Articles about Fbi

Michigan electricity utility downed by ransomware attack

A water and electricity authority in the US State of Michigan has needed a week to recover from a ransomware attack that fortunately only hit its enterprise systems. Lansing's BWL – Board of Water & Light – first noticed the successful phishing attack on its corporate systems on April 25, and has had to keep systems including …

All US spy requests OK'd

Every single request by US g-men to carry out electronic surveillance in 2015 was approved by America's secret intelligence court. The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which is supposed to oversee and scrutinize spying operations, received 1,457 requests from the NSA and FBI to tap people's communications – and …
Team Register, 02 May 2016
Internet anonymity

US govt quietly tweaks rules to let cops, Feds hack computers anywhere, anytime

On Thursday, the US Supreme Court approved a change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. It sounds innocuous, but the effects will be felt around the world. Under today's rules, US cops and FBI agents need to know where a computer is before they can get a warrant to directly hack the machine – because they …
Iain Thomson, 29 Apr 2016
A Handful of Giant Weta by Mike Locke

US government tells Apple it has security problems that Apple fixed last year

Two years after the White House decided disclosure was better than bug-hoarding, the FBI has handed over its first notification to Apple. News of the bug report was given to Reuters, which says notifications describing the iPhone and Mac problems landed in Cupertino on April 14. The White House policy was articulated at the …

Docker hired private detectives to pursue woman engineer's rape, death threat trolls

Container software biz Docker hired private investigators to track down trolls after one of its popular engineers was harassed and bullied for being a woman. Jessie Frazelle, who was sent death and rape threats, last month quit the San Francisco-based upstart to work at Mesosphere. As word of her departure spread, Docker …
Iain Thomson, 26 Apr 2016

FBI ends second iPhone fight after someone, um, 'remembers' the PIN

For the second time, the FBI has dropped a legal attempt to force Apple to unlock an iPhone at the last minute. Earlier this month, the FBI backed away from the high-profile San Bernardino case the day before it was due in court by claiming it had paid a third party (apparently $1.2m) to unlock the phone. This time it's a …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Apr 2016
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FBI spies on how many?

The US House Judiciary Committee has sent a letter to the director of national intelligence James Clapper asking him exactly how many US citizens the security services are spying on. "We write to ask that you provide us with a public estimate of the number of communications or transactions involving United States persons …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Apr 2016
St Petersburg Russia

SpyEye duo behind bank-account-emptying malware banged up

A two-man team responsible for spreading the SpyEye malware that caused more than a billion dollars in financial hardship is now starting extended sentences in American prisons. The malware's author – Aleksandr Panin, 27, of Tver, Russia – was sent down for nine years and six months by United States District Court Judge Amy …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2016

FBI boss: We paid at least $1.2m to crack the San Bernardino iPhone

Vid FBI director James Comey today suggested the Feds paid security experts over a million dollars to crack a San Bernardino killer's iPhone. While speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in the UK, Comey was asked how much his agents paid hackers to break into Syed Farook's iPhone 5C. "More than I will make in the remainder of this …
Chris Williams, 21 Apr 2016

Dutch PGP-encrypted comms network ‘abused by crooks’ is busted

Dutch firm Ennetcom has pulled its systems offline following a bust by police and accusations that its encryption technology was being abused as a communications network by drug dealers. Police have seized servers in the Netherlands, and Canada is dismantling what local reports describe as a PGP-based comms network. The …
John Leyden, 21 Apr 2016
CEO Rob Beardon - Image via hortonworks

Hortonworks CEO tells El Reg: 'Clearly there's a lot of work to do'

Interview Hortonworks CEO, Rob Bearden, told The Register that “clearly there's a lot of work to do” as the business attempts to stop burning cash by the end of 2016. In an interview in The Marker hotel in Dublin, just across the River Liffey from where Hortonworks was hosting its EMEA Hadoop Summit, Bearden reaffirmed that the Santa …
Still from the Star Trek original series episode "arena" of enterprise using photon torpedo.  Pic copyright:  Paramount Pictures, CBS Studios

FBI's Tor pedo torpedoes torpedoed by United States judge

A ruling by a US federal judge could unravel as many as 1,200 criminal prosecutions of alleged pedophiles by the FBI. Massachusetts District Court Judge William Young today declared that the magistrate judge who issued a warrant authorizing the FBI to infect suspects' PCs with tracking malware lacked the proper authority to do …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2016

