Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Study Gives RIM Smartphones High Scores on Security


DailyTech
IPhone, WinMo phones not quite as secure, says the study.

Its results may surprise some. It blasts Apple's iPhone with an overall score of 1 out of 4. Apple's worst performance came in the device category in which it earned a zero. Ms. Lopez notes that the underlying OS X build is easily compromised, that the system lacks over the air security updates, and that its encryption options are lacking.

Networking was Apple's strongest category. The reason why it performed well, according to Ms. Lopez, was that the iPhone "uses the same active directory based on authentication methods as Windows Mobile."
Microsoft earned a lower mark -- 2/4 -- on devices as its encryption was lacking, despite having over-the-air updates.

Sales leader RIM, though, took the cake, earning a perfect mark. States Ms. Lopez, "RIM offers strong security protection across the device, transmission and the network domains through tight control of the device, its software and its application control policies. While other vendors have stepped up security efforts in the past year, RIM offers the most robust security solution."

More...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cyberattacks On U.S. Could Even Odds For Enemy

npr

NPR.org, May 29, 2009 · Cyber-espionage — or an all-out attack on the nation's computer infrastructure — could help even the odds between a technology-reliant U.S. military and a savvy adversary with little more than a hacker's basic tools, computer security experts say.

China and Russia are among nations that have active programs to target U.S.-based networks — not only government systems, but also those of private contractors serving the military, says Alan Paller, the director of research for the SANS Institute, which specializes in information security and training.

"China's getting a lot of attention right now because their technique is to get in and steal everything and then have lots of people sort through it to see what's important," Paller says.

"Russia has a much more selective approach," he says. "They figure out what they want and make a surgical strike. China's method makes a lot more noise, whereas Russia's is stealthier."

The motivations for these attacks are as old as espionage itself, says Paller: getting information on a potential enemy and feeding him disinformation.

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Man, 85, Avoids Jail Time for Giving Military Secrets


NYTimes
Apparently, one's "age" in sentencing criteria for criminal espionage cases?

A case that surprised many with allegations of espionage and even talk of the death penalty ended Friday with an 85-year-old New Jersey man hobbling out of the federal district courthouse in Manhattan, avoiding prison but fined $50,000.

With harsh words for both the man, Ben-Ami Kadish, and the government, the judge, William H. Pauley III, said prison would “serve no purpose” for a man so old and infirm, but made clear that he had lingering questions about the government’s approach to the case.

Mr. Kadish, who lives with his wife of 57 years in a retirement community in Monroe Township, N.J., said in court that he leaked classified United States military documents to an Israeli agent in the early 1980s.

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Ex-Employee Fingered in Texas Power Company Hack


Wired

The FBI is investigating a computer intrusion at a large Texas power company that crippled the firm’s energy forecast system for a day in March, costing it over $26,000.

Early Thursday morning FBI agents raided the home of a former employee of Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings — the corporate parent of three large Texas electric companies, including Luminent, which has over 18,300 megawatts of generation in Texas, and operates the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant.

The ex-employee, Dong Chul Shin, was fired from the company March 3 for performance reasons, and escorted off the premises, according to court records. But the company failed to immediately shut off his VPN access. That afternoon, someone using Shin’s account began logging onto the corporate network, e-mailing out proprietary data to a personal Yahoo account linked to Shin, and modifying and deleting files, according to a search warrant affidavit by Dallas FBI agent Robert Smith.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Deutsche Bank spying scandal widens


German media report that Deutsche Bank has suspended its security chief after allegations that Germany's largest bank spied not just on its employees but also on people outside the financial institution.
The news agency Reuters says unnamed sources have confirmed reports published by the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Wednesday, that Deutsche Bank had spied not only on its employees but also on people outside the bank. The paper said the bulk of the spying allegedly took place in 2006. However it is unclear what kind of data the institution's security department had gathered.
Reuters says senior bank managers were among those under surveillance. Deutsche Bank has so far not commented on the report. Also on Wednesday,the German business daily Handelsblatt reported that Deutsche Bank had suspended the security chief of its German operations. Rafael S., a former officer with the German army, had been responsible for managing daily security. His tasks included gathering and assessing "relevant security information."

