Sunday, April 23, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Total Chaos: Cyber Attack Fears As MULTIPLE CITIES HIT With Simultaneous Power Grid Failures: Shockwave Of Delays In San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York
The U.S. power grid appears to have been hit with multiple power outages affecting San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.
Officials report that business, traffic and day-to-day life has come to a standstill in San Francisco, reportedly the worst hit of the three major cities currently experiencing outages.
Power companies in all three regions have yet to elaborate on the cause, though a fire at a substation was the original reason given by San Francisco officials.
The cause of the outage has not yet been made clear, though given the current geo-political climate it is not out of the question to suggest a cyber attack could be to blame. It has also been suggested that the current outages could be the result of a secretive nuclear/EMP drill by the federal government.
As we have previously reported, the entire national power grid has been mapped by adversaries of the United States and it is believed that sleep trojans or malware may exist within the computer systems that maintain the grid.
In a 2016 report it was noted that our entire way of life has been left vulnerable to saboteurs who could cause cascading blackouts across the United States for days or weeks at a time:
The Kinetic Energy Projectile would be a tungsten warhead that moves at three times the speed of sound, destroying anything in its path.
Were the United States to go to war with Russia, both sides could draw on deadly weapons that the world has never seen on a battlefield. On the Russian side, there are new and smaller tactical nuclear weapons. To counter them, the U.S. Army is taking another look at a “devastating” weapon, one first tested by the Air Force and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2013, the Kinetic Energy Projectile, or KEP, a tungsten-based charge moving at three times the speed of sound that can destroy anything in its path.
“Think of it as a big shotgun shell,” Maj. Gen. William Hix, the Army’s director of strategy, plans & policy, said a few weeks ago at the Booz Allen Hamilton Direct Energy Summit. But unlike a shotgun shell, Hix said, the KEP moves at incredible speeds of “Mach 3 to Mach 6.”
Randy Simpson, a weapons programs manager at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, explains that kinetic energy projectiles are warheads that “take advantage of high terminal speeds to deliver much more energy onto a target than the chemical explosives they carry would deliver alone.”
In just a few days, during April 24-26th, Operation Gotham Shield will commence.
It is a tabletop, joint agency exercise involving FEMA, Homeland Security and a myriad of law enforcement and military agencies. WMD, chemical and biological units will all be on hand as a response is tested for a “simulated” nuclear detonation over the United States’ foremost urban center, in the iconic and densely populated island of Manhattan and nearby shores of New Jersey.
The potential for a more explosive false flag to spin out of control, by hijacking and ‘converting’ the simulated actions, is all too real.
This is closely related to the mechanism that many researchers believe was at work on the day of 9/11, nesting a false flag attack inside of a series of large-scale training operations which invoked emergency powers and simulated attacks in locations that were actually hit.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Today, April 21st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the User Guide for CIA's "Weeping Angel" tool - an implant designed for Samsung F Series Smart Televisions. Based on the "Extending" tool from MI5/BTSS, the implant is designed to record audio from the built-in microphone and egress or store the data.
The classification marks of the User Guide document hint that is was originally written by the MI5/BTSS and later shared with the CIA. Both agencies collaborated on the further development of the malware and coordinated their work in Joint Development Workshops.
RFK Jr Talks Vaccines With Tucker Carlson: 'This Is The 2nd Show In 10 Yrs That's Allowed Me To Talk About This'
The absolute madman Tucker Carlson had Robert Kennedy Jr on his show Thursday night to discuss the dangers of vaccines.
"This is the second show in 10 years that's allowed me to talk about this," RFK Jr said. "The other one being Bill Maher, which doesn't take advertising."
"This is the second show in 10 years that's allowed me to talk about this," RFK Jr said. "The other one being Bill Maher, which doesn't take advertising."
IN HER FIRST APPEARANCE representing the American public before the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2015, Amy Jeffress argued that the FBI is violating the Fourth Amendment by giving agents “virtually unrestricted” access to data from one of the NSA’s largest surveillance programs, which includes an untold amount of communications involving innocent Americans.
The NSA harvests data from major Internet companies like Facebook, Google and Apple without a warrant, because it is ostensibly “targeting” only foreigners. But the surveillance program sweeps up a large number of Americans’ communications as well. Then vast amounts of data from the program, including the Americans’ communications, are entered into a master database that a Justice Department lawyer at the 2015 hearing described as the “FBI’s ‘Google’ of its lawfully acquired information.”
The FBI routinely searches this database during ordinary criminal investigations — which gives them access to Americans’ communications without a warrant.
Justice Dept. debating charges against WikiLeaks members in revelations of diplomatic, CIA materials
Federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring criminal charges against members of the WikiLeaks organization, taking a second look at a 2010 leak of diplomatic cables and military documents and investigating whether the group bears criminal responsibility for the more recent revelation of sensitive CIA cyber-tools, according to people familiar with the case.
The Justice Department under President Barack Obama decided not to charge WikiLeaks for revealing some of the government’s most sensitive secrets — concluding that doing so would be akin to prosecuting a news organization for publishing classified information. Justice Department leadership under President Trump, though, has indicated to prosecutors that it is open to taking another look at the case, which the Obama administration did not formally close.
It is not clear whether prosecutors are also looking at WikiLeaks’ role last year in publishing emails from the Democratic National Committee and the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John D. Podesta, which U.S. officials have said were hacked by the Russian government. Officials have said individuals “one step” removed from the Kremlin passed the stolen messages to WikiLeaks as part of a broader Russian plot to influence the 2016 presidential election.
JULIAN ASSANGE HAS made himself a difficult figure to love. The organization he created, WikiLeaks, has spilled secrets that infuriate the right and, more recently, the left side of the political aisle. He burns all bridges, alienates friends, and sees enemies everywhere. Mounting evidence suggests he even allowed his organization to serve as a leak-laundering service for Kremlin hackers seeking to swing a US election.