US government sued by activists looking for backdoor smoking gun

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is suing the US government to reveal just how it compels tech companies to help agents spy on people. The activist group has hit the Department of Justice (DoJ) with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the US Northern California District Court requesting details on whether …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2016

FBI's PRISM slurping is 'unconstitutional' – and America's secret spy court is OK with that

Hopes that reform to the US government's mass surveillance infrastructure would yield real results have been dealt a blow after the opinion of a public advocate to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was rejected. Amy Jeffress was asked to give her opinion on the FBI searching in the vast PRISM database for …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2016

Hand over our code to China? We're no commie patsies, Apple cries

Apple's fight with law enforcement has stepped up again, with the iPhone giant forced to deny that it hands over user information to Beijing while refusing the authorities at home. Speaking at a hearing of US House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce subcommittee, Apple's general counsel Bruce Sewell said that the Chinese …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Apr 2016
Prison

Chinese con-artists cop to US military counterfeit chip switch caper

Chinese national Daofu Zhang has pleaded guilty to conspiring to buy top-end field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) stolen from a US Navy base and replacing the swiped silicon with counterfeit duds. Last Friday, in Connecticut's New Haven federal court, Zhang, 40, admitted offering to purchase military-spec chips from a US …
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Feds OK to stalk phones

A court in Cincinnati, Ohio, has ruled that federal agents do not need to get a warrant before collecting people's whereabouts using their smartphones. The US Six Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FBI was not in the wrong when in 2011 agents pulled the locational records of two men in a robbery investigation. Their …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2016

You won't believe this, but… nothing useful found on Farook iPhone

The iPhone at the center of the huge public fight between the FBI and Apple has "nothing of real significance" on it – just as we suspected. CBS News reports it has been told by a "law enforcement source" that the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook does not contain any information of practical assistance in the …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Apr 2016

Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

Analysis In the wake of the FBI's failed fight against Apple, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have introduced a draft bill that would effectively ban strong crypto. The bill would require tech and communications companies to allow law enforcement with a court order to decrypt their customers' data. Last week a …
Iain Thomson, 13 Apr 2016

Lauri Love backdoor forced-decryption case goes to court in UK

Alleged hacktivist Lauri Love appeared in a London court on Tuesday in a case that could establish new powers for UK police to compel criminal suspects into handing over encryption keys. Love, 31, faces potential extradition to the US over his alleged involvement in #OpLastResort – the online protests that followed the …
John Leyden, 13 Apr 2016
hacker

What exactly is it that infosec miscreants get up to? A quick overview

If corporate IT infrastructures are a battlefield, then the cybercriminals are putting up a good fight. Last year saw some nasty breaches. Anthem Insurance, which lost nearly 80 million records, and the US Office of Personnel Management, which lost 21 million records after failing to encrypt its records. Cybercriminals are …
Danny Bradbury, 13 Apr 2016

FBI 'zero-day iPhone hack'

The FBI bought security vulnerabilities from infosec professionals to crack the locked iPhone of San Bernardino killer Syed Farook, it is claimed. According to the Washington Post today, the Feds did not use the services of Cellebrite – previously rumored to have helped the g-men: The FBI cracked a San Bernardino terrorist’s …
Chris Williams, 13 Apr 2016

Would you let cops give your phone a textalyzer scan after a road crash?

Poll Drivers in New York may have their phones and gadgets scanned after crashes to see what they were doing moments before a prang. Law bill SB S6325A, if passed, will allow police to check a driver's smartphone for activity when an accident occurs. Investigators could then determine whether or not a motorist was illegally using …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Apr 2016
Illustration of a "bitcoin" dissolving into numbers. Photo by SHutterstock

Cash, fear and uncertainty: The Holy Trinity of Bitcoin and blockchain

Feature Writing anything about Bitcoin or blockchains is a challenge. It's not the easiest technology to understand – not because it's particularly complex, but because it's grown into something of a confused mess of different technologies and applications. It also "looks" strange compared to most technologies that we're used to. Plus …
Matt Reynolds, 12 Apr 2016

British booter bandit walks free after pleading guilty to malware sales

Worcestershire man Grant Manser has pleaded guilty to six counts of computer misuse offences after selling booter software on the dark web. The 20 year old sold the software while aged just 16 for between £5 and £20 a pop during the four years from January 2012, The Daily Mail reports. He pleaded guilty to six charges under …
Team Register, 11 Apr 2016
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Juniper kills weak crypto

