Malware Attacks Used by the U.S. Government Retain Potency for Many Years, New Evidence Indicates

A new report from Rand Corp. may help shed light on the government’s arsenal of malicious software, including the size of its stockpile of so-called “zero days” — hacks that hit undisclosed vulnerabilities in computers, smartphones, and other digital devices.The report also provides evidence that such vulnerabilities are long lasting. The findings are of particular interest because not much is known about the U.S. government’s controversial use of zero days.

Fuente: Malware Attacks Used by the U.S. Government Retain Potency for Many Years, New Evidence Indicates


Las detenciones irregulares en São Paulo que empezaron con un militar infiltrado en Tinder | Internacional | EL PAÍS

EL PAÍS reconstruye la detención de 21 personas antes de una marcha contra el presidente Temer el pasado día 4Los manifestantes sospechan que un militar se infiltró en varias redes sociales, entre ellos una de ligue, para identificarlos

Fuente: Las detenciones irregulares en São Paulo que empezaron con un militar infiltrado en Tinder | Internacional | EL PAÍS


“Un Estado democrático debería garantizar el voto secreto” » Noticias Urbanas

A un año de las elecciones legislativas, y a tres meses de que pueda legalizarse el voto electrónico en todo el país, Noticias Urbanas consultó a expertos informáticos para conocer más sobre la BUE.

Fuente: “Un Estado democrático debería garantizar el voto secreto” » Noticias Urbanas


Amistosa Caja Anti Vigilancia | Derechos Digitales

Con mucho orgullo y de manera oficial, Derechos Digitales presenta hoy la Amistosa Caja Anti Vigilancia, un conjunto de herramientas y consejos prácticos que te ayudarán a resguardar mejor tu información personal y la de otros. Pareciera ser que hoy más que nunca es necesario proteger nuestros datos, pues siempre hay alguien intentando acceder a ellos: empresas privadas, cibercriminales y el mismo Estado.

Fuente: Amistosa Caja Anti Vigilancia | Derechos Digitales


Justice department ‘uses aged computer system to frustrate Foia requests’ | Politics | The Guardian

A new lawsuit alleges that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) intentionally conducts inadequate searches of its records using a decades-old computer system when queried by citizens looking for records that should be available to the public.

Fuente: Justice department ‘uses aged computer system to frustrate Foia requests’ | Politics | The Guardian


Sólo actas de 1.300 cabildos de más de13.000 serán validadas por problemas en la web – El Mostrador

Una seria advertencia hicieron algunos miembros del Consejo Ciudadano de Observadores (CCO) respecto a que sólo actas de 1.300 cabildos de los más de 13.000 que están inscritos serán validadas e incluidas en el texto final del gobierno, debido a que la página web ha presentado deficiencias como el no contar con un sistema de autoguardado y problemas de conexión.

Fuente: Sólo actas de 1.300 cabildos de más de13.000 serán validadas por problemas en la web – El Mostrador


The Vigilante Who Hacked Hacking Team Explains How He Did It | Motherboard

Back in July of last year, the controversial government spying and hacking tool seller Hacking Team was hacked itself by an outside attacker. The breach made headlines worldwide, but no one knew much about the perpetrator or how he did it.That mystery has finally been revealed.

Fuente: The Vigilante Who Hacked Hacking Team Explains How He Did It | Motherboard


Reino Unido espía a los refugiados hackeando sus móviles y ordenadores

Los refugiados no tienen derechos. De ahí se deriva que sus teléfonos pueden ser hackeados y sus ordenadores también. Al parecer, esto es lo que ha hecho -legalmente y según The Observer – los funcionarios de la oficina de inmigración británica. En 2013 recibieron poderes para hackear los dispositivos electrónicos de todos los refugiados y peticionarios de asilo que considerasen necesario. Y lo consideran.

Fuente: Reino Unido espía a los refugiados hackeando sus móviles y ordenadores


Hackers take down Lenovo website – FT.com

Hackers take down Lenovo website – FT.com.

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February 26, 2015 2:45 am

Hackers take down Lenovo website

 

A pedestrian walks past the Lenovo Group Ltd. flagship store on Qianmen Street in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. Lenovo Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing has expanded in computer servers and mobile phones, including the $2.91 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility, to help combat a shrinking personal-computer market. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg©Bloomberg

Lenovo’s website has been hacked, less than a week after the personal computer maker was forced to disable controversial software that left users of its laptops vulnerable to cyber attacks.

On Thursday, the group – the world’s largest PC manufacturer by unit sales – said that users trying to visit its website had been redirected to another site by hackers.Hacker collective Lizard Squad had claimed credit for the attack via Twitter, where it also posted internal Lenovo e-mails discussing Superfish, the advertising software that the PC maker disabled on its products last week.

Lizard Squad has previously claimed credit for cyber attacks on Sony’s PlayStation network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live network. On Thursday, it also boasted of an attack on Google’s Vietnamese website.

Lenovo said it had taken its website down and was also investigating “other aspects” of the attack.

