Paranoid Technology All things cybersecurity

15Feb/17Off

Who has my Data and Why?

Decided to dedicate this entry on how personal information is collected by everyday services we use and how it could impact our lives…

Security professionals quite often find themselves explaining how to protect one’s privacy, but the response is usually one of the following:

  • I have nothing to hide
  • This sounds like a conspiracy theory
  • Glazed eyes

People are focused on the menial conveniences they receive using these free applications in exchange for data… In technology if something is free – never forget – you are the product!!  Even applications and devices we pay for are disrespectfully collecting information in the name of customizing our experience. There is a massive information gathering wars between:

7Apr/15Off

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!!

24Nov/14Off

Symantec Research Discovers a New APT

Almost 24 hours ago Symantec Security researchers published a report on a new APT dubbed Reign. The new threat is a five stage advanced piece of malware (each stage is hidden and encrypted, with the exception of the first stage) , seemingly it has been used in systematic spying campaigns against a range of international targets since at least 2008. A back door-type Trojan, Reign is a complex piece of malware whose structure displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen. Customizable with an extensive range of capabilities depending on the target, it provides its controllers with a powerful framework for mass surveillance and has been used in spying operations against government organizations, infrastructure operators, businesses, researchers, and private individuals. Read the full article here.

View the technical paper here.

19Mar/14Off

NSA’s MYSTIC Program – Where is it deployed?

mystic-logoOn March 18 Washington Post published an article detailing another NSA program based on Snowden documents. According to these documents the NSA has a surveillance system that is capable of recording 100% of  a foreign country's phone calls.

Some details of the system - from the Washington Post article:

".... In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording “every single” conversation nationwide, storing billions of them in a 30-day rolling buffer that clears the oldest calls as new ones arrive, according to a classified summary.

The call buffer opens a door “into the past,” the summary says, enabling users to “retrieve audio of interest that was not tasked at the time of the original call.” Analysts listen to only a fraction of 1 percent of the calls, but the absolute numbers are high. Each month, they send millions of voice clippings, or “cuts,” for processing and long-term storage. ...."

28Feb/14Off

GCHQ Tops the Cake with Spying on Yahoo Messenger

optic-nerveAccording to the Guardian newspaper British intelligence agency GCHQ collected millions of people's webcam chats and stored still images of them, including sexually explicit ones in a program called Optic Nerve. Wow! This really tops the cake and takes the UKUSA intelligence sharing agreement to a new level. Let's not forget the "Five Eyes" alliance with Canada, Australia and New Zealand either...

The implications of GCHQ's actions can be far reaching, given that quite a bit of the images captured were sexually implicit ones - just the thought of your government wanting to collect your naked images while chatting is extremely disturbing. Well the thought of being naked in front of the chat is a little disturbing too, but I guess one will think twice before doing that now. Especially the bad guys!

20Jun/12Off

Phil Zimmerman and Navy SEALs Start Silent Circle

Are you worried about your communications privacy? With ever so increasing surveillance efforts of governments and private companies indexing every piece of correspondence in the name better serving us products, you should be! With this concern in mind an information security legend Phil Zimmermann and some of the original PGP team have joined up with former US Navy SEALs to build an encrypted communications platform that should be proof against any surveillance.

   
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