Agency has been accused of spying on Brazil's biggest oil company, Petrobras, following the release of more files from US whistleblower Edward Snowden. The latest disclosures, which aired on Brazil's Fantástico news...

Mission Unstoppable

From drone strikes to prison torture, the CIA has been pulling the strings of U.S. Foreign Policy since 9/11. And if history is a guide, the agency will be calling the shots in the Middle East for years to come.

The good, bad, and the ugly of pending congressional surveillance bills

Heat is on: Bulk phone metadata collection program Snowden exposed expires June 1. On June 1 the legal authority enabling the National Security Agency's bulk telephone metadata collection program expires. The expiration date of Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act comes two years after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed...

As Russia reasserts itself, U.S. intelligence agencies focus anew on the Kremlin

U.S. intelligence agencies are expanding spying operations against Russia on a greater scale than at any time since the end of the Cold War, U.S. officials said. The mobilization involves clandestine CIA operatives, National Security Agency cyberespionage capabilities, satellite systems and other intelligence assets, officials said, describing a shift in...

AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale

The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T. While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly...

Why Are the Media Taking the CIA’s Hacking Claims at Face Value?

Despite the CIA’s uninspiring record for the past 70 years, the media are defending the agency for all it’s worth. In 1977, Carl Bernstein published an exposé of a CIA program known as Operation Mockingbird, a covert program involving, according to Bernstein, “more than 400 American journalists who in the...

Estonia Tackles Improving NATO’s Cyber Defenses

PENTAGON - These days, it seems like nowhere in the cyber realm is safe. Hacks have infiltrated all walks of cyber life, from the email system used by the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s office at the Pentagon, to the cheating spouses on the Canada-based Ashley Madison website. But the NATO Cooperative...

NetApp Investigated by U.S. on Syria Surveillance System Sale

U.S. regulators are investigating how a multi-million-dollar storage system from NetApp Inc. came to underpin a sweeping Internet-surveillance system being built last year for the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security is conducting the probe, according to department spokesman Eugene...

The Raid: In Bungled Spying Operation, NSA Targeted Pro-Democracy Campaigner

Tony Fullman is a middle-aged former tax man and a pro-democracy activist. But four years ago, a botched operation launched by New Zealand spies meant he suddenly found himself deemed a potential terrorist — his passport was revoked, his home was raided, and he was placed on a top-secret National Security Agency surveillance list.

Shadow Brokers: NSA Exploits of the Week

When your boy Serge is in charge of Cyber Attribution #DNCHack #InfoSec cc @Trevornoahpic.twitter.com/88prA2AjD5 — @msuiche Today an unknown group called Shadow Brokers started an auction after claiming they hacked Equation Group (NSA entity named like that by Kaspersky, and believed to be the author of Stuxnet & Flame) here: https://theshadowbrokers.tumblr.com/. The Tumblr...

Torture in Bahrain Becomes Routine With Help From Nokia Siemens

The interrogation of Abdul Ghani Al Khanjar followed a pattern. First, Bahraini jailers armed with stiff rubber hoses beat the 39-year-old school administrator and human rights activist in a windowless room two stories below ground in the Persian Gulf kingdom’s National Security Apparatus building. Then, they dragged him upstairs for...

NSA spied on EU politicians and companies with help from German intelligence

Spies failed to check properly what was being passed across to the US. Germany's intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has been helping the NSA spy on European politicians and companies for years, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel. The NSA has been sending lists of "selectors"—identifying telephone numbers, e-mail and IP...

Can This Israeli Startup Hack Your Phone?

Many computer-security companies trumpet their skills and accomplishments. Some take another tack altogether, like NSO Group. This Israeli startup no longer operates a website. But it has peddled its wares to the Mexican government, gotten on the radar of Central Intelligence Agency officials and recently was bought by an American private equity firm. A...

Privacy Scandal Haunts Pokemon Go’s CEO

Within two weeks of its release last month, Pokemon Go, the augmented reality gaming sensation, surpassed, by one estimate, Twitter, Facebook, and Netflix in its day-to-day popularity on Android phones. Over on Apple devices, the game was downloaded more times in its first week than any app that came before it. The suddenly vast scale...