But if the US Department of Justice prosecutes Assange, as it reportedly may soon, he could become something else: the first journalist in modern history to be criminally charged by American courts for publishing classified information. WikiLeaks may not look like a traditional journalism outlet, but it shares the same ends—publishing true information from its sources. And that means legal action against Assange could threaten the freedom of the press as a whole.
“Any prosecution would be incredibly dangerous for the First Amendment and pretty much every reporter in the United States,” says Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. “You can hate WikiLeaks all you want, but if they’re prosecuted, that precedent can be turned around and used on all the reporters you do like.”
The highly secretive meeting being held in Queenstown this weekend is a gathering of intelligence and security agencies related to the Five Eyes spying network, the Herald understands.
Among the people believed to be attending are Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo.
It is understood about 15 agencies which carry out intelligence for Five Eyes – the spying partnership of the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand – are attending the conference.
In a statement released yesterday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Bill English confirmed a number of senior officials were coming for a conference hosted by the Government, but would not reveal what the conference was.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
CBS News has learned that a manhunt is underway for a traitor inside the Central Intelligence Agency.
The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.
Sources familiar with the investigation say it is looking for an insider -- either a CIA employee or contractor -- who had physical access to the material. The agency has not said publicly when the material was taken or how it was stolen.
Much of the material was classified and stored in a highly secure section of the intelligence agency, but sources say hundreds of people would have had access to the material. Investigators are going through those names.
The trove was published in March by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks.
US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.
The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.
Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.
During President Barack Obama's administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn't alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well. The investigation continued, but any possible charges were put on hold, according to US officials involved in the process then.
The US view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to change after investigators found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.
A vote on whether to approve a proposal that would allow familial DNA searching in certain criminal cases has been delayed by New York state’s Forensic Science Committee. The controversial proposal has been sent back to a special subcommittee to “tighten up the language.” If approved, the new policy would allow police to investigate family members of New Yorkers whose DNA closely matches DNA found at crime scenes.
Because familial searching has gotten little to no coverage in mainstream media, many people have no idea what it is — or that it’s already being used in California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Ohio.
“Familial searching is an additional search of a law enforcement DNA database conducted after a routine search has been completed and no profile matches are identified during the process. Unlike a routine database search which may spontaneously yield partial match profiles, familial searching is a deliberate search of a DNA database conducted for the intended purpose of potentially identifying close biological relatives to the unknown forensic profile obtained from crime scene evidence. Familial searching is based on the concept that first-order relatives, such as siblings or parent/child relationships, will have more genetic data in common than unrelated individuals. Practically speaking, familial searching would only be performed if the comparison of the forensic DNA profile with the known offender/arrestee DNA profiles has not identified any matches to any of the offenders/arrestees.”
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Bill O’Reilly has been forced out of his position as a prime-time host at Fox News, the company said on Wednesday, after the disclosure of settlements involving sexual harassment allegations against him. His abrupt and embarrassing ouster ends his two-decade reign as one of the most popular and influential commentators in television.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, said in a statement.
Mr. O’Reilly is departing two and a half weeks after an investigation by The New York Times revealed how Fox News and 21st Century Fox had repeatedly stood by him even as sexual harassment allegations against him mounted. The Times found that the company and Mr. O’Reilly had reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.
WIKILEAKS FOUNDER JULIAN ASSANGE hits back at Trump’s CIA director Mike Pompeo after he accused WikiLeaks of being a “hostile nonstate intelligence agency” operating outside of the protections of the First Amendment. This week on Intercepted: We spend the entire show talking with Assange from inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up since June 2012. In the wide-ranging interview, Assange discusses the allegations that WikiLeaks was abetted by Russian intelligence in its publication of DNC emails and the new-found admiration for him by FOX News, Anne Coulter, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
This story is part of When Spies Come Home, a Motherboard series about powerful surveillance software ordinary people use to spy on their loved ones.
As Trump surveys the surveillance system at his disposal, he should know that there are at least 471 of the location-spying devices in the U.S. today, according to an exclusive Vocativ survey of known police and other official documents.
The term “stingray” is like “Kleenex” — in that it’s a brand name that became so prominent, it’s used to describe any similar product. The federal government tends to call these devices “cell-site simulators,” and they’re also known as IMSI catchers. Whatever you call them, they share a handful of things in common: They’re illegal for civilians to use; they’re expensive, ranging from some $40,000 to more than half a million dollars if you include accessories; their legality is still being figured out in our court system; and they vacuum up cell phone locations. Strikingly, only a handful of states, including California, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, actually require a warrant for their use, and to date there is no federal law that regulates them.
Depending on the make and model, stingrays may be used just to track cell phone locations, or they may also intercept live phone calls, read outgoing text messages, or scramble nearby cell phone signals. Stingrays vary in size, are often referred to as roughly the size of a suitcase, and are often carted along in either the trunks of police cars or, as is the case with the U.S. Marshals service, flown in planes to search for individual phones. And they’re everywhere.
Almost by definition, it’s impossible paint a comprehensive look at stingrays in the U.S. That’s largely due to the fact that, as the FBI has testified in an affidavit, the devices came with nondisclosure agreements and police departments and agencies often promise the FBI to never admit they have such devices. According to a 2014 memo uncovered by the investigative journalism nonprofit Oklahoma Watch, the FBI has instructed local police to use stingrays for “LEAD PURPOSES ONLY,” and states that they “may not be used as primary evidence in any affidavits, hearings or trials.”
“The big concern with stingrays is we still don’t know exactly how they’re used and where they’re used,” Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who specializes in privacy and civil liberties, told Vocativ.
