Tag Archives: NSA

Klayman: What’s Important About the Obama / FBI Spying Scandal | June 14, 2017

What Actually Needs To Be Investigated  | “the destructive socialist/pro-Muslim agenda of the Obama-Clinton-Soros left”

|| RightwingGranny.com

“This story is from March, but has been pretty much ignored in the press. Larry Klayman posted an article at Newsmax on March 5, 2017.

There are some interesting charges made in the article:

The newest revelations that the Obama administration wiretapped, that is “bugged” President Trump and all of his men, in the lead up to and after the November 8, 2016, elections are not surprising. In this regard, for over 2 years the highest levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been secretly investigating the “harvesting” of highly confidential information including financial records of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, over 156 judges, prominent businessmen like Donald Trump, and public activists like me.

In this regard, a whistleblower named Dennis Montgomery, a former NSA/CIA contractor, came forward to FBI Director Comey with 47 hard drives and over 600 million pages of largely classified information, under grants of use and derivative use immunity, which I obtained for him with the U.S Attorney for the District of Columbia. Later, Montgomery, who suffers from a potentially fatal brain aneurism, testified under oath, for over 2-and-a-half hours before FBI Special Agents Walter Giardina and William Barnett in a secure room at the FBI’s field office in Washington, D.C. The testimony was under oath and videotaped and I have reminded the FBI recently to preserve this evidence.

…Legally speaking, my cases against the intelligence agencies also encompass the illegal surveillance of President Trump and his men, as what apparently occurred shows a pattern of unconstitutional conduct that at trial would raise a strong evidentiary inference that this illegal behavior continues to occur. Our so called government, represented by dishonest Obama-loyal attorneys in the corrupted Federal Programs Branch of the Justice Department, continues to maintain that they cannot for national security reasons confirm or deny the mass surveillance against me or anyone else.

I have asked Judge Leon to enter a permanent injunction against Obama and his political hacks at the NSA and CIA, many of whom are still there and are bent on destroying the Trump presidency and attempting to blackmail prominent Americans, like me, who might challenge the destructive socialist/pro-Muslim agenda of the Obama-Clinton-Soros left.

I am not aware of the current status of this case. If anyone can update me, I would appreciate it. However, the charge that the deep state has been collecting information on Washington leaders is not a surprise. Does anyone remember the more than 300 FBI files that were mysteriously obtained by the Clinton Administration? It is time to drain the swamp. I also think that if our leaders would simply be honest and ask for our forgiveness about past mistakes that they are covering up, we might (I said might) be able to move forward. If your actions are already out there and you have acknowledged your mistakes, you can’t be blackmailed!”

….Read more @ RWG

Scandal: Congressional Democrats Hired Pakistani Nationals As IT Tech Staffers on Intelligence Committees | Feb 15, 2017

Explosive new hacking scandal has Democrats’ fingerprints

– WND

“Remember the hue and cry raised by Democrats over the “Russians” hacking their computer systems during the 2016 presidential election?

How there should be investigations? How someone – a Republican – must be at fault? How whatever interaction Donald Trump ever had with Russia was viewed suspiciously?

And now there are Democrats’ attacks on Trump over Michael Flynn, his national security adviser who was forced to resign this week over conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Investigate, they demand. Not just Flynn, but Trump, too.

Yet the Democrats are mum over their own explosive hacking scandal, which could overshadow Watergate, Filegate, Travelgate and dozens of other Washington scandals.

The allegation is that Democrats hired tech staffers who were Pakistani nationals, and they likely gained illegal access to secret congressional information.

And that includes classified documents.

Flynn resigned late Monday after reports that he not been truthful with Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador about sanctions.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reported brothers Imran, Jamal and Abid Awan had been working for IT departments of multiple Democratic congressional offices. The three brothers had access to various computer systems and pathways.

But then, just days ago, they were abruptly relieved of their duties and banned from the networks because of “suspicion that they accessed congressional computers without permission.”

The report said three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs “were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis.”

“The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.”

WND made dozens of calls and sent dozens of emails on Tuesday asking members who might have hired the brothers for comment and an update on the status of the investigation.

A spokesman for Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., responded tersely, “Can’t comment on this one.”

A spokeswoman in the office of Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said it was a “personnel matter,” and “that’s all I’m going to say.”