Tiversa Identifies Over 13 Million Breached Internet Files


Cranberry Township, PA (PRWEB) May 28, 2009 -- Tiversa today announced the findings of new research that revealed 13,185,252 breached files emanating from over 4,310,839 sources on P2P file-sharing networks within a twelve month period from March 01, 2008 - March 01, 2009.
The research is based on data in an ongoing study by Tiversa, whose patent-pending technology monitors roughly 450 million users issuing more than 1.5 billion searches a day. The files analyzed included only those identified on behalf of Tiversa's existing customer base during the 12 month period. It's also important to note that the referenced files are business documents only (.doc, .xls, .pdf, .pst, etc). Music, software and movie files (.avi, .mov, .wma, .mpeg4, .mp3, etc) were not included in the study. This new data clearly demonstrates that P2P file-sharing risk is not effectively being addressed by the security protocols of Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, as these organizations commonly have exposure across the Extended Enterprise. Tiversa's findings also hint at the enormity of the issue at hand.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Man gets jail for hiding camera in bathroom


MUSKEGON COUNTY -- A 24-year-old Muskegon Heights man has been sentenced to jail for hiding a camera in his bathroom to secretly take pictures of a couple living with him.
Muskegon County Circuit Judge James M. Graves Jr. last week ordered Christopher Allen Slocum to jail for 45 days and probation for 18 months. Slocum pleaded no contest earlier to surveilling an unclothed person, a felony.

Police said Slocum had a camera hidden in the ceiling above the bathtub in his home at 3009 Glendale, connected to his computer. Police said he used it to take pictures of another man and woman who lived in the home with Slocum and his wife.

Conn. janitor gets prison for voyeurism


STAMFORD, Conn.—A Connecticut judge has sentenced a former train station janitor to four years in prison for voyeurism, involving a hidden video camera in the women's bathroom.
Forty-two-year-old Felicitos Gonzales of Stamford had also been accused of using a video camera to peep beneath women's skirts while they waited for trains.
Gonzales, who was sentenced Tuesday, was charged last November with voyeurism after a woman found a camera phone in a women's bathroom stall at the Stamford train station.
Police say additional videos and photographs were found on his home computer after his arrest.
His lawyer says Gonzales, who entered the United States illegally, likely will serve part of his sentence before being deported.

GPS Receiver + Location Finder


If you have ever had trouble finding your car after a big football game, you will love this gadget! Using the GPS location finder to find your way back is easy. Before you leave your car, just press the button for two seconds to save the location's coordinates. You can now enjoy the game without worrying about remembering where you parked your car. When you need to find your car again, just follow the red LED pointing toward the saved position. When you come within 50 meters of the saved location, the arrow will begin flashing, and when you are within 15 meters the arrow will turn blue. This smart function is great for anyone who needs help finding his way back to his car, hotel, or wife. But wait, there's more. This gadget can also turn your computer into a GPS system! This USB GPS receiver dongle is the only hardware you need to transform your laptop, notebook, or netbook computer into a fully functioning GPS unit. Just connect this dongle to your computer's USB port and locate your position right on your screen. This is great for finding your place on a map when you're camping or planning the next day's route.

CIA, intel director locked in spy turf battle



NavyTimes
WASHINGTON — The nation’s two intelligence chiefs are locked in a turf battle over overseas posts, forcing National Security Adviser James L. Jones to mediate, according to current and former government officials.
The jockeying between CIA Director Leon Panetta and National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair centers on Blair’s effort to choose his own representatives at U.S. embassies instead of relying only on CIA station chiefs. Current and former U.S. officials described the dispute on the condition of anonymity, because of the sensitivity of intelligence issues.
Blair’s office was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to better coordinate intelligence gathering and make sure critical information isn’t overlooked. But former and current CIA officials warn that his plan could do just the opposite — creating competing chains of command inside U.S. embassies and potentially fouling up intelligence operations. They also worry it could complicate the delicate relationships between U.S. and foreign intelligence services, and leave ambassadors confused about where to turn for intelligence advice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Divorce lawyers find GPS useful


CHICAGO, May 26 (UPI) -- GPS, or global position system tracking has become a useful tool to catch cheating spouses, U.S. divorce lawyers and private detectives say.
"You can sit out there for four days, and nothing might happen," Paul Ciolino, a private investigator, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "If I have someone out there at $120 an hour for 14 hours a day and nothing happens, that gets expensive. But if the GPS says the car is going to a location every Thursday at 2, now you can go take a look."
Global positioning systems
now cost less than $1,000 for the cheaper models. One big advantage in divorce cases is that someone who owns a vehicle can conceal a GPS device in the glove compartment or other hiding place legally.