Soon, it may be hard for visa holders to board an international flight without submitting to a facial geometry scan. The TSA began testing facial recognition systems at Dulles Airport in 2015, then expanded the tests to New York’s JFK Airport last year. Face-reading check-in kiosks will be appearing at Ottawa International Airport this spring, and British Airways is rolling out a similar system at London’s Heathrow Airport, comparing faces captured at security screenings with a separate capture at the boarding gate. Now, a new project is poised to bring those same systems to every international airport in America.
Called Biometric Exit, the project would use facial matching systems to identify every visa holder as they leave the country. Passengers would have their photos taken immediately before boarding, to be matched with the passport-style photos provided with the visa application. If there’s no match in the system, it could be evidence that the visitor entered the country illegally. The system is currently being tested on a single flight from Atlanta to Tokyo, but after being expedited by the Trump administration, it’s expected to expand to more airports this summer, eventually rolling out to every international flight and border crossing in the US.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Alex Jones and his ex-wife, Kelly, will be locked in a child custody trial the next two weeks in Austin.
Alex Jones’ lawyers will make the case that their client should not be judged by his on-air persona.
Lawyers for Kelly Jones will maintain that Jones’ public outbursts suggest he is not a fit parent.
At a recent pretrial hearing, attorney Randall Wilhite told state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo that using his client Alex Jones’ on-air Infowars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”
“He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”
But in emotional testimony at the hearing, Kelly Jones, who is seeking to gain sole or joint custody of her three children with Alex Jones, portrayed the volcanic public figure as the real Alex Jones.
FEW THINGS TRANSFORM us into frustrated baboons like navigating Turbotax each year. It’s incredible any computers physically survive April.
First there’s the maddening fact, when all is said and done, that the U.S. has something approaching a flat tax system. It’s true that, as right-wing think tanks constantly bleat, the top 1 percent pay a much higher rate than everyone else in federal income tax. But most people pay higher rates than the rich do in payroll and state and local taxes. Add everything together, and everyone from the middle class on up is paying about the same percentage in taxes overall.
Then there’s the grim reality that a big chunk of our money goes to buy things like 21,000-pound bombs, which we drop on, say, Afghanistan, a country with an economy one-one thousandth the size of ours.
And then there’s the process of paying taxes itself, which is mind-numbingly baroque — and for absolutely no reason. After all, the government already has copies of all of your tax forms. Countries like Denmark, Sweden and Spain use that information to fill out your return and send it to you. If it looks good, you sign it and you’re done (or if you think you see a mistake, you can change it). The sole reason we don’t have such a system is that the current disaster makes billions of dollars for tax software companies, which then use a slice of that to relentless lobby Congress to keep the status quo.
But if those are the only things turning you into a rage monkey this Tax Day, you’re not paying attention. As an extensive new report from Oxfam America explains, the biggest U.S. multinational corporations have positioned themselves for a political victory that will not just slash their taxes and leave regular people to pick up the bill, but also will set the stage for further corporate tax cuts in the future.
These days it’s difficult to remember what values the American people share. That’s because the U.S. government does so many things that seem to contradict basic human values. Wars of aggression, torture, kidnapping and indefinite detention, warrantless wiretapping, and so many other oppressions have become standard operational procedure for the U.S. government. Those who recognize and seek to correct this system of abuse soon realize that the key to doing so is to reveal the truth behind the primary driver for all of them—the crimes of 9/11.
It’s important to know what makes someone an American and what does not. Here are some examples of what does not make someone an American.
Loyalty to the flag
Respect for the national anthem
Serving in the military or honoring military veterans
A person can do these things to any extent possible and it will not make them any more American than they were before they began. Popular culture and corporate media make every effort to present American patriotism as a sum of these kinds of activities but it is easy to see through that false front.
Only one thing makes someone an American and that is support and defense of the U.S. Constitution. The founding fathers of the United States defined Americans as those who are committed to the ideals of the Constitution. To this day, anyone claiming to represent the nation must swear an oath to uphold those ideals.
Unfortunately, virtually every Article and Amendment of the Constitution has been under attack since September 11, 2001. Yet very few people have risen to support or defend it. In fact, many so-called Americans have encouraged assaults on the core American values.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
N THIS day and age, every boss is going to quickly Google a prospective employee before asking them to come in for an interview.
But now the technology giant is working on project called Google Hire, which The Sun reports will help employers learn perhaps a little bit too much about their new recruits.
It will reportedly be a recruitment tool similar to LinkedIn — however, early reports suggest it will be available through your personal Google account.
If that’s the case, it will link things like your search history and YouTube account with your job applications, laying it all bare for employers to see.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
This New York lawyer says he has found a link between Saudi officials and the hijackers. The U.S. government refuses to do anything about it.
When Jim Kreindler got to his midtown Manhattan office on Friday, July 15, 2016, he had a surprise waiting for him. Twice in the previous eight years, Kreindler had been in the room as then-President Barack Obama promised Kreindler’s clients he would declassify a batch of documents that had taken on near mythic importance to those seeking the full truth of who had helped plan and fund the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Now, Kreindler learned, “the 28 pages” as they were known, were open for inspection and it was up to his team to find something of value. It wasn’t long before they did—a single, vague line about a Somali charity in Southern California.
That obscure reference would soon become part of the backbone of an argument that Kreindler and his firm have been making for a long time: Without financial and logistical support from members of the government of Saudi Arabia, the 9/11 attacks would have never taken place.
Proving the link between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers has been Kreindler’s nearly sole focus since the moment, several days after the Twin Towers fell, when grieving families began to file into the lobby of the burly, boisterous 61-year-old’s firm. That firm, Kreindler & Kreindler, was started by his grandfather and brought to prominence by his father, Lee, who the families knew was the man who had won a $3 billion judgment against Libya for the bomb that in 1988 destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. They were hoping he could find the culprit here, too. But, just over a year after the attacks, Lee was dead from a stroke. The case, and some 850 clients, became Jim’s to manage.
