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United States Sues Edward Snowden and You'd be Surprised to Know Why

United States Sues Edward Snowden and You'd be Surprised to Know Why
September 17, 2019Mohit Kumar
The United States government today filed a lawsuit against Edward Snowden , a former contractor for the CIA and NSA government agencies who made headlines worldwide in 2013 when he fled the country and leaked top-secret information about NSA's global and domestic surveillance activities. And you would be more surprised to know the reason for this lawsuit—No, Snowden has not been sued for leaking NSA secrets, instead for publishing a book without submitting it to the agencies for pre-publication review. In his latest book, titled " Permanent Record " and released today on September 17th, Edward Snowden for the first time revealed the story of his life, including how he helped the agency to built that surveillance system. Permanent Record also details about the aftermath of Snowden decision to disclose hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents exposing the United States mass surveillance programs to the world. According to a press release U.S. Department of J

NSA Releases GHIDRA Source Code — Free Reverse Engineering Tool

NSA Releases GHIDRA Source Code — Free Reverse Engineering Tool
April 04, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Update (4/4/2019) — Great news. NSA today finally released the complete source code for GHIDRA version 9.0.2 which is now available on its Github repository . GHIDRA  is agency's home-grown classified software reverse engineering tool that agency experts have been using internally for over a decade to hunt down security bugs in software and applications. GHIDRA is a Java-based reverse engineering framework that features a graphical user interface (GUI) and has been designed to run on a variety of platforms including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Reverse engineering a program or software involves disassembling, i.e. converting binary instructions into assembly code when its source code is unavailable, helping software engineers, especially malware analysts, understand the functionality of the code and actual design and implementation information. The existence of GHIDRA was first publicly revealed by WikiLeaks in CIA Vault 7 leaks , but the NSA today publicly released t

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 28, 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 to release its GHIDRA reverse engineering tool for free

NSA to release its GHIDRA reverse engineering tool for free
January 07, 2019Wang Wei
The United States' National Security Agency (NSA) is planning to release its internally developed reverse engineering tool for free at the upcoming RSA security conference 2019 that will be held in March in San Francisco. The existence of the framework, dubbed GHIDRA, was first publicly revealed by WikiLeaks in CIA Vault 7 leaks, but the tool once again came to light after Senior NSA Adviser Robert Joyce announced to publicly release the tool for free in his RSA Conference session description. Reverse engineering tool is a disassembler, for example, IDA-Pro, that help researchers identify certain portions of a program to see how they work by reading information like its processor instructions, instruction lengths, and more. GHIDRA is a Java-based reverse engineering framework that features a graphical user interface (GUI) and has been designed to run on a variety of platforms including Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems, and also supports a variety of processor

Secret Charges Against Julian Assange Revealed Due to "Cut-Paste" Error

Secret Charges Against Julian Assange Revealed Due to "Cut-Paste" Error
November 16, 2018Mohit Kumar
Has Wikileaks founder Julian Assange officially been charged with any unspecified criminal offense in the United States? — YES United States prosecutors have accidentally revealed the existence of criminal charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a recently unsealed court filing in an unrelated ongoing sex crime case in the Eastern District of Virginia. Assistant US Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, who made this disclosure on August 22, urged the judge to keep the indictment [ pdf ] prepared against Assange sealed (secret) "due to the sophistication of the defendant, and the publicity surrounding the case." Dwyer is assigned to the WikiLeaks case. Dwyer also said the charges would "need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges" in the indictment and can, therefore "no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter." WikiLeaks, the website that published thousands of classified U.S. government do

Ex-NSA Developer Gets 5.5 Years in Prison for Taking Top Secret Documents Home

Ex-NSA Developer Gets 5.5 Years in Prison for Taking Top Secret Documents Home
September 26, 2018Mohit Kumar
A former NSA employee has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for illegally taking a copy of highly classified documents and hacking tools to his home computer between 2010 and 2015, which were later stolen by Russian hackers. Nghia Hoang Pho, 68, of Ellicott City, Maryland—who worked as a developer with Tailored Access Operations (TAO) hacking group at the NSA since April 2006—held various security clearances and had access to national defense and classified information. The personal Windows computer on which Pho stored the classified documents and tools was running Kaspersky antivirus software, which was then allegedly used, one way or another, by Russian hackers to steal the documents in 2015. Though Kaspersky Lab consistently denied any direct involvement in helping Russian intelligence agencies to pilfer sensitive secrets, the United States government banned federal agencies from using Kaspersky antivirus software over spying fears. In response, Kasper

