Items tagged with Snowden

We reported earlier this week on a large collection of exploits that have been put up for auction by a group that calls itself Shadow Brokers. The promise was that all of the files were sourced from a secret NSA group called Equation Group, and now, Edward Snowden has released documents to prove that's just the case. This confirmation comes from The Intercept, a website which ultimately came to be as a direct result of Snowden's leaks three summers ago. With this trove of software confirmed to be sourced from the NSA, it raises some big questions. When Shadow Brokers put its collection of exploits... Read more...
If you are worried that someone is trying to hack into your iPhone via radio transmissions, Edward Snowden might have the solution for you. Snowden and hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang just announced a design for a case-like device that connects to your iPhone and detects whether its radio is transmitting a signal. Snowden and Huang argued that phones can still transmit a signal if they are in airplane mode. Your GPS is still active even if your phone is not. They also contended that Faraday bags can still leak transmissions. A lone ranger phone therefore is not necessarily safe from surveillance. How... Read more...
Tired of reading about the FBI and Apple trading blows over an encrypted iPhone yet?  Well relief may be in sight.  This evening, the FBI filed a request to delay Tuesday's court hearing on the matter, and now that request has been accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym. Why has the FBI suddenly changed course?  According to the brief, the FBI has not stopped working on trying to access the data on Syed Farook's government issued iPhone 5C.  They state that an "outside party" demonstrated a possible method for unlocking the phone on Sunday, March 20th, sparking this about... Read more...
If you're passionate about the topics of privacy, government surveillance, and security and also how they relate to the FBI and DOJ's fight to unlock that fateful San Bernardino iPhone, the whole situation likely pales in comparison to what communist countries like China force their citizens to tolerate. In an effort to root out threats to society, the Chinese Communist Party has contracted for development of a data analytics technology of sorts that is best described as taking a page straight out of the 2002 movie staring Tom Cruise called Minority Report. Credit: Flickr TadokoroAs Bloomberg reports,... Read more...
When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the significant spying efforts conducted by the NSA two summers ago, it was hard to grasp at first what ramifications would result from the documents release. Since then, the world has been hit by one leak after the other, and ultimately, we've seen that it's not surprising to see the US government do whatever it has to do in order to monitor the people it wants to, regardless of whether or not you feel this type of mass surveillance constitutional. Now, nearly six years after Chelsea Manning released a staggering collection of sensitive classified and unclassified... Read more...
Since he brought to light the enormous spying efforts of the US government two years ago, Edward Snowden has opened our eyes to a slew of related and (sometimes, not so related) topics. Some are not quite expected, though, such as one he revealed during a chat with Neil deGrasse Tyson on his StarTalk podcast. Essentially, encryption could harm our chances of making contact with aliens. E.T. phone home? Not easily done with encryption. During the chat, Snowden says that if encryption is implemented really well, then it wouldn't be recognizable as encryption at all. Instead, it'd simply be random... Read more...
It hasn't even been a single week since we learned that the NSA could have been involved in creating a bunch of malware that trickled out over the past decade, and already we have another scandal to munch on. Unfortunately, this one is even more disgusting -- if you can believe that. Via documents leaked to The Intercept by Edward Snowden, it's been revealed that both the US' NSA and Britain's GCHQ have been teaming-up since 2010 to bypass the security of mobile SIM cards the world over. Kicking this off, the intelligence agencies broke into the network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards,... Read more...
One of the more interesting stops on our recent trip to Amsterdam was at The Hague Security Delta. For those of you who might not be aware, The Hague is the name of the government seat of the Netherlands (and yes, the article is capitalized). The Hague Security Delta (HSD) is the official title of a collaborative effort between Netherlands businesses, the government, and multiple research institutions to identify emerging security threats, share best practices, and foster collaboration between industry, governments, and universities. One of the most interesting topics that came up during our visit... Read more...
There's a fine line to balance when it comes to providing users with a comprehensive backup service and providing that service in a manner that fundamentally compromises the security of the people it's supposed to be protecting. According to security researcher Jeffrey Paul, iCloud has thoroughly breached that barrier thanks to unwelcome changes baked into OS X 10.10 (Yosemite). Here's the problem: Prior to now, if you were working in an application -- even a basic application like TextEdit (the Mac version of Notepad), and you quit the application, the machine would automatically save your documents... Read more...
Zero-day exploits are a nightmare for end-users and vendors alike as both groups have to scramble to patch and resolve problems. Today, Microsoft got tagged with one of the worst types of disclosures -- not only is there a vulnerability in every single shipping version of Windows, the vulnerability has been exploited for years by a team of Russian hackers, codenamed Sandworm. According to the iSight Partners, the Sandworm Team has been caught seeking data on the Ukrainian crisis (further undercutting the idea that the crisis in that state was anything but a Russian operation -- if such evidence... Read more...
One of the downsides to the news cycle is that no matter how big or hot a story is, something else inevitably comes along. The advent of ISIS and Ebola, combined with the passing of time, have pushed national security concerns out of the limelight -- until, that is, someone at the NSA helps out by reminding us that yes, the agency still exists and yes, it still has some insane policies and restrictions. Earlier this year, the Federation of American Scientists filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the NSA. The group was seeking information it thought would be relatively low-key... Read more...
News is out today of a survey from video advertising platform Ebuzzing claiming that it would cost an average of E140 per year per UK citizen to pay for an ad-free Internet and that the majority of users (98% of them, in fact) would never, ever be willing to pay such fees. I'm not surprised by results like this -- if someone asked me "Would you pay $185 a year to avoid pop-up ads?" my first thought would be "No, I'd install Ad Block" or "No, I'd just avoid the websites that show obnoxious ads I don't want to see." According to Ebuzzing's results, that's precisely what most of its respondents do.... Read more...
More details have surfaced on how the FBI uses its own custom malware to penetrate the Tor network's anonymizing service -- and while those tools have been deployed in some important investigations, it's sure to raise hackles in the post-Snowden era. Several years ago, the FBI launched a major sting operation against the operator of a Tor-anonymized website dubbed Pedoboard. They eventually traced the account back to one Aaron McGrath, discovered he was hosting three separate child pornography distribution hubs, and smashed all three of them. Hosting child pornography via Tor is a flagrant violation... Read more...
Over the past year, as criticism and anger have built over the NSA's numerous excesses and abuses of American civil rights, it's been easy to forget that underneath the justified anger, a genuine war has been raging. The NSA may have overreached in many respects, but that doesn't mean the government agency has invented problems from whole cloth -- and a new report drives that point home. According to the New York Times, top government officials have stated that Chinese hackers penetrated US government networks in March, potentially gaining access to thousands of dossiers on exactly which US citizens... Read more...
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