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Telegram Suffers 'Powerful DDoS Attack' From China During Hong Kong Protests

Telegram Suffers 'Powerful DDoS Attack' From China During Hong Kong Protests
June 13, 2019Mohit Kumar
Telegram, one of the most popular encrypted messaging app, briefly went offline yesterday for hundreds of thousands of users worldwide after a powerful distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack hit its servers. Telegram founder Pavel Durov later revealed that the attack was mainly coming from the IP addresses located in China, suggesting the Chinese government could be behind it to sabotage Hong Kong protesters. Since last week, millions of people in Hong Kong are fighting their political leaders over the proposed amendments to an extradition law that would allow a person arrested in Hong Kong to face trial elsewhere, including in mainland China. Many people see it as a fundamental threat to the territory's civic freedoms and the rule of law. Many people in Hong Kong are currently using Telegram's encrypted messaging service to communicate without being spied on, organize the protest, and alert each other about activities on the ground. According to Telegram, th

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

NSO Spyware Targets Saudi Human Rights Activists and Researchers

NSO Spyware Targets Saudi Human Rights Activists and Researchers
August 01, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Amnesty International, one of the most prominent non-profit human rights organizations in the world, claims one of its staff members has been targeted by a sophisticated surveillance tool made by Israel's NSO Group. The NSO Group is an Israeli firm that's mostly known for selling high-tech spyware and surveillance malware capable of remotely cracking into Apple's iPhones and Google's Android devices to intelligence apparatuses, militaries, and law enforcement around the world. The company's most powerful spyware called Pegasus for iPhone , Android , and other mobile devices has previously been used to target human rights activists and journalists, from Mexico to the United Arab Emirates. Pegasus has been designed to hack mobile phones remotely, allowing an attacker to access an incredible amount of data on a target victim, including text messages, emails, WhatsApp messages , user's location, microphone, and camera —all without the victim's knowl

macOS Malware Creator Charged With Spying on Thousands of PCs Over 13 Years

macOS Malware Creator Charged With Spying on Thousands of PCs Over 13 Years
January 11, 2018Mohit Kumar
The U.S. Justice Department unsealed 16-count indictment charges on Wednesday against a computer programmer from Ohio who is accused of creating and installing spyware on thousands of computers for more than 13 years. According to the indictment, 28-year-old Phillip R. Durachinsky is the alleged author of FruitFly malware that was found targeting Apple Mac users earlier last year worldwide, primarily in the United States. Interestingly, Durachinsky was just 14 years old when he programmed the first version of the FruitFly malware, and this full-fledged backdoor trojan went largely undetected for several years, despite using unsophisticated and antiquated code. The malware was initially discovered in January 2017 by Malwarebytes and then Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA hacker, found around 400 Mac computers infected with the newer strain of FruitFly. However, Wardle believed the number of infected Macs would likely be much higher. The malware is capable of advanced surveillance

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

Is Your DJI Drone a Chinese Spy? Leaked DHS Memo Suggests

Is Your DJI Drone a Chinese Spy? Leaked DHS Memo Suggests
December 04, 2017Swati Khandelwal
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently accused Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI), one of the largest drone manufacturers, of sending sensitive information about U.S. infrastructure to China through its commercial drones and software. A copy memo from the Los Angeles office of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau (ICE) has begun circulating online more recently, alleging "with moderate confidence" that DJI drones may be sending US critical infrastructure and law enforcement data back to China. However, the bureau accessed "with high confidence" that this critical data collected by the DJI systems could then be used by the Chinese government to conduct physical or cyber attacks against the U.S. critical infrastructure and its population. The memo goes on to specify the targets the Chinese Government has been attempting to spy on, which includes rail systems, water systems, hazardous material storage facilities, and constructio

Kaspersky: NSA Worker's Computer Was Already Infected With Malware

Kaspersky: NSA Worker's Computer Was Already Infected With Malware
November 17, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Refuting allegations that its anti-virus product helped Russian spies steal classified files from an NSA employee's laptop, Kaspersky Lab has released more findings that suggest the computer in question may have been infected with malware. Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab on Thursday published the results of its own internal investigation claiming the NSA worker who took classified documents home had a personal home computer overwhelmed with malware. According to the latest Kaspersky report, the telemetry data its antivirus collected from the NSA staffer's home computer contained large amounts of malware files which acted as a backdoor to the PC. The report also provided more details about the malicious backdoor that infected the NSA worker's computer when he installed a pirated version of Microsoft Office 2013 .ISO containing the Mokes backdoor, also known as Smoke Loader. Backdoor On NSA Worker's PC May Have Helped Other Hackers Steal Classi

Kaspersky Opens Antivirus Source Code for Independent Review to Rebuild Trust

Kaspersky Opens Antivirus Source Code for Independent Review to Rebuild Trust
October 23, 2017Mohit Kumar
Kaspersky Lab — We have nothing to hide! Russia-based Antivirus firm hits back with what it calls a " comprehensive transparency initiative ," to allow independent third-party review of its source code and internal processes to win back the trust of customers and infosec community. Kaspersky launches this initiative days after it was accused of helping, knowingly or unknowingly, Russian government hackers to steal classified material from a computer belonging to an NSA contractor. Earlier this month another story published by the New York Times claimed that Israeli government hackers hacked into Kaspersky ’s network in 2015 and caught Russian hackers red-handed hacking US government with the help of Kaspersky. US officials have long been suspicious that Kaspersky antivirus firm may have ties to Russian intelligence agencies. Back in July, the company offered to turn over the source code for the U.S. government to audit. However, the offer did not stop U.S. Dep