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

Ex-CIA employee charged with leaking 'Vault 7' hacking tools to Wikileaks

Ex-CIA employee charged with leaking 'Vault 7' hacking tools to Wikileaks
June 19, 2018Mohit Kumar
A 29-year-old former CIA computer programmer who was charged with possession of child pornography last year has now been charged with masterminding the largest leak of classified information in the agency's history. Joshua Adam Schulte , who once created malware for both the CIA and NSA to break into adversaries computers, was indicted Monday by the Department of Justice on 13 charges of allegedly stealing and transmitting thousands of classified CIA documents , software projects , and hacking utilities . Schulte has also been suspected of leaking the stolen archive of documents to anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, who then began publishing the classified information in March 2017 in a series of leaks under the name " Vault 7 ." It is yet unconfirmed whether Schulte leaked documents to WikiLeaks and if yes, then when, but he had already been a suspect since January 2017 of stealing classified national defense information from the CIA in 2016. According to

Kaspersky Lab Sues U.S. Government Over Software Ban

Kaspersky Lab Sues U.S. Government Over Software Ban
December 19, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab has taken the United States government to a U.S. federal court for its decision to ban the use of Kaspersky products in federal agencies and departments. In September 2017, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Binding Operational Directive (BOD) ordering civilian government agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab software from their computers and networks within 90 days. The order came amid mounting concern among United States officials that the Kaspersky antivirus software could be helping Russian government spy on their activities, which may threaten the U.S. national security. U.S. President Donald Trump also signed into law last week legislation that bans the use of Kaspersky products within the U.S. government, capping a months-long effort to purge Kaspersky from federal agencies amid concerns it's vulnerable to Kremlin influence. The Kaspersky's appeal is part of an ongoing campaign by the c

Israel Hacked Kaspersky, Caught Russian Spies Hacking American Spies, But...

Israel Hacked Kaspersky, Caught Russian Spies Hacking American Spies, But...
October 11, 2017Mohit Kumar
The cold cyber war has just turned hot. According to a story published  today by the New York Times, Israeli government hackers hacked into Kaspersky's network in 2015 and caught Russian government hackers red-handed hacking US government hackers with the help of Kaspersky. In other words — Russia spying on America, Israel spying on Russia and America spying on everyone. What the F^#% is going around? It is like one is blaming another for doing exactly the same thing it is doing against someone else. Wow! Well, the fact that everyone is spying on everyone is neither new nor any secret. However, somehow now Kaspersky Labs is at the centre of this international espionage tale for its alleged devil role. Just last week, the Wall Street Journal, an American media agency, published a story against the Kaspersky, a Russian antivirus provider, claiming that the Russian government hackers stole highly classified NSA documents and hacking tools in 2015 from a staffer's home

U.S. Believes Russian Spies Used Kaspersky Antivirus to Steal NSA Secrets

U.S. Believes Russian Spies Used Kaspersky Antivirus to Steal NSA Secrets
October 06, 2017Unknown
Do you know—United States Government has banned federal agencies from using Kaspersky antivirus software over spying fear? Though there's no solid evidence yet available, an article published by WSJ claims  that the Russian state-sponsored hackers stole highly classified NSA documents from a contractor in 2015 with the help of a security program made by Russia-based security firm Kaspersky Lab. Currently, there is no way to independently confirm if the claims on the popular security vendor published by the Wall Street Journal is accurate—and the story does not even prove the involvement of Kaspersky. "As a private company, Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties to any government, including Russia, and the only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight," Kaspersky said in a statement. The NSA contractor working with the American intelligence agency, whose identity has not yet been disclosed, reportedly do

Shadow Brokers Leaks Another Windows Hacking Tool Stolen from NSA's Arsenal

Shadow Brokers Leaks Another Windows Hacking Tool Stolen from NSA’s Arsenal
September 08, 2017Swati Khandelwal
The Shadow Brokers , a notorious hacking group that leaked several hacking tools from the NSA, is once again making headlines for releasing another NSA exploit—but only to its "monthly dump service" subscribers. Dubbed UNITEDRAKE , the implant is a "fully extensible remote collection system" that comes with a number of "plug-ins," enabling attackers to remotely take full control over targeted Windows computers. In its latest post, the hacking group announced a few changes to its monthly dump service and released encrypted files from the previous months as well. Notably, the September dump also includes an unencrypted PDF file, which is a user manual for the UNITEDRAKE (United Rake) exploit developed by the NSA. According to the leaked user manual, UNITEDRAKE is a customizable modular malware with the ability to capture webcam and microphone output, log keystrokes, access external drives and more in order to spy on its targets. The tool c

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

NSA Opens Github Account — Lists 32 Projects Developed by the Agency

NSA Opens Github Account — Lists 32 Projects Developed by the Agency
June 21, 2017Swati Khandelwal
The National Security Agency (NSA) — the United States intelligence agency which is known for its secrecy and working in the dark — has finally joined GitHub and launched an official GitHub page. The NSA employs genius-level coders and brightest mathematicians, who continually work to break codes, gather intelligence on everyone, and develop hacking tools like EternalBlu e that was leaked by the Shadow Brokers in April and abused by the WannaCry ransomware last month to wreak havoc worldwide. The intelligence agency mostly works in secret, but after Edward Snowden leaks in 2013, the NSA has started (slowly) opening itself to the world. It joined Twitter in the same year after Snowden leaks and now opened a Github account. GitHub is an online service designed for sharing code amongst programmers and open source community, and so far, the NSA is sharing 32 different projects as part of the NSA Technology Transfer Program ( TTP ), while some of these are 'coming soon.'