Wikileaks pointed out Thursday night that the tunnel network America just dropped the "mother of all bombs" on in Afghanistan was "built by the CIA."
As the New York Times reported in 2005:
The first time bin Laden had seen the Tora Bora caves, he had been a young mujahedeen fighter and a recent university graduate with a degree in civil engineering. It had been some 20 years before, during Washington's first Afghan war, the decade-long, C.I.A.-financed jihad of the 1980's against the Soviet occupation. Rising to more than 13,000 feet, 35 miles southwest of the provincial capital of Jalalabad, Tora Bora was a fortress of snow-capped peaks, steep valleys and fortified caves. Its miles of tunnels, bunkers and base camps, dug deeply into the steep rock walls, had been part of a C.I.A.-financed complex built for the mujahedeen. Bin Laden had flown in dozens of bulldozers and other pieces of heavy equipment from his father's construction empire, the Saudi Binladin Group, one of the most prosperous construction companies in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Persian Gulf. According to one frequently told story, bin Laden would drive one of the bulldozers himself across the precipitous mountain peaks, constructing defensive tunnels and storage depots.
Indeed, by December 2001, when the final battle of Tora Bora took place, the cave complex had been so refined that it was said to have its own ventilation system and a power system created by a series of hydroelectric generators; bin Laden is believed to have designed the latter. Tora Bora's walls and the floors of its hundreds of rooms were finished and smooth and extended some 350 yards into the granite mountain that enveloped them.
The CIA money literally went to the Bin Laden family's construction company, lol.
National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden is taking part in an international conference in Rio de Janeiro via video link. The conference is part of a broader event titled ‘International Camp of the Youth in Fight’.
Today, April 14th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes six documents from the CIA's HIVE project created by its "Embedded Development Branch" (EDB).
HIVE is a back-end infrastructure malware with a public-facing HTTPS interface which is used by CIA implants to transfer exfiltrated information from target machines to the CIA and to receive commands from its operators to execute specific tasks on the targets. HIVE is used across multiple malware implants and CIA operations. The public HTTPS interface utilizes unsuspicious-looking cover domains to hide its presence.
Anti-Virus companies and forensic experts have noticed that some possible state-actor malware used such kind of back-end infrastructure by analyzing the communication behaviour of these specific implants, but were unable to attribute the back-end (and therefore the implant itself) to operations run by the CIA. In a recent blog post by Symantec, that was able to attribute the "Longhorn" activities to the CIA based on the Vault 7, such back-end infrastructure is described:
For C&C servers, Longhorn typically configures a specific domain and IP address combination per target. The domains appear to be registered by the attackers; however they use privacy services to hide their real identity. The IP addresses are typically owned by legitimate companies offering virtual private server (VPS) or webhosting services. The malware communicates with C&C servers over HTTPS using a custom underlying cryptographic protocol to protect communications from identification.
The documents from this publication might further enable anti-malware researchers and forensic experts to analyse this kind of communication between malware implants and back-end servers used in previous illegal activities.
Friday, April 14, 2017
IN FEBRUARY, after Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. media were the “enemy of the people,” the targets of his insult exploded with indignation, devoting wall-to-wall media coverage to what they depicted as a grave assault on press freedoms more befitting of a tyranny. By stark and disturbing contrast, the media reaction yesterday was far more muted, even welcoming, when Trump’s CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, actually and explicitly vowed to target freedoms of speech and press in a blistering, threatening speech he delivered to the D.C. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.
What made Pompeo’s overt threats of repression so palatable to many was that they were not directed at CNN, the New York Times or other beloved-in-D.C. outlets, but rather at WikiLeaks, more marginalized publishers of information, and various leakers and whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.
Trump’s CIA Director stood up in public and explicitly threatened to target free speech rights and press freedoms, and it was almost impossible to find even a single U.S. mainstream journalist expressing objections or alarm, because the targets Pompeo chose in this instance are ones they dislike – much the way that many are willing to overlook or even sanction free speech repression if the targeted ideas or speakers are sufficiently unpopular.
The ShadowBrokers, an entity previously confirmed by The Intercept to have leaked authentic malware used by the NSA to attack computers around the world, today released another cache of what appears to be extremely potent (and previously unknown) software capable of breaking into systems running Windows. The software could give nearly anyone with sufficient technical knowledge the ability to wreak havoc on millions of Microsoft users.
The leak includes a litany of typically codenamed software “implants” with names like ODDJOB, ZIPPYBEER, and ESTEEMAUDIT, capable of breaking into — and in some cases seizing control of — computers running version of the Windows operating system earlier than the most recent Windows 10. The vulnerable Windows versions ran more than 65 percent of desktop computers surfing the web last month, according to estimates from the tracking firm Net Market Share.
The crown jewel of the implant collection appears to be a program named FUZZBUNCH, which essentially automates the deployment of NSA malware, and would allow a member of agency’s Tailored Access Operations group to more easily infect a target from their desk.
The Shadow Brokers—the mysterious person or group that over the past eight months has leaked a gigabyte worth of the National Security Agency's weaponized software exploits—just published its most significant release yet. Friday's dump contains potent exploits and hacking tools that target most versions of Microsoft Windows and evidence of sophisticated hacks on the SWIFT banking system of several banks across the world.
Friday's release—which came as much of the computing world was planning a long weekend to observe the Easter holiday—contains close to 300 megabytes of materials the leakers said were stolen from the NSA. The contents (a convenient overview is here) included compiled binaries for exploits that targeted vulnerabilities in a long line of Windows operating systems, including Windows 8 and Windows 2012. It also included a framework dubbed Fuzzbunch, a tool that resembles the Metasploit hacking framework that loads the binaries into targeted networks. Independent security experts who reviewed the contents said it was without question the most damaging Shadow Brokers release to date.