Google to add "DNS over TLS" security feature to Android OS

Google to add "DNS over TLS" security feature to Android OS
October 23, 2017Mohit Kumar
No doubt your Internet Service Provides (ISPs), or network-level hackers cannot spy on https communications. But do you know — ISPs can still see all of your DNS requests, allowing them to know what websites you visit. Google is working on a new security feature for Android that could prevent your Internet traffic from network spoofing attacks. Almost every Internet activity starts with a DNS query, making it a fundamental building block of the Internet. DNS works as an Internet's phone book that resolves human-readable web addresses, like thehackernews.com, against their IP addresses. DNS queries and responses are sent in clear text (using UDP or TCP) without encryption, which makes it vulnerable to eavesdropping and compromises privacy. ISPs by default resolve DNS queries from their servers. So when you type a website name in your browser, the query first goes to their DNS servers to find the website's IP address, which eventually exposes this information (metada

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

Here's How CIA Spies On Its Intelligence Liaison Partners Around the World

Here's How CIA Spies On Its Intelligence Liaison Partners Around the World
August 24, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has just published another Vault 7 leak, revealing how the CIA spies on their intelligence partners around the world, including FBI, DHS and the NSA, to covertly collect data from their systems. The CIA offers a biometric collection system—with predefined hardware, operating system, and software—to its intelligence liaison partners around the world that helps them voluntary share collected biometric data on their systems with each other. But since no agency share all of its collected biometric data with others, the Office of Technical Services (OTS) within CIA developed a tool to secretly exfiltrate data collections from their systems. Dubbed ExpressLane , the newly revealed CIA project details about the spying software that the CIA agents manually installs as part of a routine upgrade to the Biometric system. The leaked CIA documents reveal that the OTS officers, who maintain biometric collection systems installed at liaison services, visit their premises and se

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

CouchPotato: CIA Hacking Tool to Remotely Spy On Video Streams in Real-Time

CouchPotato: CIA Hacking Tool to Remotely Spy On Video Streams in Real-Time
August 10, 2017Swati Khandelwal
After disclosing CIA's strategies to hijack and manipulate webcams and microphones to corrupt or delete recordings, WikiLeaks has now published another Vault 7 leak , revealing CIA's ability to spy on video streams remotely in real-time. Dubbed ' CouchPotato ,' document leaked from the CIA details how the CIA agents use a remote tool to stealthy collect RTSP/H.264 video streams. Real Time Streaming Protocol, or RTSP, is a network control protocol designed for use in entertainment and communication systems for controlling streaming media servers. CouchPotato gives CIA hackers ability to "collect either the stream as a video file (AVI) or capture still images (JPG) of frames from the stream that are of significant change from a previously captured frame," a leaked CIA manual reads. The tool utilises FFmpeg for video and image encoding and decoding and Real Time Streaming Protocol connectivity. The CouchPotato tool works stealthily without leaving

Alexa, Are You Spying On Me? Not Really, Maybe, It's Complex!

Alexa, Are You Spying On Me? Not Really, Maybe, It's Complex!
August 02, 2017Mohit Kumar
Do you own an Amazon Echo? So are you also worried about hackers turning out your device into a covert listening device? Just relax, if there's no NSA, no CIA or none of your above-skilled friends after you. Since yesterday there have been several reports on Amazon Echo hack that could allow a hacker to turn your smart speaker into a covert listening device, but users don’t need to worry because the hack is not simple, requires physical access to the device and does not work on all devices, as well. Amazon Echo is an always-listening voice-activated smart home speaker that is designed to play music, set alarms, answer questions via the Alexa voice assistant, and control connected smart home devices like WeMo, Hive and Nest. Hack Turns Amazon Echo Into Spying Device (But It's Complex) Now researchers from MWR InfoSecurity have demonstrated a hack, showing how hackers can exploit a vulnerability in some models of Amazon Echo to turn them into covert listening d

Telegram Agrees to Register With Russia to Avoid Ban, But Won't Share User Data

Telegram Agrees to Register With Russia to Avoid Ban, But Won't Share User Data
June 29, 2017Mohit Kumar
After being threatened with a ban in Russia , end-to-end encrypted Telegram messaging app has finally agreed to register with new Russian Data Protection Laws, but its founder has assured that the company will not comply to share users' confidential data at any cost. Russia's communications watchdog Roskomnadzor had recently threatened to block Telegram if the service did not hand over information required to put the app on an official government list of information distributors. The Russian government requirement came following terrorists' suicide bombings that killed 15 people in Saint Petersburg in April in which terrorists allegedly used the Telegram 's app to communicate and plot attacks. "There is one demand, and it is simple: to fill in a form with information on the company that controls Telegram," said Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor.  "And to officially send it to Roskomnadzor to include this data in the registry of organizers

WikiLeaks Reveals 'Athena' CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows

WikiLeaks Reveals 'Athena' CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows
May 19, 2017Mohit Kumar
WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak , detailing a spyware framework – which "provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers" – allegedly being used by the CIA that works against every version of Microsoft's Windows operating systems, from Windows XP to Windows 10. Dubbed Athena/Hera , the spyware has been designed to take full control over the infected Windows PCs remotely, allowing the agency to perform all sorts of things on the target machine, including deleting data or uploading malicious software, and stealing data and send them to CIA server. The leak, which includes a user manual of Athena, overview of the technology, and demonstration on how to use this spyware, reveals that the program has two implications: Primary: Athena for XP to Windows 10  Secondary: Hera for Windows 8 through Windows 10 According to the whistleblower organization, Athena has the ability to allow the CIA agents to modify its co
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