Among the many offices WND contacted, without generating a response, were those for Democrats Andre Carson, Luis Guiterez, Jim Himes, Terri Sewell, Jackie Speier, Mike Quigley, Eric Swalwell, Patrick Murphy, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joaquini Castro, Lois Frankel, Ted Lieu, Robin Kelly, Tammy Duckworth, Mark Takano and John Sarbanes.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said something must be done.

“I hope we investigate this issue,” he said. “The facts regarding technology procurement and potentially illegal violations of the House IT network by several Democratic staffers is very concerning.”

Philip Haney, a former Department of Homeland Security officer and co-author of “See Something, Say Nothing,” a book about his effort to expose the U.S. governments capitulation to Islamic supremacists, said the case will be a bellwether.

“This particular breach of security will reveal how seriously our three branches of government actually take the threat posed by what appears to be a network of at least five Muslim operatives, who have managed to soak their way into the very heart of our constitutional republic,” he said.

“Let’s hope that this scandal isn’t just swept under the rug, or allowed to fade quietly into the background, like so many others that have, but instead becomes a case study in how our elected officials defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Haney said that in “this hyper-political environment, anything less than unrestrained bipartisan cooperation in a full investigation, followed by subsequent prosecution, if warranted, will be seen not only as an open indictment, but also as a blatant display of malevolent hypocrisy.”

Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage Magazine recently outlined what is known about the breach and the implications.

Imran Awan and his two brothers, Jamal and Abid, are at the center of an investigation into, among other things, allegations of illegal access. They have been barred from the House of Representatives network.

A member of Congress feared that they “may have stolen data from us.”

Greenfield reported that the three Pakistani brothers had worked only for Democrats, including members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. It was not even a year after eight Democrats on that committee “issued a demand that their staffers be granted access to top secret classified information,” he reported.

There’s a special concern about Carson, he revealed.

“Carson is the second Muslim in Congress and the first Muslim on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and, more critically, is the ranking member on its Emerging Threats Subcommittee,” Greenfield wrote. “He is also a member of the Department of Defense Intelligence and Overhead Architecture Subcommittee. The Emerging Threats Subcommittee, of which Carson is a ranking member, is responsible for much of counterterrorism oversight. It is the worst possible place for a man with Carson’s credentials.”

While the Democrats were demanding security clearances for staff members, “three Pakistani Muslims working for them appear to have compromised security to an unknown degree,” he said.

Greenfield asked: “Why were the Awan brothers, one of whom had a criminal record, even allowed to work in such a sensitive position? How did the personnel suspected in this case pass background checks? And was any classified information compromised as a result of these alleged breaches?”

….Continue reading @ WND.com

 

FLASHBACK: Ted Kennedy Secretly Asked The Soviets To Intervene In The 1984 Elections & Help Defeat Reagan

– The Federalist

“If these progressives want to know what actual treason looks like, they should consult liberal lion Ted Kennedy, who not only allegedly sent secret messages to the Soviets in the midst of the cold war, he also begged them to intervene in a U.S. presidential election in order to unseat President Ronald Reagan. That’s no exaggeration.

According to Soviet documents unearthed in the early 1990’s, Kennedy literally asked the Soviets, avowed enemies of the U.S., to intervene on behalf of the Democratic party in the 1984 elections. Kennedy’s communist communique was so secret that it was not discovered until 1991, eight years after Kennedy had initiated his Soviet gambit:

Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.

“On 9-10 May of this year,” the May 14 memorandum explained, “Sen. Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow.” (Tunney was Kennedy’s law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) “The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov.

Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”
….Continue reading more @ The Federalist

 

New Reports Say 1980 Reagan Campaign Tried to Delay Hostage Release

– New York Times |  1991

WASHINGTON, April 14— Persistent but unproven accusations that Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign negotiated a secret deal with Iran to prevent the release of American hostages until after the election are being revived this week with fresh accounts of meetings between campaign officials and an Iranian cleric.

One of the accounts is provided by Gary Sick, a Middle East specialist who helped handle the Iranian hostage crisis as a member of the White House staff in the Carter Administration. Mr. Sick, in an article published Monday on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, says he has heard what he considers to be reliable reports that a secret deal involving the hostages was begun during two meetings between William J. Casey and the Iranian cleric in a Madrid hotel in July 1980.