"It is by far the most powerful cache of exploits ever released," Matthew Hickey, a security expert and co-founder of Hacker House, told Ars. "It is very significant as it effectively puts cyber weapons in the hands of anyone who downloads it. A number of these attacks appear to be 0-day exploits which have no patch and work completely from a remote network perspective."
FOR EIGHT MONTHS, the hacker group known as Shadow Brokers has trickled out an intermittent drip of highly classified NSA data. Now, just when it seemed like that trove of secrets might be exhausted, the group has spilled a new batch. The latest dump appears to show that the NSA has penetrated deep into the finance infrastructure of the Middle East—a revelation that could create new scandals for the world’s most well-resourced spy agency.
Friday morning, the Shadow Brokers published documents that—if legitimate—show just how thoroughly US intelligence has compromised elements of the global banking system. The new leak includes evidence that the NSA hacked into EastNets, a Dubai-based firm that oversees payments in the global SWIFT transaction system for dozens of client banks and other firms, particularly in the Middle East. The leak includes detailed lists of hacked or potentially targeted computers, including those belonging to firms in Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Syria, Yemen, and the Palestinian territories. Also included in the data dump, as in previous Shadow Brokers releases, are a load of fresh hacking tools, this time targeting a slew of Windows versions.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
The fact is, the FBI has a long history of incompetence and worse: falsifying evidence; framing innocent people (go here, here, here, here, here, and here); and even shooting people for what appears to be no justifiable reason. With the shootings, the Bureau “reviews” the situation, then, it almost always absolves itself.
When its employees try to work within the system to improve it, quietly blowing an internal whistle, they are subjected to severe retaliation.
For more on the range of problems at the Bureau, see the links and summaries below: a small selection of our FBI stories that demonstrate the consequences of those bad choices. They have endangered national security, harmed our civil liberties, harmed innocent people, and appear to have put out false narratives, misleading the government, the media, and the public.
THE TWO LAWMAKERS most responsible for rolling back landmark internet browsing privacy protections were richly rewarded by telecommunication giants.
Congress voted last month to repeal privacy rules written by the Obama administration to prevent internet service providers from harvesting and selling users’ internet browsing history. The main — in fact only — constituency for the repeal was the telecom industry.
Verizon, AT&T, Cox Enterprises, the U.S. Telecom Association, and CTIA, the trade association for the major cell phone carriers, appeared to single out the original sponsors of the repeal resolution — Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. — for particularly generous campaign contributions.
THE STORY OF EDWARD SNOWDEN’S disclosure of NSA secrets to the press has been told and retold in books, films, and countless articles. Left unreported has been the quiet role of two journalists who literally had Snowden material mailed to them in a cardboard box.
In a new article in Harper’s Magazine, the duo finally tells their story of beginners’ encryption, convoluted codewords, and extreme paranoia. They also reveal that they are not the only people to have received Snowden files without the public knowing about it.
Dale Maharidge is an award-winning journalist and professor of journalism, but was only pulled into the Snowden leak because of a Brooklyn house party he attended one night in December 2011, where he met filmmaker (and Intercept co-founder) Laura Poitras. The two bonded quickly over their work and, throughout the following year, as their respective reporting and film projects allowed, spent time together in New York and at Maharidge’s “very remote” coastal dwelling in Northern California. Then, near the beginning of 2013, Poitras was contacted by an anonymous source claiming to possess materials that would reveal the scope of American surveillance.
Master of American Propaganda: How George Creel sold the Great War to America, and America to the world.
In 1917, on the brink of the U.S. entry into the Great War, a man named George Creel wrote a letter to President Woodrow Wilson. Creel was a journalist who had dabbled in politics, most notably as the Commissioner of Police in Denver, where he earned national attention for his efforts to clamp down on police brutality and prostitution. He thought highly of Wilson. In 1912, Creel had campaigned for the future president in Colorado; in 1916, he’d written a book supporting his re-election. Now, the journalist had learned that some in the U.S. military were calling for strict censorship of the wartime press. Creel’s memorandum to the president outlined an alternative policy, focused on asserting positive values and the encouragement of patriotism. Wilson was impressed, and invited Creel to apply his policy as chairman of a new Committee on Public Information.
As chairman of the Committee on Public Information, Creel became the mastermind behind the U.S. government’s propaganda campaign in the Great War. For two years, he rallied the American public to the cause of war and sold the globe a vision of America and President Wilson’s plans for a world order. He was a controversial figure in wartime Washington, but his efforts changed the ideological landscape at home and abroad, and many of the methods and approaches he pioneered became a standard part of U.S. statecraft.
Creel’s CPI drew together a generation of great American communicators from advertising, graphic arts, and newspapers. Artists involved in the campaign included Charles Dana Gibson — creator of the iconic Gibson girl illustrations of the ‘ideal’ American woman — who led the Division of Pictorial Publicity. Writers who joined the CPI included future Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Booth Tarkington, noted muckraker Ida Tarbell, and renowned newspaper editor William Allen White. Edward Bernays, the future “father of public relations,” chaired the CPI Export Service. CPI strategies included spectacular exhibitions, posters, and upbeat leaflets. Hollywood played a part, too. Not only did it produce movies for the CPI — feature-length documentaries like Pershing’s Crusaders and America’s Answer — the industry also became, for the first time, a consideration in American foreign policy. The CPI blocked the export of films that depicted American crime or even Wild West banditry, and insisted on positive, educational images. At the same time, Creel’s committee used access to Hollywood product as leverage to persuade foreign exhibition circuits to cease showing German films. The tactic effectively closed off what had been a large market for Germany in some northern European countries.