Later on Thursday morning, visitors to lenovo.com on Thursday morning received a message stating: “The Lenovo site you are attempting to access is currently unavailable due to system maintenance.” It was restored on Thursday afternoon.

Last week, Lenovo acknowledged that its consumer division had sold laptops pre-installed with controversial advertising software called Superfish that potentially left its computers open to being hacked. It said it had stopped installing Superfish on new units in January and disabled the software on existing machines.

Computer experts had warned of a security hole in the software that hackers could exploit to eavesdrop on a user’s web-browsing behaviour.

 


Lenovo admits to software vulnerability – FT.com

Lenovo admits to software vulnerability – FT.com.

 

Last updated: February 19, 2015 7:00 pm

Lenovo admits to software vulnerability

 

Lenovo Group Ltd. signage is displayed near laptops in an arranged photograph at a Lenovo store in the Yuen Long district of Hong Kong, China, on Friday, May 23, 2014. Lenovo, the world's largest maker of personal computers, reported a 25 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit as its desktop models and mobile devices gained global market share. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg©Bloomberg

Lenovo, the world’s largest computer manufacturer by unit sales, has been forced to disable controversial software that left users of its laptops vulnerable to hacking attacks.

The software Superfish, which was pre-installed on Lenovo’s devices, was billed as a free “visual search” tool. But Lenovo used it to inject adverts into web pages.

More controversially, however, computer experts have discovered that Superfish contains a major security hole that hackers can potentially exploit to eavesdrop on a user’s web-browsing behaviour.

Users have been raising concerns about Superfish on Lenovo’s own online forums since September, complaining that the software is putting additional advertising into web pages without their permission.

Computer manufacturers often pre-install so-called “adware” into their laptops and PCs in exchange for payment by the software makers, which in turn make money from advertisers.

Lenovo said its customers were given a choice about whether to use the product.

However, Graham Cluley, an independent security expert, said the way in which Lenovo had installed the adware was “cack-handed, and could be exploited by a malicious hacker to intercept the traffic of innocent parties”.

While there is no evidence that hackers have exploited the vulnerability, Mr Cluley said: “If you have Superfish on your computer you really can’t trust secure connections to sites any more.”

 


Sophisticated iPhone and Android malware is spying on Hong Kong protesters | The Verge

Sophisticated iPhone and Android malware is spying on Hong Kong protesters | The Verge.

Researchers say all signs point to the Chinese government

 

 

A fake smartphone app is being used to remotely monitor pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, according to a report from the New York Times. Researchers from Lacoon Mobile Security say the phishing scam is spreading across the messaging application WhatsApp, through texts that read: “Check out this Android app designed by Code4HK for the coordination of OCCUPY CENTRAL!”, along with a link to download software. Lacoon says the software, once downloaded, can access a user’s personal data, including phone calls, text messages, and the physical location of their smartphone. Code4HK — a developer community that has helped to spread information about the protests — tells the Times it had nothing to do with the texts.

 

The origin of the scam remains unknown, but Lacoon CEO Michael Shaulov says the Chinese government is likely behind it, given the location of the servers and the sophistication of the operation. The company traced it to a computer that they say is similar to those that the Chinese government allegedly used to launch cyberattacks against US targets last year. The spread of the app remains equally unclear, though Shaulov says it was downloaded by one out of every ten phones that received the fake message. It has affected both Android and iOS users alike, although many in the security world have noted that only jailbroken iOS phones are vulnerable.


ISPs take GCHQ to court in UK over mass surveillance | World news | theguardian.com

ISPs take GCHQ to court in UK over mass surveillance | World news | theguardian.com.

Seven international web providers lodge formal complaint to court alleging breach of privacy and breaking into their networks

 

 

GCHQ

ISPs are taking GCHQ to court for alleged breach of privacy. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

Internet service providers from around the world are lodging formal complaints against the UK government’s monitoring service, GCHQ, alleging that it uses “malicious software” to break into their networks.

The claims from seven organisations based in six countries – the UK, Netherlands, US, South Korea, Germany and Zimbabwe – will add to international pressure on the British government following Edward Snowden‘s revelations about mass surveillance of the internet by UK and US intelligence agencies.

The claims are being filed with the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT), the court in London that assesses complaints about the agencies’ activities and misuse of surveillance by government organisations. Most of its hearings are held at least partially in secret.

The IPT is already considering a number of related submissions. Later this month it will investigate complaints by human rights groups about the way social media sites have been targeted by GCHQ.

The government has defended the security services, pointing out that online searches are often routed overseas and those deemed “external communications” can be monitored without the need for an individual warrant. Critics say that such a legal interpretation sidesteps the need for traditional intercept safeguards.

The latest claim is against both GCHQ, located near Cheltenham, and the Foreign Office. It is based on articles published earlier this year in the German magazine Der Spiegel. That report alleged that GCHQ had carried out an attack, codenamed Operation Socialist, on the Belgian telecoms group, Belgacom, targeting individual employees with “malware (malicious software)”.

One of the techniques was a “man in the middle” attack, which, according to the documents filed at the IPT, bypasses modern encryption software and “operates by interposing the attacker [GCHQ] between two computers that believe that they are securely communicating with each other. In fact, each is communicating with GCHQ, who collect the communications, as well as relaying them in the hope that the interference will be undetected.”

