NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

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Foggyone
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Angry Birds

Post by Foggyone » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:49 pm

Angry anti-NSA activists hack Angry Birds website after GCHQ data-slurp revelations
Anti-NSA hackers defaced ‪Rovio's official Angry Birds website ‬on Tuesday night as a reprisal against revelations that GCHQ and the NSA were feasting on data leaked from the popular smartphone game.
Will the fun NEVER end?

Screenshot of hacked site.
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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:21 am

According to new Snowden documents, the British GCHQ attacked Anonymous by launching DOS (denial of service) attacks. This is completely illegal in the UK and is the same technique used by hackers to take down the Whaleoil site recently. This gives the British government the dubious honour of being the first Western government known to have conducted a DOS attack.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigati ... how-n21361" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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How Edward Snowden Collected Data

Post by Foggyone » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:16 am

No, it wasn't James Bond or Mission Impossible.

Edward Snowden used automated web search tools to collect NSA data
Intelligence officials speaking to the New York Times say that Snowden used a standard web crawler, a tool that typically indexes websites for search engines, to automatically collect the info he wanted. He only needed the right logins to bypass what internal defenses were in place. Since the NSA wasn't walling off content to prevent theft by insiders, the crawler could collect seemingly anything -- and Snowden's Hawaii bureau didn't have activity monitors that would have caught his bot in the act.
Poachers and gamekeepers!
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Death by unreliable metadata

Post by digidog » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:52 am

Pierre Omidyar - the founder of eBay - launched a new "fearless, adversarial journalism" venture this week. It's called "The Intercept" and it's initial focus is NSA stories based on documents provided by Edward Snowden. Their first big story looks at how the NSA uses unreliable metadata to provide targets for drone strikes. They basically geolocate a SIM card they believe is being used by a target, then bomb the shit out of it's location. This "death by unreliable metadata" naturally results in a lot of civilian casulaties.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/arti ... cret-role/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

They've also got a photo feature - "What does a surveillance state look like?"

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/arti ... nd-others/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:27 pm

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we all know that Apple et al pass information from their users' phones to the NSA. So Nokia promoted the data security of its smartphones to governments including Finland. As a result the Finnish government purchased large numbers of Nokia’s Lumia phones in 2012. But what's this?
Contrary to what Nokia implied two years ago, Lumia phones do not ensure the user’s privacy – at least no better than the phones of other big manufacturers. Lumia’s operating system transmits the user’s private information to Microsoft in the United States. According to numerous data security companies, Microsoft, for its part, cooperates with the United States Security Agency (NSA).

According to information received from two inside sources of Helsingin Sanomat independent of each other, Nokia’s top management has known since spring 2011 that Lumia’s operating system transmits a great deal of information about the phone’s user to Microsoft. The company, however, has kept quiet about it, because the matter is embarrassing.

http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finland/fin ... broad.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Who would have suspected that a phone running Windows 8 could possibly be insecure? Doh!!!

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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:55 pm

Glenn Greenwald has published another explosive piece in The Intercept - "How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations". It covers the methods used by the GCHQ for infiltrating, disrupting and discrediting political and protest groups. Another way of looking at these extremely dirty tricks is targeting citizens for expressing their genuine political beliefs.
No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014 ... ipulation/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Stuff has the local angle...
Kiwi spooks were briefed on setting honey traps and internet "dirty tricks" to "control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp" online discourse, documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal.

Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) agents - part of the Five Eyes intelligence network - were briefed by counterparts from the ultra-secret Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group. A slide-show presentation, called "The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations", was given at a top secret spy conference in 2012.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politic ... ine-tricks" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
We live in an increasingly dirty world.

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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by Foggyone » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:50 am

I said right at the outset this was the big story of 2013. It has every appearance of being the story of the decade (or should that be decayed?).
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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:12 pm

In a follw up to yesterdays revalations that NZ spies were being taught how to discredit ordinary people online, there's an interesting quote from John Key.
The Government is braced for further revelations on the Five Eyes network from the Snowden archive. But Key was nonchalant. ‘‘I don’t know what Snowden has ... They are of no great consequence, I don’t think.’’

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politic ... nformation" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Note the double negative! Is our prime minister accidentally telling the truth about his spy agencies this time?

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Optic Nerve

Post by Foggyone » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:19 pm

Report: UK spies captured millions of Yahoo users' webcam images
U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ captured and stored still webcam images of millions of Yahoo users including substantial quantities of sexually explicit material, the Guardian newspaper reported Thursday.

GCHQ gathered the images with the help of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), the Guardian reported on basis of documents provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Sexually explicit material was a problem for the spies. "Unfortunately there are issues with undesirable images in the data. It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person," a passage of a document published by the paper reads. Because Yahoo allows multiple people to view a webcam stream, the service is sometimes used for broadcasting pornography, it added.

GCHQ resorted to face detection in an attempt to censor sexually explicit material but also warned that "there is no perfect ability to censor material which may be offensive," according to a part of a published document.
Large scale fishing exercise very unlikely to return much information of use in the "War Against Terror".

I like the thought that sexually explicit images are "a problem for the spies". Do they get excited and not see terrorists holding up their maps in front of a camera?
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NSA and New Zealand Law

Post by Foggyone » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:44 pm

We have wondered from time to time what effect the NSA trawling may have had on New Zealand citizens. There is mention of NZ in todays revelations from Edward Snowden.

NSA used 'European bazaar' to spy on EU citizens
IDG News Service - The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has turned the European Union into a tapping "bazaar" in order to spy on as many EU citizens as possible, NSA leaker Edward Snowden said.