The allegation that there were meetings between Mr. Casey, Mr. Reagan’s campaign chairman, who went on be the Director of Central Intelligence, and Hojatolislam Mehdi Karrubi, a representative of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has been reported for the first time by Mr. Sick. Research for a Book

He says in his article that the accounts of the meetings in Madrid are part of an accumulation of information he has developed in research for a book. He says it has led him to conclude, despite earlier doubts, that some kind of discussions took place between the Reagan campaign and Iran.

“The story is tangled and murky, and it may never be fully unraveled,” Mr. Sick writes.

The fate of the hostages was a pivotal issue in the 1980 election. They were taken prisoner when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s revolutionary Government, seized the United States Embassy in Teheran in November 1979. A military operation to rescue them failed in the Iranian desert in April 1980. The Carter Administration hoped that it might obtain their release either through negotiations or a second rescue mission before Election Day, and Reagan campaign officials were concerned that the return of the hostages could swing the election to Mr. Carter. Charges Are Denied

All those involved in the Reagan campaign, including President Bush, have vehemently denied any effort to delay the return, saying they would neither violate the law by operating outside established Government diplomatic channels nor contemplate anything that would have prolonged the captivity of the American hostages.”

…..Continue reading @ NY Times

 

Surprise: At the End, Obama Administration Gave NSA Broad New Powers

– PJ Media

“This story, from the Jan. 12, 2017, edition of the New York Times, was little-remarked upon at the time, but suddenly has taken on far greater significance in light of current events:

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.

The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

One of the central questions behind the Mike Flynn flap that should have been asked but largely wasn’t is: who was wiretapping the general? The answer, we know now, was the National Security Agency, formerly known as No Such Agency, the nation’s foremost signals-intelligence (SIGINT) collection department.

Once compartmentalized to avoid injuring private citizens caught up in the net of the Black Widow (as we all are already) and her technological successors, the NSA was suddenly handed greater latitude in what it could share with other, perhaps more politicized bodies of the intelligence community. Why?”

….Continue reading @ PJ Media

More Obama Govt Failure as Internet Attacks Continue Shut Down East Coast Access | Oct 2016

DNS provider Dyn hit by DDoS attack that takes out major sites

– Computerworld

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“Twitter, GitHub, Etsy, Spotify, The New York Times and the Boston Globe were knocked offline

Some of the biggest names on the internet – including Twitter, GitHub, Etsy, Shopify, the New York Times and the Boston Globe, among many others – were temporarily knocked offline by a DDoS attack that targeted DNS provider Dyn early Friday morning.

DNS is the mechanism by which computers turn human-readable web addresses like www.networkworld.com into a numerical format that can be used to retrieve the actual web page. Dyn is a managed DNS provider – essentially, a phone book that computers use to correlate IP addresses to web page names.

Overloading the company’s services with a denial-of-service attack means that a lot of queries simply fail to resolve, so users get 404s and other errors instead of Twitter or Shopify. Dyn has posted a statement saying that the majority of the ill effects were felt in the Eastern U.S., and that the main impact is to its managed DNS customers in the area.

Network World’s own website was temporarily offline earlier this morning. There’s no word as yet about the perpetrators or motive for the DDoS attack.

Commenters on Reddit and HackerNews report being able to access some of the affected sites from the UK and Ireland, whether via VPN or otherwise. Other users on the western side of the Atlantic in Brazil reported outages similar to those on the U.S. east coast.”

….Continue reading @ Computerworld

The Obama adminstration has had years to address the problem of digital attacks on the national digital infrastructure. The Pentagon, NSA and White House have been attacked on his watch. Yet nothing has been done to harden the nation. More incompetence and ineptitude as the threat continues, yet our government does little to prevent them. Instead VP Joe Biden seven days ago, threatened Russia with a Cyber attack. Coincidence? /CJ

Department of Homeland Security launches urgent investigation as massive ongoing series of cyber attacks take down thousands of sites

– Daily Mail UK

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“A massive co-ordinated series of cyber attacks has forced hundreds of major websites from Amazon to Twitter offline across the globe.

The Department of Homeland Security launched an urgent investigation into the crash, amid claims it could be a precursor to an attempt to disrupt the US Presidential election.

Internet service company Dyn, which controls the ‘address book’ of the internet for dozens of major companies, said that it had suffered its first denial of service (DDoS) attack shortly after 6AM ET (11AM BST), in an attack that mostly affected the east coast of the US.

