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Daniel Craig in Skyfall

NSA approves Samsung Knox for use by TOP SECRET g-men

US spooks will be allowed to access sensitive government information on their KNOX-locked Samsung gadgets from now on. The South Korean company has been heavily pushing its new KNOX security product and it looks as though its efforts have paid off. The National Security Agency has now approved nine Samsung devices, including the …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Oct 2014

German spy agency staffer spied for NSA during gov probe into NSA spying – report

A German intelligence agency staffer has been arrested after allegedly being caught spying on behalf on the US, according to reports by German newspapers. The country's Federal Prosecutor's office has confirmed that a man had been arrested on suspicion of being a foreign spy, but gave no further details. According to reports in …
John Leyden, 07 Jul 2014
Fast growth of NSA datasets

New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden suggest during the noughties, the NSA massively expanded the information it shared with its Five Eyes allies and other agencies. In slides given to The Intercept, the NSA boasts that its ICREACH program “increases NSA communications metadata sharing from 50 billion records to 850+ billion …

NSA Sentry Eagle placed spies in private companies

The National Security Agency (NSA) has since 2004 sent spies into private companies in a bid to compromise networks from within, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Agents sent in by the NSA targeted global communications firms under a highly classified 'core secrets' program dubbed Sentry Eagle previously known …
Darren Pauli, 14 Oct 2014
Flag of Israel; credit James Emery

Snowden latest: NSA targets Gaza, pumps intelligence to Israel

According to the latest drop of leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the US spy agency provides financial assistance, weapons and signals intelligence to Israel. The Intercept reports that Canadian, British and Jordanian signals intelligence is also shared with Israel. This intelligence relates to Palestinian targets, …
John Leyden, 04 Aug 2014
3-rotor WWII Enigma

Congress divorces NIST and NSA

The US Congress has passed a bill that removes the NSA's direct input into encryption standards. According to a report at ProPublica, an amendment to the National Institute of Standards and Technology act removes the requirement that NIST consult with the NSA in setting new encryption standards. Following the Snowden …

Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has taken to Twitter and labelled Google worse than the NSA. Here's The Dirty Digger's missive: NSA privacy invasion bad, but nothing compared to Google. — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 17, 2014 Murdoch and Google have history, with the former accusing the latter of stealing his newspapers …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report

The NSA's denial it knew about or exploited the Heartbleed bug raises an obvious question: does it exploit similar flaws? The answer, according to The New York Times, is yes. Quoting ”senior administration officials”, the paper says US President Barack Obama considered what the NSA should do if it becomes aware of a …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014

Oracle plans German DCs to soothe NSA-ruffled nerves

Oracle has become the latest US IT giant to placate European businesses with extra local data centres. According to V3.co.uk, the company's Loïc le Guisquet, EMEA executive veep, told Oracle's OpenWorld conference on Sunday that there will be two new bit barns opened in Germany in the coming weeks. The Frankfurt and Munich …
NSA parody T-shirt

Scariest NSA revelation yet: Spooks are RUBBISH at CIPHERS

The NSA (yes, that NSA) has triggered a bit of a Tweet-storm, followed by helpless fits of giggles among geeks, by posting a job-ad-Tweet that used a simple Roman-style substitution cipher. tpfccdlfdtte pcaccplircdt dklpcfrp?qeiq lhpqlipqeodf gpwafopwprti izxndkiqpkii krirrifcapnc dxkdciqcafmd vkfpcadf. #MissionMonday #NSA #news …

Greenwald alleges NSA tampers with routers to plant backdoors

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist responsible for funnelling many of Edward Snowden's revelations to the world, has penned a book in which he alleges the NSA intercepts routers before US manufacturers can export them, in order to implant backdoors. Excerpted by The Guardian, Greenwald's tome No Place to Hide alleges the following …
Simon Sharwood, 13 May 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Naughty NSA was so drunk on data it forgot collection rules

Declassified documents from America's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) shows that even the NSA didn't know the limits of what it was supposed to collect, and overstepped its authorisations for years. The documents were released to the Electronic Privacy Information Centre in response to an FOI request, and record …