Lockheed Wins $37 Million in IP Suit Against Contractor

Law.com
A federal jury in Atlanta has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. $37.3 million for the misappropriation by a Texas defense contractor of trade secrets associated with the design and construction of Lockheed's anti-submarine bomber, which is used by navies around the world.
The jury handed down the verdict on Thursday after deliberating two days at the end of a
three-week trial against L-3 Communications Corp. -- the sixth-largest defense company in the United States -- and its subsidiary, L-3 Communications Integrated Systems Inc.
"It was a really significant victory for the firm and the client in an unaddressed area of intellectual property law," said
Audra A. Dial, a partner at Kilpatrick Stockton in Atlanta and a member of Lockheed's legal team.
"Trade secrets protection for information that is disclosed to the U.S. government really hasn't been addressed in many issues. It's pretty groundbreaking," she said. L-3 Comm, Dial added, was "taking information they had received for U.S. government purposes, from the U.S. government, and attempting to exploit it for their financial gain in a commercial program that had nothing to do with the U.S. government."

Verizon Refuses to Help Police Over 20 Dollar Phone Bill


Nothing like a customer service department getting in the way of saving a life. Slashdot reports that recently, a 62-year-old man had a mental breakdown and ran away from his house with several bottles of pills. Police were called in, and immediately contacted Verizon to switch on the guy's cell phone so they could track him--and were promptly rebuffed, with the Verizon customer service rep saying that they couldn't turn on his phone because he had an unpaid bill totaling 20 bucks.
The cops eventually found the guy anyway--unconscious, and after 11 hours, while the department tried to figure out how to pay the bill, the report said. "I was more concerned for the person's life," Sheriff Dale Williams said in the accompanying Times-Reporter article.

Lebanon arrests colonel as 'Israeli spy'

BBC
Lebanese security officials say an army colonel has been detained on suspicion of spying for Israel, the latest of about 30 such arrests.
There was no immediate comment by the Lebanese army about the report, which comes during a tense run-up to parliamentary elections next month.
More than 20 suspects have now been charged, some of them in their absence.
The latest to be charged are named as Ahmed Shibli, Jeryis Farah, and Jean Farah, described as a fugitive.
They have been charged with monitoring civilian and military installations and providing information to Israel about the movements of political figures. Lebanon is at a state of war with its southern neighbour Israel.
Convicted spies face a possible life prison term with hard labour or the death penalty if found guilty of contributing to Lebanese loss of life.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lost data could expose British officers to spying, blackmail


associated press
LONDON – An internal military memo published today confirmed that computer disks lost at a British Royal Air Force base contained sensitive files on the private lives of senior officers, including answers to vetting questions about drug abuse, extramarital affairs and the use of prostitutes.
The memo was released to Britain's Guardian newspaper under freedom of information laws following the loss of data disks in September,
At the time of the theft from RAF Innsworth, about 113 miles west of London, Britain's defence ministry said only that personal data such as bank details and addresses could have been lost.
But the memo confirms that the data included details of security vetting, potentially involving information on criminal convictions, debts, medical conditions and sexual activity.
"This data provides an excellent target list for foreign intelligence services, investigative journalists and blackmailers," the memo stated.

Lighter Spy Camcorder


Gadget.Brando

The next time somone lights up a Marlboro in front of you, Beware!


Lighter Spy Camcorder with built-in 2GB memory, recharegable Li-ion battery, light weight and easy to carry design. You can take Video Any Time & Any Place without notification.

