Category: NSA

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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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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