The NSA has been working with national security agencies in EU member states to get access to as much data of EU citizens as possible, Snowden said in a testimony sent to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) published Friday.
The efforts to "interpret new powers out of vague laws" is an intentional strategy to avoid public opposition and lawmakers' insistence that legal limits be respected, he said.

Recently, the FAD has used such pressuring techniques on Sweden and the Netherlands as well as on New Zealand, according to Snowden. Germany has also been pressured to modify a law on the secrecy of post and telecommunication correspondence to appease the NSA, eroding the rights of German citizens under their constitution in the process, Snowden said
Ideally this should be a hot topic in the upcoming elections, but given the disarray of the left and the fact that the incumbent party is seen to be in bed with the Americans I don't see this as likely.
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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:06 pm

Intelligence agency hacking techniques will also be adopted by criminals. Cryptographer Bruce Schneier says backdoors in security products and government sponsored malware soon find their way into the wrong hands.
The US has done an enormous amount of damage here. There is a basic level of trust that has been lost… There is a lot of international mistrust right now because the US was supposed to be a trusted keeper of everything, but it turned out they were subverting it with every chance they got. And the NSA keeps saying it’s not as bad as you think, but who the hell believes that?
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2 ... rime-fight" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Automated Computer Hacking

Post by Foggyone » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:33 pm

Turbine
Turbulent

NSA’s automated hacking engine offers hands-free pwning of the world
Since 2010, the National Security Agency has kept a push-button hacking system called Turbine that allows the agency to scale up the number of networks it has access to from hundreds to potentially millions. The news comes from new Edward Snowden.
The documents published today include slides from the NSA’s Turbulence team detailing the “phases” of the NSA’s capabilities to monitor VPN and Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic using a set of attacks known as Hammerstein and Hammerchant. Previously, it was known that the NSA could exploit the older Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) for VPNs. But the new documents show how Turbine and Turbulence can be used to attack VPNs using the more secure Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) standard.
If you or I were to do this type of activity we would shortly find ourselves a guest of Her Majesty's Hilton. Apparently if a governemnt sticks "National Security" in a job description then there are no practical limits. Wonder if the NSA maintains an "00" division of "Licensed to Kill" agents as well. Nothing would surprise.

Folks, if this activity is making you queasy then it's time to look at dropping as much of the American based infretructure as you can and using OS's, programmes, services etc based on Open Source and domiciled outside USA. That means a Linux distro (or other "safe" OS) based outside USA (there are a number) and FOSS software. t would mean some inconvenience and a knowledge hump to climb.
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A Kick In The Goolies By NSA

Post by Foggyone » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:51 pm

Tech giants KNEW about PRISM, web snooping, claims top NSA lawyer
Analysis The NSA's general counsel Rajesh De says technology firms were fully aware of both America's web surveillance program PRISM and the mass monitoring of upstream internet traffic.

On Wednesday, De told a meeting in Washington, organized by the US government's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), that data collection by secret order under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act was carried out with the “full knowledge and assistance of any company from which information is obtained,” The Guardian reported.
To recap, according to documents leaked by the whistleblower Ed Snowden last summer, the PRISM system allowed the NSA to tap up web giants to access users' email, instant-messenger logs, any stored or transferred files, voice chats, photos, videos, and so on.

When the top-secret program was revealed, Apple, Google and others accused of participating in the scheme angrily denied all knowledge of PRISM.
"Pass the popcorn Mable. This is getting more interesting by the minute!"
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U.S. Agency for International Development

Post by Foggyone » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:55 pm

What you ask would the above agency, tasked with helping the worlds poor, be doing featured in this column?

Read on, dear reader, and be enlightened.

U.S. built secret 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest: AP
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. agency created a "Cuban Twitter" to undermine Cuba's communist government and get around its strict Internet prohibitions, using secret shell companies financed through foreign banks, The Associated Press reported on Thursday.

The two-year project drew 40,000 users who did not know the communications network was devised by a U.S. agency and designed to push them toward political dissent, according to the AP. They also did not know their personal information was being gathered.

The report identified the U.S. Agency for International Development, which delivers aid to the world's poor, as being behind the project.

The communications network was called "ZunZuneo," Cuban slang for a hummingbird's tweet, and the AP said its goal was to build an audience of young users.
USAID said ZunZuneo ended in September 2012, the AP reported.
One really needs to question the sanity of the American body politic, and those that head the government and agencies. They appear to be completely divorced from ethics, and the grasp on reality isn't too strong either. But I guess the inhabitants of the twighlighe zone can justify anything, even this attack on a poor Carribean country whose main crime is to adhere to a failed marxist political and economic policy which they have unsuccessfully (except for the idiots in Venezuela) tried to export to South American countries. It's important that all the countries march to the American drum (and drummer).

In the words of Star Wars..."The farce is strong in this one".
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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Tue May 13, 2014 4:55 am

You may recall some serious accusations being made by the US government back in 2012. They told us, 'Don't buy Chinese routers from companies like Huawei - they have spyware built-in.' It turns out that all the while, the US was actively doing just that themselves.
But while American companies were being warned away from supposedly untrustworthy Chinese routers, foreign organisations would have been well advised to beware of American-made ones. A June 2010 report from the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development department is shockingly explicit. The NSA routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers.

The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users. The document gleefully observes that some "SIGINT tradecraft … is very hands-on (literally!)".

Eventually, the implanted device connects back to the NSA. The report continues: "In one recent case, after several months a beacon implanted through supply-chain interdiction called back to the NSA covert infrastructure. This call back provided us access to further exploit the device and survey the network."

It is quite possible that Chinese firms are implanting surveillance mechanisms in their network devices. But the US is certainly doing the same.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/m ... rs-snowden" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Update
Ars has some photos of Cisco router firmware being "modified" by NSA contractors.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014 ... g-implant/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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