The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Most Trusted Cyber Security and Computer Security Analysis: surveillance

Brazil Freezes $11.7 Million of Facebook Funds for Not Complying with Court Orders

Brazil Freezes $11.7 Million of Facebook Funds for Not Complying with Court Orders

July 29, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Facebook's legal war with Brazilian government seems to be never-ending. Facebook-owned cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp has already been blocked a total of three times in Brazil since December for failing to comply with a court order asking the company to access WhatsApp data under criminal investigation. But, now the Brazilian government has taken an even tougher step. On Wednesday, the public federal prosecutor in the Brazilian state of Amazonas said the court froze 38 Million real ( US $11.7 Million ) of funds held in Facebook's bank account, Reuters reports . The prosecutor has said that the decision to freeze Facebook funds was made after the social media giant failed to comply with the court order to hand over data of WhatsApp users who are under criminal investigation. Since WhatsApp communications are end-to-end encrypted , even the company would not be able to access any message exchanged between users. Facebook representatives weren't imme
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
Bulgaria passes Law that mandates Government Software must be Open Source

Bulgaria passes Law that mandates Government Software must be Open Source

July 07, 2016Mohit Kumar
Do you have any idea what the software you have installed is doing stealthily in the background? If it's not an open source software, can you find out? Usually, the answer is no. After Edward Snowden's revelations, it's clear that how desperately government agencies wants to put secret backdoors in your network, devices, and software. However, Bulgaria has come forward with an all new set of laws that would be appreciated by privacy lovers and open-source community. Also Read:  Top Best Password Managers . The Bulgarian Parliament has passed legislative amendments to its Electronic Governance Act that require all software written for the country's government to be fully open-sourced and developed in the public Github repository . This means that source code of software developed for the Bulgarian government would be accessible to everyone and provided free for use without limitations. Article 58A of the Electronic Governance Act states that administrative
Traveling to US? Agencies want to Spy on your Social Media activities right from Airport

Traveling to US? Agencies want to Spy on your Social Media activities right from Airport

June 27, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Hey! Welcome to the United States. May we have your Twitter handle, please? That's exactly what you'll likely be asked by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the airport prior to entering U.S. soil. Yes, your Twitter handle may soon be part of the US Visa process as U.S. Customs and Border Protection has entered a new proposal into the federal register, suggesting a new field in which foreign visitors can declare their online presence. This new proposal submitted by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Federal Register on Thursday would update the required entry forms with a question asking travelers to " Please enter information associated with your online presence -- Provider/Platform -- Social media identifier. " This information would not be mandatory, but of course, foreign travelers who decline to reveal their online presence may subject for additional scrutiny. What's the idea behind Knowing the visitors' Online Prese
NSA wants to Exploit Internet of Things and Biomedical Devices

NSA wants to Exploit Internet of Things and Biomedical Devices

June 12, 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
Apple hires Encryption Expert to Beef Up Security on its Devices

Apple hires Encryption Expert to Beef Up Security on its Devices

May 25, 2016Mohit Kumar
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have waged legal war on encryption and privacy technologies. You may have heard many news stories about the legal battle between Apple and the FBI over unlocking an iPhone that belonged to the San Bernardino shooter. However, that was just one battle in a much larger fight. Now, in an effort to make its iPhone surveillance-and-hack proof, Apple has rehired security expert and cryptographer Jon Callas , who co-founded the widely-used email encryption software PGP and the secure-messaging system Silent Circle that sells the Blackphone. This is not Apple's first effort over its iPhone security . Just a few months back, the company hired Frederic Jacobs , one of the key developers of Signal — World's most secure, open source and encrypted messaging app . Now Apple has rehired Callas, who has previously worked for Apple twice, first from 1995 to 1997 and then from 2009 to 2011. During his second joining, Callas designed a ful
U.S. developing Technology to Identify and Track Hackers Worldwide

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

May 06, 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
Microsoft Sues US Govt Over Unconstitutional Secret Data Requests

Microsoft Sues US Govt Over Unconstitutional Secret Data Requests

April 15, 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
Microsoft built a special version of Windows 10 just for Chinese Government

Microsoft built a special version of Windows 10 just for Chinese Government

March 29, 2016Unknown
China is very strict about censorship, which makes it difficult for companies to launch their products in the country. But companies like Microsoft are playing smartly to target the largest market in the world. Microsoft has found a way to enter into the banned Chinese Market, but this time with official support for Chinese Government through a new custom and exclusive Windows 10 version for China. It sounds like Microsoft has no issues like Apple, which strongly refused the court order to create a special 'GovtOS' version to help the Feds with unlocking iPhone. Microsoft's CEO for the Greater China region Ralph Haupter has confirmed that the company has built a Chinese government-approved version of Windows 10 OS that includes " more management and security controls " and less bloatware ( pre-installed apps ). Specialized Windows 10 'Zhuangongban' for China In a joint venture with a state-run technology and defense company, CETC ( China Electronic Technology Gr
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 02, 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 23, 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 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
How Spy Agencies Hacked into Israeli Military Drones to Collect Live Video Feeds

How Spy Agencies Hacked into Israeli Military Drones to Collect Live Video Feeds

February 01, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Featured Image Only. See Original leaked images below. In a joint surveillance program, the US intelligence agency NSA ( National Security Agency ) and the British intelligence agency GCHQ ( Government Communications Headquarters ) hacked into, decrypted, and tracked live video feeds of Israeli Military Drones and Fighter Jets . This could be one of the most shocking and embarrassing disclosures for Israel, who is the United States' ally and prides itself on its technical capabilities. Published by The Intercept, the newly released documents from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that in an operation dubbed " Anarchist ," UK and US intelligence officials have been… ...regularly accessing Israeli drone cameras, allowing them to watch live video feeds from drones and fighter jets while Israel bombed Gaza and spied on Syria. But, how the intelligence officials were able to do so. Also Read: Google Wants to Fly Drones Over Your Head
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
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
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
Online Courses and Software

Sign up for cybersecurity newsletter and get latest news updates delivered straight to your inbox daily.