‘You can’t hide from these things’ – Secret NSA spy programs exposed at conference in Germany | RT
Security researcher Jacob Appelbaum revealed what he calls “wrist-slitting depressing” details about the National Security Agency’s spy programs at a computer conference in Germany on Monday where he presented previously unpublished NSA files.
Appelbaum is among the small group of experts, activists and journalists who have seen classified United States intelligence documents taken earlier this year by former contractor Edward Snowden, and previously he represented transparency group WikiLeaks at an American hacker conference in 2010. Those conditions alone should suffice in proving to most anybody that Appelbaum has been around more than his fair share of sensitive information, and during his presentation at the thirtieth annual Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg on Monday he spilled his guts about some of the shadiest spy tactics seen yet through leaked documents. [Read the full article]
NSA reportedly intercepting laptops purchased online to install spy malware | The Verge
According to a new report from Der Spiegel based on internal NSA documents, the signals intelligence agency’s elite hacking unit (TAO) is able to conduct sophisticated wiretaps in ways that make Hollywood fantasy look more like reality. The report indicates that the NSA, in collaboration with the CIA and FBI, routinely and secretly intercepts shipping deliveries for laptops or other computer accessories in order to implant bugs before they reach their destinations. According to Der Spiegel, the NSA’s TAO group is able to divert shipping deliveries to its own “secret workshops” in a method called interdiction, where agents load malware onto the electronics or install malicious hardware that can give US intelligence agencies remote access.
While the report does not indicate the scope of the program, or who the NSA is targeting with such wiretaps, it’s a unique look at the agency’s collaborative efforts with the broader intelligence community to gain hard access to communications equipment. One of the products the NSA appears to use to compromise target electronics is codenamed COTTONMOUTH, and has been available since 2009; it’s a USB “hardware implant” that secretly provides the NSA with remote access to the compromised machine. [Read the full article]
NSA Stabs Silicon Valley in the Back | The Daily Beast
When tech companies wouldn’t cooperate on surveillance, the spies bugged and hacked them like everyone else. Maybe now they’ll fight for privacy.
The National Security Agency’s sprawling surveillance architecture has long been enabled by cozy partnerships with private sector technology and telecommunications firms. But the honeymoon may be ending, as the continuing disclosures from Edward Snowden’s trove of classified documents make it increasingly clear how fundamentally opposed the interests of Fort Meade and Silicon Valley really are. By doing their best to prove the paranoid right, NSA is undermining the essential trust on which American tech companies depend. [Read the full article]
‘Getting the ungettable’: Leaks reveal NSA’s top hacking unit | RT
Documents leaked by Edward Snowden have uncovered a secret NSA hacking unit which delivered the US some of its most significant intelligence information in recent years. The unit has been tapping into computers and networks since the dawn of the internet.
Der Spiegel described the Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO) as “something like a squad of plumbers that can be called in when normal access to a target is blocked.” [Read the full article]
RSA’s Deal With The NSA Reflects A General Mistrust | TechCrunch
Here’s how it works when a big company believes that its power is in its girth: They enter this bizarre world that leads them to believe that what comes from their PR organs is enough to float their troubles away. It’s all about denial and avoiding any potential shareholder backlash. And so we come to the sad state of affairs at RSA, the security division of EMC, one of the big-bellied enterprise kings that apparently made a deal with the National Security Agency.
It’s a deal that is now affecting the trust that people have in the company and raises questions about other technology companies and how they have profited from their relationships with the government. It’s fine enough for technology executives to sit down with President Barack Obama like they did last week and say how awful the NSA is behaving. But the RSA’s work with the NSA shows that technology companies need scrutiny as well. The reality: mistrust is spreading, writes security expert Bruce Schneier. [Read the full article]
Glenn Greenwald: A technological battle is being fought over the future of the Internet | The Raw Story
Technology, rather than self-imposed government regulations and oversight, is key to restricting the power of the U.S. National Security Agency, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Greenwald on Friday delivered the keynote address at the 30th Chaos Communications Congress, or 30C3, a gathering of hackers in Germany. Though Greenwald is not a hacker — and admits to having trouble installing encryption software — his exposure of NSA surveillance operations has made him a star among Internet freedom advocates. [Read the full article]
Two Contradictory Rulings on the NSA’s Surveillance Methods, Probably Headed to the Supreme Court | OpEdNews
Less than two weeks ago U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon in Washington ruled against the NSA’s data mining collection of meta data calling it “Orwellian” and “probably unconstitutional”.
On Friday another U.S. District Court Judge William H. Pauley in New York found the NSA’s meta data methods constitutional and didn’t violate the 4 th Amendment.
With these two contradictory rulings the final outcome is probably headed to the Supreme Court. But before that can happen, the two rulings will almost certainly be appealed and presumably whichever side loses will probably ask the Supreme Court to rule. [Read the full article]