Most Read
    Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

    NSA Tag

    Russian hackers for the Kremlin have allegedly stolen the U.S.'s cyber defense details after an NSA contractor took home classified documents and uploaded them on his home computer. These documents provide details on how our government agencies get into "foreign computer networks" and how we defend ourselves "against cyberattacks." Experts believe this breach is "one of the most significant security breaches in recent years."

    Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday. During the hearing, Sen. Warner (D-VA) asked, "would be in any way typical for a President to ask questions or bring up an ongoing FBI investigation, particularly if that investigation concerns associates or indivduals that might be associated with the PResident's campaign or his activities?" A clearly unimpressed Rogers set the record straight and indicated he would not entertain hypotheticals.

    NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner faces charges for mailing classified information to a media outlet. Winner gave a report to The Intercept that shows "Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election." The FBI arrested Winner on June 3 at her home in Georgia. She went to court on Monday afternoon.

    A Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court ruling was declassified and released this week. The ruling reveals that the Obama administration engaged in widespread violation of NSA surveillance rules. The Obama administration was reprimanded by the FISA court for illegal searches that constitute "very serious Fourth Amendment issue.” According to previously classified documents, this admission of methodical and long-term violations of Americans' Constitutional rights was made on October 26th of 2016.

    The world faced a massive ransomware attack using WannaCry, an NSA hacking tool last week, which affected 150 countries. While investigating the WannaCry attack, experts found another ongoing cyber attack. The cybersecurity firm Proofpoint said the newly discovered attack, using Adylkuzz, is a lot quieter than WannaCry, but "has likely generated millions of dollars in cryptocurrency for the unknown attackers." ABC News continued:
    According to Ryan Kalember, the senior vice president for cybersecurity at Proofpoint, the attack employed the same hacking tools developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and leaked to the public by the hacker group Shadow Brokers in April to exploit vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system.

    FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers addressed the House Intelligence Committee today about allegations of Russian interference with our presidential election and President Donald Trump's accusations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) told Fox News on Sunday that the wiretap never happened. Top Democrat Adam Schiff expects "Comey to rebut the president's claim" at the hearing.

    When it comes to experience in evaluating the quality of leaked allegations, it's hard to beat Bob Woodward of Watergate/Deep Throat fame. So attention must be paid to what Woodward said on today's Fox News Sunday about the so-called Russia dossier on Donald Trump. Woodward called it a "garbage document." For good measure, Woodward said the intelligence chiefs made a "mistake" in briefing on the basis of the dossier, and should "apologize."

    When Wikileaks released Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails in July, people immediately pointed fingers at Russia and cried that the Kremlin wanted to influence the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, who won by a large margin over Hillary Clinton. But National Security Agency (NSA) Director Mike Rogers dashed those conspiracy theories this past weekend:
    “I don't think in the end it had the effect that [the hackers] had hoped it might,” Rogers said during a panel at the Halifax International Security Forum.

    Earlier this month, the United States District Court in Baltimore charged ex-NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III with removal of classified documents and theft of government property. Officials have revealed that Martin took over 500 million pages of records and secrets over two decades. The Justice Department will probably charge Martin with other crimes, "including violating the Espionage Act." The latest DOJ document does not say if Martin shared this information, but made it known he had the ability to do so.

    The United States District Court in Baltimore has charged a Maryland government contractor with the removal of classified documents and theft of government property for allegedly possessing paper and digital classified materials, including "highly classified computer code developed to hack into the networks of foreign governments." The Washington Post reports:
    A federal contractor suspected of leaking powerful National Security Agency hacking tools has been arrested and charged with stealing classified information from the U.S. government, according to court records and a law enforcement official familiar with the case. Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, who worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, was charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, authorities said. He was arrested in August after investigators searched his home in Glen Burnie, Md., and found documents and digital information stored on various devices that contained highly classified information, authorities said.
    Martin is a "decorated former Naval officer and reservist with a broad interest in cyber issues".

    Reuters has reported that Yahoo! secretly scanned customers' emails on behalf of the NSA and the FBI. The company even "built a custom software program" to monitor the emails for specific information:
    Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. It is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment, said the sources, who did not want to be identified.

    Rand Paul inhabits a unique position in the Republican Party. While he's conservative on some issues, his Libertarian views on others put him at odds with the establishment. His recent filibuster on the Patriot Act is a prime example. Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard voiced his thoughts on the issue in an appearance on ABC News Sunday. I'm not sure this is a fair line of attack. Evan McMurry of Mediaite has the story:
    Kristol: Liberal Democrats Had Rand Paul’s Policies Before He Did A This Week panel noted that Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) #standswithRand (sigh) over the NSA’s bulk collection of communications data and criminal justice reform, causing Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol to call for a point of clarification. “That’s not fair to Keith,” Kristol said. “Rand stands with Keith. Seriously. They had these positions first. Rand Paul has decided that he wants to be a liberal Democrat, undercut necessary intelligence collection and weaken law enforcement services, and Rand Paul thinks that’s going to sell in the Republican primary.
    Here's the video:

    The Patriot Act expanded the government's ability to keep an eye on American citizens---and their data. Through special permissions granted by the FBI through "national security letters," U.S. spy agencies are able to access user data owned by tech companies, while at the same time barring those companies from disclosing to users and shareholders what data has been requested. Fortunately, appeals judges across the country are siding with tech companies against the FBI in a series of lawsuits challenging the gag orders. Via Bloomberg Law:
    “More and more service providers are issuing transparency reports,” said Kurt Opsahl, an attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose clients are seeking an end to the letters. “Many would like to say what national security” demands they’re getting. The gag provision violates free-speech rights, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco ruled in March 2013 in a lawsuit brought by a phone-service provider that received such a letter. She put her ruling on hold while the government appeals it. Because recipients of the letters are forbidden from discussing them openly, the identity of the phone company isn’t public.
    The Justice Department's argument centers on the idea that national security concerns trump the general First Amendment rights of tech companies; they say that if companies are allowed to disclose which agency is looking at what data, terrorists will be able to gain inside information into national security investigations, and thus, that the government has a compelling interest in keeping this information classified. Tech companies' main concerns center on the indefinite nature of the gag order, which is also leaving judges questioning the heart of the Justice Department's argument:
    Font Resize
    Contrast Mode