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Paul Merrell

NSA Based Malware Used In Massive Cyber-Attack Hitting 74 Countries - 0 views

  • Apparent National Security Agency (NSA) malware has been used in a global cyber-attack, including on British hospitals, in what whistleblower Edward Snowden described as the repercussion of the NSA’s reckless decision to build the tools. “Despite warnings, @NSAGov built dangerous attack tools that could target Western software. Today we see the cost,” Snowden tweeted Friday. At least two hospitals in London were forced to shut down and stop admitting patients after being attacked by the malware, which operates by locking out the user, encrypting data, and demanding a ransom to release it. The attacks hit dozens of other hospitals, ambulance operators, and doctors’ offices as well.
  • The Blackpool Gazette in the northwest reported that medical staff had resorted to using pen and paper when phone and computer systems shut down. Elsewhere, journalist Ollie Cowan tweeted a photo of ambulances “backed up” at Southport Hospital as the staff attempted to cope with the crisis.
  • Other disruptions were reported in at least 74 countries, including Russia, Spain, Turkey, and Japan, and the number is “growing fast,” according to Kaspersky Lab chief Costin Raiu. Security architect Kevin Beau said it was spreading into the U.S. as well. The malware, which Microsoft tested briefly earlier this year, was leaked by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has been releasing NSA hacking tools online since last year, the New York Times reports. Times journalists Dan Bilefsky and Nicole Perlroth wrote: Microsoft rolled out a patch for the vulnerability in March, but hackers apparently took advantage of the fact that vulnerable targets—particularly hospitals—had yet to update their systems. The malware was circulated by email. Targets were sent an encrypted, compressed file that, once loaded, allowed the ransomware to infiltrate its targets. Reuters reported that the National Health Service (NHS), England’s public health system, was warned about possible hacking earlier in the day, but that by then it was already too late.
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  • A Twitter account with the handle @HackerFantastic, the co-founder of the cyber security company Hacker House, tweeted that the firm had “warned the NHS with Sky news about vulnerabilities they had last year, this was inevitable and bound to happen at some stage.” “In light of today’s attack, Congress needs to be asking @NSAgov if it knows of any other vulnerabilities in software used in our hospitals,” Snowden tweeted. “If @NSAGov had privately disclosed the flaw used to attack hospitals when they *found* it, not when they lost it, this may not have happened.” Disclosing the vulnerability when it was found would have given hospitals years, not months, to update their systems and prepare for an attack, he added.
  • witter user @MalwareTechBlog added, “Something like this is incredibly significant, we’ve not seen P2P spreading on PC via exploits at this scale in nearly a decade.” Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) National Security Project, said, “It would be shocking if the NSA knew about this vulnerability but failed to disclose it to Microsoft until after it was stolen.” “These attacks underscore the fact that vulnerabilities will be exploited not just by our security agencies, but by hackers and criminals around the world,” Toomey said. “It is past time for Congress to enhance cybersecurity by passing a law that requires the government to disclose vulnerabilities to companies in a timely manner. Patching security holes immediately, not stockpiling them, is the best way to make everyone’s digital life safer.”
Paul Merrell

The New Snowden? NSA Contractor Arrested Over Alleged Theft Of Classified Data - 0 views

  • A contractor working for the National Security Agency (NSA) was arrested by the FBI following his alleged theft of “state secrets.” More specifically, the contractor, Harold Thomas Martin, is charged with stealing highly classified source codes developed to covertly hack the networks of foreign governments, according to several senior law enforcement and intelligence officials. The Justice Department has said that these stolen materials were “critical to national security.” Martin was employed by Booz Allen Hamilton, the company responsible for most of the NSA’s most sensitive cyber-operations. Edward Snowden, the most well-known NSA whistleblower, also worked for Booz Allen Hamilton until he fled to Hong Kong in 2013 where he revealed a trove of documents exposing the massive scope of the NSA dragnet surveillance. That surveillance system was shown to have targeted untold numbers of innocent Americans. According to the New York Times, the theft “raises the embarrassing prospect” that an NSA insider managed to steal highly damaging secret information from the NSA for the second time in three years, not to mention the “Shadow Broker” hack this past August, which made classified NSA hacking tools available to the public.
  • Snowden himself took to Twitter to comment on the arrest. In a tweet, he said the news of Martin’s arrest “is huge” and asked, “Did the FBI secretly arrest the person behind the reports [that the] NSA sat on huge flaws in US products?” It is currently unknown if Martin was connected to those reports as well.
  • It also remains to be seen what Martin’s motivations were in removing classified data from the NSA. Though many suspect that he planned to follow in Snowden’s footsteps, the government will more likely argue that he had planned to commit espionage by selling state secrets to “adversaries.” According to the New York Times article on the arrest, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are named as examples of the “adversaries” who would have been targeted by the NSA codes that Martin is accused of stealing. However, Snowden revealed widespread US spying on foreign governments including several US allies such as France and Germany. This suggests that the stolen “source codes” were likely utilized on a much broader scale.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

European Copyright Leak Exposes Plans to Force the Internet to Subsidize Publishers | E... - 1 views

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    "A just-leaked draft impact assessment on the modernization of European copyright rules could spell the end for many online services in Europe as we know them. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

European Copyright Leak Exposes Plans to Force the Internet to Subsidize Publishers | D... - 0 views

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    "Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the Balance International A just-leaked draft impact assessment on the modernization of European copyright rules could spell the end for many online services in Europe as we know them."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

TTIP expected to fail after US demands revealed in unprecedented leak | Ars Technica UK - 1 views

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    "Bernd Lange, the chairman of the European Parliament's important trade committee, has indicated that he now expects the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations will probably fail, following a major leak of confidential documents from the talks."
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    "Bernd Lange, the chairman of the European Parliament's important trade committee, has indicated that he now expects the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations will probably fail, following a major leak of confidential documents from the talks."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Breaking: The European Union Is Taking a Look at Spotify's Contracts... - Digital Music... - 0 views

    • Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.
       
      # ! what is unfair with artists? # ! sharing aficionad@s giving free promotion # ! or 'caring' labels grabbing their royalties...?
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    [ Tuesday, May 26, 2015 by Nina Ulloa Last week, the International Music Managers Forum wrote an open letter to the European Commission and U.S. Copyright Office regarding the leaked Sony/Spotify contract. Now, the International Artist Organisation has chimed in with their own letter to the European Commission…]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Sony Movies Leak Online After Hack Attack | TorrentFreak - 1 views

    • Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.
       
      # ! #Leaks are the New #Promo #Tools
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    # ! #Leaks are # ! ... the New #Promo #Tools: # ! #Free #worldwide #Advertising, #later #government #grants & # ! #pressure for #Internet #control/#censorship... # ! A #Perfect #Gamble... # ! \(°0°)/ Stop The #Swindle.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Latest Leak Shows NSA Engaging In Economic Espionage -- Not Fighting Terrorism | Techdirt - 0 views

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    "As more and more information about the NSA's global surveillance capabilities emerges through leaks of material obtained by Edward Snowden, the US authorities have been playing the terrorist card heavily. That is, they concede that they have been spying on pretty much everyone, but claim that it was only to fight terrorism, and thus to save lives. In particular, the NSA insists it is not spying on anyone for the purposes of industrial espionage -- here's what it wrote in an email to the Washington Post on the subject just a couple of weeks ago: "
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