Tags ‘NSA’

The scary reason the NSA knows when Russia hacks the US, without any doubt

Did Russia Hack the Election?

American intelligence agencies have lined up their stories and currently agree that Putin’s Russia is responsible for the DNC hack. President-elect Donald Trump might dispute that, especially when such reports also suggest that Russia’s intentions were to help him win the presidential election. After a security company proved there’s a link between the malware used against the DNC and cyber attacks against the Ukrainian army, a new report reveals the actual reason why the NSA knows whenever Russia hacks the US. And yes, it’s as scary as you'd expect it to be.

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Chris Smith

December 30th

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How a smartphone backdoor can be used to spy on absolutely everything you do

Android Backdoor Malware Spy App

You’ll have no idea that someone out there is spying on you if it happens, especially if it's one of several government agencies that have sophisticated digital tools at their disposal. The key to everything we do is buried in that portable computer we carry around all day long. The smartphone collects a treasure trove of information about a user, regardless of operating system, and some of that information could be easily accessible to hackers who know their way around a mobile operating system.

A few days ago, a film student who had his iPhone stolen at some point decided to get revenge. He staged a second theft, but the new device was an Android-powered handset preloaded with spyware that could collect everything the thief would do.

That video went viral on YouTube, showing the world what can be done with simple spyware tools. With a little knowledge, you can turn a smartphone into a powerful spying tool and most users wouldn't even know it’s happening.

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Chris Smith

December 20th

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Leaked list reveals victims of NSA hacking around the world

NSA Leak Hacked Websites
Spy agencies like the NSA hack various targets on a regular basis, and they’ve probably been doing it ever since the world got online. However, these secret operations have often made the news in recent years, especially following the Snowden leaks that revealed the mass spying operations and sophisticated digital tools that the NSA and its partners used to collect data in bulk. A new leak now reveals a list of web addresses that were compromised by the NSA over a period of ten years. Those addresses may have been used and could be still used, for certain spying operations. So if your organization has ever come in contact with these sites, then you may have been a target as well.

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Chris Smith

November 2nd

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NSA contractor to be charged with espionage after making off with 50 TB of data

NSA Espionage
Late on Thursday, federal prosecutors signaled their intention to charge former NSA contractor Harold T. Martin with violating The Espionage Act after authorities discovered that he took upwards of 50 TB of classified data from the NSA to his home. While the precise details regarding the stolen data remain murky, the New York Times a few weeks ago claimed that it may have included "highly classified computer codes developed to hack into the networks of foreign governments” like China, North Korea and Iran.

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Yoni Heisler

October 22nd

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NSA hacking tools were likely stolen after an operative accidentally left them on a computer

NSA Hacking Tools
Though the NSA would prefer to fly underneath the radar, the controversial intelligence agency just can't seem to escape the spotlight in recent months. A few weeks ago, a group of hackers allegedly stole an impressively large number of NSA hacking tools and exploits and put them up for sale. Upon close inspection, a number of security experts went on record and confirmed that the leaked exploits were, in fact, from the NSA's vast toolkit. When word of the leak broke, some in the intelligence community initially feared that they were facing another Edward Snowden situation. As it turns out, it now appears that the leaked exploits were probably the result of human error. Embarrassingly, an investigation into the matter has revealed that a NSA operative may have inadvertently left the hacking tools in question on a remote computer, effectively leaving it behind as a gift to whomever discovered it.

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Yoni Heisler

September 23rd

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Can you solve these brain teasers written by the NSA’s top mathematicians?

NSA Mathematicians
When one thinks of institutions and places that house some of the brightest mathematical minds on the planet, one tends to think of companies like Google and academic institutions like MIT and Cal Tech. But flying somewhat underneath the radar is the National Security Agency (NSA), the famed intelligence agency that was unwittingly thrust into the spotlight following Edward Snowden's massive leak of classified NSA material. The NSA likely houses the largest group of world-class cryptographers and mathematicians than any other place in the world. Suffice it to say, if you're mathematically inclined and want to make it at the NSA, you don't just need to be good at math, you need to uniquely excel at it.

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Yoni Heisler

August 22nd

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Yup, Russia was probably behind that NSA hack

NSA Hack Explained Russia
The NSA was hacked by a group that calls itself Shadow Brokers, a report earlier this week revealed, with some of the stolen cyberweapons being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Since then, experts who have seen some of the stolen files believe that the NSA has indeed been hacked, with Russia being one of the prime suspects. As for the strange auction itself, it looks like nobody is really interested in paying for the hacked documents at this point.

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Chris Smith

August 18th

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Why the NSA shouldn’t crack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone for the FBI

Apple FBI iPhone NSA Hackers

The iPhone 5c that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook is susceptible to certain malicious attacks that could get the FBI what it wants: unrestricted access to a device that might hold some evidence linking the shooter to other potential suspects. The NSA has been conspicuously absent from the Apple vs. FBI battle, AND MANY HAVE WONDERED whether the NSA can indeed break into the handset... AS WELL AS why it’s not doing it to help in this particular investigation.

Even Apple indirectly acknowledged that the NSA might have what it takes to crack any iPhones, by grilling the FBI on the reason it didn’t explain why the NSA’s resources aren’t being used.

However, even if the NSA has powerful tools to crack iPhones, it’s probably for the best it doesn’t use them on this particular device.

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Chris Smith

March 18th

Apple

Did Apple just imply the NSA can hack iPhones?

Apple FBI iPhone NSA

In a new court brief filed this week, Apple once again makes its case that the FBI’s request to force it to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c isn’t constitutional. While this isn't surprising, it's notable that the iPhone maker also implies that the NSA might have what it takes to decrypt iPhones for the FBI. It’s just that the Bureau seems not to have sought such assistance.

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Chris Smith

March 16th

Apple

Why the NSA doesn’t support the FBI in the San Bernardino iPhone case

Apple FBI iPhone Case NSA

The Snowden leaks explained in great detail some of the most sophisticated spying tools the NSA has developed in recent years for conducting mass surveillance operations and collecting data. That’s one of the reasons why Apple and other tech companies started using encryption to protect their devices, and why Apple is currently involved in a high-profile case against the FBI.

The government agency wants access to the iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, looking to force Apple to create a backdoor into the operating system. Many people pondered why the FBI isn’t cracking the iPhone without help from Apple, and why the NSA and CIA aren’t providing any assistance.

New reports cast a different light on the case, revealing that the NSA is not in the FBI’s corner in this fight and explaining why the intelligence agency isn’t keen on breaking iPhone encryption the way the FBI wants.

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Chris Smith

March 10th

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