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Ex-NSA Contractor Pleads Guilty to 20-Year-Long Theft of Classified Data

Ex-NSA Contractor Pleads Guilty to 20-Year-Long Theft of Classified Data

March 29, 2019Mohit Kumar
A former National Security Agency contractor—who stole an enormous amount of sensitive information from the agency and then stored it at his home and car for over two decades—today changed his plea to guilty. The theft was labeled as the largest heist of classified government material in America's history. Harold Thomas Martin III, a 54-year-old Navy veteran from Glen Burnie, abused his top-secret security clearances to stole at least 50 terabytes of classified national defense data from government computers over two decades while working for a number of NSA departments between 1996 and 2016. In August 2016, the FBI arrested Martin at his Maryland home and found "six full bankers' boxes" worth of documents, many of which were marked "Secret" and "Top Secret," in his home and car. At the time of his arrest in August 2016, Martin also worked for Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp, the same company that previously employed  Edward Snowden  
NSA Leaker 'Reality Winner' Gets More Than 5 Years in Prison

NSA Leaker 'Reality Winner' Gets More Than 5 Years in Prison

August 24, 2018Mohit Kumar
A former NSA contractor, who pleaded guilty to leaking a classified report on Russian hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential election to an online news outlet last year, has been sentenced to five years and three months in prison. Reality Winner , a 26-year-old Georgia woman who held a top-secret security clearance and worked as a government contractor in Georgia with Pluribus International, initially faced 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, in the U.S. District Court in Augusta, Georgia on Thursday, Winner agreed to a plea agreement that called for five years and three months in prison with three years of supervision after release. Back in May 2017, Winner printed out a top-secret document detailing about the Russian hacking into U.S. voting systems, smuggled the report out of the agency in her underwear, and then mailed it anonymously to The Intercept. The Intercept, an online publication that has been publishing classified NSA documents leaked by Edward Snow
New Snowden Doc Exposes How NSA's Facility in Australia Aids Drone Strikes

New Snowden Doc Exposes How NSA's Facility in Australia Aids Drone Strikes

August 20, 2017Swati Khandelwal
The new documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has exposed a United States secretive facility located near a remote town in Australia's Northern Territory for covertly monitoring wireless communications and aiding US military missions. The leaked documents have come from the massive trove of classified material stolen by Snowden from the US National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 that exposed the extent of the US government's global surveillance programs. The newly released classified documents, obtained by The Intercept, contained references to a secretive facility, which was codenamed "Rainfall," but is officially known as the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap . The documents reveal that the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, located outside Alice Springs, deployed cutting-edge satellite technology for detailed geolocation intelligence that helps the US military locate targets for special forces and drone strikes . The use of unmanned air v
LinkedIn to get Banned in Russia for not Complying with Data Localization Law

LinkedIn to get Banned in Russia for not Complying with Data Localization Law

October 26, 2016Mohit Kumar
The world's largest online professional network LinkedIn could face a ban in Russia after the company has failed to comply with a Russian data localization law that compels companies to keep data on Russian users in their country. If you are not aware, LinkedIn is the only major social network which is not banned in China, because the company agreed to cooperate with the Chinese government and remove controversial content. However, LinkedIn could be the first social network in Russia to be blocked by the Russian state's federal media regulator, called Roskomnadzor, for not complying with the rules. In July 2014, the Russia approved amendments to the Russian Personal Data Law which came into force in 1st September 2015, under which foreign tech companies were required to store the personal data of its citizens within the country. However, Russia was not the first country to enforce such law on foreign tech companies. A few months ago, Iran also imposed new regulations
BREAKING! Another NSA Contractor Arrested For Stealing 'Secret' Documents