On his last night in office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a powerful farewell speech to the nation — words so important that he’d spent a year and a half preparing them. “Ike” famously warned the nation to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
Much of Eisenhower’s speech could form part of the mission statement of WikiLeaks today. We publish truths regarding overreaches and abuses conducted in secret by the powerful.
Our most recent disclosures describe the CIA’s multibillion-dollar cyberwarfare program, in which the agency created dangerous cyberweapons, targeted private companies’ consumer products and then lost control of its cyber-arsenal. Our source(s) said they hoped to initiate a principled public debate about the “security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”
The truths we publish are inconvenient for those who seek to avoid one of the magnificent hallmarks of American life — public debate. Governments assert that WikiLeaks’ reporting harms security. Some claim that publishing facts about military and national security malfeasance is a greater problem than the malfeasance itself. Yet, as Eisenhower emphasized, “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The Trump administration is quickly identifying ways to assemble the nationwide deportation force that President Trump promised on the campaign trail as he railed against the dangers posed by illegal immigration.
An internal Department of Homeland Security assessment obtained by The Washington Post shows the agency has already found 33,000 more detention beds to house undocumented immigrants, opened discussions with dozens of local police forces that could be empowered with enforcement authority and identified where construction of Trump’s border wall could begin.
The agency also is considering ways to speed up the hiring of hundreds of new Customs and Border Patrol officers, including ending polygraph and physical fitness tests in some cases, according to the documents.
But these plans could be held up by the prohibitive costs outlined in the internal report and resistance in Congress, where many lawmakers are already balking at approving billions in spending on the wall and additional border security measures.
In “Code of Silence,” a four-part investigation published in The Intercept last October, I reported on a massive criminal enterprise within the Chicago Police Department. That reporting was based in large part on the accounts of Shannon Spalding and Danny Echeverria, Chicago narcotics officers detailed to the FBI to investigate Sgt. Ronald Watts and his team, who they alleged were major players in the drug trade in South Side public housing. Spalding and Echeverria charged that senior police officials disclosed their identities within the department and ordered a campaign of retaliation against them in an effort to subvert the investigation.
There was hardly a time during Watts’ 18-year career when he and his team were not under investigation by one or more agencies; among them, the FBI, the CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs, the DEA, the ATF, and the Cook County States Attorney’s Office. Yet those investigations yielded little. In the end, Watts and his partner Kallatt Mohammed were caught in an FBI sting, taking $5,200 from a confidential informant they believed to be a drug courier. Convicted in 2013 on a single count of stealing government property, Watts served a sentence of 22 months and Mohammed a sentence of 18 months. No other members of the team were criminally charged or otherwise disciplined; several, including Nichols and Leano, remain on the force and one has been promoted to sergeant.
However limited the charge and light the sentences, the fact that Watts and Mohammed were convicted, in combination with the documentary record generated by Spalding and Echeverria’s whistleblower lawsuit, which was settled by the city of Chicago for $2 million, created a beachhead from which civil rights attorneys at the Exoneration Project have successfully challenged the convictions of several individuals who were convicted based on testimony by Watts and his crew.
To date, there have been four cases in which convictions have been overturned and certificates of innocence issued: Ben Baker (twice), Clarissa Glenn, and Lionel White. These cases have certain common elements. In each case Watts or members of his team arrested the individual because he or she refused to cooperate with their criminal purposes. They fabricated evidence, and then conspired to support the arrest by falsifying official reports and making false statements under oath.
In the case of the April 4 chemical-weapons incident in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which reportedly killed scores of people including young children, I was told that initially the U.S. analysts couldn’t see any warplanes over the area in Idlib province at the suspected time of the poison gas attack but later they detected a drone that they thought might have delivered the bomb.
A Drone Mystery
According to a source, the analysts struggled to identify whose drone it was and where it originated. Despite some technical difficulties in tracing its flight path, analysts eventually came to believe that the flight was launched in Jordan from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base for supporting Syrian rebels, the source said, adding that the suspected reason for the poison gas was to create an incident that would reverse the Trump administration’s announcement in late March that it was no longer seeking the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.
If indeed that was the motive — and if the source’s information is correct — the operation would have been successful, since the Trump administration has now reversed itself and is pressing Russia to join in ousting Assad who is getting blamed for the latest chemical-weapons incident.
Presumably, however, the “geospatial intelligence” cited in the four-page dossier could disprove this and other contentions if the Trump administration would only make its evidence publicly available.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Memo shows Kissinger and Rumsfeld in damage control mode following revelation of CIA domestic activities
In late December 1974, the New York Times published an article reporting a massive set of CIA operations conducted domestically and targeting American citizens.
A memo marked CONFIDENTIAL in the Kissinger archives shows that Henry Kissinger and White House Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld were planning a public response to the article’s allegations almost immediately.
Until late last month, Donald Trump was fine with Bashar al-Assad remaining in power. Since then, his administration has struggled to articulate a clear plan
Three explosions went off next to Borussia Dortmund's team bus on Tuesday night, leaving one player injured and causing the club's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Monaco to be postponed.
According to local police, the blasts were specifically aimed at the bus and a letter claiming responsibility for the attack was recovered from the scene. Investigators are examining the letter's authenticity.
The incident occurred as the team left their hotel in the suburb of Dortmund-Höchsten shortly after 7.00pm local time. Marc Barta, the Dortmund defender, broke a bone in his right wrist in the incident and underwent surgery in hospital.
ADVERTISEMENTS FROM SEEMINGLY independent advocacy groups are swamping Beltway newspapers with dire warning that recent proposals to lower drug prices will lead to dangerous consequences. In the last week alone, the ads have appeared in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Roll Call, The Hill, and Politico.
The groups placing the ads have no obvious connection to pharmaceutical companies. For instance, the American Conservative Union (ACU), one of the organizations taking out an ad, describes itself as devoted to promoting “liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values, and strong national defense.”
