The Trump administration on Wednesday told U.S. government agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products from their networks, saying it was concerned the Moscow-based cyber security firm was vulnerable to Kremlin influence and that using its anti-virus software could jeopardize national security.
The decision represents a sharp response to what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as a national security threat posed by Russia in cyberspace, following an election year marred by allegations that Moscow weaponized the internet in an attempt to influence its outcome.Read more
Before services like Spotify and Netflix proliferated, people who wanted to listen to music or watch movies online, on demand, had few legal options. Instead, they would download copies of pirated media using file-sharing technology.
In early 2004, close to 8 million people in the U.S. alone were estimated to have downloaded music through so-called peer-to-peer apps like LimeWire, eDonkey, Kazaa, and BitTorrent. While it’s difficult to measure exactly how much of the world’s internet traffic consists of people swapping files, at the time some estimates said it was approaching 40 percent.Read more
The nation’s top law enforcement leader and top spy on Monday urged Senate and House leadership to permanently renew a widely used but controversial U.S. surveillance law scheduled to sunset at the end of the year.
“Reauthorizing this critical authority is the top legislative priority of the Department of Justice and the Intelligence Community,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats wrote in a Sept. 7 letter to both Republican and Democratic leaders. The law — known as Section 702 of a 2008 package of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — is aimed at collecting data on foreign spies, terrorists and other targets.Read more
The CIA is making use of several artificial intelligence programs that access, gather, and retrieve social media intelligence for the agency.
In a statement reported by Futurism, Dawn Meyerriecks, the deputy director for technology development with the CIA said at the Intelligence and National Security Summit that the agency had over 137 AI projects as part of "In-Q-Tel" where a large portion of it is created through collaborations with Silicon Valley firms. With greater ability and power to analyse data, AI programs thus created have reportedly taken to social media platforms and "comb through" all public records –all the stuff that is posted by people using social media.Read more
Equifax is one of the largest credit reporting agencies in America, which makes an announcement the company just issued particularly disconcerting. An authorized third party gained access to Equifax data on as many as 143 million Americans.
That's nearly half the population of the United States as of the last census. Equifax announced the incident this afternoon. Included among files accessed by hackers was a treasure trove of personal data: names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses. In some cases -- Equifax states around 209,000 -- the records also included actual credit card numbers. Documentation about disputed charges was also leaked.Read more
A security company has found an Amazon server that was stuffed with thousands of pieces of personal information about military types with little or no protection on it. The security company is called UpGuard, and it says that it found the collection of resumes and applications for a position at a place called TigerSwan.
TigerSwan told UpGuard that these resumes included some from people applying for top secret jobs, which makes their storing on an unsecured cloud-based server sound a bit odd. The UpGuard Cyber Risk Team can now disclose that a publicly accessible cloud-based data repository of resumes and applications for employment submitted for positions with TigerSwan.Read more
Cryptocurrencies were supposed to be largely anonymous. But a software tool gives the IRS has a better chance of identifying people who hide their wealth.
You can use bitcoin. But you can’t hide from the taxman. At least, that’s the hope of the Internal Revenue Service, which has purchased specialist software to track those using bitcoin, according to a contract obtained. The document highlights how law enforcement isn’t only concerned with criminals accumulating bitcoin from selling drugs or hacking targets, but also those who use the currency to hide wealth or avoid paying taxes. The IRS has claimed that only 802 people declared bitcoin losses or profits in 2015.Read more
Anyone relying on the CIA for tech support got a nasty surprise this morning, as documents published by Wikileaks revealed a secret project to siphon out data through its technical liaison service, dating back to 2009.
The program, called ExpressLane, is designed to be deployed alongside a biometric collection system that the CIA provides to partner agencies. In theory, those partners are agreeing to provide the CIA with access to specific biometric data — but on the off-chance those partners are holding out on them, ExpressLane gives the agency a way to take it without anyone knowing. ExpressLane masquerades as a software update.Read more
A short drive south of Alice Springs, the second largest population center in Australia’s Northern Territory, there is a high-security compound, code-named “RAINFALL.”
The remote base is one of the most important covert surveillance sites in the eastern hemisphere. Hundreds of Australian and American employees come and go every day from Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, as the base is formally known. The official “cover story,” as outlined in a secret U.S. intelligence document, is to “support the national security of both the U.S. and Australia. The [facility] contributes to verifying arms control and disarmament agreements and monitoring military developments.”Read more
More than a dozen high technology companies and the biggest wireless operator in the United States, Verizon Communications Inc, have called on the U.S. Supreme Court to make it harder for government officials to access individuals' sensitive cellphone data.
The companies filed a 44-page brief with the court on Monday night in a high-profile dispute over whether police should have to get a warrant before obtaining data that could reveal a cellphone user's whereabouts. Signed by some of Silicon Valley's biggest names, the brief said that as individuals' data is increasingly collected through digital devices, greater privacy protections are needed under the law.Read more