Items tagged with FBI

There's no secret that the FBI is not a big fan of device encryption on devices like smartphones. As we saw in the San Bernardino incident, then FBI director James Comey attempted to bully Apple into providing a backdoor to iOS and the Touch ID safe enclave in order to break into an iPhone 5s that was used by one of the terrorists. Apple refused to cave in, and the FBI eventually went with an outside firm to crack the device. Comey's successor, Christopher Wray, is once again fanning the flames when it comes to the debate between giving law enforcement agencies the tools necessary to unlock... Read more...
In December 2015, a man in San Bernadino, California and his wife participated in a terrorist attack that left 14 people dead. In the wake of that attack, the FBI opened an investigation into the couple and ties to other potential terrorists living within the US. An iPhone 5C was discovered that belonged to one of the terrorists, and the FBI wanted Apple to create a tool that would bypass the security on the iPhone in question and allow law enforcement into the device to look for leads and other evidence. Apple refused to help the FBI develop a backdoor into the device leading the Justice Department... Read more...
WikiLeaks, the non-profit organization that publishes secret information provided by anonymous sources, released details about a tool that was used by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to ensure that other government intelligence agencies were sharing the biometric information they collected. That includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). That's right, the CIA has (or had) a tool to spy on the government's spy agencies. The tool is called ExpressLane and it would be installed and run under the... Read more...
Antivirus maker Kaspersky Lab may have kissed and made up with Microsoft over a dispute in how Windows 10 handles third-party AV software, but even so companies are reportedly being warned not to use the security software. The warning comes from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to CyberScoop, which says it spoke with both current and former senior US officials who are familiar with the matter. The perceived threat is a familiar one in the software industry—government spying. In this case, Kaspersky Lab is headquartered in Moscow, Russia. Apparently US intelligence... Read more...
No good deed goes unpunished. That could be the case for UK citizen Marcus Hutchins, who was arrested this week in Nevada by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While the name Marcus Hutchins might not be familiar to you, you might recognize his Twitter handle, MalwareTech, and the Los Angeles-based security firm that he works for, Kryptos Logic. It was Hutchins who helped to thwart the initial outbreak of the WannaCry ransomware attack that rocked computer systems around the globe back in mid-May. By registering a domain that WannaCry was pinging, Hutchins effectively activated... Read more...
The investigation regarding the 2014 Yahoo hack is finally getting somewhere. The United States Justice Department just announced the indictment of two members of the Russian intelligence agency FSB, and two hackers hired by the Russians. The spies managed to hack into 500 million Yahoo accounts. The charges against the four include hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft and economic espionage. The United States currently does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, which will make bringing the criminals to justice difficult. The Justice Department also noted that people sometimes slip away... Read more...
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...
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