BREAKING! Another NSA Contractor Arrested For Stealing 'Secret' Documents

October 05, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Another Edward Snowden? The FBI has secretly busted another National Security Agency (NSA) contractor over a massive secret data theft. The United States Justice Department charged Harold Thomas Martin , 51, with theft of highly classified government material, including " source codes " developed by the NSA to hack foreign government, according to a court complaint ( PDF ) unsealed on Wednesday. According to the DoJ's chief national security prosecutor John Carlin, Martin was employed by Booz Allen Hamilton , the same consulting firm that employed whistleblower Edward J. Snowden when he disclosed the global surveillance conducted by the NSA. Currently, the FBI is investigating whether Martin stole and leaked highly classified computer source codes developed to hack into the networks of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and other United States adversaries, the New York Times reports . If stolen, this would be the second time in last 3 years when someone with
Leaked NSA Hacking Tools Were 'Mistakenly' Left By An Agent On A Remote Server

Leaked NSA Hacking Tools Were 'Mistakenly' Left By An Agent On A Remote Server

September 23, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If you are a hacker, you might have enjoyed the NSA's private zero-day exploits , malware and hacking tools that were leaked last month. But the question is: How these hacking tools ended up into the hands of hackers? It has been found that the NSA itself was not directly hacked, but a former NSA employee carelessly left those hacking tools on a remote server three years ago after an operation and a group of Russian hackers found them, sources close to the investigation told Reuters . The leaked hacking tools, which enable hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in systems from big vendors like Cisco Systems, Juniper, and Fortinet, were dumped publicly online by the group calling itself " The Shadow Brokers ." NSA officials have also admitted to the FBI that their careless employee acknowledged the error shortly afterward, and hence the agency was aware of its operative's mistake from last three years. But instead of warning the affected companies that their c
The NSA Hack — What, When, Where, How, Who & Why?

The NSA Hack — What, When, Where, How, Who & Why?

August 17, 2016Swati Khandelwal
You might have heard about the recent ongoing drama of NSA hack that has sparked a larger debate on the Internet concerning abilities of US intelligence agencies as well as their own security. Saturday morning the news broke that a mysterious group of hackers calling themselves "The Shadow Brokers" claimed it hacked an NSA-linked group and released some NSA hacking tools with a promise to sell more private "cyber weapons" to the highest bidder. The group dumped a bunch of private hacking tools from " Equation Group " – an elite cyber attack unit linked to the NSA – on GitHub and Tumblr. The Shadow Brokers hacking group has published the leaked data in two parts; one includes many hacking tools designed to inject malware into various servers and another encrypted file containing the "best files" that they made available for sale for 1 Million Bitcoins. However, GitHub deleted the files from its page, not due to any government pressur
Edward Snowden Designs an iPhone Case to Detect & Block Wireless Snooping

Edward Snowden Designs an iPhone Case to Detect & Block Wireless Snooping

July 22, 2016Swati Khandelwal
We just cannot imagine our lives without smartphones, even for a short while, and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had not owned a smartphone since 2013 when he began leaking NSA documents that exposed the government's global surveillance program. Snowden fears that cellular signals of the smartphone could be used to locate him, but now, to combat this, he has designed an iPhone case that would detect and fight against government snooping. With help from renowned hardware hacker Andrew "Bunnie" Huang, Snowden has devised the design, which they refer to as an " Introspection Engine, " that would keep journalists, activists, and human rights workers from being tracked by their own devices leaking their location details. "This work aims to give journalists the tools to know when their smartphones are tracking or disclosing their location when the devices are supposed to be in airplane mode," Huang and Snowden wrote in a blog post published Thu
Snowden says It's a 'Dark Day for Russia' after Putin Signs Anti-Terror Law

Snowden says It's a 'Dark Day for Russia' after Putin Signs Anti-Terror Law

July 09, 2016Mohit Kumar
Whistleblower and ex-NSA employee Edward Snowden has criticized a new anti-terror law introduced on Thursday by Russian President Vladimir Putin, referring it as "repressive" and noting that it is a " dark day for Russia ." The new legislation signed by Putin would compel the country's telephone carriers and Internet providers to record and store the private communications of each and every one of their customers for six months – and turn them over to the government if requested. The data collected on customers would include phone calls, text messages, photographs, and Internet activities that would be stored for six months, and "metadata" would be stored up to 3 years. Moreover, Instant messaging services that make use of encryption, including WhatsApp, Telegram, and Viber, could face heavy fines of thousands of pounds if these services continue to operate in Russia without handing over their encryption keys to the government. "Putin
NSA wants to Exploit Internet of Things and Biomedical Devices

