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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 Obama considered what the NSA should do if it becomes aware of a vulnerability that …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 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
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
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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

'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

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 “ …
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

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
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

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
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
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

Snowden files latest: NSA and GCHQ targeted German satcomms

The NSA and GCHQ hacked into the systems of three German satellite communication providers, according to the latest leaks from the files of Edward Snowden, fugitive ex-NSA sysadmin. Der Spiegel reports that GCHQ and the NSA tried to infiltrate internal networks run by satellite comms firms Stellar, Cetel and IABG. Stellar …
John Leyden, 31 Mar 2014
Shot of female priest avatar in World of Warcraft

To fel with you! There's an NSA spook in my World of Warcraft

The NSA placed spies in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft in a bid to tackle info-swapping terrorists, it has emerged. According to the latest leaked document published by The Guardian, spooks were stationed in the virtual world of Azeroth and told to “hide in plain sight". The NSA briefing …
Jasper Hamill, 09 Dec 2013
Sergy Brin meets Snowden

'Arrogant' Snowden putting lives at risk, says NSA's deputy spyboss

Two days after NSA leaker Edward Snowden addressed the latest TED technology jamboree in robot form, the US intelligence agency has also made an appearance – with deputy director Richard Ledgett dialing in by video link. Ledgett said the NSA's core problem was that it was lousy at PR, rather than that it was invading innocent …
Iain Thomson, 20 Mar 2014
The NSA Unchained

Modern spying 101: How NSA bugs Chinese PCs with tiny USB radios - NYT

The NSA has compromised almost 100,000 computers around the world in its quest to get its tentacles into air-gapped computers operated by adversaries such as the Chinese Army. The revelation was made by the New York Times in a report published on Tuesday based on documents released by Edward Snowden. The spy agency has …
Jack Clark, 15 Jan 2014

That NSA denial in full: As of right now, we're not pretending to be Facebook or Twitter

Inaccurate. That's how US spy hive the NSA today branded claims that it "has infected millions of computers around the world with malware," and that it "is impersonating US social media or other websites" to eavesdrop on people. The clandestine espionage operation hit back at the allegations by issuing a statement [PDF] on …
Team Register, 14 Mar 2014

NSA refuses to deny spying on members of Congress

The NSA has refused to confirm or deny that it is collecting information on the communications and email activities of members of Congress after being questioned directly by Bernie Sanders, one of two of the Senate's only independents*. "Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying, on members of Congress or other America …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jan 2014
Emiland De Cubber's alternative PRISM logo

NSA accused of new crimes ... against slideware

The NSA's much-discussed PRISM initiative has attracted criticism galore from political activists, but now it has come up against serious opposition: a ticked-off designer offended by the poor quality of the NSA's slideware. The designer in question is Emiland De Cubber, a slideware professional who has declared the NSA “can do …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2013
snowden SXSW

NSA 'hunted sysadmins' to find CAT PHOTOS, high-level passwords

Staff at the United States' National Security Agency reportedly “hunted” system administrators because they felt doing so would yield passwords that enabled easier surveillance. So says The Intercept, which claims this document came its way thanks to one E. Snowden, late of Moscow. The document is apparently a lift from an …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Mar 2014
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

NSA collects up to FIVE BILLION mobile phone locations daily

The NSA is maintaining a mobile device tracking program that logs up to five billion updates per day around the world, according to a new report. The Washington Post, citing government sources and documents leaked by Edward Snowden, reports that the US intelligence agency has built a massive database of locational information …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2013
Photo by Adam Hart-Davis

IBM hid China's reaction to NSA spying 'cos it cost us BILLIONS, rages angry shareholder

An IBM shareholder is suing Big Blue, accusing it of hiding the fact that its ties to the NSA spying scandal cost it business in China – and wiped billions off its market value. The Louisiana Sheriffs' Pensions and Relief Fund has filed the suit in New York, claiming that Big Blue "misrepresented and concealed" that its …
NSA parody T-shirt

Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

A former White House security advisor has suggested that you, dear reader, are naive if you think hosting data outside of the US will protect a business from the NSA. "NSA and any other world-class intelligence agency can hack into databases even if they not in the US," said former White House security advisor Richard Clarke in …
Jack Clark, 24 Feb 2014

Verizon, BT, Vodafone, Level 3 'let NSA jack into Google, Yahoo! fiber'

In October, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden claimed Uncle Sam's spies tapped into the optic-fiber cables linking the data centers of Google and Yahoo! By intercepting this flow of information, agents were able to spy on folks' online activities on a massive scale. Google and Yahoo! insisted they did not hand over the keys to …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Nov 2013
Obama outlines NSA reforms

Obama reveals tiny NSA reforms ... aka reforming your view of the NSA

President Obama has today outlined his plans to tweak the rules under which US intelligence services monitor their own population and citizens of countries around the world. Obama outlines NSA reforms Trust us, we're Americans "As the nation that developed the Internet, the world expects us to ensure that the digital …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jan 2014

Microsoft: NSA snooping? Code backdoors? Our hands are clean!