Features:
Lighter Spy Camcorder
Color Video Camcorder
One press to switch ON and One press to record video
Fast response time and Simple control
Dimension: 5.3 x 3.7 x 1.2 cm Specifications:
Pinhole Lens
Color Video Resolution: 640 x 480 pixel
FPS: 16 frames per second
Video file format: AVI
Color Video and Audio
Built-in 2GB Memory

Monday, May 25, 2009

State 'spying on Heathrow critics'

DailyMail
Civil servants are compiling dossiers on opponents of Heathrow Airport expansion and handing them over to police, it emerged yesterday.

Communications staff at the Department for Transport are gathering data on legitimate objectors to the £9billion third runway and offering the information to Scotland Yard.

Last night, Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Norman Baker warned that the activities of the DfT's supposedly non-partisan civil servants were another step towards a 'Stasi-like police state'.

DfT officials monitored anyone speaking out against the planned third runway during the run-up to January's narrow Commons approval of the scheme.

Potentially the names of tens of thousands of innocent people from websites, press releases, news articles and public consultations were trawled over by bureaucrats, who then briefed detectives.

Critics suggest that even those who write letters to the DfT expressing concerns about the third runway will be checked out and the police notified.

More...

Keychain Car Key Security Spy Camera

cg

Remotes to go with your car are so incredibly common that no one would notice anything odd about this keychain. It’d just look like your average keychain unless someone actually bothered to inspect it closely. Odds are, no one is all that observant, nor do they have any need to be. Well if you’re just dying to catch someone doing something shameful, this keychain can help you catch them in the act.

It can take both video, audio and pictures, all depending on what you need at that particular moment. They’ll never know that you just captured proof of them up to no good until it’s too late. That is unless you’re entirely too obvious by the way you’re holding the keys. Asking them to speak into the keychain might be a touch too obvious. It has a rechargeable Li-on battery and 2GB of built-in memory.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

U.S. Cyberattack Console Aims to Turn Grunts into Hackers

WIRED
The U.S. military is putting together a suite of hacking tools that could one day make breaking into networks as easy for the average grunt as kicking down a door.

That’s the word from Aviation Week, which snuck an unusual peek inside a “U.S. cyberwarfare attack laboratory.” There, researchers are building a “device” that would “weaponiz[e] cyberattack for the non-cyberspecialist, military user.” In recent years, Defense Department officials have thumped their chests, hard, about how good the Pentagon is at hacking enemy networks. But discussing specific online attacks — ordinarily, that’s done mostly inside of secure facilities. A 2008 Danger Room post on an unclassified Air Force research project to give cyberwarriors “full control” of “any and all” computers set of a frenzy inside the service. Generals were pelted with questions about how such supposedly-sensitive information was allowed to escape into the public sphere. Since then, there have been increased calls within military circles to show off at least some of what the armed forces’ network attackers can do. It’s an effective way of detering potential foes online, the logic goes.

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Lebanon spy cases highlight Mideast espionage

AssociatedPress

BEIRUT (AP) — The Middle East's espionage wars are heating up after Lebanon's arrest of more than a dozen alleged Israeli spies, and dire warnings from Jerusalem that Arab groups are trying to use the Internet to infiltrate the Jewish state.
Officials in Beirut say they struck a strategic blow against Israel with the recent arrests of 15 people who they contend were gathering intelligence on Hezbollah positions, leaders' movements and infrastructure targets. Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants and Israeli forces fought an inconclusive war in 2006 along the Lebanese-Israeli border and both sides have since been preparing for the possibility of another.
Although Israel and its Arab neighbors have for years spied on each other, the recent announcements have highlighted the secret war of espionage and the depth of the infiltration. Lebanese officials say the spies arrested there included a math teacher and housewife, and that they were equipped with sophisticated electronics.
In Israel, meanwhile, the Shin Bet internal intelligence service this week urged people to be careful when using social networking sites such as Facebook, contending Arab groups are using them to recruit and hire spies. In one instance, Israeli intelligence said an Israeli Facebook user was contacted by a man who introduced himself as a Lebanese agent and offered money for information.