It confirmed a second attack at 1PM ET, which appeared to be centred on UK servers, and later said ‘several’ attacks were underway on servers across the globe, with the west coast being particularly badly hit.

The website Gizmodo said it had received reports of difficulty at sites for media outlets including CNN, The Guardian, Wired, HBO and People as well as the money transfer service PayPal.”

….Continue reading @ Daily Mail UK

What We Know About Friday’s Massive East Coast Internet Outage

 – Wired

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FRIDAY MORNING IS prime time for some casual news reading, tweeting, and general Internet browsing, but you may have had some trouble accessing your usual sites and services this morning and throughout the day, from Spotify and Reddit to the New York Times and even good ol’ WIRED.com. For that, you can thank a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) that took down a big chunk of the Internet for most of the Eastern seaboard.

This morning’s attack started around 7 am ET and was aimed at Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company headquartered in New Hampshire. That first bout was resolved after about two hours; a second attack began just before noon. Dyn reported a third wave of attacks a little after 4pm ET. In all cases, traffic to Dyn’s Internet directory servers throughout the US—primarily on the East Coast but later on the opposite end of the country as well—was stopped by a flood of malicious requests disrupting the system. Still ongoing, the situation is a definite reminder of the fragility of the web, and the power of the forces that aim to disrupt it.”

….Continue reading @ Wired

 

Obama Tells CIA To Prepare For Cyber War With Russia

– ZeroHedge

In what is looking more and more like a season finale of the HBO series “House of Cards” with each passing day, the Obama administration is now literally threatening a cyber war with Russia over allegations it was behind the hacking of Clinton’s emails.  According to an exclusive NBC report, the Obama administration “is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action” (though it’s unclear how exactly it’s covert if Biden is announcing it to the world via an interview with Chuck Todd)  against Russia, in “retaliation for alleged” interference in the American presidential election, and has asked the CIA to draft plans for a “wide-ranging “clandestine” cyber operation designed to harass and “embarrass” the Kremlin leadership.”

So now the Obama administration is overtly leveraging the full power of the United States to intimidate foreign governments, and most likely Julian Assange, in order to maintain control of the Executive Branch of the government.  Does anyone within the mainstream media see any problems with this?  Certainly Chuck Todd and NBC do not.  And notice that even the NBC article refers to “alleged” Russian interference because not a shred of evidence has been presented to prove that senior Russian officials were actually behind the hacking of Hillary’s emails…but who needs facts when you have a complicit media eager to advance whatever propaganda is necessary to maintain power?

Vice President Joe Biden told “Meet the Press” Chuck Todd on Friday that “we’re sending a message” to Putin and that “it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”

When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, “Hope not.”

…Continue reading @ Zerohedge.com

 

Hillary Clinton Video Warning to the State Dept on Cyber Security

– Youtube

– Hillarious Hillary warns State Department employees to be vigilant in protecting government information against cyber thieves. You can’t make this stuff up. /CJ

 

 

 

From the Archives:

NSA website recovers from outage amid intrigue

– Politico  |  Aug 2016

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“The National Security Agency’s website was offline for almost a full day until Tuesday evening, in an unexplained outage that began shortly after hackers claimed to have stolen a collection of the agency’s prized cyber weapons.

It’s unknown if the two events are connected.

POLITICO first noticed that the agency’s website wasn’t working at 10:54 p.m. Monday. It came back online around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The outage began a few hours after a mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers claimed to have stolen cyber weapons from the Equation Group, a sophisticated hacking group suspected of being linked to the NSA. Some cybersecurity experts, as well as fugitive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, suggested that the alleged thefts may be connected to the uproar over suspected Russian cyber spying on the Democratic Party — but no information has surfaced to link the two, or to connect the alleged thefts with the NSA website outage.

During the outage, the NSA homepage itself was accessible, but all links on the page led to “Service Unavailable” error pages, except for blog posts listed under the “What’s New” section. (Those may be hosted on another server.)

An NSA spokesman declined to comment on the record about the outage, as did a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A spokesman for the Department of Defense, which also oversees the NSA, said he would look into the issue, but did not follow up with any information.

The White House referred POLITICO to the NSA.

An unnamed source told FedScoop that the outage was due to an ongoing “internal review.”

The Shadow Brokers’ claims to have stolen the Equation Group’s hacking tools had stirred much intrigue earlier Monday, especially when the Shadow Brokers said they were willing to sell them. The security firm Kaspersky has linked the Equation Group to digital intrusion techniques widely associated with the NSA.