U.S. Fund to Buy NSO and Its Smartphone-snooping Software

Israeli firm's Pegasus software enables governments to track smartphone users and remotely operate its camera. Israeli firm NSO, which makes intelligence collection tools that enable governments to snoop on smartphones — or even take them over — will be bought out by an American-based private equity firm, with offices in...

Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing...

A while back, we noted a report showing that the “sneak-and-peek” provision of the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security and terrorism investigations has overwhelmingly been used in narcotics cases. Now the New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will be shared with other intelligence...

The NSA Leak Is Real, Snowden Documents Confirm

On Monday, a hacking group calling itself the “ShadowBrokers” announced an auction for what it claimed were “cyber weapons” made by the NSA. Based on never-before-published documents provided by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Intercept can confirm that the arsenal contains authentic NSA software, part of a powerful constellation of tools used to covertly...

DOD recruits Silicon Valley for cyber, innovation efforts

Carter unveiled his cyber strategy but displayed his doctoral thesis during his speech at Stanford. In formally unveiling the Defense Department’s new cyber strategy during a visit to the Silicon Valley Thursday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter underscored the changes in the technology and cybersecurity landscapes in recent years and said...

The Internet of Things Is a Cyberwar Nightmare

But we can still prevent our household appliances from becoming an army of malicious computer zombies out to destroy the web. The world got a glimpse of the future last month when a large-scale cyberattack prevented access to hundreds of key websites, including Twitter, the online New York Times, and...

Iraqi Insurgents Stymied the NSA and Other Highlights from 263 Internal Agency Reports

Early in the fight against al Qaeda in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq, the National Security Agency was blindsided by enemy fighters’ frequent use of rudimentary wireless communications devices known as “high–powered cordless phones,” according to documents among 263 published today by The Intercep.

Building backdoors into encryption isn’t only bad for China, Mr President

The White House wants tech companies to hand over encryption keys or build backdoors. So why is it criticizing China for wanting the same thing? Want to know why forcing tech companies to build backdoors into encryption is a terrible idea? Look no further than President Obama’s stark criticism of...

This Company Has Built a Profile on Every American Adult

Every move you make. Every click you take. Every game you play. Every place you stay. They’ll be watching you. Forget telephoto lenses and fake mustaches: The most important tools for America’s 35,000 private investigators are database subscription services. For more than a decade, professional snoops have been able to...

Cisco Exploit Leaked in NSA Hack Modifies to Target Latest Version of Firewalls

Recently released NSA exploit from "The Shadow Brokers" leak that affects older versions of Cisco System firewalls can work against newer models as well. Dubbed ExtraBacon, the exploit was restricted to versions 8.4.(4) and earlier versions of Cisco's Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) – a line of firewalls designed to protect...

Spies Fail to Escape Spyware in $5 Billion Bazaar for Cyber Arms

The intelligence operative sits in a leather club chair, laptop open, one floor below the Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s convention rooms, scanning the airwaves for spies. In the salons above him, merchants of electronic interception demonstrate their gear to government agents who have descended on the Malaysian capital in early December...

Watch Thy Neighbor

To prevent whistleblowing, U.S. intelligence agencies are instructing staff to spy on their colleagues. Elham Khorasani was sitting in her car at a stoplight in Northern Virginia when she got the call. It was April 16, 2013. “I’m with the FBI,” a man on the line said, “and we’re at...

Governments Turn to Commercial Spyware to Intimidate Dissidents

SAN FRANCISCO — In the last five years, Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates, has been jailed and fired from his job, along with having his passport confiscated, his car stolen, his email hacked, his location tracked and his bank account robbed of $140,000....

CIA Preparing for Possible Cyber Strike Against Russia

The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News. Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the...

Under Amazon’s CIA Cloud: The Washington Post

News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper’s CIA coverage are left in the dark. The Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, is the founder and CEO of Amazon --...

Pentagon steps up private-sector cyber exchanges

The Defense Department is stepping up an exchange program to bring private-sector IT experts into the Pentagon and send military personnel into the corporate world, said Defense Department CIO Terry Halvorsen. A program that has brought Cisco to the Pentagon to share its expertise on routers will expand to include...

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