Category Archives: NSA

NSA’s “Core Secrets” suggests agents inside firms in US, abroad

The U.S. National Security Agency has worked with companies to weaken encryption products at the same time it infiltrated firms to gain access to sensitive systems, according to a purportedly leaked classified document outlined in an article on The Intercept.

The document, allegedly leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, appears to be a highly classified summary intended for a very small group of vetted national security officials according to details included in The Intercept article, which was published this weekend. The document outlines six programs at the core of the NSA's mission, collected under the name Sentry Eagle.

The Intercept claims the document states "The facts contained in [the Sentry Eagle] program constitute a combination of the greatest number of highly sensitive facts related to NSA/CSS’s overall cryptologic mission."

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Snowden: The NSA, not Assad, took Syria off the Internet in 2012

An Arbor Networks graphic showing the sudden drop-off in network traffic from Syria on November 29, 2012 as the country was essentially erased from network routing tables.

In a Wired interview with well-known National Security Agency journalist James Bamford that was published today, Edward Snowden claimed that the US accidentally took most of Syria off the Internet while attempting to bug the country's traffic. Snowden said that back in 2013 when he was still working with the US government, he was told by a US intelligence officer that NSA hackers—not the Assad regime—had been responsible for Syria’s sudden disconnect from the Internet in November and December of 2012.

The NSA's Tailored Access Office (TAO), Snowden said, had been attempting to exploit a vulnerability in the router of a “major Internet service provider in Syria.” The exploit would have allowed the NSA to redirect traffic from the router through systems tapped by the agency’s Turmoil packet capture system and the Xkeyscore packet processing system, giving the NSA access to enclosures in e-mails that would otherwise not have been accessible to its broad Internet surveillance.

Instead, the TAO’s hackers “bricked” the router, Snowden said. He described the event as an “oh shit” moment, as the TAO operations center team tried to repair the router and cover their tracks, to no avail.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The NSA thinks Linux Journal is an “extremist forum”?

The National Security Agency’s attempts to keep track of people outside the US who use encryption and anonymization software from the Tor Project also apparently captured the traffic of anyone reading a wide range of articles on Linux Journal, according to documents published by the German public television broadcaster ARD and provided by security researchers (and Tor contributors) Jacob Appelbaum, Aaron Gibsom, and Leif Ryge. The documents—which include what appears to be search rules for the NSA’s XKeyscore Internet surveillance system, indicate that the NSA also gathered up data on visitors to articles on the Linux Journal website.

In the Das Erste article, Appelbaum et al wrote that the rule “records details about visits to a popular Internet journal for Linux operating system users called ‘The Linux Journal—the Original Magazine of the Linux Community’" and called it an "extremist forum."

Included in the code is the following block of instructions:

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hackers Recreate NSA Snooping Kit Using Off-the-shelf Parts

So some curious hardware hackers grabbed the leaked catalogue that detailed the hardware involved in the NSA Snooping Kit, and have recreated some of the ‘high-tech’ top secret tools with off-the-shelf parts and items that can be bought from Kickstarter. I mean some of it seems pretty simplistic though, a monitor mirror and a hardware...

Read the full post at darknet.org.uk

Listen to the results of our Internet spy project

In conjunction with penetration testing firm Pwnie Express, our own Sean Gallagher spent a week tapping the Internet traffic of National Public Radio (NPR) tech reporter Steve Henn, hoping to learn what passive surveillance can glean in the post-Snowden world. It turns out that, despite more encryption, personal data still leaks like crazy from apps, services, and websites, as we detailed in our 5,000 word report on the experiment.

This week, NPR aired a series of four radio pieces on Morning Edition that ran through the experiment and its results with an eye toward more mainstream Internet users. Henn did a terrific job making the project accessible and interesting. Together, the pieces form a nice 30-minute primer on just how much data all of us are leaking in the clear on a daily basis. If you haven't had a chance to check out the series, which concluded on Friday, take a listen—and then pass the links along to any friends and family who could use an education in online privacy (and the lack thereof).

Listen to NPR's "Project Eavesdrop"

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Tapped in: How your phone gives you up to companies and criminals

A lot has been done to secure major Web services and Internet applications, particularly on the PC. But one of the lessons learned from our collaboration with NPR and Pwnie Express was that for every data leak that has been plugged by the major websites, another springs up on mobile. And mobile devices are the ones that face the greatest risk of surveillance and attack—not so much from the National Security Agency, but from companies and criminals looking to track and target individuals on a smaller scale.

Public Wi-Fi has become an integral part of how mobile devices’ apps work. Apple and Google have both configured their mobile services to leverage Wi-Fi networks to improve their location services, and mobile and broadband companies offer public (and unencrypted) Wi-Fi networks to either offload users from their cellular data networks or extend the reach of their wired network services. Comcast, for example, has been expanding its Xfinity broadband networks by turning access points at homes and businesses into public Wi-Fi hotspots for subscriber access.

That’s great for customers’ convenience, but it also opens up a potential vector of attack for anyone who wants to get in the middle of broadband users’ Internet conversations. We demonstrated one potential Wi-Fi threat during our testing—using a rogue wireless access point broadcasting the network ID (SSID) “attwifi” prompted AT&T iPhones and Android devices with default settings to automatically connect to them.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Copyright © 2014. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.