But unbeknownst to readers, the organizations have undisclosed financial ties to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the umbrella lobbying group that represents the biggest names in the drug industry, including Merck, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Purdue Pharma, and Eli Lilly.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Much more intriguing are the white devices with some kind of black screen or speaker, two by two connected to a larger central device by two cables each. Only for president Trump there's a different device in silver grey, probably with a display folded up:
On the internet, there was speculation about the purpose of the mysterious devices. Some suggested that it could be small displays or microphone/speakers, but that seems less likely. Displays of that size would hardly add any useful functions and for such a small group there's no need for microphones and/or speakers in front of every participant: nowadays one single conference phone unit is sufficient for much larger conference tables (and the large Cisco EX90 screen has built-in microphones too).
In a thread on Reddit, someone said that the "hardened EX90 doesnt really have good microphone pickups, so we have to run a few external microphones thru the 1/8 mini microphone jack. Now they went a little crazy with the mic's but prolly went overboard because didnt want anyone complaining about not being heard. What you see is a Mini XLR cable and Sheilded POE cable that goes from each base station to the next."
However, another thread on Reddit is somewhat more in favor of jammer devices (see below).
There's also no reason why there should be such a series of devices when it comes to encryption: both video and audio from the standard Cisco equipment can easily be encrypted by a single network encryptor, like from General Dynamics's TACLANE series. In this way, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) provides secure video teleconferencing over its Secret (SIPRNet) and Top Secret/SCI (JWICS) networks.
For more than a decade, U.S. officials have refused to say what secrets China might have gleaned from the plane. Two years after the incident, journalists saw a redacted U.S. military report, which revealed that although crew members had jettisoned documents out an emergency hatch as they flew over the sea and had managed to destroy some signals-collection equipment before the plane fell into the hands of the Chinese, it was “highly probable” China had still obtained classified information from the plane. Attempts by journalists and academics to learn more over the years have been unsuccessful.
But now, a comprehensive Navy-NSA report completed three months after the collision, and included among documents obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, finally reveals extensive details about the incident, the actions crew members took to destroy equipment and data, and the secrets that were exposed to China — which turned out to be substantial though not catastrophic.
The unredacted Navy report, supplemented by a 2001 Congressional Research Service summary of the incident, as well as The Intercept’s interviews with two crew members on board during the collision, presents the most detailed picture yet of the P-3 incident, a critical moment in U.S.-China military relations.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara is accused of framing at least 51 people for murder. When a group of mothers, aunts and sisters found that no officials — not the state’s attorney’s office, not the mayor’s office — wanted to take up their cause, the women went in search of justice themselves. Next week a man convicted in one of Guevara’s most dubious cases will be in court for what could be his last chance at freedom. Will prosecutors continue fighting to keep Roberto Almodovar behind bars?
The NYPD’s proposed rules on officers using body cameras, released Friday, quickly ran into a stiff head wind from some police unions that threatened imminent legal action to stop their implementation.
The proposals governing the use of body cameras, set to roll out at the end of the month in the 34th Precinct in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, would mandate changes in the Patrol Guide, the bible of police procedures.
Under the rules, officers would be required to tell members of the public they were being recorded — unless notification would impede an investigation or create a danger. The rules also spell out when police must record, such as during arrests or car stops, and should not record, such as victims of sexual abuse or informants.
The objective is to compel the good people within the NYPD who were scheduled to have a press conference regarding evidence of crimes against children on Anthony Weiner's computer, but were silenced by the DOJ. We urge them to have that press conference now or provide us with information to disseminate in regards to the evidence found.
A hackers group that previously claimed to have stolen a bunch of hacking tools (malware, zero-day exploits, and implants) created by the NSA and gained popularity last year for leaking a portion of those tools is back.
Today, The Shadow Brokers group released more alleged hacking tools and exploits that, the group claims, belonged to "Equation Group" – an elite cyber attack unit linked to the NSA.
Besides dumping some NSA's hacking tools back in August 2016, the Shadow Brokers also released an encrypted cache of files containing more NSA's hacking tools and exploits in an auction, asking for 1 Million Bitcoins (around $568 Million).
However, after failed auction, the group put up those hacking tools and exploits for direct sale on an underground website, categorizing them into a type — like "exploits," "Trojans," and "implant" — each of which ranged from 1 to 100 Bitcoins (from $780 to $78,000).
Now, the Shadow Brokers has finally released password for the encrypted cache of NSA's files, allowing anyone to unlock and download the auction data dump.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Since then, the Shadow Broker group, whose origin and identity still remains a mystery, disappeared from the radar only to emerge today, when in an article posted on Medium, the group wrote an op-ed, much of it in broken English, in which it slammed Donald Trump's betrayal of his core "base", and the recent attack on Syria, urging Trump to revert to his original promises and not be swept away by globalist and MIC interests, but far more imporantly, released the password which grants access to what Edward Snowden moments ago called the NSA's "Top Secret arsenal of digital weapons."
The article begins with the group explaining why it is displeased with Trump.
Dear President Trump,
Respectfully, what the fuck are you doing? TheShadowBrokers voted for you. TheShadowBrokers supports you. TheShadowBrokers is losing faith in you. Mr. Trump helping theshadowbrokers, helping you. Is appearing you are abandoning “your base”, “the movement”, and the peoples who getting you elected.
#1 — Goldman Sach (TheGlobalists) and Military Industrial Intelligence Complex (MIIC) cabinet
#2 — Backtracked on Obamacare
#3 — Attacked the Freedom Causcus (TheMovement)
#4 — Removed Bannon from the NSC
#5 — Increased U.S. involvement in a foreign war (Syria Strike)
Alice describes her office as a “panopticon” — a structure built for total surveillance. Your office may be one, too. Whether through “voluntary” corporate wellness programs, smart badges that record voices and GPS locations, or surveillance apps in their mobile phones and personal computers, Americans are offering up more and more personal data at work. Most of them don’t have much idea of where that data goes, or how it will be used — and there aren’t that many limits on what employers can find out about their employees, or what they can do with the data. The more people who opt in now, the harder it will be to opt out in the future.