The complaint alleges that the attacks were a breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and an interference with the privacy rights of the employees under the European convention of human rights.

The organisations targeted, the submission states, were all “responsible and professional internet service providers”. The claimants are: GreenNet Ltd, based in the UK, Riseup Networks in Seattle, Mango Email Service in Zimbabwe, Jinbonet in South Korea, Greenhost in the Netherlands, May First/People Link in New York and the Chaos Computer Club in Hamburg.


NSA reform: lawmakers aim to bar agency from weakening encryption | World news | theguardian.com

NSA reform: lawmakers aim to bar agency from weakening encryption | World news | theguardian.com.

Concerned about weaknesses in USA Freedom Act, Zoe Lofgren and colleagues pushing to prevent NSA from weakening online encryption with new amendment

 

 

California congressman Zoe Lofgren
Lofgren, in debate with her colleagues last week, attempted to move the USA Freedom Act closer to its civil libertarian origins. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

 

US legislators concerned about weaknesses in a major surveillance reform bill intend to insert an amendment barring the National Security Agency from weakening the encryption that many people rely on to keep their information secure online, or exploiting any internet security vulnerabilities it discovers.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, told the Guardian that she and a group of colleagues want to prevent the NSA from “utilizing discovered zero-day flaws,” or unfixed software security vulnerabilities, and entrench “the duty of the NSA and the government generally not to create them, nor to prolong the threat to the internet” by failing to warn about those vulnerabilities.

Since the discovery of the Heartbleed bug afflicting web and email servers, the NSA has faced suspicions that it has exploited the vulnerability, which the agency has strenuously denied. Beyond Heartbleed, documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden have revealed that the NSA has weakened online encryption, causing consternation among technology companies as well as privacy advocates.

Lofgren intends to attach the provision to the USA Freedom Act, increasingly the consensus bill to reform surveillance in the wake of the Edward Snowden disclosures. The bill, mostly favored by civil libertarians and expected to go for a vote on the House floor as early as next week, does not include language stopping the NSA from undermining encryption.

In an indication of the difficulty legislators will face in recasting the USA Freedom Act to better protect privacy, Lofgren conceded that attaching the provision will be difficult, as House legislators do not want to upset a tenuous deal on surveillance reform by adding to the bill. She is currently seeking a parliamentarian ruling on the “germaneness” of her online security amendment in order to make it difficult for opponents to exclude it from consideration on the floor.

Lofgren said she and other civil libertarian-minded lawmakers will have limited opportunities to add amendments to the bill, and so are prioritizing measures they believe stand the best chance of winning House support.

Lofgren said she thought those would most likely include a ban on the NSA searching through its foreign-focused communications content troves for Americans’ information without a warrant; clarifying a Patriot Act prohibition on collecting Americans’ phone calls and email content; and permitting more detailed transparency for telecoms and internet companies to disclose the sorts of national-security orders they receive from the government for their customers’ data.


GCHQ's spy malware operation faces legal challenge | UK news | theguardian.com

GCHQ’s spy malware operation faces legal challenge | UK news | theguardian.com.

Privacy International claims development of programs that remotely hijack computer cameras and microphones is illegal

 

 

A webcam

A webcam. Privacy International says GCHQ’s spy programs enable surveillance of stored content and logging of keystrokes. Photograph: Daniel Bockwoldt/DPA/Corbis

 

GCHQ, the government’s monitoring agency, acted illegally by developing spy programs that remotely hijack computers’ cameras and microphones without the user’s consent, according to privacy campaigners.

A legal challenge lodged on Tuesday at the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT) calls for the hacking techniques – alleged to be far more intrusive than interception of communications – to be outlawed. Mobile phones were also targeted, leaked documents reveal.

The claim has been submitted by Privacy International following revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden about the mass surveillance operations conducted by GCHQ and its US counterpart, the National Security Agency (NSA).

The 21-page submission details a host of “malware” – software devised to take over or damage another person’s computer – with such esoteric names as Warrior Pride, Gumfish, Dreamy Smurf, Foggybottom and Captivatedaudience.

Details of the programs have been published by the Guardian and the online magazine The Intercept run by the journalist Glenn Greenwald. They are said to allow GCHQ to gain access to “the profile information supplied by a user in registering a device [such as] … his location, age, gender, marital status, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, and family”.

More intrusively, Privacy International alleges, the programs enable surveillance of any stored content, logging of keystrokes and “the covert and unauthorised photography or recording of the user and those around him”. It is, the claim maintains, the equivalent of “entering someone’s house, searching through his filing cabinets, diaries and correspondence, and planting devices to permit constant surveillance in future, and, if mobile devices are involved, obtaining historical information including every location he had visited in the past year”.

Such break-ins also leave devices vulnerable to attack by others “such as credit card fraudsters, thereby risking the user’s personal data more broadly”, Privacy International argues. “It is the modern equivalent of breaking in to a residence, and leaving the locks broken or damaged afterwards.”