Regardless of how the Shadow Brokers obtained the files — if in fact they’re real — the thieves have been holding onto their merchandise for a while, as POLITICO’s Morning Cybersecurity noted Tuesday. One of the leaked tools exploits a vulnerability from 2006.

Capital Alpha Security CEO Matt Tait hypothesized that the hackers acquired the files a long time ago and saved them for a future purpose. If so, he said, their recent unveiling — along with Monday’s release of a fresh batch of stolen Democratic documents — may be designed to hit back at the NSA for some behind-the-scenes action the agency took in response to the DNC hack.

Snowden also speculated about a connection, calling it “unprecedented” for anyone to publicize this kind of attack on the agency.

“Why did they do it? No one knows, but I suspect this is more diplomacy than intelligence, related to the escalation around the DNC hack,” Snowden wroteTuesday on Twitter. He added that “circumstantial evidence and conventional wisdom indicates Russian responsibility,” and said it may be an attempt to warn the NSA that the dispute “could get messy fast.”

…Continue reading @ Politico.com

 

Secret Code Found in Juniper’s Firewalls Shows Risk of Govt Internet Back Doors

– Wired  |  Dec 2015

juni12

ENCRYPTION BACKDOORS HAVE been a hot topic in the last few years—and the controversial issue got even hotter after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, when it dominated media headlines. It even came up during this week’s Republican presidential candidate debate. But despite all the attention focused on backdoors lately, no one noticed that someone had quietly installed backdoors three years ago in a core piece of networking equipment used to protect corporate and government systems around the world.

Two Backdoors

The first backdoor Juniper found would give an attacker administrative-level or root privileges over the firewalls—essentially the highest-level of access on a system—when accessing the firewalls remotely via SSH or telnet channels. “Exploitation of this vulnerability can lead to complete compromise of the affected system,” Juniper noted.

The second backdoor would effectively allow an attacker who has already intercepted VPN traffic passing through the Juniper firewalls to decrypt the traffic without knowing the decryption keys. Juniper said that it had no evidence that this vulnerability had been exploited, but also noted that, “There is no way to detect that this vulnerability was exploited.”

– This is very bad folks, very bad./CJ

Read more of the amazingly technical and detailed article by Kim Zetter @  Wired

‘Shadow Brokers’ Hacker Group Claims to have Stolen NSA Cyberweapons | Aug 2016

Hacker group claims to have stolen NSA ‘cyberweapons’

– OC Register

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WASHINGTON – A mysterious group that calls itself the Shadow Brokers claims to have hacked into the National Security Agency, stolen powerful cyberweapons and surveillance tools, and put them up for auction.

If true, the claim would indicate that one of the U.S. government’s key agencies for cyberwarfare is itself vulnerable and has fallen into a pitched and escalating battle with a powerful unknown cyber foe, perhaps Russia.

News of the apparent breach came over the weekend when the Shadow Brokers released a limited number of files, claiming they were part of an arsenal “made by creators of stuxnet,” and other notorious NSA malware that helped cripple Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010 by shattering many of its centrifuges.

Neither the NSA nor the Office of the Director of National Intelligence responded to queries about whether the NSA had been penetrated. But several cybersecurity experts took the claims seriously and suggested that the penetration of the NSA marks a watershed moment and is part of rising tensions between the United States and Russia.

Among those backing that view was Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee and NSA subcontractor who in 2013 leaked a trove of secret NSA documents before seeking refuge in Russia.

Snowden tweeted Tuesday that “circumstantial evidence and conventional wisdom indicates Russian responsibility” for the apparent NSA hack, and that the public revelation of the theft is a message that a series of tit-for-tats between Washington and Moscow “could get messy fast.”

Snowden said he believed news of the apparent breach “is more diplomacy than intelligence, related to the escalation around the DNC hack.”

Last month, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, days before the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. U.S. intelligence officials later told top members of Congress that two Russian intelligence agencies or their proxies were behind the hack, according to Reuters and other media outlets, though there has been no official determination.

The attempt at public shaming of Russia over election interference preceded this week’s developments, in which both nations appear to be “outing” the other side.

The stolen cybersurveillance tools might help foreign governments do forensics on their own computer systems to determine whether they have been targets of U.S. surveillance efforts, a potentially embarrassing development for Washington.

