VİDEO LİNK :
Etiket arşivi: NSA
Malware can record audio and take photos of web users without their knowledge.
March 11, 2014
The latest Snowden leaks on the NSA reveal that the spy agency is masquerading as Facebook in order to infect millions of computers around the world with malware as part of its mass surveillance program.
Glenn Greenwald reported the latest information today, noting that the practice has been in operation for over ten years with the help of British and Japanese intelligence.
The NSA, according to the leaks, has been distributing malware “implants” which can siphon out data from computers around the globe. The agency reportedly used a fake Facebook server as a launching pad to grab information from hard drives. The malware has also been designed to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam.
The internal documents describe the NSA’s own practice as “industrial-scale exploitation” of computer networks.
Chief research officer at the security firm F-Secure, Mikko Hypponen, described the practice as “disturbing,” noting that it could inadvertently affect the security of the entire internet.
“When they deploy malware on systems they potentially create new vulnerabilities in these systems, making them more vulnerable for attacks by third parties,” Hypponen told The Intercept.
Hypponen added that because the system is designed to operate without a great deal of human oversight, it could lead to the malware infection process spiraling “out of control”.
“That would definitely not be proportionate,” Hypponen said. “It couldn’t possibly be targeted and named. It sounds like wholesale infection and wholesale surveillance.”
The NSA refused to comment on the latest revelations, suggesting that because the practice is used for foreign and counterintelligence purposes, it is protected under a recent policy put in place by President Obama.
However, the evidence in the leaked documents indicates that the targets of NSA’s malware were not significant threats to national security, raising serious questions over the legality of mass surveillance tactics.
In one secret post on an internal message board, an operative from the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate describes using malware attacks against systems administrators who work at foreign phone and Internet service providers. By hacking an administrator’s computer, the agency can gain covert access to communications that are processed by his company. “Sys admins are a means to an end,” the NSA operative writes.
The internal post – titled “I hunt sys admins” – makes clear that terrorists aren’t the only targets of such NSA attacks. Compromising a systems administrator, the operative notes, makes it easier to get to other targets of interest, including any “government official that happens to be using the network some admin takes care of.”
The program appears to be part of NSA’s TAO (Tailored Access Operations), and is aimed at “Owning the Internet” according to the leaked documents. The leaked Black Budget of the program reveals it had a price tag of $67.6 million last year.
Last month, a new Snowden leak revealed that British and American governments are spying on people in their own homes via web cams, laptop microphones and devices such as the X-box, a story that Infowars first reported on eight years ago.
At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney – that’s a ‘totalitarian mentality’
William Binney testifies before a German inquiry into surveillance. Photograph: Getty Images
William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.
On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.
“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”
The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.
Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.
“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”
He praised the revelations and bravery of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and told me that he had indirect contact with a number of other NSA employees who felt disgusted with the agency’s work. They’re keen to speak out but fear retribution and exile, not unlike Snowden himself, who is likely to remain there for some time.
Unlike Snowden, Binney didn’t take any documents with him when he left the NSA. He now says that hard evidence of illegal spying would have been invaluable. The latest Snowden leaks, featured in the Washington Post, detail private conversations of average Americans with no connection to extremism.
It shows that the NSA is not just pursuing terrorism, as it claims, but ordinary citizens going about their daily communications. “The NSA is mass-collecting on everyone”, Binney said, “and it’s said to be about terrorism but inside the US it has stopped zero attacks.”
The lack of official oversight is one of Binney’s key concerns, particularly of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa), which is held out by NSA defenders as a sign of the surveillance scheme’s constitutionality.
“The Fisa court has only the government’s point of view”, he argued. “There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion constitutional violations for US domestic audiences and you can double that globally.”
A Fisa court in 2010 allowed the NSA to spy on 193 countries around the world, plus the World Bank, though there’s evidence that even the nations the US isn’t supposed to monitor – Five Eyes allies Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – aren’t immune from being spied on. It’s why encryption is today so essential to transmit information safely.
Binney recently told the German NSA inquiry committee that his former employer had a “totalitarian mentality” that was the "greatest threat" to US society since that country’s US Civil War in the 19th century. Despite this remarkable power, Binney still mocked the NSA’s failures, including missing this year’s Russian intervention in Ukraine and the Islamic State’s take-over of Iraq.
The era of mass surveillance has gone from the fringes of public debate to the mainstream, where it belongs. The Pew Research Centre released a report this month, Digital Life in 2025, that predicted worsening state control and censorship, reduced public trust, and increased commercialisation of every aspect of web culture.
It’s not just internet experts warning about the internet’s colonisation by state and corporate power. One of Europe’s leading web creators, Lena Thiele, presented her stunning series Netwars in London on the threat of cyber warfare. She showed how easy it is for governments and corporations to capture our personal information without us even realising.
Thiele said that the US budget for cyber security was US$67 billion in 2013 and will double by 2016. Much of this money is wasted and doesn’t protect online infrastructure. This fact doesn’t worry the multinationals making a killing from the gross exaggeration of fear that permeates the public domain.
Wikileaks understands this reality better than most. Founder Julian Assange and investigative editor Sarah Harrison both remain in legal limbo. I spent time with Assange in his current home at the Ecuadorian embassy in London last week, where he continues to work, release leaks, and fight various legal battles. He hopes to resolve his predicament soon.
At the Centre for Investigative Journalism conference, Harrison stressed the importance of journalists who work with technologists to best report the NSA stories. “It’s no accident”, she said, “that some of the best stories on the NSA are in Germany, where there’s technical assistance from people like Jacob Appelbaum.”
A core Wikileaks belief, she stressed, is releasing all documents in their entirety, something the group criticised the news site The Intercept for not doing on a recent story. “The full archive should always be published”, Harrison said.