ScreenOS has been cleansed of weak crypto components found last year. The December 2015 discovery of “unauthorised code” in the software, the operating system for the firewalls it acquired when it bought Netscreen, left the company red-faced and scrambling to work out what happened. Along the way, Juniper kicked off a code …

FBI, Apple continue cat-and-mouse game over iPhones in New York

Despite walking away from a high-profile confrontation, the FBI is not giving up on its cat-and-mouse game with Apple over access to iPhone data, and the issue has now moved to New York. On Friday, the Feds appealed a decision last month by a Brooklyn magistrate, James Orenstein, to reject their demand that Apple help them …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Apr 2016

Read America's insane draft crypto-borking law that no one's willing to admit they wrote

A draft copy of a US law to criminalize strong encryption, thought to be authored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), has been leaked online. And the internet is losing its shit. "We're still working on finalizing a discussion draft and as a result can't comment on language in specific versions of the …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2016

Man pleads guilty for serving white hat with DoS, swearbot, sex toys

Oklahoma man Benjamin Earnest Nichols faces up to 10 years jail in a United States federal prison and a US$250,000 fine after pleading guilty to launching a distributed denial of service attack against security consultancy mccrewsecurity.com. Nichols, 37, pled guilty to one count of causing the transmission of a program or …
Darren Pauli, 08 Apr 2016

Fake CEOs pilfer $2.3bn from US biz pockets in three years – Feds

Scammers have bilked American companies out of $2.3bn from 17,642 victims since 2013, the FBI has warned, and the problem is going to get worse before it gets better. Basically, the hustle works like this: miscreants pretending to be top bosses send emails to employees, particularly those handling sensitive financial …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2016
James Comey

FBI Director defends iPhone 5C unlock tool that's obviously going to leak into wrong hands

FBI Director James Comey says the tool his agents bought and used to unlock the San Bernardino killer's iPhone will only work on a "narrow slice" of phones. On Wednesday, Comey gave a lecture at Ohio's Kenyon College's Center for the Study of American Democracy in which he said the exploit only works on iOS 9 iPhone 5Cs. Apple …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2016
Man gesticulates furiously in front of parked car. Photo by Shutterstock

Neighbour sick of you parking in his driveway? You'd better hack-proof your car

Car security startup Karamba Security has emerged from stealth with $2.5m in funding and a plan to revamp in-car security. Karamba has developed a technology that hardens the externally-facing electronic control unit (ECU) of cars in order to defend against hack attacks. The software is designed to protect a car's externally …
John Leyden, 07 Apr 2016
The US White House. Pic: Roman Boed

White House flushes away court-ordered decryption like it was a stinky dead goldfish

Multiple sources have reported that the White House isn't keen on forthcoming legislation that would force companies to decrypt their products if a court orders it. For the last couple of weeks, US Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have been sounding out members of Congress over their bill to give courts …
Iain Thomson, 06 Apr 2016
barbie

Barbie-brained Mattel exec phell for phishing, sent $3m to China

Toy maker Mattel has recovered some US$3 million it shipped off to Chinese hackers who sent a well-crafted phishing email to a finance executive. The recovery was mostly down to luck: the cash was wired on a Chinese bank holiday which meant the funds were held up and returned by fast-acting authorities. Sources told …
Darren Pauli, 06 Apr 2016
Unlocked padlock

Security bods disclose lock bypass bug in iOS

Updated In a release that's bound to spark all sorts of speculation, Vulnerability Labs disclosed an iOS touch passcode bypass. Apple has pushed a fix on the server side, as noted at the end of this story. In late March, Johns Hopkins University's professor Matthew Green said a bypass existed, but withheld details pending Apple's …
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FBI declines to comment on WhatsApp encryption

The FBI has declined to make a comment on the news Tuesday that WhatsApp is going to offer end-to-end encryption in the next version of its messaging app. WhatsApp's decision to do so was sparked in part by the authorities in the US and Brazil trying to pressure the company to hand over confidential user conversations, and by …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Apr 2016
steve_jobs_index_648

Holding out for a Jobs: Tim Cook still auditioning for position of Apple god

Apple at 40 Apple is 40 years old. The leader was Steve Jobs, but he's gone and many still don't understand his core idea. The idea was Apple's control over "the user experience". That control is at risk today, and the company's future hangs in the balance as a result under the new leader. How people use things was Jobs' lifelong …
reddit wanted poster by Russia's telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor

Reddit's warrant canary shuffles off this mortal coil

It appears that Reddit has been the recipient of a National Security Letter, after the warrant canary it has published in its annual transparency reports has disappeared. A warrant canary is a technique whereby companies can get around the restrictions involved with National Security Letters, which typically bar the recipient …
Iain Thomson, 31 Mar 2016

Senator Wyden recalls SOPA fight in bid to defeat encryption-weakening efforts

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has put out a call to arms to digital rights activists, asking them to join in a SOPA-style effort to defeat upcoming efforts to weaken encryption. In a wide-ranging speech that covered J Edgar Hoover, Miranda Rights, the Founding Fathers and the Amazon Echo, the Oregon Senator warned that despite the …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Mar 2016

That one phone the FBI wanted unlocked? Here are 63 more, says ACLU

The FBI's promise that the San Bernardino iPhone case was a one-off is looking a tad hollow after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found another 63 ongoing cases of the government using an ancient law to enforce unlocking. "The FBI wants you to think that it will use the All Writs Act only in extraordinary cases to …
Iain Thomson, 30 Mar 2016

Microsoft's Brad Smith on encryption: Let the politicians decide

Microsoft's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith wants to let the politicians decide, when it comes to the tricky balance between privacy, security and technology. Speaking at the opening ceremony of RightsCon in San Francisco, Smith trod a careful line in front of the audience of digital rights activists, praising …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Mar 2016
Great Hall of the People, seat of Communist party government in Beijing, China. Photo by Shutterstock

Former FBI spy hunter: Don’t trust China on ‘no hack’ pact

A former FBI investigator who helped expose Soviet double agent Robert Hanssen1 warns that enterprises should give up worrying about hackers, “who are now the good guys”, and be more worried about spies. Veteran spy hunter turned infosec exec Eric O'Neill said that espionage has evolved and become increasingly digital as …
John Leyden, 30 Mar 2016
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Speaking in Tech: Batman vs Superman... absolutely sucked

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, it's Ed, Greg and Sarah and no guests... just the gang discussing bad superhero movies, listener complaints, Oracle suing Google (again) and Australian bike bells –and taking people out to the woodshed... …
Team Register, 30 Mar 2016

Samsung unblocks ad-block plugins from its Android browser

Creating its own ad-blockable browser for Android is a step too far for Samsung, but it has decided to let third-party blockers into the tent. It's part of an update posted to its Samsung Developer site on March 21, that's mostly flown under the radar until it was spotted by Android Authority among others. As the developer …
A 'connected' TV watches over its owner. Pic via shutterstock

Internet users don't understand security or privacy, says survey

Canadian think-tank CIGI (the Centre for International Governance and Innovation) reckons ordinary citizens are more comfortable with government oversight of the Internet and their privacy than, for example, Apple. In an international survey (24,000 respondents in 24 countries), the group claims more than 70 per cent want the …

The FBI lost this round against Apple – but it aims to win the war

Comment While fans of strong crypto and privacy are celebrating the US Department of Justice decision to back down in the San Bernardino case against Apple, it's important not to get too giddy – this is going to be a long battle and the FBI has nothing but time. The FBI still hasn't explained quite how it managed to unlock the …
Iain Thomson, 30 Mar 2016
Internet anonymity

FBI: Er, no, we won't reveal how we unmask and torpedo Tor pedos

The FBI is refusing to hand over details of the software it used to track and unmask anonymous viewers of a child sex abuse websites. The Feds said the details are irrelevant to the case. In February of 2015, the FBI seized the servers running a dark-web pedophile website called Playpen, described as the largest archive of its …
Iain Thomson, 29 Mar 2016
C-17 aircraft

Bloke coughs to leaking US military aircraft blueprints to China

A Chinese national has pleaded guilty to charges that he funneled US military aircraft secrets back to his controllers in the Middle Kingdom. "Su Bin admitted to playing an important role in a conspiracy, originating in China, to illegally access sensitive military data, including data relating to military aircraft that are …
Iain Thomson, 29 Mar 2016
Uncle Sam recruiting poster

US govt says it has cracked killer's iPhone, legs it from Apple fight

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) says it no longer needs Apple to help unlock the iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino killers. In a filing [PDF] made Monday to the Central California District Court, prosecutors say they have extracted data from the smartphone belonging to slain San Bernardino killer Syed Farook, thus …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2016

US charges Iranians with hacking into an NY dam, blasting banks offline

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged seven Iranian hackers over a string of high-profile distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against banks. The seven allegedly worked with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-affiliated entities to run a coordinated campaign of cyber attacks against the US financial sector. One …
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2016