The files made public revealed tools to get past firewalls and embed in network equipment or software made by Fortinet, Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks in the United States, as well as TopSec, China’s largest information security vendor.

The stolen cybersurveillance tools might help foreign governments do forensics on their own computer systems to determine whether they have been targets of U.S. surveillance efforts, a potentially embarrassing development for Washington.

The files made public revealed tools to get past firewalls and embed in network equipment or software made by Fortinet, Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks in the United States, as well as TopSec, China’s largest information security vendor.

“It’s definitely significant to hack the NSA but if you look at the metadata, you would know that those files that have been provided date back to 2013. Some of the directories are very old,” said Vitali Kremez, a cybercrime intelligence analyst at Flashpoint, a New York security firm.

“One of the exploits was targeting a specific Cisco device, and it was only targeting versions that have actually been outdated and replaced with new ones,” Kremez said.”

…Continue reading @ OC Register

 

 

NSA website recovers from outage amid intrigue

– Politico

nsa1

The National Security Agency’s website was offline for almost a full day until Tuesday evening, in an unexplained outage that began shortly after hackers claimed to have stolen a collection of the agency’s prized cyber weapons.

It’s unknown if the two events are connected.

POLITICO first noticed that the agency’s website wasn’t working at 10:54 p.m. Monday. It came back online around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The outage began a few hours after a mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers claimed to have stolen cyber weapons from the Equation Group, a sophisticated hacking group suspected of being linked to the NSA. Some cybersecurity experts, as well as fugitive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, suggested that the alleged thefts may be connected to the uproar over suspected Russian cyber spying on the Democratic Party — but no information has surfaced to link the two, or to connect the alleged thefts with the NSA website outage.

During the outage, the NSA homepage itself was accessible, but all links on the page led to “Service Unavailable” error pages, except for blog posts listed under the “What’s New” section. (Those may be hosted on another server.)

An NSA spokesman declined to comment on the record about the outage, as did a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A spokesman for the Department of Defense, which also oversees the NSA, said he would look into the issue, but did not follow up with any information.

The White House referred POLITICO to the NSA.

An unnamed source told FedScoop that the outage was due to an ongoing “internal review.”

The Shadow Brokers’ claims to have stolen the Equation Group’s hacking tools had stirred much intrigue earlier Monday, especially when the Shadow Brokers said they were willing to sell them. The security firm Kaspersky has linked the Equation Group to digital intrusion techniques widely associated with the NSA.

Regardless of how the Shadow Brokers obtained the files — if in fact they’re real — the thieves have been holding onto their merchandise for a while, as POLITICO’s Morning Cybersecurity noted Tuesday. One of the leaked tools exploits a vulnerability from 2006.

Capital Alpha Security CEO Matt Tait hypothesized that the hackers acquired the files a long time ago and saved them for a future purpose. If so, he said, their recent unveiling — along with Monday’s release of a fresh batch of stolen Democratic documents — may be designed to hit back at the NSA for some behind-the-scenes action the agency took in response to the DNC hack.

Snowden also speculated about a connection, calling it “unprecedented” for anyone to publicize this kind of attack on the agency.

“Why did they do it? No one knows, but I suspect this is more diplomacy than intelligence, related to the escalation around the DNC hack,” Snowden wroteTuesday on Twitter. He added that “circumstantial evidence and conventional wisdom indicates Russian responsibility,” and said it may be an attempt to warn the NSA that the dispute “could get messy fast.”

…Continue reading @ Politico.com

 

 

 

 

Secret Code Found in Juniper’s Firewalls Shows Risk of Govt Internet Back Doors

– Wired  |  Dec 2015

juni12

ENCRYPTION BACKDOORS HAVE been a hot topic in the last few years—and the controversial issue got even hotter after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, when it dominated media headlines. It even came up during this week’s Republican presidential candidate debate. But despite all the attention focused on backdoors lately, no one noticed that someone had quietly installed backdoors three years ago in a core piece of networking equipment used to protect corporate and government systems around the world.

Two Backdoors

The first backdoor Juniper found would give an attacker administrative-level or root privileges over the firewalls—essentially the highest-level of access on a system—when accessing the firewalls remotely via SSH or telnet channels. “Exploitation of this vulnerability can lead to complete compromise of the affected system,” Juniper noted.

