Connect with us

Cybersecurity

FBI Spies, Conceals From Congress

Published

on

Sony was shredded by a group that the government claims is based in North Korea, a theory that almost nobody in the security field finds credible. CENTCOM’s Twitter was the subject of a hilarious false flag takeover that credited ISIS, a claim that is considered questionable due to certain cultural nuances in what it communicated. Ross Ulbricht’s trial has begun with talk of jury nullification and claims that he is not Dread Pirate Roberts.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

The common threads behind this are the U.S. Government’s cyber-incompetence, despite massive spending and the complete dereliction of oversight duty on the part of Congress.

Edward Snowden’s leak has shown just how bad things are, but until we hold the feet of Congress to the fire, we are left piecing together what is happening by using the Freedom Of Information Act to liberate details. A recent FOIA response (pdf) obtained by the New York Times reveals just how unconstitutional their efforts are.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD. Click here to change your current membership -- //

Reading Between The Black

DoJPrior to going very far into this you should know that the review was produced by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice. This is an independent internal department responsible for oversight that has a dual reporting path – one to the U.S. Attorney General and the other to Congress. The OIG semi-annual activity reports are freely available, but we won’t see this specific FAA report summarized until April of 2015.

Reading the 284-page PDF entitled “A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Activities Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act of 2008” is an exercise in patience. Perhaps 50% of it is black out redacted, leaving little more than paragraph headings for page after page. The most important clues are the ‘implicit hyperlinks’ to external information in the form of dates that certain practices were first implemented, terminated, or otherwise modified.

  • FISA Amendment Act passed July 2008
  • FBI begins receiving & holding some raw data October 2009
  • Only ONE annual report was done by February 2012, covering 7/2008-9/2009
  • Congress extends FAA until 2017 December 2012

Four years of potentially unconstitutional spying. One mandated annual report completed. The month after that report the FBI starts keeping raw data and stops reporting on what it’s doing. You can draw your own conclusions from this.

A Deeper Understanding

Reading a single FOIA is likely to be extremely frustrating for a novice. The responses are calculated to do this. Although now six years old, James Bamford’s The Shadow Factory is much more substantial than the short Wikipedia entry might lead you to believe, and it provides an excellent overview of what is happening within the NSA. A good companion for this book is Timothy Shorrock’s Spies For Hire, which covers the “if you can’t buy, you can’t spy” ethos that has come with the outsourcing of the bulk of our intelligence collection work.

You can follow Bamford at @WashAuthor and Shorrock at @TimothyS. Both use Twitter socially, but they keep up a good flow of information on their areas of expertise.

Further Dereliction In The Works

You might think that an unconstitutional (and terribly ineffective) spying program might be of great interest to a penny-pinching Congress, but instead they appear to be ready to do the exact opposite. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has just offered the batty idea that they’re going to make end to end encryption illegal, so the White House’s plan (pdf) to expand on the already deeply flawed Computer Fraud & Abuse Act seems almost reasonable in comparison.

The full impact of the proposed amendment, which covers eleven pages, have touched off a firestorm of wrath from security researchers. Those who are engaged in hunting exploits, even if they follow community standards for responsible disclosure, could be prosecuted. The consensus is that the proposed changes will hobble U.S. security research, pushing the best talent overseas, while pushing our country further behind in this area.

Images from Wikimedia Commons and Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...





Feedback or Requests?

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Black Dynamite

    January 14, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Anybody who makes encryption illegal is a thief themselves. You have to question the ethics and motives of anybody who would even say such a thing. Governments, banks, and military have been, and will continue to use, encryption for decades. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. When they stop using potentially “illegal” means, so will I.
    BD

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Cybersecurity

Three Hours After Re-Launch, BitGrail Shuts Down Again

Published

on

Embattled digital currency exchange BitGrail has reportedly suspended operations a mere three hours after re-launching, a move that could signal the death knell for the controversial trading platform.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

BitGrail Shuts Down After Court Order

The Italian exchange received an order from the Court of Florence on Tuesday to cease operations immediately. BitGrail was open for all of three hours before the order was handed down. All cryptocurrencies that were previously supported on the exchange were available for trade with the notable exception of Nano XRB.

On Wednesday, BitGrail issued the following statement:

“This morning, following the re-opening, we were notified of a deed by the court of Florence requesting the immediate closure of BitGrail and this situation will persist until a decision is made by the courts, about the precautionary suspension request made by the Bonelli law office on behalf of a client.”

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD. Click here to change your current membership -- //

A final decision by the court is scheduled for May 16 2018.

Embroiled in Controversy

The Italian exchange has been mired in controversy after 17 million Nano XRB tokens went missing in February. At the time, the total value of the theft was $170 million.

At the time, BitGrail said the shortfall was caused by “unauthorized transactions,” but didn’t indicate exactly when the hack took place.

A Twitter user by the name of “Francesco the Bomber,” who apparently runs the exchange, later confirmed that the funds were stolen and that the exchange didn’t have the capital to repay its customers. However, developers who used to work with Francesco claimed that the exchange was solvent long before the attack took place. This fact was concealed by BitGrail for as long as possible.

For its part, Nano XRB managed to recovery in the wake of the attacks, with prices reaching a high near $17 in early March. The cryptocurrency has nearly doubled in value over the last three weeks as part of a broader upward correction in the market.