With 8m documents on its website after years of leaking, the importance of publishing and maintaining source documents for the media, general public and court cases can’t be under-estimated. “I see Wikileaks as a library”, Assange said. “We’re the librarians who can’t say no.”
With evidence that there could be a second NSA leaker, the time for more aggressive reporting is now. As Binney said: “I call people who are covering up NSA crimes traitors”.
Washington Post’un ortaya çıkardığı belge, ABD Ulusal Savunma Dairesi’nin (NSA) 193 ülkede casusluk yapmak için mahkemeden izin aldığını ortaya koydu.
Küresel casusluk skandalına imza atan NSA’nın, ABD’deki bir mahkeme tarafından 193 ülkede casusluk faaliyetleri gerçekleştirme izni aldığı ortaya çıktı. NSA’ya verilen izinde, uluslararası kurumları dinleme yetkisi de yer alıyor.
Dış İstihbarat Gözetleme Mahkemesi (FISA) tarafından 2010 yılında çıkartılan izin, sadece Birleşik Krallık, Yeni Zelanda, Avustralya ve Kanada’yı kapsamıyor.
Casusluk izni hakkında ortaya çıkarılan 2010 yılına ait belgenin, eski ajan Edward Snowden tarafından geçtiğimiz yıl Washington Post ve Guardian’a verilen dokumanlar arasında olduğu ifade edildi. Belge, NSA’nın sayısız ülke dışında Uluslararası Para Fonu, Avrupa Birliği (AB), ve Uluslararası Atom Enerjisi Kurumu (UAEK) ve Dünya Bankası gibi çok sayıda kuruluşu da dinleme izni aldığını gösterdi.
Washington Post gazetesinde yayımlanan belgede, NSA’nın belirtilen ülkelerden ‘gerekli’ olduğu için değil ancak ‘yetkiye sahip olduğu’ için istihbarat topladığı ifade ediliyor. ABD hükümetinde yer almış yetkililer, bu yetkinin insanlık krizi durumlarında ABD’lileri gerekli bölgelerden tahliye edebilmek için gerektiğini savunmuştu.
Belge aynı zamanda NSA’in yabancı uyruklu kişilerden ve kurumlardan e-posta ile telefon görüşmesi bilgileri toplamasına izin veren 2008 yılına ait FISA kararına ait yeni bilgiler de sundu. Belge yabancı uyruklu kişilerin ‘yabancı ülkelerle istihbarat bilgisi paylaşımına gireceği düşünülen veya bilgi taşıdığına inanılan bireylerin hedef alınabileceğini’ içeriyor. Bu bilgi, denizaşırı ülkelerde çalışan tüm gazeteci ve akademisyenleri bu şekilde doğrunda hedef haline getiriyor.
Washington Post tarafından yayınlanan 2011 yılına ait bir FISA belgesinde, bir yargıç tarafından not edilen ve NSA’nın yılda yaklaşık 46 bin e-posta topladığı bilgisi yer alıyordu.
Ortaya çıkan yeni belge, Snowden’ın NSA skandalını ortaya çıkarmasından neredeyse bir yıl sonrasına rastlarken, Başkan Barack Obama’nın vaatlerini de gölgeye düşürdü. Obama skandalın ardından ‘ABD’nin yabancı devletler üzerinde daha fazla casusluk yapmasına gerek olmadığını ve en kısa zamanda düzenlenmesi gerektiğini’ belirtmişti. Obama söz konusu düzenleme için ocak ayını işaret etmişti.
An amendment to the Defense Dept. spending bill prohibits funding for installation of security vulnerabilities in US-made tech equipment.
The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a measure late Thursday to disarm two of the National Security Agency’s surveillance tactics.
The House voted 293-123 in favor of an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2015 that would cut off funding for programs engineering security vulnerabilities in US-made tech products, commonly known as backdoors. Proposed by Republican Thomas Massie and Democrat Zoe Lofgren, the amendment to the spending bill would also prohibit access to Americans’ Internet communications under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act without a warrant.
"We took a big step tonight to #ShutTheBackDoor on unwarranted government surveillance by passing the Massie-Lofgren amendment," Lofgren wrote in a Facebook post. "The House stood up for the American people and the Constitution, and that is something we can all celebrate."
The amendment is in response to alleged activity revealed late last year by German newspaper Der Spiegel, which reported that the US agency intercepts deliveries of electronic equipment to plant spyware to gain remote access to systems once they are delivered and installed. According to the report, the NSA has planted backdoors to access computers, hard drives, routers, and other devices from companies such as Cisco, Dell, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Samsung and Huawei.
According to The Guardian, a leaked report dated June 2010 from the head of the NSA’s Access and Target Development department described a program in which routers, servers, and other computer network devices were intercepted by the NSA. After being embedded with backdoor surveillance tools, the hardware was then repackaged and sent on to international customers. With backdoor surveillance systems, the NSA could feasibly gain access to vast networks and users.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a vocal proponent of the measure, applauded its approval.
- NSA reportedly installing spyware on US-made hardware
- Apple says it’s unaware of NSA iPhone backdoor program
- NSA reportedly planted spyware on electronics equipment
Mark Rumold, a staff attorney with the nonprofit digital rights group said in a statement that the vote was "an important first step in reining in the NSA" and its "invasive surveillance practices."
The amendment has enjoyed broad support from tech groups and organizations. A coalition that includes Google, the American Library Association, and ACLU among others sent a letter (PDF) to prominent members of the House on Wednesday urging them to support the measure.
"Both of these measures would make appreciable changes that would advance government surveillance reform and help rebuild lost trust among Internet users and businesses, while also preserving national security and intelligence authorities," said the letter, which was made available by The New America Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has been chaired by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt since 2008.
CNET has contacted the NSA for comment and will update this report when we learn more.