The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter

The Hacker News — Cyber Security and Hacking News Website: surveillance program

Powerful FinSpy Spyware Found Targeting iOS and Android Users in Myanmar

Powerful FinSpy Spyware Found Targeting iOS and Android Users in Myanmar

July 10, 2019Swati Khandelwal
One of the most powerful, infamous, and advanced piece of government-grade commercial surveillance spyware dubbed FinSpy —also known as FinFisher —has been discovered in the wild targeting users in Myanmar. Created by German company Gamma International, FinSpy is spying software that can target various mobile platforms including iOS and Android, we well as desktop operating systems. Gamma Group reportedly sells its controversial FinSpy espionage tool exclusively to government agencies across the world, but also gained notoriety for targeting human rights activists in many countries. The FinSpy implant is capable of stealing an extensive amount of personal information from targeted mobile devices, such as SMS/MMS messages, phone call recordings, emails, contacts, pictures, files, and GPS location data. In its latest report published today, Kaspersky researchers revealed a cyber-espionage campaign that involves targeting Myanmar users with the latest versions of FinSpy impl
Chinese Spying Chips Found Hidden On Servers Used By US Companies

Chinese Spying Chips Found Hidden On Servers Used By US Companies

October 04, 2018Mohit Kumar
A media report today revealed details of a significant supply chain attack which appears to be one of the largest corporate espionage and hardware hacking programs from a nation-state. According to a lengthy report published today by Bloomberg, a tiny surveillance chip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, has been found hidden in the servers used by nearly 30 American companies, including Apple and Amazon. The malicious chips, which were not part of the original server motherboards designed by the U.S-based company Super Micro, had been inserted during the manufacturing process in China. The report, based on a 3-year-long top-secret investigation in the United States, claims that the Chinese government-affiliated groups managed to infiltrate the supply chain to install tiny surveillance chips to motherboards which ended up in servers deployed by U.S. military, U.S. intelligence agencies, and many U.S. companies like Apple and Amazon. "Apple made its discovery of suspi
This is How CIA Disables Security Cameras During Hollywood-Style Operations

This is How CIA Disables Security Cameras During Hollywood-Style Operations

August 03, 2017Swati Khandelwal
In last 20 years, we have seen hundreds of caper/heist movies where spies or bank robbers hijack surveillance cameras of secure premises to either stop recording or set up an endless loop for covert operations without leaving any evidence. Whenever I see such scenes in a movie, I wonder and ask myself: Does this happen in real-life? Yes, it does, trust me—at least CIA agents are doing this. WikiLeaks has just unveiled another classified CIA project, dubbed ' Dumbo ,' which details how CIA agents hijack and manipulate webcams and microphones in Hollywood style "to gain and exploit physical access to target computers in CIA field operations." The Dumbo CIA project involves a USB thumb drive equipped with a Windows hacking tool that can identify installed webcams and microphones, either connected locally, wired or wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Once identified, the Dumbo program allows the CIA agents to: Mute all microphones Disables all network ad
Yahoo Built a Secret Tool to Scan Your Email Content for US Spy Agency

Yahoo Built a Secret Tool to Scan Your Email Content for US Spy Agency

October 04, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Users are still dealing with the Yahoo's massive data breach that exposed over 1 Billion Yahoo accounts and there’s another shocking news about the company that, I bet, will blow your mind. Yahoo might have provided your personal data to United States intelligence agency when required. Yahoo reportedly built a custom software programmed to secretly scan all of its users' emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials, according to a report by Reuters . The tool was built in 2015 after company complied with a secret court order to scan hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail account at the behest of either the NSA or the FBI, according to the report that cites three separate sources who are familiar with the matter. According to some experts, this is the first time when an American Internet company has agreed to such an extensive demand by a spy agency's demand by searching all incoming emails, examining stored emails or scanning a small number
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
Police Using Planes Equipped with Dirtbox to Spy on your Cell Phones

