Items tagged with FBI

Can the FBI access your email if it is on a foreign server? Google was recently ordered by a United States judge to release emails stored on foreign mail servers to the FBI. The communications are possibly related to a domestic fraud case. U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter in Philadelphia ruled that transferring emails from a foreign server to the FBI does not count as seizure. He contended that the email transfer did not create any “meaningful interference” with the account holder’s “possessory interest”. Furthermore, Judge Reuter insisted that any privacy infringement occurs “at the time of... Read more...
The FBI may have overstepped its bounds (again) and acted outside what was made legally permissible by a 2008 Justice Department memo when it asked Twitter to provide information about certain account holders. Twitter received the data requests by way of two national security letters (NSLs) that were served, one in 2015 and the other in 2016, which at the time were protected by gag orders preventing Twitter from notifying the affected account holders or publicly disclosing their existence. Those gag orders have been lifted and just as other tech companies have done in recent months—most notably... Read more...
Police are supposed to catch criminals; not become the victims of their antics. However, one Texas police department is finding out the hard way that ransomware is a big problem, as one of its employees fell for one of the oldest tricks in the [computer hackers’] playbook. According to a local news report, someone from within the department clicked on an email that featured a cloned address, thinking that it originated from someone within the department. However, all it did was open up the department’s computer network to a ransomware attack. Once the tainted email was accessed, malware weaved... Read more...
The FBI is currently investigating a series of cyberattacks on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), that they believe the Chinese military to be responsible for. The attacks on high-level employees' computers started in 2010 and resurfaced again in 2011 and 2013. Victims included former FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair. The FDIC is one of three institutions responsible for regulating commercial banks in the United States. They manage confidential plans regarding how big banks would deal with bankruptcy. They also have access to the information of millions of individual American deposits.... Read more...
The Supreme Court approved a series of changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure by the United States Department of Justice that go into effect today. Those changes, which the DoJ proposed earlier this year and that were never discussed by Congress, gives the FBI permission to hack into multiple computer systems here and abroad with a just a single warrant in cases where they're part of a botnet or otherwise can't be traced to a precise location.Any U.S. judge can authorize such a warrant, including magistrate judges who typically only issue warrants within their own jurisdiction.... Read more...
The Federal Bureau of Investigation made a big deal out of Apple's unwillingness to help it crack a locked iPhone 5c handset that was used by a terrorist in the deadly San Bernardino shooting, but it turns out it rarely needs assistance. Nine of out ten times, the FBI is successful in its attempts to unlock a secured smartphone or laptop, the agency admitted to attendees at a public meeting on encryption. Jim Baker, General Counsel for the FBI, provided some interesting numbers for the public to digest. According to Baker, the FBI's forensic labs analyzed 6,814 phones and laptops from October 1,... Read more...
Less than two weeks before U.S. elections kick off on November 8th, the FBI has released a new bombshell that threatens to shakeup what has already been an almost circus-like campaign season. FBI Director James Comey, who is known more widely in the circles for his staunch criticism of Apple in the San Bernardino iPhone encryption case, just sent a letter to Congress informing them that there have been newly uncovered emails that are pertinent to the department’s investigation of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s personal email server. "In connection with an unrelated case, the... Read more...
The battle between the FBI and locked phones is far from over. The FBI is currently trying to crack into another locked iPhone that once belonged to a now deceased terrorist. The iPhone in question belonged to Dahir Adan, who stabbed ten people in a Minnesota mall before a police officer shot and killed him. ISIS has claimed credit for the attack over social media. FBI special agent Rich Thorton recently stated, “Dahir Adan’s iPhone is locked. We are in the process of assessing our legal and technical options to gain access to this device and the data it may contain.” It is unclear what what model... Read more...
It's come to light that a former contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) was arrested back in August by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The agency suspects the contractor might have stolen and disclosed classified computer code developed by the NSA to hack into networks of governments around the world. And no, his name is not Edward Snowden, though he comes from the same consulting firm (Booz Allen Hamilton). The former contractor's name is Harold T. Martin III, a 51-year-old out of Glen Burnie, Maryland. He had already left the NSA and was working as a contractor for the Defense... Read more...
Security firm Cellebrite made headlines earlier this year when its services were employed by the FBI to help break into the phone of the San Bernardino shooter. Cellebrite recently invited a bunch of UK press to an event to show off what it's capable of.Equipped with an outdated smartphone, BBC reporter Rory Cellan-Jones went off for a half an hour, password-protected the device, and took pictures -- basically using the phone normally. You can see where this is going. Despite the password, Cellebrite plugged the phone into a bulky tablet, and after a few taps, the phone's security was disabled.... Read more...
Earlier this year, the FBI and Apple were embroiled in a bitter battle of words with regards to unlocking an iPhone 5c that was used by Syed Farook, one of two San Bernardino shooters. After much bluster on the part of FBI, and complete stonewalling from Apple, the FBI eventually went to a third-party vendor to bypass the iPhone 5c’s security protocols and obtain the data it was searching for. With the Freedom of Information Act on their side, three news organizations — the Associated Press, USA Today, and Vice Media — reached out to the FBI to obtain details on how the hack was carried out on... Read more...
Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire whiz kid who created the most popular social networking site on the planet, puts tape on his system's webcams. While that might sound paranoid to some, it's a common privacy measure against hackers who might be trying to spy on you or your company. Zuckerberg is far from alone—James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), uses a piece of tape on his personal laptop's webcam and recommends that everyone else does as well. "There's some sensible things you should be doing, and that's one of them," Comey said during a recent conference at... Read more...
Google has just reported that there were over 40,000 request for user data from the government between June and December 2015. Requests for user data has steadily increased since 2009, however this was the highest number yet. Google admitted that this number was not comprehensive. For example, the same Gmail account may be specified in several different requests for user information. Google also might receive a request for a user for account that does not exist at all.   It believes that these discrepancies do balance out. The statistics do cover all government entities that request user data.... Read more...
The HFS and HFS+ file systems have served Apple well for years, but it’s time to make a clean break from the past. That break from tradition is coming in the form of the Apple File System (APFS), which uses unified encryption to bolster the security of nearly every device that Apple makes. APFS has been in development for far too long to cite the FBI as the reason for its arrival, but we’re sure that the agency is by no means happy about its existence. Apple explains the need for APFS by writing: HFS+ and its predecessor HFS are more than 30 years old. These file systems were developed in an era... Read more...
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