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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
Have you ever suspected that Facebook is listening to your conversations through Microphone?

Have you ever suspected that Facebook is listening to your conversations through Microphone?

June 03, 2016Mohit Kumar
Have you ever felt Facebook is showing you very relevant ads about topics you're only discussing around your phone? If yes, then you may find this news worth reading. Communications Professor Kelli Burns from the University of South Florida claims that Facebook is listening to all conversations people have while its app is open to serve more relevant ads for products related to what they are talking about. However, the social networking giant responds  it does listen to audio and collect information from users, but does not record or use sounds heard around people for targeted ads. " Facebook does not use microphone audio to inform advertising or News Feed stories in any way ," a Facebook spokesperson said. " Businesses are able to serve relevant ads based on people's interests and other demographic information, but not through audio collection. " Facebook rolled out a feature in May of 2014 when the company said that it might target ads " in t
Iran orders all Messaging Apps to store its citizens' data within Country

Iran orders all Messaging Apps to store its citizens' data within Country

May 30, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Last year, Iran blocked Telegram and many other social networks after their founders refused to help Iranian authorities to spy on their citizens. Now it looks like Iranian government wants tighter controls on all foreign messaging and social media apps operating in the country that will give the authorities a wider ability to monitor and censor its people. All foreign messaging and social media apps operating in Iran have one year to move 'data and activity' associated with Iranian citizens onto servers in Iran, Reuters reported . In order to comply with the new regulations, the companies would need to set up data centers in Iran within one year, but apps may lose a larger number of users by moving data onto Iranian servers. However, transferring data to Iran servers might not be enough, as some of the most popular messaging services like WhatsApp , Apple iMessage , and Telegram are offering end-to-end encrypted communication i.e. nobody in between, not even Whats
U.S. developing Technology to Identify and Track Hackers Worldwide

U.S. developing Technology to Identify and Track Hackers Worldwide

May 05, 2016Mohit Kumar
Without adequate analysis and algorithms, mass surveillance is not the answer to fighting terrorism and tracking suspects. That's what President Obama had learned last year when he signed the USA Freedom Act , which ends the bulk collection of domestic phone data by US Intelligence Agencies. There is no doubt that US Government is collecting a vast quantity of data from your smartphone to every connected device i.e. Internet of the things , but… Do they have enough capabilities to predict and identify terrorists or cyber criminals or state-sponsored hackers before they act? Well, if they had, I would not be getting chance to write about so many brutal cyber attacks , data breaches, and terrorist attacks that not only threatened Americans but also impacted people worldwide. The Ex-NSA technical director William E. Binney, who served the US National Security Agency for over 30-years, said last year in the front of Parliamentary Joint Committee that forcing analysts t
Hackers can spy on your calls and track location, using just your phone number

Hackers can spy on your calls and track location, using just your phone number

April 19, 2016Swati Khandelwal
In Brief The famous '60 Minutes' television show shocked some viewers Sunday evening when a team of German hackers demonstrated how they spied on an iPhone used by U.S. Congressman, then recorded his phone calls and tracked his movement through Los Angeles. Hackers leverage a security flaw in SS7 (Signalling System Seven) protocol that allows hackers to track phone locations, listen in on calls and text messages. The global telecom network SS7 is still vulnerable to several security flaws that could let hackers and spy agencies listen to personal phone calls and intercept SMSes on a potentially massive scale, despite the most advanced encryption used by cellular networks. All one need is the target's phone number to track him/her anywhere on the planet and even eavesdrop on the conversations. SS7 or Signalling System Number 7 is a telephony signaling protocol used by more than 800 telecommunication operators around the world to exchange information with one
Microsoft Sues US Govt Over Unconstitutional Secret Data Requests

Microsoft Sues US Govt Over Unconstitutional Secret Data Requests

April 14, 2016Mohit Kumar
Microsoft is suing the Department of Justice (DoJ) to protest the gag order that prevents technology companies from telling their customers when their cloud data is handed over to authorities. In layman's terms, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) allows the government to issue gag orders saying that the people or companies involved in a legal case cannot talk about the case or anything related to it in public. So, the government is continuously forcing tech companies to hand over their customers' emails or personal records stored in the cloud servers without their clients' knowledge. Microsoft has filed a lawsuit [ PDF ] against the DoJ, arguing that it is " unconstitutional " and violates constitutional protection of free speech to force the tech companies for not informing their customers when their stored data has been shared with authorities. "We believe these actions violate two of the fundamental rights that have been part of this countr
Facebook's Vice President Arrested in Brazil for Refusing to Share WhatsApp Data