Police Using Planes Equipped with Dirtbox to Spy on your Cell Phones

January 29, 2016Swati Khandelwal
The Anaheim Police Department of California — Home of Disneyland — admitted that they used special Cell Phone surveillance technology, known as DirtBox , mounted on aircraft to track millions of mobile users activities. More than 400 pages of new documents [ PDF ] published Wednesday revealed that Local Police and federal authorities are using, DRTBox , an advanced version of Dirtbox developed by Digital Receiver Technology ( Boeing's  Maryland-based  subsidiary ). DRTBox — Spies in the Sky DRTBox is a military surveillance technology that has capabilities of both Stingray as well as Dirtbox, allowing the police to track, intercept thousands of cellphone calls and quietly eavesdrop on conversations, emails, and text messages. According to the report, DRTBox model is also capable of simultaneously breaking the encryption hundreds of cellphone communications at once, helping Anaheim Police Department track criminals while recording innocent citizens' inform
British Intelligence Open-Sources its Large-Scale Graph Database Software

British Intelligence Open-Sources its Large-Scale Graph Database Software

December 16, 2015Swati Khandelwal
UK's Secretive Spy Agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has open-sourced one of its tools on code-sharing website GitHub for free... A graph database called ' Gaffer .' Gaffer , written in Java, is a kind of database that makes it "easy to store large-scale graphs in which the nodes and edges have statistics such as counts, histograms and sketches." Github is a popular coding website that allows software developers to build their project on a single platform equipped with all the requirements that are gone in the making of a software. Gaffer and its Functionalities In short, Gaffer is a framework for creating mass-scale databases, to store and represent data, and is said to be useful for tasks including: Allow the creation of graphs with summarised properties within Accumulo with a very less amount of coding. Allow flexibility of stats that describe the entities and edges. Allow easy addition of nodes and edges. Allo
Government Could Hack Children's Toys to Spy on You

Government Could Hack Children's Toys to Spy on You

December 11, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Smartphones, Smart TVs, Smart Watches, Cell Phone Towers, Messaging services… but now, What's Next? Smart Toys? Yes, probably. Tech expert is warning that 'Smart Toys' could now be used by the government intelligence agencies to spy on suspects. As part of the Investigatory Powers Bill , children's connected toys could be the next item to be used by the government in an effort to spy on people, claims Antony Walker, deputy CEO of technology trade association techUK. The Snooper's Charter – Government's Spy Eyes While speaking to the UK parliament's Commons Science and Technology Committee, Walker warned MPs of how the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill could be abused to turn any Internet-connected device into a snooping tool. The draft Investigatory Powers Bill (or the Snooper's Charter ) would make it the legal duty of Internet service providers (ISPs) to help and assist the British intelligence agencies in hacking into various connected devices if
FBI Director Asks Tech Companies to At least Don't Offer End-to-End Encryption

FBI Director Asks Tech Companies to At least Don't Offer End-to-End Encryption

December 10, 2015Swati Khandelwal
FBI declared War against Encryption. Encryption is defeating government intelligence agencies to detect terrorist activities and after the recent ISIS-linked terror attacks in Paris and California, the issue has once again become a political target in Washington. ...and meanwhile, Kazakhstan plans to make it Mandatory for its Citizens to Install Internet Backdoor , allowing the government to intercept users' traffic to any secure website and access everything from web browsing history to usernames and passwords. FBI: For God's Sake, Don't Use End-to-End Encryption At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, FBI's Director James Comey called for tech companies currently providing users with end-to-end encryption to reconsider "their business model" and simply stop doing that, reported The Intercept . Yes, instead of asking companies for a " backdoor " this time, Comey suggested them to adopt encryption techniques that help federal agencie
Kazakhstan makes it Mandatory for its Citizens to Install Internet Backdoor

Kazakhstan makes it Mandatory for its Citizens to Install Internet Backdoor

December 04, 2015Mohit Kumar
Next in the queue, Kazakhstan is also planning to Spy on encrypted Internet Traffic of its citizens, but in the most shameless way. Unlike other spying nations that are themselves capable of spying on their citizens, Kazakhstan will force every internet user in the country to install bogus security certs on their PCs and mobile devices, allowing the 'Dictator' Government to: Intercept users' Internet traffic to any Secure website, i.e. Man-in-the-Middle  Attack Access everything from user's web browsing history to usernames and passwords to secure and HTTPS-encrypted traffic This Program will seriously restrict Citizens' Freedom of Speech and Expression. What the F… is "National Internet Security Certificate"? On Monday, the nation's largest Internet service provider Kazakhtelecom JSC published a notice, which said: Citizens are "obliged" to install a so-called " National Internet Security Certificate "
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
Would Encryption Backdoor Stop Paris-like Terror Attacks?

