Friday, June 23, 2017

It’s the Banksters, Stupid



It’s something Americans should have figured out after the last financial crisis. The source of their misery stems from the policies of the Federal Reserve and international bankers. As usual, though, the establishment media has diverted attention elsewhere and the financial class of modern robber barons continues its pathological looting and will do so until the bottom falls out of the economy.

http://anotherdayintheempire.com/its-the-banksters-stupid/

WIKILEAKS RELEASE: CIA 'Brutal Kangaroo' and 'Emotional Simian' USB air gap jumping viruses



Today, June 22nd 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the Brutal Kangaroo project of the CIA. Brutal Kangaroo is a tool suite for Microsoft Windows that targets closed networks by air gap jumping using thumbdrives. Brutal Kangaroo components create a custom covert network within the target closed network and providing functionality for executing surveys, directory listings, and arbitrary executables.

The documents describe how a CIA operation can infiltrate a closed network (or a single air-gapped computer) within an organization or enterprise without direct access. It first infects a Internet-connected computer within the organization (referred to as "primary host") and installs the BrutalKangaroo malware on it. When a user is using the primary host and inserts a USB stick into it, the thumbdrive itself is infected with a separate malware. If this thumbdrive is used to copy data between the closed network and the LAN/WAN, the user will sooner or later plug the USB disk into a computer on the closed network. By browsing the USB drive with Windows Explorer on such a protected computer, it also gets infected with exfiltration/survey malware. If multiple computers on the closed network are under CIA control, they form a covert network to coordinate tasks and data exchange. Although not explicitly stated in the documents, this method of compromising closed networks is very similar to how Stuxnet worked.

The Brutal Kangaroo project consists of the following components: Drifting Deadline is the thumbdrive infection tool, Shattered Assurance is a server tool that handles automated infection of thumbdrives (as the primary mode of propagation for the Brutal Kangaroo suite), Broken Promise is the Brutal Kangaroo postprocessor (to evaluate collected information) and Shadow is the primary persistence mechanism (a stage 2 tool that is distributed across a closed network and acts as a covert command-and-control network; once multiple Shadow instances are installed and share drives, tasking and payloads can be sent back-and-forth).

The primary execution vector used by infected thumbdrives is a vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system that can be exploited by hand-crafted link files that load and execute programs (DLLs) without user interaction. Older versions of the tool suite used a mechanism called EZCheese that was a 0-day exploit until March 2015; newer versions seem use a similar, but yet unknown link file vulnerability (Lachesis/RiverJack) related to the library-ms functionality of the operating system.

https://wikileaks.org/vault7/#Brutal%20Kangaroo


German intelligence agency spied on thousands of targets in the United States



The foreign intelligence service of Germany spied on at least 4,000 targets in the United States from 1998 until 2006, according to a leaked document published yesterday by leading German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. The German investigative weekly said that the surveillance was carried out by the German Federal Intelligence Service, known as BND. The Hamburg-based magazine claimed to have in its possession a list of approximately 4,000 “selector keywords”, unique distinguishing terms, addresses or numbers that identify individual targets for surveillance. The list allegedly includes names, telephone or fax numbers, and email addresses of people that the BND had identified as worthy of individual attention between 1998 and 2006.

According to Der Spiegel, the list of targets in the United States includes officials in the White House, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of State. Their work and private phone numbers, and often emails, are listed in the BND document. The latter also focuses on the American military sector, paying particular attention to the US Air Force and the Marine Coprs. Other targets include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Defense Intelligence Agency, the US Pentagon’s intelligence organization. In addition to US government targets, the BND exercised surveillance on American companies with ties to the state, such as Lockheed Martin, as well as state-owned universities. The leaked list also includes targets in international organizations that have an institutional presence in the US, such as the International Monetary Fund and the Arab League, which has an office in Washington. Hundreds of foreign embassies and consulates in the US were also targeted, said Der Spiegel.

https://intelnews.org/2017/06/23/01-2128/

Surveillance without Borders: The “Traffic Shaping” Loophole and Why It Matters



This report describes a novel and more disturbing set of risks. As a technical matter, the NSA does not have to wait for domestic communications to naturally turn up abroad. In fact, the agency has technical methods that can be used to deliberately reroute Internet communications. The NSA uses the term “traffic shaping” to describe any technical means the deliberately reroutes Internet traffic to a location that is better suited, operationally, to surveillance. Since it is hard to intercept Yemen’s international communications from inside Yemen itself, the agency might try to “shape” the traffic so that it passes through communications cables located on friendlier territory.10 Think of it as diverting part of a river to a location from which it is easier (or more legal) to catch fish.

The NSA has clandestine means of diverting portions of the river of Internet traffic that travels on global communications cables.

Could the NSA use traffic shaping to redirect domestic Internet traffic—emails and chat messages sent between Americans, say—to foreign soil, where its surveillance can be conducted beyond the purview of Congress 11 and the courts? It is impossible to categorically answer this question, due to the classified nature of many national-security surveillance programs, regulations and even of the legal decisions made by the surveillance courts. Nevertheless, this report explores a legal, technical, and operational landscape that suggests that traffic shaping could be exploited to sidestep legal restrictions imposed by Congress and the surveillance courts.

https://tcf.org/content/report/surveillance-without-borders-the-traffic-shaping-loophole-and-why-it-matters/

Legal loopholes could allow wider NSA surveillance, researchers say



Secret loopholes exist that could allow the National Security Agency to bypass Fourth Amendment protections to conduct massive domestic surveillance on U.S. citizens, according to leading academics.