New NSA boss plays down impact of Snowden leaks

Incoming NSA chief Admiral Michael Rogers has played down the impact of the Snowden revelations on the spy agency's work. Former NSA director, General Keith Alexander, described the Snowden leaks as one of the worst breaches in intelligence history. UK spy agency bosses at GCHQ and MI6 told a Parliamentary inquiry back in …
John Leyden, 01 Jul 2014
Typewriter image

German NSA probe chief mulls spy-busting typewriters

Germany's government has mulled a return to typewriters in a bid to evade US spy agencies, according to the head of the nation's National Security Agency inquiry. The incredible decision came in response to a torrent of allegations that the NSA had spied on the German agencies and parties including Chancellor Angela Merkel. It …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jul 2014
Airship over NSA datacenter

NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been urged to hire more crypto experts so it can confidently tell the NSA to take a hike. A report (PDF) from NIST's Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) – which scrutinizes and advises the institute – scolds NIST for being too reliant on the NSA's …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2014

Chatting to Al Qaeda? Try not to do that – Ex spy chief defends post-Snowden NSA

You have nothing to fear from the NSA: that is unless you're from outside the United States, or you arouse the agency's suspicion by chatting to Al Qaeda. "Try not to do that," was the advice given. The warnings come from former NSA chief General Keith Alexander, who told delegates at a security conference that the National …
Darren Pauli, 08 Oct 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

NSA dragnet mostly slurped innocents' traffic

NSA babbler Edward Snowden's latest drop alleges something that's been suspected ever since he went public during 2013: that spy agencies reach far beyond “persons-of-interest”, with data on ordinary internet users far outstripping that held over formal “targets”. According to The Washington Post, the latest set of documents – …
James Bond in the Bahamas

Latest Snowden leak claims NSA bugged ALL mobile calls in the Bahamas

A fresh dossier of documents apparently from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden claims that the NSA is running a telephone-tapping system that records the metadata and content of all mobile phone calls of two countries, including the island paradise of the Bahamas. The documents, published in The Intercept, state that the system, …
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Surprise! NSA's first ever 'transparency' 'report' is anything but

The US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has published the NSA's first "transparency report", revealing the number of "targets" spied on by the agency. Its definition of the word transparency, however, makes the data somewhat hard to fathom. "Within the Intelligence Community, the term 'target' has multiple …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2014

Hackers reverse-engineer NSA spy kit using off-the-shelf parts

Last year Edward Snowden leaked the NSA's Advanced Network Technology catalog, a listing of the hardware and software tools the agency makes available to agents for spying. Now enterprising security experts are using the catalog to build similar tools using available electronics. The team, led by Michael Ossmann of Great Scott …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jun 2014
Edward Snowden

Snowden shouldn't be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov

Master spook blabbermouth Edward Snowden should be granted safe passage to and from Switzerland if he testifies about surveillance, the country's attorney general has reportedly said. Last year, the one-time NSA sysadmin leaked files revealing some of the secret spying tactics of UK and US spooks. Snowden currently has …
Team Register, 08 Sep 2014
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Report: Google's NSA dealings not as bad as you thought – THEY WERE WORSE

Google and other technology giants were working far more closely with the NSA government than originally thought, if a set of uncovered internal emails are to be believed. Al Jazeera has posted an email correspondence between NSA director General Keith Alexander and Google's Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin discussing cooperation …
Shaun Nichols, 07 May 2014
The US Cyber Command official seal

What is ex-NSA spyboss selling for $1m a month, asks US congressman

Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) is pushing for a formal investigation into the activities of General Keith Alexander now that the former head of the NSA has started his own very expensive security consultancy. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Gen Alexander. Last week it was reported that Alexander, who retired from …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jun 2014
Thomas Drake

NSA leaker Thomas Drake says Oz security reforms are 'scary'

Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake says Australia's looming national security reforms makes him 'shudder', labelling them ambiguous and a plot to stamp out legitimate public-interest whistleblowing. Drake, who Edward Snowden said was his …
Darren Pauli, 04 Aug 2014

Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

The US House of Representatives has passed a measure aimed at limiting the NSA's ability to access personal data and conduct surveillance. The House on Thursday voted to approve an amendment to the 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 4870) seeking to prevent warrantless collection of data from government …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

The tech world is aflutter over the Heartbleed encryption flaw in OpenSSL, but it seems that the bug was no surprise to the analysts of the NSA, since they have reportedly been using it for two years to spy on data traffic. Two sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that NSA staff picked up on the fatal flaw shortly …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2014