Wanna Cry Again? NSA's Windows 'EsteemAudit' RDP Exploit Remains Unpatched

Wanna Cry Again? NSA’s Windows 'EsteemAudit' RDP Exploit Remains Unpatched
May 25, 2017Mohit Kumar
Brace yourselves for a possible 'second wave' of massive global cyber attack, as SMB ( Server Message Block) was not the only network protocol whose zero-day exploits created by NSA were exposed in the Shadow Brokers dump last month. Although Microsoft released patches for SMB flaws for supported versions in March and unsupported versions immediately after the outbreak of the WannaCry ransomware, the company ignored to patch other three NSA hacking tools, dubbed " EnglishmanDentist ," " EsteemAudit ," and " ExplodingCan ." It has been almost two weeks since WannaCry ransomware began to spread, which infected nearly 300,000 computers in more than 150 countries within just 72 hours, though now it has been slowed down. For those unaware, WannaCry exploited a Windows zero-day SMB bug that allowed remote hackers to hijack PCs running on unpatched Windows OS and then spread itself to other unpatched systems using its wormable capability.

Newly Found Malware Uses 7 NSA Hacking Tools, Where WannaCry Uses 2

Newly Found Malware Uses 7 NSA Hacking Tools, Where WannaCry Uses 2
May 22, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A security researcher has identified a new strain of malware that also spreads itself by exploiting flaws in Windows SMB file sharing protocol, but unlike the WannaCry Ransomware that uses only two leaked NSA hacking tools , it exploits all the seven. Last week, we warned you about multiple hacking groups exploiting leaked NSA hacking tools, but almost all of them were making use of only two tools: EternalBlue and DoublePulsar. Now, Miroslav Stampar, a security researcher who created famous 'sqlmap' tool and now a member of the Croatian Government CERT, has discovered a new network worm, dubbed EternalRocks , which is more dangerous than WannaCry and has no kill-switch in it. Unlike WannaCry, EternalRocks seems to be designed to function secretly in order to ensure that it remains undetectable on the affected system. However, Stampar learned of EternalRocks after it infected his SMB honeypot . The NSA exploits used by EternalRocks, which Stampar called " Do

Leaked NSA Hacking Tools Being Used to Hack Thousands of Vulnerable Windows PCs

Leaked NSA Hacking Tools Being Used to Hack Thousands of Vulnerable Windows PCs
April 22, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Script kiddies and online criminals around the world have reportedly started exploiting NSA hacking tools leaked last weekend to compromise hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Windows computers exposed on the Internet. Last week, the mysterious hacking group known as Shadow Brokers leaked a set of Windows hacking tools targeting Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 7 and 8, and Windows 2012, allegedly belonged to the NSA's Equation Group. What's Worse? Microsoft quickly downplayed the security risks by releasing patches for all exploited vulnerabilities , but there are still risks in the wild with unsupported systems as well as with those who haven't yet installed the patches. Multiple security researchers have performed mass Internet scans over the past few days and found tens of thousands of Windows computers worldwide infected with DoublePulsar , a suspected NSA spying implant, as a result of a free tool released on GitHub for anyone to use. Security r

Turns Out Microsoft Has Already Patched Exploits Leaked By Shadow Brokers

Turns Out Microsoft Has Already Patched Exploits Leaked By Shadow Brokers
April 15, 2017Swati Khandelwal
The latest dump of hacking tools allegedly belonged to the NSA is believed to be the most damaging release by the Shadow Brokers till the date. But after analyzing the disclosed exploits, Microsoft security team says most of the windows vulnerabilities exploited by these hacking tools, including EternalBlue, EternalChampion, EternalSynergy, EternalRomance and others, are already patched in the last month's Patch Tuesday update. " Most of the exploits that were disclosed fall into vulnerabilities that are already patched in our supported products. Customers still running prior versions of these products are encouraged to upgrade to a supported offering, " Microsoft Security Team said in a blog post  published today. On Good Friday, the Shadow Brokers released a massive trove of Windows hacking tools allegedly stolen from NSA that works against almost all versions of Windows, from Windows 2000 and XP to Windows 7 and 8, and their server-side variants such as Serve
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