The research paper released Monday by researchers at Harvard and Boston University details how the U.S. government could "conduct largely unrestrained surveillance on Americans by collecting their network traffic abroad," despite constitutional protections against warrantless searches.

One of the paper's authors, Axel Arnbak of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, told CBS News that U.S. surveillance laws presume Internet traffic is non-American when it is collected from overseas.

"The loopholes in current surveillance laws and today's Internet technology may leave American communications as vulnerable to surveillance, and as unprotected as the internet traffic of foreigners," Arnbak said.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/legal-loopholes-could-let-nsa-surveillance-circumvent-fourth-amendment-researchers-say/

NSA's use of 'traffic shaping' allows unrestrained spying on Americans



By using a "traffic shaping" technique, the National Security Agency sidestepped legal restrictions imposed by lawmakers and the surveillance courts.

A new analysis of documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden details a highly classified technique that allows the National Security Agency to "deliberately divert" US internet traffic, normally safeguarded by constitutional protections, overseas in order to conduct unrestrained data collection on Americans.

According to the new analysis, the NSA has clandestine means of "diverting portions of the river of internet traffic that travels on global communications cables," which allows it to bypass protections put into place by Congress to prevent domestic surveillance on Americans.

The new findings, published Thursday, follows a 2014 paper by researchers Axel Arnbak and Sharon Goldberg, published on sister-site CBS News, which theorized that the NSA, whose job it is to produce intelligence from overseas targets, was using a "traffic shaping" technique to route US internet data overseas so that it could be incidentally collected under the authority of a largely unknown executive order.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/legal-loopholes-unrestrained-nsa-surveillance-on-americans/

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stolen NSA malware used to take over traffic cameras in Australia



There’s fresh reason to be worried about Wannacry, the malicious software that hackers stole from the U.S. National Security Agency.

In May, hackers used the malware to infect computers in more than 70 countries. The attack was particularly bad in England, where the software disrupted service at many of the country’s busiest hospitals.

Now, the software has been used to take control of 55 speed and red light cameras in Victoria, the most densely populated state in Australia. The Czech security company Avast says the hackers didn’t use the Internet to launch the attack. The infection came through a USB drive.

That was likely the same technique the U.S. and Israel used to damage Iran's Natanz nuclear facility with the Stuxnet virus.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/cyber-life/sd-me-wannacry-malware-20170622-story.html

Former CIA officer accused of selling top secret information to China



A former CIA officer sold top secret and other classified documents to Chinese intelligence officials, according to charges filed Thursday in Alexandria federal court.

Kevin Patrick Mallory, 60, of Leesburg, Va., was arrested Thursday and appeared briefly in front of Judge Theresa Buchanan on counts of delivering defense information to aid a foreign government and making false statements. He asked to be represented by a public defender.

Mallory had a top secret security clearance until he left the government in 2012, prosecutors say, having worked at various government agencies and defense contractors.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/ex-dod-employee-accused-of-selling-top-secret-governments-to-china/2017/06/22/3ec3a706-576f-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.86a38e3ab6e0

DHS Is Starting to Scan Americans’ Faces Before They Get on International Flights



Air travel already features some attributes of a police state. Metal detectors. Bomb-sniffing dogs. Pat-downs. A gloved TSA agent peering at your toothpaste. But it could get worse. What if your check-in also involved a face recognition scan?

Decades ago, Congress mandated that federal authorities keep track of foreign nationals as they enter and leave the United States. If the government could record when every visitor stepped on and off of U.S. soil, so the thinking went, it could easily see whether a foreign national had overstayed a visa.

But in June of last year, without congressional authorization, and without consulting the public, the Department of Homeland Security started scanning the faces of Americans leaving the country, too.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/06/21/dhs_s_biometric_exit_program_is_starting_to_scan_americans_faces_before.html

Privacy Organization Urges Congress To Examine FBI’s Secret Biometric ID Program



Known as the Next Generation Identification system, since 2014 the FBI has amassed more than 50 million images scoured from facial recognition alone; and, as reported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the images have merged into the FBI’s legacy database of fingerprints and other identifiers to create a centralized hub of surveillance.

The FBI has admitted that the system contains non-criminal identification as well as criminal, including:

suspects and detainees,
fingerprints for job applicants
licenses
military or volunteer service
background checks
security clearances
naturalization
All told, it’s been estimated that half of all adult Americans appear in a biometric database.

Despite what is clearly a sweeping program of surveillance and a violation of numerous Amendments to the Constitution, the FBI has resisted all inquiries made by privacy organizations and even the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

http://www.activistpost.com/2017/06/fbi-secrecy-privacy-org-urges-congress-address-biometric-database.html

https://epic.org/testimony/congress/EPIC-HAC-FBI-budget-June2017.pdf

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Langleys Jihadists: From the Mujaheddin to ISIL - Wayne Madsen

The CIA’s six most dangerous FOIA topics



From JFK to MKULTRA, here’s what the Agency didn’t want getting released to the public

In a 1978 memo urging the curbing of the newly-empowered Freedom of Information Act, the CIA compiled a list of six FOIA topics considered to be the most potentially dangerous to the Agency’s reputation.

One reason CIA felt these requests were so dangerous was “because of the FOIA requirement to release bits and pieces of information.” There is no such requirement, only exemptions that CIA chooses to take advantage of - there is nothing stopping the agency from developing briefing books specifically for the public, although the Agency generally prefers anonymously releasing information through journalists.

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/jun/21/cias-six-most-dangerous-foia/

John McAfee On WikiLeaks Dump: CIA Operation "Cherry Blossom" Hacking Residential Routers