Germany says 'nein' to NSA hacking prosecution

Officials in Germany are not planning to pursue charges over allegations that the NSA was spying on German citizens and government officials. According to a German media report, officials do not believe they have enough evidence to press charges, even though German Chancellor Angela Merkel is thought to have been one of the …
Shaun Nichols, 28 May 2014

EFF sues NSA over snoops 'hoarding' zero-day security bugs

Intelligence agencies are among the most prolific buyers of zero-day computer security flaws that can be used to spy on enemies foreign and domestic, or so it's claimed – and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a lawsuit to find out what exactly they are doing with them. "Since these vulnerabilities potentially …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jul 2014
Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier sneers at IBM's NSA denials

Ten days ago IBM issued ”A Letter to Our Clients About Government Access to Data” that, as we reported, swore on all that is good and holy that it did not hand over data to the NSA and would never do such a thing. But the letter did not satisfy security commentator Bruce Schneier who's penned an open letter of his own to Big …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Mar 2014

US Supreme Court declines to hear NSA mass phone-slurp case

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought against the NSA by Verizon customers over the agency's mass collection of mobile phone call data. Lawyer Larry Klayman won the first round of the case against America's top online spying agency in December, when District of Columbia Judge Richard Leon found in favor of the …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2014
Zxx font example

Well done on the privacy lawsuit. Now NSA will keep your phone records INDEFINITELY

The US government is considering extending the controversial collections of US citizens' phone records for an even longer period in order to avoid tossing potential evidence in lawsuits designed to curtail the surveillance programme. Lawsuits geared to stopping the indiscriminate, untargeted collection of phone call records mean …
John Leyden, 27 Feb 2014

Renegade NSA, GCHQ spies help fix Tor vulns, claims project boss

GCHQ and NSA cyber-spooks secretly report vulnerabilities in Tor so they can be patched, a leading developer of the anonymity-preserving software has claimed. Andrew Lewman, the Tor Project's executive director, claimed that some spies place a higher priority on fixing flaws in the privacy-preserving technology than keeping …
John Leyden, 22 Aug 2014
Edward Snowden

Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar

Rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden says his former employer has developed software that will automatically attack foreign computers deemed to be a threat – without checking in with a human first. The system, dubbed MonsterMind, is designed to detect strikes against key US servers and block the assaults as quickly as possible. But …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2014
Edward Snowden

Citizenfour: Poitras' doco is about NSA and GCHQ – NOT Snowden

There is no subtlety in the political stance of Laura Poitras, which makes Citizenfour a completely one-sided documentary. Yet oddly enough, this bias doesn’t detract from the power of the film that covers a week in a Hong Kong hotel bedroom, during which Edward Snowden reveals himself and the extent of the NSA’s cyber- …

'Good job, NSA! You turned Yahoo! into an encryption beast'

Yahoo! has announced major encryption improvements designed to thwart dragnet surveillance efforts by the likes of the NSA. Alex Stamos, Yahoo!'s recently appointed CISO (chief information security officer), said the internet giant has finished encrypting traffic between its data centres. Stamos also outlined a roadmap for …
John Leyden, 03 Apr 2014
The NSA Unchained

NSA installed '50,000 malware sleeper cells' in world computer networks

America's NSA had established an army of "sleeper cells" – malware-infected, remote-controllable computers – on 50,000 networks by the middle of 2012. That's according to the latest leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden. Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad reports that the elite NSA TAO (Tailored Access Operations) hacking squad …
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2013
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Don't panic! Mega cloud biz group says NSA just one among many threats

Enterprises are being told to not abandon the cloud out of fear of possible threats to their data security posed by US government snoops. The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) has advised big companies the benefits of cloud – escaping their legacy IT – far outweigh risks of the National Security Agency pilfering their secrets. …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Jul 2014

New secure OS will put Tails between NSA's legs

Secure Linux distribution Tails has reached the milestone of a version 1.0 release, after its developers crushed a laundry list of bugs. The Debian-based operating system is a “live OS” - it boots from removable media rather than a hard disk. It also funnels all data through Tor and uses a smattering of cryptography and …
Darren Pauli, 01 May 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Fine, you can mock us: NSA spies back down in T-shirt ridicule brouhaha

