Category: NSA

Aug 22 2016

Hints suggest an insider helped the NSA “Equation Group” hacking tools leak

This is not what NSA's TAO is doing right now.

A group called the Shadow Brokers made headlines this month by leaking a hacking tool belonging to the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) team. Now this week, several informed sources suggest an inside source may have been involved.

The leaked software—which can exploit weaknesses in a number of network hardware platforms and other devices—apparently may have come with the help of an NSA insider, according to the analysis of several information security experts, reports citing former NSA employees, and one journalist who had access to the files leaked by Edward Snowden. While the hacking tools were said not to have come from the Snowden documents cache, they may in fact be associated with another leaker who provided information to Jacob Appelbaum and Wikileaks, James Bamford suggests in a commentary published Monday by Reuters.

Details of the hacking tools also match with a training manual for NSA cyberespionage operations included in the Snowden document trove, released last week by The Intercept. Some of the tools also match with entries in the TAO's ANT catalog—an NSA internal wishbook for hardware and software exploits. That document was published in part by Der Spiegel in collaboration with Appelbaum back in December of 2013.

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Aug 18 2016

Shadow Brokers NSA Hack Leaks 0-day Vulnerabilities

Right now there’s a ton of people talking about the NSA Hack, the severity, the repercussions and the value of what has been leaked. It seems the 0-day exploits in the cache of stolen aren’t super recent ones, as it appears they are from 2013. But even so, some of them haven’t been patched as […] The post Shadow Brokers NSA Hack Leaks 0-day...

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Aug 16 2016

Snowden speculates leak of NSA spying tools is tied to Russian DNC hack

(credit: AK Rockefeller)

Two former employees of the National Security Agency—including exiled whistleblower Edward Snowden—are speculating that Monday's leak of what are now confirmed to be advanced hacking tools belonging to the US government is connected to the separate high-profile hacks and subsequent leaks of two Democratic groups.

Private security firms brought in to investigate the breach of the Democratic National Committee and a separate hack of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have said that the software left behind implicates hackers tied to the Russian government. US intelligence officials have privately said they, too, have high confidence of Russian government involvement.

In the weeks following the reports, WikiLeaks and an unknown person using the moniker Guccifer 2.0 have published a steady stream of documents. One batch released just ahead of last month's Democratic National Convention contained embarrassing private conversations that led to the resignation of DNC Chair Debra Wasserman Schultz. A more recent installment included a spreadsheet detailing the cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and other personal information of every Democratic member of the House of Representatives. The Obama administration has signaled that it may impose new economic sanctions on Russia in response to what critics claim is Russian attempts to disrupt or influence the US presidential election.

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Jun 14 2016

Goodbye, Obamaberry. Hello, Obamadroid.


When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, he pushed to keep his BlackBerry. Instead, he was issued another BlackBerry device—a BlackBerry 8830 World Edition with extra crypto—for unclassified calls and e-mail. Until recently, Obama continued to carry a BlackBerry handset, but mobile device technology shifts have finally caught up with the White House. Sadly, the Obamaberry is no more.

In an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Barack Obama noted that he now carries a secure "smartphone" that is so locked down that he compared it to an infant's toy phone. While Obama didn't mention the type of handset he now carries, there's only one mobile device supported by the Defense Information Systems Agency—the agency that provides the White House with communications services. That phone is a "hardened" Samsung Galaxy S4.

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