Microsoft's isn't involved in mass spying or putting backdoors in its software, Redmond's VP of Trustworthy Computing Group Scott Charney told the RSA conference. Why? Because it's unethical and bad for business, he said. "We've not been concerned about the Snowden disclosures because we've been principled," he said. "We do …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2014
NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden

The NSA's hiring - and they want a CIVIL LIBERTIES officer

Infamous US spy agency the NSA is looking to appoint a Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer. The challenging position is an internal posting, aimed at potential candidates who already work at the top secret spy agency. The new role parcels separate responsibilities of NSA's existing Civil Liberties and Privacy (CL/P) protection …
John Leyden, 24 Sep 2013

Snowden docs: NSA building encryption-cracking quantum computer

The latest document stash from whistle-blower Edward Snowden shows that the NSA has budgeted $79.7m for the development of a quantum computer capable of "owning the net." "The Owning the Net (OTN) Project provides the technological means for NSA/CSS to gain access to and securely return high value target communications," one …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jan 2014

NSA.gov goes down after ‘error during scheduled update’

The USA’s National Security Agency (NSA), lately the source of near-endless controversy for spying on just about the entire internet, has itself hit trouble online after its website went down. The agency has ‘fessed up to some website wobbles last Friday, but has issued a statement to all and sundry that says “an internal error …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Oct 2013

Schneier: NSA snooping tactics will be copied by criminals in 3 to 5 years

If you thought NSA snooping was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet: online criminals have also been watching and should soon be able to copy the agency's invasive surveillance tactics, according to security guru Bruce Schneier. "The NSA techniques give about a three to five year lead on what cyber-criminals will do," he told an …
Iain Thomson, 26 Feb 2014
NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden

Snowden: 'I have data on EVERY NSA operation against China'

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has claimed he taught a course in “cyber-counterintelligence” against China and has access to data on every active operation mounted against the People’s Republic by the US spy agency. In a lengthy interview with the New York Times, Snowden revealed more about his time at the National Security …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Oct 2013
NSA's Fort Meade headquarters

US government names new head of NSA and US Cyber Command

The Secretary of Defense has appointed new leadership for the NSA, the Central Security Service, and the US Cyber Command, with Vice Admiral Michael Rogers as the new boss and Richard Ledgett as his civilian deputy. Vice Admiral Rogers is currently head of the US Navy's 10th Fleet, which in the Second World War handled anti- …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2014
Obama and Mark Zuckerberg, Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Facebook's Zuckerberg buttonholes Obama, rages against NSA dragnet spying

Mark Zuckerberg is furious with US President Barack Obama, who - metaphorically, at least - clasped his hands over his ears and repeatedly said to himself "I can't hear you" when the Facebook boss tried to grumble about spies spying on people. The free content ad network supremo said in a public post on Facebook that he was fed …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Mar 2014
eyeofSauron

F-Secure's Hypponen leads RSA refuseniks to NSA-free infosec chatfest

It was probably inevitable: a group of RSA Conference refuseniks have established a rival conference within walking distance of the original. The one-day TrustyCon, to be held on 27 February at the AMC Metreon Theatre in San Francisco, has drawn Mikko Hypponen as its keynote, giving “The talk I was going to give at RSA”. So far …
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

NSA, GCHQ, accused of hacking Belgian smartcard crypto guru

Professor Jean-Jacques Quisquater, a Belgian cryptographer whose work is said to have informed card payment systems worldwide, has reportedly become the victim of a spear-phishing attack by the NSA and/or GCHQ. Belgium's De Standaaard reports that Professor Quisquater clicked on a fake LinkedIn invitation that infected his …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2014

Rand Paul launches class-action lawsuit to end NSA phone spying

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a lawsuit against President Obama and three top national security officials, seeking an end to what the suit describes as the US government's "mass, suspicionless, non-particularized" collection of data on US residents' phone calls. "The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general …
Neil McAllister, 13 Feb 2014