And it’s about to get much worse.
WikiLeaks has published what it says is another batch of secret hacking manuals belonging to the US Central Intelligence Agency as part of its Vault7 series of leaks. The site is billing Vault7 as the largest publication of intelligence documents ever.
Friday's installment includes 27 documents related to "Grasshopper," the codename for a set of software tools used to build customized malware for Windows-based computers. The Grasshopper framework provides building blocks that can be combined in unique ways to suit the requirements of a given surveillance or intelligence operation. The documents are likely to be of interest to potential CIA targets looking for signatures and other signs indicating their Windows systems were hacked. The leak will also prove useful to competing malware developers who want to learn new techniques and best practices.
Today, April 7th 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Grasshopper" -- 27 documents from the CIA's Grasshopper framework, a platform used to build customized malware payloads for Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Grasshopper is provided with a variety of modules that can be used by a CIA operator as blocks to construct a customized implant that will behave differently, for example maintaining persistence on the computer differently, depending on what particular features or capabilities are selected in the process of building the bundle. Additionally, Grasshopper provides a very flexible language to define rules that are used to "perform a pre-installation survey of the target device, assuring that the payload will only [be] installed if the target has the right configuration". Through this grammar CIA operators are able to build from very simple to very complex logic used to determine, for example, if the target device is running a specific version of Microsoft Windows, or if a particular Antivirus product is running or not.
Grasshopper allows tools to be installed using a variety of persistence mechanisms and modified using a variety of extensions (like encryption). The requirement list of the Automated Implant Branch (AIB) for Grasshopper puts special attention on PSP avoidance, so that any Personal Security Products like 'MS Security Essentials', 'Rising', 'Symantec Endpoint' or 'Kaspersky IS' on target machines do not detect Grasshopper elements.
One of the persistence mechanisms used by the CIA here is 'Stolen Goods' - whose "components were taken from malware known as Carberp, a suspected Russian organized crime rootkit." confirming the recycling of malware found on the Internet by the CIA. "The source of Carberp was published online, and has allowed AED/RDB to easily steal components as needed from the malware.". While the CIA claims that "[most] of Carberp was not used in Stolen Goods" they do acknowledge that "[the] persistence method, and parts of the installer, were taken and modified to fit our needs", providing a further example of reuse of portions of publicly available malware by the CIA, as observed in their analysis of leaked material from the italian company "HackingTeam".
The documents WikiLeaks publishes today provide an insights into the process of building modern espionage tools and insights into how the CIA maintains persistence over infected Microsoft Windows computers, providing directions for those seeking to defend their systems to identify any existing compromise
Friday, April 7, 2017
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate on Friday to become the 113th justice of the Supreme Court, capping a political brawl that lasted for more than a year and tested constitutional norms inside the Capitol’s fraying upper chamber.
The moment was a triumph for President Trump, whose campaign appeal to reluctant Republicans last year rested in large part on his pledge to appoint another committed conservative to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. However rocky the first months of his administration may have been, Mr. Trump now has a lasting legacy: Judge Gorsuch, 49, could serve on the court for 30 years or more.
In 1976 and again in 1977, the Justice Department decided not to prosecute anyone for the CIA’s illegal surveillance and mail openings. The report issued in 1977 reveals the Justice Department’s highly flawed reasons, including claims that prosecution would not serve to prevent such questionable or outright illegal surveillance from happening again - ironically setting the stage for modern surveillance programs.
The 57 page report begins with a surprising assertion – the Justice Department disagreed with everyone about the mail opening program being illegal. According to the Justice Department, “it would be mistaken to suppose that it was always clearly perceived that the particular mail opening programs of the CIA were obviously illegal.” Saying that they disagreed with everyone is not hyperbole – even CIA admitted that the programs were illegal.
Imagine going through a metal detector before you check into your hotel room, imagine being patted down and searched before you get inside your hotel. Imagine Disney using facial biometrics to spy on everyone in your family.
Well imagine no more, it's already happening.
According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Disney World has made going to your hotel and amusement park a virtual trip to a TSA checkpoint. Disney World has installed metal detectors and bag searches at all of their hotel entrances and park entrances.
Only 10 companies control almost every large food and beverage brand in the world.
These companies — Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg's, Mars, Associated British Foods, and Mondelez — each employ thousands and make billions of dollars in revenue every year.
In an effort to push these companies to make positive changes — and for customers to realize who controls the brands they're buying — Oxfam created a mind-boggling infographic that shows how interconnected consumer brands really are.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
A century ago today, the United States Congress, acting on the request of President Woodrow Wilson, declared war on Imperial Germany. Four days before, on the evening of April 2, the president addressed a joint session of Congress, asking for war. The subsequent vote was hardly close, with the House voting 373 to 50 in favor, while the Senate’s tally of 82 to six was even more lopsided.
This was the most important foreign policy decision made by Washington in the entire 20th century, since by entering the First World War—called the Great War at the time—the United States determined the outcome of that momentous and horrible conflict and thereby set Europe on a course for an even more terrible war to come.
US military strike under way in Syria after gas attack in Idlib appears to have changed Donald Trump’s view on Bashar al-Assad
News is breaking that the US has launched missile strikes against Syria.
NBC News reports that strikes were launched on al-Shayrat airfield, a Syrian military site close to Homs.
Reports from NBC and CNN say more than 50 Tomahawk missiles were fired.
This follows an apparent change of heart by Donald Trump over action in Syria, sparked by Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack in Idlib that killed more than 70 people.
We will be following developments here on the live blog as they unfold.