Would Encryption Backdoor Stop Paris-like Terror Attacks?

November 17, 2015Swati Khandelwal
With 129 people killed in Paris terror attacks and dozens critically wounded, the law enforcement and intelligence officials are reviving their efforts to force companies to put some backdoors in encryption so that they can access your information. How did the Intelligence agencies fail to Intercept terrorist plans of these attacks? In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, Former CIA Director Michael Morell argued on TV that encrypted communication services may have aided the planning and plotting of the Paris attacks, blaming Edward Snowden and US companies for the attacks. Also Read:  NO, We Can't Blame Edward Snowden and Encryption for Terror Attacks With more Surveillance and Encryption backdoor, Is it possible that Friday's attacks could have been stopped before they began? Morell suggested that recalcitrant US companies should be forced to install government backdoors in their software and hand over encryption keys to the government, thinking that Encryption Backd
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
Every Call You Make or Text You Send, They'll Be Tracking From Today

Every Call You Make or Text You Send, They'll Be Tracking From Today

October 13, 2015Swati Khandelwal
From today, every phone call you make, every text message you send and every email you write will compulsorily be tracked by the government agencies under a new metadata retention scheme. Yes, you heard right. If you are a citizen of Australia with a mobile phone and an Internet connection, your digital activity will be recorded. As the government's new data retention law comes into effect, the Australian telecommunications companies will now keep large amounts of your telecommunications metadata for two years. The law has allegedly been implemented to protect the country against organized terrorist and criminals, like every government agencies including the United States' intelligence agency NSA and British intelligence agency GCHQ claim. But… This new scheme vastly expands the retention of personal data, which has triggered a debate among Australians as it is a major invasion of privacy . WHAT IS BEING COLLECTED? Until today, data retention by
NSA to Destroy Bulk Collection of Surveillance Data

NSA to Destroy Bulk Collection of Surveillance Data

July 28, 2015Mohit Kumar
The National Security Agency will restrict access to, and ultimately destroy, millions of US phone records previously collected by the spy agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) announced Monday. The federal law was passed in June ending the NSA’s bulk collection of U.S. Citizen’s Telephone records and destroying the data it collected under a controversial global spying program disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. So far, the ODNI didn’t specify when the agency would destroy these metadata records , but noted that the metadata must be retained until the lawsuits around the metadata collection program are ongoing. NSA’s Bulk Metadata Collection is illegal Section 215 of the Patriot Act legally authorizes the law enforcement agencies to collect "any tangible things" that the government proves are connected or linked to an investigation into any suspected terrorist. However, the verdict in May ruled that the mas
Google Chrome Silently Listening to Your Private Conversations

Google Chrome Silently Listening to Your Private Conversations

June 25, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Google was under fire of downloading and installing a Chrome extension surreptitiously and subsequently listened to the conversations of Chromium users without consent. After these accusations, a wave of criticism by privacy campaigners and open source developers has led Google to remove the extension from Chromium , the open-source version of the Chrome browser. The extension in question is " Chrome Hotword ," which was found to be responsible for offering the browser's famous " OK, Google " functionality. ' Ok, Google ' is certainly a useful feature that allows users to search for things via their voice when they use Google as their default search engine, but its something that also enables eavesdropping of every single conversation made by a user. Google Silently Listens to your Conversation This issue came to light by Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge , who says Google has silently installed black box code into the open-so
Exclusive Deals

Get Daily News Updates By Email

Join over 350,000 information security professionals — Get the best of our cyber security coverage delivered to your inbox every morning.