Archive for the ‘NSA’ Category
At an industry event in Hanover, Maryland last week, former National Security Council cybersecurity policy coordinator and acting Homeland Security Advisor Rob Joyce—now back at the National Security Agency as senior advisor to NSA Director General Paul Nakasone—warned that the US government needs to do more than just counter cyber attacks launched against the US. "We have to impose costs in a visible way to start deterrence,” Joyce told attendees of a February 28 Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) chapter meeting, according to a report by CyberScoop's Sean Lyngaas. "We have to go out and try to make those operations less successful and harder to do.”
Citing the WannaCry and NotPetya malware attacks (attributed to North Korea and Russia, respectively, by US intelligence), along with the Russian hacking and disinformation campaigns in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential elections, Joyce said that state-sponsored cyberattacks have been shifting from "exploitation to disruption." While electronic espionage continues, attackers have increasingly focused on doing economic damage to the US and its allies, he said.
Joyce spoke as President Donald Trump was bringing his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to an early close—and as North Korean hackers reportedly continued a 15-month campaign targeting US and European businesses.
Harold T. Martin III, a former government contractor, is still facing trial for the alleged theft of massive amounts of National Security Agency data, including documents and tools from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations Division. Now, a new report by Kim Zetter for Politico suggests that the NSA and the Justice Department tracked down Martin thanks to information shared by an ironic source: the Moscow-based malware protection company Kaspersky Lab. Citing two anonymous sources familiar with the investigation, Zetter reports that Kaspersky Lab employees passed information on Martin to the US government after he sent unusual direct messages via Twitter to the company in 2016.
Kaspersky passed the US government five messages from an anonymous Twitter account named @HAL999999999 to two researchers at the company. The first message, sent August 15, 2016, requested that a researcher facilitate a conversation with "Yevgeny," the given name of Kaspersky Lab founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky. "So, figure out how we talk... With Yevgeny present," the message read. The second message: "Shelf life, three weeks."
The messages came just 30 minutes before someone calling themselves Shadow Brokers dumped a link to a collection of NSA tools in a Tumblr post and announced additional tools would be auctioned off for 1 million Bitcoin.
Digital privacy has come a long way since June 2013. In the five years since documents provided by Edward Snowden became the basis for a series of revelations that tore away a veil of secrecy around broad surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, there have been shifts in both technology and policy that have changed the center of gravity for personal electronic privacy in the United States and around the world. Sadly, not all of the changes have been positive. And Snowden's true legacy is a lot more complicated than his admirers (or his critics) will admit.
Starting with that first article published by the Guardian that revealed a National Security Agency program gathering millions of phone records from Verizon—which gave the agency access to metadata about phone calls placed by or received by everyone in America—the Snowden leaks exposed the inner workings of the NSA's biggest signals intelligence programs. Coming to light next was the PRISM program, which allowed the NSA, via the FBI, to gain access directly to customer data from nine Internet companies without notifying the customers. And then came Boundless Informant, a tool for visualizing the amount of signals intelligence being collected from each country in the world. By the time the Snowden cache had been largely mined out, hundreds of files—ranging from PowerPoint presentations to dumps of Internal Wikis and Web discussion boards—had been reviewed and revealed by journalists.
"Thanks to Snowden's disclosures, people worldwide were able to engage in an extraordinary and unprecedented debate about government surveillance," the American Civil Liberties Union declared on the fifth anniversary of the Guardian article.
Posted in Biz & IT, bulk surveillance, CIA, Edward Snowden, Features, FISA, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, National Security Agency, NSA, Policy, Prism, Section 215, Section 702, XKeyscore | Comments (0)