Articles about nsa

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
Mitch McConnell

NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

Now that a US federal court has ruled that the NSA's mass wiretapping program exceeded its legal authority, leaders of the US Republican party are pushing to make it legal. Within hours of the ruling by the US Second Circuit Court of Appeal that the NSA's bulk domestic surveillance program under Section 215 of the Patriot Act …
Iain Thomson, 08 May 2015
NSA parody T-shirt

NSA lays out its reforms post-Snowden (they can fit on back of a stamp)

The NSA has published its first "report" on signals intelligence "reform" in the US. If you were hoping for sweeping changes in the wake of Ed Snowden's whistleblowing, you're in for disappointment. The factsheet, covering the year to date, was written up after some prodding and tutting by President Obama in January 2014. It …
Iain Thomson, 05 Feb 2015
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
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
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 …
Surveillance image of Santa stick-up

NSA's Christmas Eve confession: We unlawfully spied on you for 12 years, soz

Slipping out unpleasant news at awkward times is a well-known PR practice – but the NSA has excelled itself by publishing on Christmas Eve internal reports detailing its unlawful surveillance. The agency dumped the docs online shortly after lunchtime on December 24, when most journalists are either heading home to their families …
Iain Thomson, 26 Dec 2014

WTF is going on with the zombie NSA-friendly Patriot Act? Let us help

President Obama has told the US Senate to get its act together over the spy-friendly Patriot Act, key provisions of which are due to expire at midnight on Sunday. The three provisions that will lapse include Section 215, which the NSA uses as legal cover for its blanket slurping of citizens' mobile phone records, and which a US …
Iain Thomson, 27 May 2015

Not even GCHQ and NSA can crack our SIM key database, claims Gemalto

SIM card manufacturer Gemalto has given more details of what it understands is behind the reports that GCHQ and the NSA got their mitts on the encryption keys for its SIM cards. As we reported earlier, the company says it detected intrusions and prevented them, and that at no time were the systems which held information on the …
Simon Rockman, 25 Feb 2015
Compressed version of Log Jam

'Logjam' crypto bug could be how the NSA cracked VPNs

Updated A team led by Johns Hopkins crypto researcher Matthew Green* thinks they might have an explanation for how the NSA attacked VPN services: flaws in how TLS implements Diffie-Hellman crytography. In what's bound to be the next big branded bug, Green says servers that support 512-key “export-grade” Diffie-Hellman (DH) can be forced …

Kaspersky claims to have found NSA's 'space station malware'

Kaspersky malware probers have uncovered a new 'operating system'-like platform that was developed and used by the National Security Agency (NSA) in its Equation spying arsenal. The EquationDrug or Equestre platform is used to deploy 116 modules to target computers that can siphon data and spy on victims. "It's important to …
Darren Pauli, 12 Mar 2015
snowden SXSW

Snowden files show NSA's AURORAGOLD pwned 70% of world's mobe networks

The NSA, and its British counterpart GCHQ, snooped on innocent telco employees and standards bodies to tap into mobile phone networks worldwide, according to the latest leak from the Edward Snowden archive. The mobile tapping system, dubbed AURORAGOLD, successfully cracked 701 of an estimated 985 cellular networks worldwide, …
Iain Thomson, 04 Dec 2014

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
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

NSA: SO SORRY we backed that borked crypto even after you spotted the backdoor

The NSA's former director of research Michael Wertheimer says it's "regrettable" that his agency continued to support Dual EC DRBG even after it was widely known to be hopelessly flawed. Writing in Notices, a publication run by the American Mathematical Society, Wertheimer outlined the history of the Dual Elliptic Curve …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jan 2015
Man wrinkles his eyes in an expression of pain, annoyance or dsicomfort

Ex-NSA lawyer warns Google, Apple: IMPENETRABLE RIM ruined BlackBerry

An ex-NSA lawyer believes BlackBerry's ongoing downfall stems from the company's use of strong encryption – and Apple and Google are next to wither on the vine. Nope, it makes no sense to us, either. Speaking at the Dublin Web Summit this week, Stewart Baker, a former NSA lawyer and assistant secretary for the Department of …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Nov 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

PATRIOT Act axed, NSA spying halted ... wake up, Neo, it's just a dream in the US House of Reps

A law bill introduced in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday seeks to abolish the Patriot Act, ban Uncle Sam from forcing backdoors into technology, and safeguard whistleblowers like Edward Snowden. Ever since Snowden leaked top-secret files detailing the NSA and GCHQ's global surveillance of innocent people, there have …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2015
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 …
Mitch McConnell

US Senate passes USA Freedom Act – a long lip service to NSA reforms

+Comment The US Senate has passed the USA Freedom Act that adds mild limits to Uncle Sam's intelligence agencies' activities on American soil. It was passed with a 67-32 vote. Glad the Senate finally passed the USA Freedom Act. It protects civil liberties and our national security. I'll sign it as soon as I get it. — President Obama (@ …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jun 2015

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, 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 …

Hoping for spy reforms? Jeb Bush, dangerously close to being the next US prez, backs the NSA