Computer virus strikes US Marshals, FBI affected

AP
WASHINGTON (AP) — Law enforcement computers were struck by a Mystery computer virus Thursday, forcing the FBI and the U.S. Marshals to shut down part of their networks as a precaution.
The U.S. Marshals confirmed it disconnected from the Justice Department's computers as a protective measure after being hit by the virus; an FBI official said only that that agency was experiencing similar issues and was working on the problem.
"We too are evaluating a network issue on our external, unclassified network that's affecting several government agencies," said FBI spokesman Mike Kortan. He did not elaborate or identify the other agencies.
Marshals spokeswoman Nikki Credic said the agency's computer problem began Thursday morning. The FBI began experiencing similar problems earlier.
"At no time was data compromised," said Credic. The type of virus and its origin were not determined.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Corporate-espionage, e-mail break-in case zaps electronics industry

news.idg
The corporate-espionage case of David Goldenberg, former executive with AMX Corp., is rocking the world of high-end office and consumer electronics systems where Goldenberg, who broke into Sapphire marketing’s e-mail systems to steal information about competitor Creston Electronics, all knew each other well.
A corporate-espionage case in which an executive from electronics manufacturer, AMX Corp, broke into the e-mail system of the marketing firm working for a competitor Crestron Electronics to steal sensitive business information has rocked that industry. David Goldenberg, a resident of Long Island and former vice president in the New York-area office of Richardson, Texas.-based AMX Corp., pled guilty this week in a New Jersey courtroom to felony wiretapping in connection with illegally accessing the internal e-mail at Crestron’s sales and marketing firm, Sapphire Marketing, based in Woodcliff Hills, N.J.
As part of the plea deal with the Bergen Court Prosecutor’s Office, which has spared Goldenberg from a criminal trial, the prosecutor there, Brian Lynch, is recommending probation.

Program makes it possible to tap your cell phone

abc12
They could know exactly where you are, and even tap into your private conversations, all by hijacking your cell phone.
Security experts say it's happening often thanks to technology readily available on the Internet.
Just think how many times you reach for your cell phone every day. What if someone was watching every text, every e-mail and every word?
In this day and age, with all this technology that's out there, is there any more expectation of privacy?
"I don't think so," said Kirk Anthony, who should know.
Anthony is a private investigator in Genesee County and he says there's a growing list of online companies selling Spyware for cell phones.
"It's available to anybody," Anthony said. The companies market their products as ways to "catch a cheating spouse," "protect your children," or even see what your co-workers are saying behind your back.
"You can watch their e-mails," Anthony said. "You can see their text messages going back and forth. And in some cases, you can even listen to their conversations."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Germany Is Growing Target of Foreign Espionage, Ministry Says

Bloomberg

May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Germany is increasingly the target of foreign spies -- particularly from Russia and China -- seeking advanced technology and scientific know-how, the Interior Ministry said.

While spies, often under cover of diplomats or journalists, continue to collect information on politics and weapons, those from less developed countries seek technological expertise to avoid research-and-development costs and, in some cases, license fees, the ministry said in an annual report.

“For some intelligence services, espionage targets in the areas of economy, science and technology have played an increasingly large role,” the ministry said.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, offers a wealth of desirable information because of its central role in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the ministry said. Countries in the Middle East, Far East and North Africa have spies who are active in Germany, it said.

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The Button Spy Camera

cg
If you tend to wear shirts on a regular basis with highly plain black buttons, then you could have a little fun and wear this spy cam. Of course for those of you that don’t have a shirt filled with black buttons, you’d have to go out and purchase one. The spy cam just attaches to your shirt and you can then begin taking pictures of deviant activities. It’s unlikely that anyone would ever be able to spot the camera on you.

You put the ring on and then to activate the camera, you just place the ring near it. Then when you’re not using it, you can just casually wear the ring. Of course, the ring might look a little odd on women and they don’t list the size. So there could be issues there. The video resolution is 608 x 488 pixels and the image resolution is 1200 x 1600 pixels. It has 4GB of built-in memory, audio and a rechargeable Li-on battery.

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Tracking Cyberspies Through the Web Wilderness

NYTimes
For old-fashioned detectives, the problem was always acquiring information. For the cybersleuth, hunting evidence in the data tangle of the Internet, the problem is different.

