Paranoid Technology All things cybersecurity


Wanna Cry?!!! We do…

The cyber-attack that happened earlier this week reminded us of the questions posed in our March post – Initial Thoughts on Wikileaks Vault 7 Leak Series:

This wikileak points to increasing erosion of public safety - despite having these tools at hand, world governments (US, UK, Germany) continue to push for encryption back doors. Equation Group’s leak (NSA) late 2016 and this latest CIA leak once again prove all organizations have their OpSec issues - the three letter agencies are themselves at risk; backdoors, once discovered, work just as well for foreign spies, cyber-criminals and script kiddies.  Who is protecting the innocent? “

Apparently no one… Is the NSA going to step up and accept responsibility? Maybe if hell freezes over – “Cannot either deny or confirm the existence of these weapons…” Well, everybody else did – who cares if you do or don’t?!!

Interestingly, even Chinese state media called for the NSA to take some responsibility, how ironic… Like they should be talking…


Does the Patriot Act apply to D**k Pics?

After a period of silence watching and obsorbing events around us, we are back with this funny bit on Patriot Act... As you might have followed the intelligence agencies are trying to renew the Patriot Act program under the radar, which is set to expire on June 1, 2015.

Even after the Snowden Revelations the ignorance of the general public on the effects of this program to personal freedoms, the very essence of the U.S. - "Freedom of Speech" is very concerning.  Understandably the technical nature of the Snowden documents are  somewhat intimidating and  people cannot relate to most of these programs unless given a concrete example.  Up until now!!


President Signs Secretive Cybersecurity Policy Directive

President Obama has long said cyber security is one of his priorities and it appears he is now acting on his words.

According to the Washington Post, he is said to have signed a secret policy directive last month that will give the military and other government authorities the ability to act quickly if the country comes under cyber attack.

Dubbed the "Presidential Policy Directive 20," this classified document allegedly outlines the rules of how federal agencies are allowed to react when it comes to online breaches of security, hacking, cyber threats, and attacks.

One of the major elements of the directive, according to the Washington Post, is that it deals with "offensive" versus "defensive" action and makes the distinction between network defense and cyber operations.


FBI Wants Wiretap Ready Websites

Based on Cnet's article FBI is moving quietly to get major companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook to make their sites wiretap ready. Government asking companies to disclose information is nothing new, especially after the Patriot Act 2 era... But now they want back-doors on social networks, VoIP (Skype), and Web e-mail providers, and that the bureau is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those back-doors mandatory.

They must be bored of issuing subpoenas wanting mandatory back-doors built-in for their immediate access and analysis of data; this is quite interesting, because it poses challenges on businesses like building-in extra logic to meet government requirements, providing dedicated hardware for the Feds to do their eavesdropping. Would this extra cost be reflected on the goods and services we get? Maybe Facebook will double the ads we see on their site. 🙂

On the consumer side needless to say privacy is a huge concern; what is left of it anyway...


If you like your online privacy – you may be a Child Pornographer

It looks like the Canadians are having their Privacy party in the House of Commons:

Lawful Access - House of Commons - Feb 13 2012 - (Question Period)


New limits on automated telemarketing calls

Were you one of the victims of robo-calls? Well, good news; FCC just approved new rules limiting telemarketers making robo-calls and sending text messages to consumers that do not want them...

Under the new rules, telemarketers must obtain written permission from all residential telephone subscribers to receive prerecorded calls. Previously, only residential subscribers on the National Do Not Call registry had this protection. That's if you were lucky, because not all the telemarketers actually observed this registry...


Apple says it will protect customer data

Following up our previous post "Want Larry Ellison's Home Phone Number?" - amid lawmaker pressure Apple decided to tweak the app developer policy. In a statement issued to some media outlets Apple responded:


Want Larry Ellison’s Home Phone Number?

Then become a iPhone app developer. In his blog Dustin Curtis wrote that it is a common practice for app developers to send a user's address book to remote servers for reference and app improvement. In his quick survey of 15 app developers 13 were engaged in this practice and they had millions of records in their contacts databases.


Valentine’s Day Special on the Senate Floor

Love was in the air for cyber security yet again on the senate floor...  Senators moved Tuesday to jump-start efforts at bolstering U.S. computer security with a new bill that would require private companies operating critical infrastructure to meet certain security requirements that would be imposed by Department of Homeland Safety. These companies include power grids, telecommunications networks and nuclear power plants. Notice the difference from the prior regulations?


Hoping for a “Cyber Crisis”…

It is true, industrial espionage is a big problem in the U.S. - Russia and China were pointed out to be the two major conspirators stealing technology and trade secrets from American companies in a report sent to the Congress by the U.S. intelligence community last year... According to the report the loss is in billions of dollars. So what should be done, should we rely on the companies to protect themselves or ask for the government to step in?