Facebook's Vice President Arrested in Brazil for Refusing to Share WhatsApp Data

March 01, 2016Wang Wei
Apple is not the only technology giant battling against authorities over a court order; Facebook is also facing the same. Brazil's federal police arrested Facebook Latin America Vice President for failing to comply with court orders to help investigators in a drug trafficking case that involves WhatsApp, a popular messaging app owned by Facebook that has over 100 Million users in Brazil. Facebook VP Diego Jorge Dzodan was arrested on his way to work in São Paulo, Brazil today because the company refused to provide details of a WhatsApp user involved in organized crime and drug trafficking. Dzodan is still in police custody and is responding to police questioning in Sao Paulo, Local media reported . According to a statement released by a spokesperson from WhatsApp: "We are disappointed that law enforcement took this extreme step. WhatsApp cannot provide information we do not have. We cooperated to the full extent of our ability in this case, and while we re
NSA Data Center Experiencing 300 Million Hacking Attempts Per Day

NSA Data Center Experiencing 300 Million Hacking Attempts Per Day

February 22, 2016Unknown
Utah State computer systems are experiencing a massive cyber attack on up to 300 Million Hacking attempts per day due to National Security Agency's (NSA) data center in the state. Yes, 300,000,000 hacking attempts in a day! According to the statistical survey, it is evident that the computer systems in the US State of Utah began to experience the hacking attack a few years back, precisely, soon after the NSA revelations by global surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden. It is a less-known fact that the NSA has built its new data center near the city of Bluffdale, Utah. However, a couple of years back, when Snowden revealed the presence of the data center, the attacks have constantly been going on. The PRISM spying program by Big Brothers at NSA might have shifted the attention of hackers for the retaliation against mass-surveillance and flared up this heightened cyber attacks against the spying agency. According to Utah Commissioner of public safety, Keith S
Russia Wants to Kick Foreign Tech Companies Out Of The Nation

Russia Wants to Kick Foreign Tech Companies Out Of The Nation

February 13, 2016Unknown
Someone wants to kick Microsoft, Google and Apple off from his land, but himself uses Gmail and Mac. The newly appointed Internet Tsar German Klemenko , who is the first internet advisor of Vladimir Putin , wants to kick off American Giants from Russia. In a 90-minute interview conducted by Bloomberg, Klemenko expressed his interest to vanish the presence of tech biggies of foreign countries from Russia. Google & Apple have to Pay 18% more VAT As part of this, Klemenko plans to hike the tax on foreign companies, including Google and Apple, by 18% VAT on their applications & services sold online. It is estimated that Apple, Google and other companies are nearly gaining RUB 300 Billion (£2.7 Billion, US$4 Billion) in revenue every year from Russia. "When you buy an app from Google Play or the App Store anywhere in Europe, VAT is charged at the place of payment, but not here in our banana republic," says Klemenko. The proposed movement wi
British Intelligence is Legally Allowed to Hack Anyone, Court Says

British Intelligence is Legally Allowed to Hack Anyone, Court Says

February 12, 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
Google Wants to Fly Drones Over Your Head to Deliver High Speed 5G Internet

Google Wants to Fly Drones Over Your Head to Deliver High Speed 5G Internet

January 30, 2016Mohit Kumar
Would you enjoy If Drones hovering outside your window or above your head, just because it is offering High-Speed Internet Service? Most Americans may simply prefer to "Shoot Down" unwelcome items. Well, Google is working on a similar secret project, codenamed Project Skybender , to beam faster internet service, as fast as 5G , from the air. Google is currently testing multiple prototypes of Solar-powered Internet Drones in the New Mexico desert, as per some documents obtained by the Guardian under public records laws. To ensure security, Google is also said to have installed its own dedicated flight control centre near Spaceflight Operations Center at the Spaceport America facility in the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Google's Project SkyBender Drones are equipped with millimetre-wave radio transmissions to deliver next generation 5G wireless Internet, up to 40 times faster than 4G LTE systems. Drones  —  Privacy Nightmare
Apple Can Still Read Your End-to-End Encrypted iMessages

Apple Can Still Read Your End-to-End Encrypted iMessages

January 25, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If you are backing up your data using iCloud Backup , then you need you watch your steps NOW! In government fight against encryption, Apple has positioned itself as a staunch defender of its user privacy by refusing the federal officials to provide encryption backdoors into its products. When it comes to Apple's iMessage service, the company claims that it can't read messages sent between its devices because they use end-to-end encryption, which apparently means that only you and the intended recipient can read it. Moreover, in case, if the federal authorities ask Apple to hand over messages related to any of its users, there is nothing with Apple to offer them. "If the government laid a subpoena to get iMessages, we can't provide it," Apple CEO Tim Cook told Charlie Rose back in 2014. "It is encrypted, and we do not have a key." But Wait! There are still hundreds of Millions of Apple users whose data are stored on Apple'
Microsoft will Inform You If Government is Spying on You