“The holy grail is how can you distinguish between information which is garbage and information which is valuable?” said Rafal Rohozinski, a University of Cambridge-trained social scientist involved in computer security issues. Beginning eight years ago he co-founded two groups, Information Warfare Monitor and Citizen Lab, which both have headquarters at the University of Toronto, with Ronald Deibert, a University of Toronto political scientist. The groups pursue that grail and strive to put investigative tools normally reserved for law enforcement agencies and computer security investigators at the service of groups that do not have such resources.
“We thought that civil society groups lacked an intelligence capacity,” Dr. Deibert said.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hizballah's Bust of Israeli 'Spies' Shows Its Growing Power in Lebanon

Time
The captured espionage equipment on display at Lebanese police headquarters on Monday was hardly the stuff of James Bond's Q lab — just a small collection of computers, passports and electronic gear that would have looked at home in an Internet cafĂ©. But then a Lebanese security agent, masked to hide his identity from the pack of journalists invited to view the spy trove, pulled away the top of a bright orange watercooler to reveal a hidden disc-shaped device, which officials explained had been used to transmit video surveillance to Israel of secret locations linked to Hizballah.

The Shi'ite militant organization suffered a blow last year with the assassination in Damascus of its security chief, Imad Mughniyah — wanted by the U.S. for his alleged involvement in a number of terrorist attacks, including the 1983 bombings of the U.S. embassy and a Marine headquarters in Beirut. Although Israel officially denied involvement in the hit, the Mossad was credited with authorship both by Hizballah and the Israeli public and media.

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AirTight Reveals Wi-Fi Security Risks for Airspace


TMCNET
In a recently released survey, AirTight Networks has exposed the wireless security vulnerabilities in the financial districts of New York, Chicago, Boston, Wilmington (DE), Philadelphia, San Francisco and London.
As the use of wireless devices and networks increases, companies are increasingly at the risk of exposing sensitive data to the hackers through the wireless networks. For hackers, it’s easier to hack a wireless network than a wired network.
According to the survey, 57 percent of the airspace scanned was dominated by open or WEP encrypted access points. It makes it very easy to sniff, decode, capture or misuse this data. Also, when connected to an internal network, open and WEP encrypted access points pose a serious risk to the network. The survey also discovered several instances of open APs that were connected directly to internal networks and leaking the identities of active users including company executives.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

DHS Information-sharing platform hacked

FCW
Homeland Security Information Network suffers intrusions

The Homeland Security Department’s platform for sharing sensitive but unclassified data with state and local authorities was hacked recently, a DHS official has confirmed.

The intrusion into the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) was confirmed to Federal Computer Week by Harry McDavid, the chief information officer for DHS’ Office of Operations Coordination and Planning. McDavid said the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team reported an intrusion into the system in late March. The initial hack was brief and limited, and it was followed by a more extensive hack in early April, McDavid said.

The hacker or hackers gained access to the data by getting into the HSIN account of a federal employee or contractor, McDavid said. The bulk of the data obtained was federal, but some state information was also accessed, he added, and the organizations that owned the data and Congress were notified of the intrusion.

The files that were accessed contained administrative data such as telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of state and federal employees. However, an investigation into the incidents has found that no Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers or financial data were obtained, McDavid said.

More...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ex-Spooks Investigative Firm Is Embezzled by Another

CQPolitics
It sounds like a sequel to "The Italian Job": a band of ex-CIA operatives sets up a consulting firm to investigate corporate fraud -- then gets ripped off in a con job by one of their own.But the facts surrounding a suit filed in D.C. Superior Court this week are all too true.
The partners of TD International, led by a former CIA agent expelled from France in a 1995 spy scandal, have filed suit against a partner who they say embezzled over a million dollars out of them through a false billing scam. The accused is Steven Fleischmann, who described himself on his company Web site as "a former U.S. diplomat and operations strategist." In reality, according to a source close to the firm, he worked for the State Department's office of Intelligence and Research on nuclear nonproliferation issues.
His accusers include TDI managing partner William Green III, "a former U.S. diplomat specializing in multilateral affairs within the United Nations, NATO and the European Union frameworks," according to the company Web site.

