Showing posts with label Wiretapping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wiretapping. Show all posts

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mysterious Phony Cell Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Calls

Unencrypted Connection Les Goldsmith
I am not sure what to make of this article,  it will probably sell some encrypted phones.  Popular Science magazine has long been an outlet the military uses to let out data to the public it wants known about technology. Often years after the fact.  

This is a sign people are really waking up. A few years ago it was revealed PacBell (now AT&T) was handing off telephone Asynchronous Transport Mode  (ATM - the core of DSL, fiber Internet, VOIP) packets (voice and data) to the NSA through a San Francisco switching center.  The major telecom companies in the USA now have a big business doing roving wiretaps for government an alphabet soup of agencies and the fees for those services now run into a billions of dollars, which makes your phone company the biggest paid snitch around,  rouge cell tower interceptors or not...

When the ATM protocol was being designed I remember some controversy about the ability in the protocol design (and some portions were classified even then) to clone ATM frames and hand them off transparently from the end user.  In standard TCP/IP protocol interception required someone be in the middle and therefore be somewhat detectable (at least in theory with conventional routers).  

In any case the worlds intelligence agencies share your data  around the world so freely I am not sure if matters if its the NSA, the Chinese, MI5, the German DVD, or Mossad.  If any agency wants the data they will have access to it through interagency agreements and other covert means.  

Its all one big mesh of control, meant to sift and sort, preferably anonymously and unobserved so they can exert unseen pressure on your life and you have no idea of where it originates and no course to pursue to stop it.  And most of the data, mostly like in digested, data mined consolidated form, ends up in banker hands, as they fund the whole crazy mess.  As they say "He who has the gold makes the rules..." except the bankers don't have gold, and neither do the asians.... all they got are illusions, th (gold plated tungsten bars in vaults anyone?) and pieces of paper claiming title to gold.  And oh here are some bonds we'll never pay off on... And soon the militaries and intel agencies will wake up to that fact as well.   -AK

Mysterious Phony Cell Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Calls
Every smart phone has a secondary OS, which can be hijacked by high-tech hackers
By Andrew Rosenblum Posted 08.27.2014 at 1:00 pm

Like many of the ultra-secure phones that have come to market in the wake of Edward Snowden's leaks, the CryptoPhone 500, which is marketed in the U.S. by ESD America and built on top of an unassuming Samsung Galaxy SIII body, features high-powered encryption. Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, says the phone also runs a customized or "hardened" version of Android that removes 468 vulnerabilities that his engineering team team found in the stock installation of the OS.
His mobile security team also found that the version of the Android OS that comes standard on the Samsung Galaxy SIII leaks data to parts unknown 80-90 times every hour.  That doesn't necessarily mean that the phone has been hacked, Goldmsith says, but the user can't know whether the data is beaming out from a particular app, the OS, or an illicit piece of spyware.  His clients want real security and control over their device, and have the money to pay for it.

To show what the CryptoPhone can do that less expensive competitors cannot, he points me to a map that he and his customers have created, indicating 17 different phony cell towers known as “interceptors,” detected by the CryptoPhone 500 around the United States during the month of July alone. (The map below is from August.)  Interceptors look to a typical phone like an ordinary tower.  Once the phone connects with the interceptor, a variety of “over-the-air” attacks become possible, from eavesdropping on calls and texts to pushing spyware to the device.

August GSM Interceptor Map ESD

“Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated,” Goldsmith says.  “One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found 8 different interceptors on that trip.  We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”

Monday, December 16, 2013

Federal Judge: NSA phone program likely unconstitutional

The NSA headquarters are pictured. | AP Photo

Judge: NSA phone program likely unconstitutional

The ruling is the first significant legal setback for the NSA’s surveillance program. 

By JOSH GERSTEIN | 12/16/13 1:36 PM EST
A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency program which collects information on nearly all telephone calls made to, from or within the United States is likely to be unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon found that the program appears to run afoul of the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. He also said the Justice Department had failed to demonstrate that collecting the so-called metadata had helped to head off terrorist attacks.

Acting on a lawsuit brought by conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, Leon issued a preliminary injunction barring the NSA from collecting metadata pertaining to the Verizon accounts of Klayman and one of his clients. However, the judge stayed the order to allow for an appeal.

(Also on POLITICO: NSA probe: Snowden can still do damage)

“Plaintiffs have a very significant expectation of privacy in an aggregated collection of their telephone metadata covering the last five years, and the NSA’s Bulk Telephony Metadata Program significantly intrudes on that expectation,” wrote Leon, an appointee of President George W. Bush. “I have significant doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism.”

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,” Leon added.

Leon’s ruling is the first significant legal setback for the NSA’s surveillance program since it was disclosed in June in news stories based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The metadata program has been approved repeatedly by numerous judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and at least one judge sitting in a criminal case.

(WATCH: Boehner says Edward Snowden is a ‘traitor’)

Similar lawsuits challenging the program are pending in at least three other federal courts around the country.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shady Companies With Ties to Israel
Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA

Posted at
April 4th, 2012

Via: Wired Magazine:

In addition to constructing the Stellar Wind center, and then running the operation, secretive contractors with questionable histories and little oversight were also used to do the actual bugging of the entire U.S. telecommunications network.

According to a former Verizon employee briefed on the program, Verint, owned by Comverse Technology, taps the communication lines at Verizon, which I first reported in my book The Shadow Factory in 2008. Verint did not return a call seeking comment, while Verizon said it does not comment on such matters.

At AT&T the wiretapping rooms are powered by software and hardware from Narus, now owned by Boeing, a discovery made by AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein in 2004. Narus did not return a call seeking comment.

What is especially troubling is that both companies have had extensive ties to Israel, as well as links to that country’s intelligence service, a country with a long and aggressive history of spying on the U.S.

In fact, according to Binney, the advanced analytical and data mining software the NSA had developed for both its worldwide and international eavesdropping operations was secretly passed to Israel by a mid-level employee, apparently with close connections to the country. The employee, a technical director in the Operations Directorate, “who was a very strong supporter of Israel,” said Binney, “gave, unbeknownst to us, he gave the software that we had, doing these fast rates, to the Israelis.”

Because of his position, it was something Binney should have been alerted to, but wasn’t.
“In addition to being the technical director,” he said, “I was the chair of the TAP, it’s the Technical Advisory Panel, the foreign relations council. We’re supposed to know what all these foreign countries, technically what they’re doing…. They didn’t do this that way, it was under the table.” After discovering the secret transfer of the technology, Binney argued that the agency simply pass it to them officially, and in that way get something in return, such as access to communications terminals. “So we gave it to them for switches,” he said. “For access.”

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

James Murdoch Steps Down As Executive Chairman Of News International 

James Murdoch has stepped down as executive chairman of News International, the British arm of News Corp., the company announced Wednesday. Murdoch, who was once seen as the heir apparent to his father Rupert at the head of News Corp., has now lost a key position within the company.