The NSA and Department of Homeland Security have abandoned efforts to shut down an internet site selling parodies of its logos on T-shirts, coffee cups and bumper stickers. A tee with a slogan reads: The NSA, the only part of the government that listens Fort Meade shows a poor sense of humor Almost three years ago the NSA …
Iain Thomson, 18 Feb 2014

IBM: We gave NOTHING to the NSA, stateside or elsewhere

IBM has become the latest of the tech giants to deny handing over customer data to the NSA's PRISM program. In this open letter, Big Blue's general counsel Robert Weber (also senior veep for legal and regulatory affairs) gives the “no way” message to the world at large. Specifically, Weber writes that IBM did not provide “ …
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

NSA alleges 'BIOS plot to destroy PCs'

Senior National Security Agency (NSA) officials have told US news magazine program “60 Minutes” that a foreign nation tried to infect computers with a BIOS-based virus that would have enabled them to be remotely destroyed. NSA Director General Keith Alexander and Information Assurance Director Debora Plunkett both appeared on …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2013
3-rotor WWII Enigma

Microsoft thumbs nose at NSA, hardens crypto for Outlook, OneDrive

Microsoft has flipped the switch to activate stronger encryption on its OneDrive and Outlook.com cloud services as part of a broader effort to make it harder for the NSA and other spying agencies to snoop on its customers' data. Specifically, Outlook.com now supports TLS encryption on all connections to its servers, both …
Neil McAllister, 01 Jul 2014

Germany dumps Verizon for Deutsche Telekom over NSA spying

The German government has said it will cancel its contract with US telecoms provider Verizon, citing spying fears. "The pressures on networks as well as the risks from highly-developed viruses or Trojans are rising," the country's Interior Ministry told Reuters on Thursday. "Furthermore, the ties revealed between foreign …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jun 2014

Pakistan mulls cyber security bill to keep NSA at bay

Pakistan’s Upper House this week began debating a new bill seeking to establish a National Cyber Security Council, an agency the nation feels is needed in the wake of Edward Snowden's myriad revelations about NSA surveillance. The Cyber Security Council Bill 2014 was presented by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Monday with the …
Phil Muncaster, 15 Apr 2014
NSA's Fort Meade headquarters

Ex-NSA boss Alexander joins bankers' CYBER WAR COUNCIL

Former NSA head Keith Alexander has been tapped up to advise a new cyber war council for government and financial institutions in the US, according to Bloomberg. The biz news site has seen a proposal from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) that suggests that the industry needs a committee of execs …
NSA parody T-shirt

Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

Alleged leaked documents about the NSA's XKeyscore snooping software appear to show the paranoid agency is targeting Tor and Tails users, Linux Journal readers – and anyone else interested in online privacy. At the heart of the claims is this sample configuration file for the XKeyscore system. The top-secret documents were …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jul 2014
The NSA Unchained

NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

The NSA is recording all of the voice calls in one unnamed country and keeping those recordings for 30 days at a time as part of a previously undisclosed rolling wiretap programme, according to leaks recently published in WSJ. Millions of voice "cuts" are extracted for long time storage as part of a system called MYSTIC that's …
John Leyden, 19 Mar 2014
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Supreme Court can't find barge pole long enough to touch NSA lawsuit

The US Supreme Court has decided that it will not hear a challenge to the NSA's controversial mass surveillance operations. The court declined to hear the case brought forward by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) against the NSA over its slurping of citizens' personal records from the US mobile carrier Verizon. …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2013
Obama outlines NSA reforms

Hold on, everyone ... Prez Obama thinks he's cracked this NSA super-snooping problem

After nine months of revelations about the extent of US government surveillance, the Obama administration is floating a plan that will curtail mass snooping by its intelligence agencies and reform the way individuals are investigated. "I said several months ago that I was assigning our intelligence community to bring me new …
Iain Thomson, 26 Mar 2014

NSA spying will shatter the internet, Silicon Valley bosses warn

Top Silicon Valley execs have warned that the NSA's continued surveillance of innocent people will rupture the internet – which is bad news for business. Oh, and bad news for hundreds of thousands of workers, and America's moral authority, too. The suits were speaking at a roundtable organized by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in …
Iain Thomson, 09 Oct 2014