Vid Former Florida governor, brother of former President George W Bush, son of former President George H W Bush, and Republican frontrunner for the 2016 US presidential election, Jeb Bush ... has strongly defended the NSA's mass surveillance of innocent people. Speaking at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as part of his run for …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

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

OS X Yosemite still open to Rootpipe hijacking, says ex-NSA bod

Apple's attempt to fix a serious security weakness in OS X has fallen short, leaving users still vulnerable to malware seizing their Macs, it is claimed. Patrick Wardle, director of research at Synack, reckons Cupertino has not been able to fully kill off the so-called "Rootpipe" backdoor that was supposed to be eradicated in …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2015
Laurel and Hardy on the phone

Hellooo, NSA? The US State Department can't kick hackers out of its networks – report

An attack against US State Department servers is still ongoing three months after the agency spotted miscreants inside its email system, it's reported. In November the State Department was forced to suspend its unclassified email systems after it was successfully infiltrated by hackers unknown. At the time the agency said its …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2015

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
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 …

NSA director: We share most of the [crap] bugs we find!

The National Security Agency (NSA) is only holding back a teeny, tiny number of code secrets, with director Admiral Mike Rogers promising the world the spook collective shares 'most' of the vulnerabilities it finds. The agency head made the remarks on his second visit to Silicon Valley since his appointment in April this year. …
Darren Pauli, 06 Nov 2014
NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers

FBI fingering Norks for Sony hack: The TRUTH – by the NSA's spyboss

The head of the NSA has confirmed his agency gave the FBI top-secret intelligence that led the Feds to blame North Korea for the Sony Pictures mega-hack. The bureau has been strangely silent on how it came to finger the Nork government for the comprehensive ransacking of the Hollywood movie studio. So silent, in fact, seasoned …
Iain Thomson, 09 Jan 2015

Gemalto: NSA, GCHQ hacked us – but didn't snatch crucial SIM keys

Gemalto, the world's biggest SIM card maker, has investigated the NSA's and GCHQ's infiltration of its computers – and says that while the agencies did get into its network, they didn't get in far enough to siphon off phone-call encryption keys. Files leaked by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared to show the US …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Feb 2015
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
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

Just WHY is the FBI so sure North Korea hacked Sony? NSA: *BLUSH*

+Comment For those still wondering why US President Barack Obama and the FBI have so confidently blamed North Korea for the Sony Pictures hack, it's apparently because the NSA compromised the secretive country's computer network years before – giving American intelligence a front-row seat for subsequent shenanigans. The New York Times …
John Leyden, 19 Jan 2015

Your hard drives were RIDDLED with NSA SPYWARE for YEARS

The US National Security Agency (NSA) infected hard disk firmware with spyware in a campaign valued as highly as Stuxnet that dates back at least 14 years and possibly up to two decades – all according to an analysis by Kaspersky Labs. The campaign infected possibly tens of thousands of Windows computers in telecommunications …
Darren Pauli, 17 Feb 2015

Snowden, NSA spying, hard drive malware ... what we need is a UN privacy watchdog!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation thinks the United Nations needs to get its arse in gear and safeguard people's privacy from government snoops. The activist group (EFF) said an independent expert should be appointed by the UN's Human Rights Council (HRC) to tackle blanket surveillance and the gathering of people's private and …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Mar 2015
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, GCHQ-ransacked' SIM maker Gemalto takes a $500m stock hit

The world's biggest SIM card manufacturer, Gemalto, revealed yesterday to have been hacked by the NSA and GCHQ, has taken a $470m hit in its stock price. Gemalto was caught unawares by the revelation that the US and UK intelligence agencies had compromised its systems, and stole potentially millions of SIM card keys used to …
John Leyden, 20 Feb 2015
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 – …
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

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

Who will save Europe's privacy from the NSA? Oh God ... it's Google

A Google lawyer says Europeans spied on by the NSA should get the same rights as Americans – such as the right to sue the US government for privacy invasions. David Drummond, chief legal officer for the information-harvesting monster (Google), published a blog post on Wednesday titled "It’s time to extend the US Privacy Act to …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Nov 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
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
NSA parody T-shirt

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

Updated 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

NSA-restraining US law edges closer to reality, leaves just 6.81 billion under mass surveillance

A law bill to mildly curb the NSA's blanket surveillance of innocent Americans has taken an important step toward being passed. On Thursday, the US House of Representatives' justice committee voted 25 to two in favor of a revised version of the USA Freedom Act – the original was killed last year in the Senate. Now it's looking …
Iain Thomson, 01 May 2015
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
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

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
Sheriff Woody

NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app

The US National Sheriffs' Association wants Google to block its crowd-sourced traffic app Waze from being able to report the position of police officers, saying the information is putting officer's lives at risk. "The police community needs to coordinate an effort to have the owner, Google, act like the responsible corporate …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jan 2015

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

Tor de farce: NSA fails to decrypt anonymised network

A new round of NSA documents snatched by master blabbermouth Edward Snowden appeared online late on Sunday, revealing spooks' internet security pet hates. The latest dump of PDFs published by Der Spiegel appeared to show what the Five Eyes surveillance buddies – the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – see as …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Dec 2014