NSA wants to Exploit Internet of Things and Biomedical Devices

June 11, 2016Swati Khandelwal
The cyber attack vectors available to hackers will continue to grow as the Internet of Things (IoTs) become more commonplace, making valuable data accessible through an ever-widening selection of entry points. Although it's not the hackers alone, the NSA is also behind the Internet of Things. We already know the United States National Security Agency's (NSA) power to spy on American as well as foreign people – thanks to the revelations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. But, now the agency is looking for new ways to collect even more data on foreign intelligence, and for this, the NSA is researching the possibilities of exploiting internet-connected biomedical devices ranging from thermostats to pacemakers. During a military technology conference in Washington D.C. on Friday, NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett said his agency officials are "looking at it sort of theoretically from a research point of view right now." Ledgett totally agreed o
The Best Way to Send and Receive End-to-End Encrypted Emails

The Best Way to Send and Receive End-to-End Encrypted Emails

March 18, 2016Swati Khandelwal
How many of you know the fact that your daily e-mails are passaged through a deep espionage filter? This was unknown until the whistleblower Edward Snowden broke all the surveillance secrets, which made privacy and security important for all Internet users than ever before. I often get asked "How to send encrypted email?", "How can I protect my emails from prying eyes?" and "Which is the best encrypted email service?". Although, there are a number of encryption tools that offers encrypted email service to ensure that no one can see what you are sending to someone else. One such tool to send encrypted emails is PGP ( Pretty Good Privacy ), an encryption tool designed to protect users’ emails from snooping. However, setting up a PGP Environment for non-tech users is quite a difficult task, so more than 97% of the Internet users, including government officials, are still communicating via unencrypted email services i.e. Gmail, Ya
Donald Trump — Boycott Apple! But Still Tweeting from an iPhone

Donald Trump — Boycott Apple! But Still Tweeting from an iPhone

February 20, 2016Unknown
As the groundwork for the presidential election is being cooked up in the United States to be held on 8 November 2016, candidates are very busy in sharpening their skills to gain the vote of reliance. By struggling to gain an upper hand in the National issues at this moment could benefit the candidates bring them into the limelight and stardom. Donald Trump (a Presidential Candidate from Republican Party) is not an exception to this. Recently, Trump made a controversial statement to boycott Apple until the company handovers the San Bernardino terrorist's phone data to the authority; during a rally in South Carolina yesterday. "First of all, Apple ought to give the security for that phone. What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until they give that security number," Trump addressed in the rally. This action was the outcome of the Apple denial to the request of Californian Judge to build a backdoor for the shooter's iPhone. Also Read:
British Intelligence is Legally Allowed to Hack Anyone, Court Says

British Intelligence is Legally Allowed to Hack Anyone, Court Says

February 13, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Hacking of computers, smartphones and networks in the United Kingdom or abroad by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is LEGAL , the UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal ( IPT ) ruled. So, the UK is giving clean chit to its intelligence agency to spy on its people as well as people living abroad. Now, How is that okay? The British spying nerve center GCHQ has won a major court case in defense of the agency's persistent hacking programs.  After revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about the extent of spying by the US and the UK, Privacy International and seven Internet Service Providers (ISPs) launched a legal challenge against the GCHQ's hacking operations. The case alleged that the British spying agency was breaking European law and violating fundamental warrant protections by its too intrusive and persistent surveillance actions. GCHQ Admitted its Hacking Practices Though GCHQ "neither confirm nor deny" the e
Paris Attacks — NO! We Can't Blame Edward Snowden and Encryption for Terror Attacks

Paris Attacks — NO! We Can't Blame Edward Snowden and Encryption for Terror Attacks