The second backdoor would effectively allow an attacker who has already intercepted VPN traffic passing through the Juniper firewalls to decrypt the traffic without knowing the decryption keys. Juniper said that it had no evidence that this vulnerability had been exploited, but also noted that, “There is no way to detect that this vulnerability was exploited.”

– This is very bad folks, very bad./CJ

Read more of the amazingly technical and detailed article by Kim Zetter originally @  Wired  |  Dec 2016.

U.S. Spy Net Snares Congress – Jan 2016

A New Year and a major New Crisis for Congress & the President

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– From a variety of sources,  we find the Obama Administration spying on members of Congress. This is a major new escalation of unconstitutional acts by the president. We are in new territory. Read more below.

Here’s the original article in the Wall Street Journal which lays out how it happened:

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– Wall Street Journal

“The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.”

 

Heilemann: ‘All Sides’ Will Turn Obama Into a ‘Piñata’ If Israel Spying Report True

– Breitbart – Jan 01

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“Wednesday evening on Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect,” while discussing  a Wall Street Journal report saying the Obama administration is spying on friendly world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his conversations with members of Congress, co-host John Heilemann predicted both Republicans and Democrats would turn on Obama if it is true.

Heilemman asked his guest co-host Nicolle Wallace, “How big is this? On a scale of one to Godzilla, what are the implications that might come out?”

Wallace replied, “I think this is like Godzilla’s daddy. This is a big Godzilla. This could have political ramifications inter-party. It would be interesting to see if Hillary Clinton parts ways, with the Obama White House who obviously had a hand in this if you believe the reporting on this “The Wall Street Journal” account.”

More @ Breitbart

 

– But let’s start from the Comments section on Mediaite, a probing set of questions:

The part of this story that worries me, is that although the NSA has consistently avowed meta-data collection does not incude actual “conversations”, eavesdropping does occur. I’m wondering if congress will be revisiting the NSA testimony which seems to be contradictory to actual practices.

  • The meta-data collection and other NSA monitoring activities are entirely separate issues. Monitoring foreign communications is their JOB…

    • Thank you professor, but my question is this: Does the NSA maintain 2 separate, independent networks, and staff in their surveillance programs? Or, as suggested by Snowden, is it a single ominous collection point, where “contractors” at their own discretion, or by direction “mute” these monitored communications. Given the NSA is always “under financed”, and the current administrations efforts to consolidate and share information between different agencies, I think it unlikely 2 networks of such scope, complexity, and cost, would exist in a single agency.”

      – Great, now we can be spied on by ‘contractors.’ Excellent Question.  Read on.

       

      WSJ: NSA’s Surveillance of Israeli Leaders Included Private Convos of U.S. Lawmakers

      – Mediaite

      obo5

      “Back in January 2014, after there was outrage from leaders in nations like Germany and Brazil about being spied on, President Obama announced that the U.S. will no longer eavesdrop on friendly heads of state “unless there is a compelling national security purpose.” But tonight, the WSJ report cites current and former U.S. officials as saying the government still kept an eye on certain allies––Benjamin Netanyahu among them.”

      – Read more here from the article by Josh Feldman @ Mediaite

      – The New York Post weighs in…..

       

      Why Team Obama’s Israel spying should be a major scandal

      – NY Post

      osotu4

      “……news that the Obama administration targeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for continued close electronic surveillance — even as it curbed it for other friendly leaders — still is pretty startling.

      As is The Wall Street Journal’s disclosure that the sweep included conversations with US Jewish groups and members of Congress.

      The last is especially critical: Careful rules govern how the National Security Agency can handle such intercepted conversations, and it’s not clear they were followed.

      But it’s also significant that Team Obama apparently had no problem with spying on Americans engaged in legitimate political activity — in this case, trying to block the president’s dubious nuclear deal with Iran.

      The White House took pains not to leave a paper trail. As one senior official told the Journal: “We didn’t say, ‘Do it.’ We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it’.”

      Read more @ NY Post

      Finally tonight,

      US House Intelligence chair seeks answers on NSA spying report

      – Inquirer.net

      dn1

      Republican Rep. Devin Nunes told The Associated Press that he’s asked the director of National Intelligence and the head of the National Security Agency to come to Capitol Hill next week to brief lawmakers on the matter.

      In the process the agency caught some conversations with U.S. lawmakers, according to the report. That’s something that would typically be reported to top congressional leaders and the heads of the House and Senate Intelligence committees, but Nunes said he recalled receiving no such notification.