The Nano Foundation has established a fund to assist BitGrail users affected by the attack. The Foundation says it will match donations to the fund for up to $1 million.

BitGrail was the second largest attack of a digital currency exchange this year. In January, cyber criminals made off with around $530 million worth of NEM tokens following an attack on Coincheck, a Japanese exchange.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4.5 stars on average, based on 414 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Cybersecurity

Facebook Stock Has Best Day in Two Years as Zuckerberg Testifies

Published

on

Shares of Facebook Inc. (FB) gained on Tuesday, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before U.S. lawmakers over allegations of data misuse.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Zuckerberg Gets Likes

Mark Zuckerberg apologized and defended his company on Tuesday as he appeared before a joint U.S. Senate committee hearing. “It was my mistake, and I’m sorry,” the 33-year-old CEO said when questioned about Facebook’s misuse of user data.

Lawmakers grilled Zuckerberg on issues ranging from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal to its failure in addressing provocative messages during the most recent Myanmar crisis. He took it all in stride, appearing confident and poised throughout the question-and-answer period (at least, that’s what professional PR experts quoted by Bloomberg had to say).

Zuckerberg took full responsibility not just for Cambridge Analytica, but for Facebook’s negligence in safeguarding consumer data. That said, Republican Senator from Iowa Chick Grassley sent a strong signal that new regulations are on the way.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD. Click here to change your current membership -- //

“The status quo no longer works,” said Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee. “Congress must determine if and how we need to strengthen privacy standards to ensure transparency and understanding for the billions of consumers who utilize these products.”

Wall Street Responds

The testimony resonated with Wall Street, as investors scooped up shares of the battered social media company. Facebook shares added 4.5%, their best in two years. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index gained 1.7% on Tuesday and the index’s technology component rose 2.5%.

The stock surge grew Zuckerberg’s personal fortune by $2.8 billion to $66 billion, according to Forbes. That makes him the world’s seventh richest person.

Despite the gain, FB is down almost 15% from its all-time high and its current price point lags behind the 50-day and 200-day moving averages. An RSI of 48 also signals weak underlying momentum for the social media stock.

Facebook’s Declining Usage

Facebook experienced a public backlash last month amid reports that a political research firm had scraped data on 87 million people. The revelation sparked a growing debate over Facebook’s privacy standards at a time when the company was battling a noticeable decline in usage.

The social media platform declined by roughly 50 million hours per day in the fourth quarter, or 5% overall. Meanwhile, independent research from a company named Edison found a steady drop in usage among Americans aged 12 and up.

While Zuckerberg has tried to spin the decline as a good thing, it’s apparent that the platform is experiencing fewer meaningful interactions, which partially explains recent efforts to transform the News Feed.

It remains to be seen how much damage the declines will do to top and bottom line results. Facebook is expected to report its quarterly earnings report Apr. 25. Analysts are expecting per-share earnings of $1.37 for the quarter, up from $1.04 the same time a year ago.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4.5 stars on average, based on 414 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Cybersecurity

Facebook Admits It Has Failed to Protect User Privacy

Published

on

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has had to come clean about its privacy standards. The company recently admitted that the data on most of its 2 billion users could be compromised by malicious actors, a strong sign that the social media giant is not only misusing consumer data, but failing to protect it.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Data on the Loose

Facebook recently announced that it has removed a feature that allows users to search for people using email addresses or phone numbers. The feature, which accounts for 7% of all searches in some regions, is being discontinued over fears that malicious users were using it to “scrape” profiles.

Mike Shcroepfer, the company’s chief technology officer, issued the following statement on Wednesday:

“Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way. So we have now disabled this feature. We’re also making changes to account recovery to reduce the risk of scraping as well.”

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD. Click here to change your current membership -- //

CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters that it was “reasonable to expect” that your information may have been accessed in this way.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which surfaced last month, blew the lid wide open on Facebook’s privacy standards. Since 2014, Cambridge Analytica legally obtained information on as many as 87 million Facebook users for the purpose of influencing elections. In the wake of the scandal, Zuckerberg is being summoned by U.S. Congress to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, currently scheduled for Apr. 11. The CEO has acknowledged that his company made mistakes, but this has largely failed to resonate with Facebook’s growing list of critics.

Facebook Tanks

Many say that Facebook has suffered irreversible damage since the scandal was brought to light. Faced with declining usage, severed business ties and a severe backlash from the public, Facebook shares have tanked more than 16% over the last three weeks.

Prices have fallen below the 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages, with the short-term average converging on the longer one. An RSI in the low-30s makes a strong case for Facebook’s bearish downturn, although current levels indicate that an oversold bounce is likely.

FB’s share price shed another 0.7% on Wednesday even as the major indexes gained. The S&P 500’s information technology index rose 1.4%, capping off a solid recovery for the market.

Along with the other so-called FAANG stocks, Facebook has been largely responsible for the recent tech rollover and subsequent turbulence on Wall Street. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet lost a combined $324 billion in market cap between Mar. 12 and Apr. 2.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 53 votes, average: 4.67 out of 53 votes, average: 4.67 out of 53 votes, average: 4.67 out of 53 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4.5 stars on average, based on 414 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

A part of CCN

Hacked.com is Neutral and Unbiased

Hacked.com and its team members have pledged to reject any form of advertisement or sponsorships from 3rd parties. We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com.

Trending