November 17, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Terrorist groups are increasingly using high-grade, advanced end-to-end encryption technologies so that no law enforcement can catch them. The deadliest terror attacks in Paris that killed 129 people were the latest example of it. How did the Terrorists Communicate and Organize the Plot? The Paris terrorists almost certainly used difficult-to-crack encryption technologies to organize the plot – locking law enforcement out, FBI Director James B. Comey told Congress Wednesday. Also Read:   ISIS Calls Anonymous "IDIOTS" in response to their "Total war" Cyber Threat . The ISIS mastermind behind the Friday's Paris massacre is identified to be Abdelhamid Abaaoud , who is based in Syria. So to transmit his plans to the suicide bombers and gunmen, he would have made use of secure communication to keep law enforcement out. FBI's Comey believes ISIS is making use of popular social media platforms to reach out to potential recruits and smartphone messaging app
British Intelligence Agency Can Hack Any Smartphone With Just a Text Message

British Intelligence Agency Can Hack Any Smartphone With Just a Text Message

October 07, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Former NSA contractor and global surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden told the BBC investigative programme Panorama Monday night that the British intelligence agency GCHQ has powers to hack any smartphones without their owners' knowledge. You heard right. The British Spying Agency have special tools that let them take over your smartphones with just a text message, said Edward Snowden , and there is " very little " you can do to prevent them having " total control " over your devices. By Sending just a Text message, the tools let spies: Listen in to what's happening in the room View files and the web history See messages and photos Taking secret pictures of smartphone owners Pinpoint exactly where a user is (to a much more sophisticated level than a typical GPS system) In other words, the tools allow agencies to monitor your every move and every conversation, even when your smartphone is turned OFF. Here's How GCHQ Ca
Breaking: Edward Snowden Joins Twitter & Only Follows ‘NSA’

Breaking: Edward Snowden Joins Twitter & Only Follows ‘NSA’

September 29, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Whistleblower Edward Snowden just joined Twitter, and his first tweet seems to be directed at the US National Security Agency (NSA) . Yes, the world's most popular whistleblower and data privacy advocate has finally joined Twitter just two hours ago, and his first tweet came, “ Can you hear me now? ” Snowden has gained more than 260,000 followers in just less than two hours, but he is currently following only one account: @NSAGov , the official Twitter account for the National Security Agency. Twitter has verified Snowden's Twitter account ( @Snowden ), and his Twitter bio provides a short summary of his prolonged situation. Snowden's Twitter bio reads, "I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public. Director at @FreedomofPress." Snowden is listed as director of Freedom of the Press, a foundation dedicated to ensuring transparency in journalism in adverse situations. The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden sought asylum in
France May Offer Asylum to Edward Snowden and Julian Assange

France May Offer Asylum to Edward Snowden and Julian Assange

June 26, 2015Mohit Kumar
In wake of the latest revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA) global spying on country’s leaders, France may decide to offer political asylum to whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange , as a " symbolic gesture ." Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden , who is facing criminal espionage charges in the U.S., has remained in Russia for almost two years after exposing the United States government’s worldwide surveillance programs and he awaits responses from two dozen countries where he’d like to live. WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange has remained in the Ecuadorian embassy for three years in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where Assange is facing sex crime allegations. French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told French news channel BFMTV on Thursday that if France decides to offer both of them asylum, she would "absolutely not be surprised." Recent WikiLeaks report claimed that the United States had been spying on
UK Government Rewrites Laws to Let GCHQ Hack Into Computers Legally

UK Government Rewrites Laws to Let GCHQ Hack Into Computers Legally

May 17, 2015Mohit Kumar
The UK Government has quietly changed the Anti-Hacking Laws quietly that exempt GCHQ , police, and other electronic intelligence agencies from criminal prosecution for hacking into computers and mobile phones and carrying out its controversial surveillance practices. The details of the changes were disclosed at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal , which is currently hearing a challenge to the legality of computer hacking by UK law enforcement and its intelligence agencies. About a year ago, a coalition of Internet service providers teamed up with Privacy International to take a legal action against GCHQ for its unlawful hacking activities. However, the Government amended the Computer Misuse Act (CMA) two months ago to give GCHQ and other intelligence agencies more protection through a little-noticed addition to the Serious Crime Bill. The change was introduced on June 6, just weeks after the complaint was filed by Privacy International that GCHQ had conducted compu
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