      He said his goal would be to “get the facts” about the situation.

      “We’re going to play this right down the middle and determine whether or not somebody did something wrong,” Nunes said by phone from California.

      Later Wednesday, the chairmen of the House Oversight Committee and its national security subcommittee sent a letter to NSA Director Michael Rogers requesting documents and a briefing about the process.

      Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Ron DeSantis wrote that the Journal report raises “questions concerning the processes NSA employees follow in determining whether intercepted communications involved members of Congress, and the latitude agency employees have in screening communications with members of Congress for further dissemination within the Executive Branch.”

Read more here @ Inquirer.net

More…..

Spying on Congress and Israel: NSA Cheerleaders Discover Value of Privacy Only When Their Own Is Violated

– Intercept

obo13

“In January 2014, I debated Rep. Hoekstra about NSA spying and he could not have been more mocking and dismissive of the privacy concerns I was invoking. “Spying is a matter of fact,” he scoffed. As Andrew Krietz, the journalist who covered that debate, reported, Hoekstra “laughs at foreign governments who are shocked they’ve been spied on because they, too, gather information” — referring to anger from German and Brazilian leaders. As TechDirt noted, “Hoekstra attacked a bill called the RESTORE Act, that would have granted a tiny bit more oversight over situations where (you guessed it) the NSA was collecting information on Americans.”

But all that, of course, was before Hoekstra knew that he and his Israeli friends were swept up in the spying of which he was so fond. Now that he knows that it is his privacy and those of his comrades that has been invaded, he is no longer cavalier about it. In fact, he’s so furious that this long-time NSA cheerleader is actually calling for the criminal prosecution of the NSA and Obama officials for the crime of spying on him and his friends.”

– Read the whole article by Glen Greenwald @ Intercept

 

The NSA spied on Congress, too

– Engadget

obo15

“Over the course of the Iran nuclear negotiations that have taken place in the past several years, the NSA learned that Israel had leaked information to Jewish-American groups to undermine the negotiations taking place at the time. The nation had also approached members of Congress to see what it’d take to earn their vote against the accords.

The situation is a mess and understandably no one involved looks good or wants to admit to any wrongdoing. Israel was trying to win US votes for its cause, the NSA was illegally intercepting these transmissions and basically everyone caught with their hands in the cookie jar is rapidly trying to deny that any of this ever happened. You know, despite proof otherwise. More than that, the NSA has apparently gotten so adept at this type of surveillance that a president, Obama in this case, knowing what a visiting head of state’s talking points would be long before their arrival is incredibly common.”

– Read the rest @ Engadget

 

These Ain’t Masterminds: Would Be Terrorist Crowd Sourced Targets On Twitter Using ‘Silent Bomber’ Handle

from the silent-but-deadly dept

– TechDirt

juni10

“I have to say, it can certainly be quite frustrating to watch dispassionately how terrorism is discussed in the United States. After the fervor in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when terrorism was used either as a reason or excuse to enact all kinds of liberty-diffusing policies and to launch an insane surveillance state that we still haven’t recovered from, I had thought we were quietly entering an era of eye-rolling at the way some in government throw around the word “terrorism.” But, because the home of the brave is so easily whipped into a frenzy of fear, an admittedly horrible terrorist attack half a world away and a shooting spree in California that would have been shrugged off as “Hey, that’s just America” except that the perpetrators had scary sounding last names, has once again meant that our political debates and twenty-four hour news programs are focused on the threat of Islamic extremist terrorism and not all of the other zillions of ways that you might die in the next twenty-four hours.

What all of this fear-mongering has done, which completely escapes my understanding, is create the impression that our enemy is generally devious and technologically intelligent on Bond-villain-esque levels. This is how you create a climate where a legitimate tool such as encryption is under attack as a threat. That’s what makes it so useful to point out when would-be terrorists prove themselves to be bumbling idiots practically begging to be caught. Our own Glyn Moody wrote up a useful piece for ArsTechnica detailing one would-be terrorist’s attempt to crowdsource his targets on Twitter under a not-so-smart Twitter handle.

The threat from terrorism isn’t null, but the point is these aren’t masterminds, folks, and we shouldn’t be so eager to hand over liberty in favor of safety from what is mostly a really dumb enemy.”

From: TechDirt