Microsoft will Inform You If Government is Spying on You

December 31, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Following in the footsteps of Twitter, Facebook and Google, Microsoft promises to notify users of its e-mail ( Outlook ) and cloud storage ( OneDrive ) services if government hackers may have targeted their accounts. The company already notifies users if an unauthorized person tries to access their Outlook or OneDrive accounts. But from now on, the company will also inform if it suspects government-sponsored hackers. Ex-Employee: Microsoft Didn't Notify When China Spied Tibetans Leaders The move could be taken in the wake of the claims made by Microsoft's former employees that several years ago Chinese government hacked into more than a thousand Hotmail email accounts of international leaders of Tibetan and Uighur minorities , but the company decided not to tell the victims, allowing the hackers to continue their campaign. Instead of alerting those leaders of the hacking attempts, Microsoft simply recommended them to change their passwords without disclosi
Today NSA has Stopped its Bulk Phone Surveillance Program

Today NSA has Stopped its Bulk Phone Surveillance Program

November 30, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Rejoice! From this morning, you can call freely to anyone, talk anything without any fear of being spied by the United States National Security Agency (NSA), as the agency is not allowed to collect bulk phone records . Until now we all are aware of the NSA's bulk phone surveillance program – thanks to former NSA employee Edward Snowden , who leaked the very first top secret documents of the agency in 2013. However, more than two years later of the first revelation, that bulk phone surveillance program has finally come to an end. End of Bulk Phone Surveillance Program The White House announced Friday evening on the intelligence community's official Tumblr that the NSA will officially be shutting down its bulk phone surveillance program by Sunday, November 29. Under this program, the US intelligence agency collected only the " metadata " that reveals data related to the called phone numbers (i.e. which numbers are calling and what time they
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
Warning: 18,000 Android Apps Contains Code that Spy on Your Text Messages

Warning: 18,000 Android Apps Contains Code that Spy on Your Text Messages

October 28, 2015Khyati Jain
A large number of third-party Android apps have reportedly been discovered grabbing copies of all text messages received or sent to infected devices and sending them to the attackers' server. More than 63,000 Android applications use Taomike SDK – one of the biggest mobile advertisement solutions in China – to help developers display ads in their mobile apps and generate revenue. However, around 18,000 of these Android apps contains a malicious code that spy on users text messages, according to researchers at Palo Alto Networks, who made the discovery . Taomike provides a Software Development Toolkit (SDK) and services to the Android app developers using which they can: Displaying advertisements to users Offer in-app purchases (IAPs) Android Apps Stealing SMS Messages Focussing on distributing the app and techniques for building revenue, "Not all apps that use the Taomike library steal SMS messages," security researchers said. The security
NSA-linked Spying Malware Infected Top German Official's Computer

NSA-linked Spying Malware Infected Top German Official's Computer

October 27, 2015Swati Khandelwal
The German authorities have initiated a further investigation into espionage by the United States secret service NSA and British intelligence agency GCHQ after...   ...the head of the German Federal Chancellery unit had his private laptop infected. According to a recent report published by Der Spiegel , the laptop of the Chancellery division leader was infected with Regin – a highly advanced espionage malware program that has been linked to the National Security Agency (NSA) and its UK counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). As The Hacker News reported almost a year ago, Regin is one of the most highly advanced, sophisticated malware programs that was used to spy on a wide range of international targets including: Internet service providers (ISPs) Telecommunications backbone operators Energy firms Airlines Government entities Research institutes Other high-profile individuals …around the world since at least 2008. Regin has d
Facebook Will Now Notify You If NSA is Spying on You

Facebook Will Now Notify You If NSA is Spying on You

October 19, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Facebook just launched a new notification feature that will alert you if the social network strongly suspects that your account is being hijacked or targeted by hackers working in the interest of a nation-state. The message, which you can see below, recommends users to turn ON " Login Approvals ," so that their Facebook accounts can only be accessed using stronger two-factor authentication. Facebook insists that some necessary steps are already taken to secure users' Facebook accounts that may be targeted by hackers, but the company has also stepped up to directly warn its users when a government-sponsored attack is under away. In a blog post published Saturday, Facebook Chief Security Officer (CSO) Alex Stamos announced that this step to secure accounts is necessary "because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others." Stamos added that "it's important to understand that this warning is not related t
CyberSpace — China arrested Hackers at U.S. Government Request

CyberSpace — China arrested Hackers at U.S. Government Request

October 10, 2015Swati Khandelwal
For the very first time in history, China has arrested hackers within its borders at the request of the United States government. The helping hands of China made me remind of recent Hollywood movie, The Martian , in which China's CNSA helped the United States' NASA to rescue astronaut Mark Watney who was mistakenly presumed dead and left behind on the planet Mars. Although China did not rescue anyone, rather it did arrest, but the point is – China helped the United States. Just two weeks before Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the U.S., the Chinese government took unprecedented step by complying with a United States request and arresting a handful of hackers within its borders, anonymous U.S. officials told the Washington Post. The arrested hackers were suspected of stealing commercial secrets from U.S. firms and then selling or passing on those secrets to Chinese state-run companies. The hackers were part of a wanted list drawn up by the U.S.
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