How much did NSA pay to put a backdoor in RSA crypto? Try $10m – report

The mystery of why RSA would use a flawed, NSA-championed algorithm as the default random number generator for several of its encryption products appears to be solved, and the answer is utterly banal, if true: the NSA paid it to. Reuters reports that RSA received $10m from the NSA in exchange for making the agency-backed Dual …
Neil McAllister, 21 Dec 2013
NSA's Fort Meade headquarters

NSA, UK hacked Yahoo! and Google data center interconnects – report

British and US intelligence agencies managed to tap into the connections between data centers run by Yahoo! and Google, and in one month this year slurped 181,280,466 records, including metadata and the contents of communications, according to new documents from Edward Snowden. A report dated January 9, 2013, from NSA’s …
Iain Thomson, 31 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

United Nations to grill US over alleged NSA bugging of its HQ – report

The United Nations has said that it plans to contact the US over a report that the NSA had bugged its New York headquarters. Germany's Der Spiegel, citing secret documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, reported on Sunday that the US had "cracked the encryption" of the internal video conferencing system at the UN in …

'Peeping while you're sleeping' NSA parody T-shirt ban BACKFIRES

Designers of a parody T-shirt mocking the NSA launched a successful crowdfunding campaign after being denied permission to sell it through custom goods marketplace Zazzle. Dan McCall, founder of politically themed T-shirt company Liberty Maniacs, came up with an NSA-themed T-shirt that described the NSA as "the only part of the …
John Leyden, 04 Sep 2013
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Snowden: Hey fellow NSA worker, mind if I copy your PASSWORD?

Edward Snowden persuaded his NSA colleagues to hand over passwords which he later used to download top secret material and leak it to the press. According to a report on Reuters, the whistleblower cribbed login details from up to 25 co-workers, who have now all been questioned and moved on to different jobs. It is not known how …
Jasper Hamill, 08 Nov 2013

Tech giants KNEW about PRISM, web snooping, claims top NSA lawyer

The NSA's general counsel Rajesh De says technology firms were fully aware of both America's web surveillance program PRISM and the mass monitoring of upstream internet traffic. On Wednesday, De told a meeting in Washington, organized by the US government's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), that data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Mar 2014
eyeofSauron

RSA comes out swinging at claims it took NSA's $10m to backdoor crypto

RSA has hit back at allegations stemming from Edward Snowden's latest whistleblowing – specifically, the claim that it secretly took US$10m from the NSA in exchange for using the deliberately knackered Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator (Dual EC DRBG) in its encryption products. The EMC-owned security outfit …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2013
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

HOLD THE PHONE, NSA! Judge bans 'Orwellian' US cellphone records slurp

A US federal judge has ordered the NSA to stop collecting the mobile phone records of innocent American citizens – and to destroy the files already amassed. Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed in June that the controversy-hit spy agency harvests call metadata from telco giant Verizon – sparking a lawsuit by lawyer Larry …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Dec 2013

Right, that's IT: We'll encrypt INTERNAL traffic to thwart NSA - Yahoo

Yahoo! is going to start encrypting its intra-data-center traffic and will offer a similar service as an option to webmail users next year, CEO Marissa Meyer has pledged. "I want to reiterate what we have said in the past: Yahoo has never given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency. Ever," she …
Iain Thomson, 18 Nov 2013
Angry Birds Rio

Angry anti-NSA hackers pwn Angry Birds site after GCHQ data slurp

Anti-NSA hackers defaced ‪Rovio's official Angry Birds website ‬on Tuesday night as a reprisal against revelations that GCHQ and the NSA were feasting on data leaked from the popular smartphone game. Spying Birds: Angry Birds defaced by irritated hackers. Angrybirds.com became "Spying Birds" as a result of the defacement (Zone …
John Leyden, 29 Jan 2014
NSA's Fort Meade headquarters

NSA: It's TRUE, we grab 200 MILLION of your text messages A DAY globally

Documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden have detailed the operation of an NSA system called Dishfire that collects, stores and analyzes 200 million text messages a day from around the world. dishfire Dishfire ... Here's what your text messages tell the snoops (Source: Guardian/Snowden) According to two slides …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jan 2014
Silverlit Spy Cam sample shot

NSA: Yes, some of our spooks DID snoop on overseas lovers

NSA spooks used top secret surveillance techniques to snoop on their partners and check out prospective lovers, according to an official admission made to a US senator. A letter from NSA inspector general Dr. George Ellard reveals that spies "intentionally misused" signals intelligence (SIGINT) techniques to gather information …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Sep 2013