Category: NSA

Oct 04 2016

Yahoo’s CISO resigned in 2015 over secret e-mail search tool ordered by feds

(credit: David Ramos/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

According to a new report by Reuters citing anonymous intelligence officials, in 2015, Yahoo covertly built a secret “custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information.”

Reuters noted that Yahoo “complied with a classified US government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events.” It is not clear what data, if any, was handed over.

Presuming that the report is correct, it would represent essentially the digital equivalent of a general warrant—which is forbidden by the Fourth Amendment, as Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer Andrew Crocker noted on Twitter.

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Sep 21 2016

Thanks, Internet! Messing with elections not just for the CIA anymore

Enlarge / This is how we used to mess with the results of elections. The Internet has made it a lot easier. (credit: US Air Force photo)

Even if the Russian government was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and various other political organizations and figures, the US government's options under international law are extremely limited, according to Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and former US assistant attorney general.

Goldsmith, who served at the Justice Department during the administration of George W. Bush and resigned after a dispute over the legal justifications for "enhanced interrogation" techniques, spoke on Tuesday about the DNC hack yesterday on a Yale University panel.

"Assuming that the attribution is accurate," Goldsmith said, "the US has very little basis for a principled objection." In regard to the theft of data from the DNC and others, Goldsmith said that "it's hard to say that it violates international law, and the US acknowledges that it engages in the theft of foreign political data all the time."

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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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