Murder-For-Hire Plot Caught On Camera

CFNews13
OSCEOLA COUNTY -- A hidden dash cam catches Tommy Lyle Carlton, 35, getting into the car with an undercover police officer.
The two met in a private parking lot to discuss murdering Carlton's ex-wife.
"He expressed to the undercover deputy that he was in a custody battle with his ex-wife and wanted her dead," said Twis Lizasuain, a spokeswoman for the
Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
Carlton: “I want her taken out of the way, so my son can come live with me.” Undercover Officer: "How do you want it done?" Carlton: "I don't want to know how it's done."
Undercover Officer: "How soon do you need it done?" Carlton: "Preferably before the 14th."
There is video from four days later. One hour after exchanging cash, the officer told Carlton the deal was done and uses his cell phone to show him doctored photos.
"She cooperated with us. We asked her to provide us several photos that could be Photoshopped. During the course of the investigation, she was moved to another location just for safety purposes,” Lizasuain said.
Undercover Officer: "It was perfect. You couldn't ask for it any better man. She was done."

Corporate Spy Pleading Guilty to Hacking and Wiretapping



PARAMUS, N.J., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- David A. Goldenberg is charged with corporate espionage for intercepting thousands of proprietary e-mails from his company's chief competitor for nearly a year while working as a vice president for Richardson, TX, based AMX Corporation, a subsidiary of Duchossis Industries.
On May 11, 2009, he pleaded guilty to felony wiretapping and the judge has scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 26, 2009, at 10:30 a.m.
Goldenberg, 48, of Oceanside, NY, was the vice president of AMX Corporation, a global audio/video manufacturer, when he was arrested in March of 2008. Following a six week investigation, he was charged with Unlawful Access of a Computer System / Network- 3rd Degree, Unlawful Access of a Computer Data / Theft of Data- 2nd Degree and Conducting an Illegal Wiretap- 3rd Degree by members of the Paramus Police Department (a member of the Computer Crimes Task Force) in New Jersey and was released on $50,000 bail.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pentagon official charged in China espionage case

AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A Pentagon official with "top secret" security clearance has been charged with conspiracy to pass classified information to an agent of China, the US Justice Department said Wednesday.

A criminal complaint said that retired air force Lieutenant Colonel James Wilbur Fondren, a deputy director of the US Pacific Command's Washington Liaison Office, "unlawfully and knowingly conspired" to communicate secrets.

"The allegations in this case are troubling -- providing classified information to a foreign agent of the People's Republic of China is a real and serious threat to our national security," said Dana Boente, acting US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

"The US government places considerable trust in those given access to classified information, and we are committed to prosecuting those who abuse that trust," he said.

The complaint said that Fondren, 62, start providing business consulting advice to a Taiwan-born friend called Tai Shen Kuo around February 1998, about two years after he retired from the US Air Force.

More...

Foreign agents get state help to hack UK businesses


CW

Competitors to British companies are receiving help from foreign intelligence services to hack into corporate databases to steal new product plans and win business, a former director of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) says.

Former CPNI director Steve Cummings, now a special advisor on security and privacy for the Deloittes management consultancy, said corporate espionage was on the rise, aided and abetted by foreign state intelligence services.

Deloittes is currently advising a client which believes its "very expensive R&D" was stolen by foreign agents, he said.

Cummings added that the nature of the internet made it hard to identify the actual perpetrators, but it looks like they are getting help from state intelligence agencies, if indeed the agencies are not acting directly, he said. Corporate espionage is not new, he said. The director general of MI5 wrote a letter to 300 leading UK firms to warn of the threat in November 2007. But it is now a "hot button".

More...

Cocaine gang 'caught on camera'


BBC

Drug smugglers who attempted to import cocaine with a street value of £14m were caught on camera throughout their elaborate scheme, a court heard.

The five men are charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and to supply amphetamines.

Phillip Grange, of Nottingham, Peter Hannigan, of Kendal, and Simon Finlay, Darren Morris and Mark Neville, all from Preston, deny the charges.

They appeared at Manchester Crown Court at the start of the six-week trial.

The court heard that the smuggling of the Class A drug, which had been under police surveillance between Britain and Germany, was finally stopped by customs officers in Harwich, Essex, in May last year.

Andrew Thomas, prosecuting, told the jury that 105kg (230lbs) of high purity cocaine was discovered in the back of a removals van.

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Court rules secret GPS tracking without a warrant is now legal


A Wisconsin court ruled late last week that police can now secretly attach a GPS tracking device (like the one pictured above) to your car without a warrant. They can then track your comings and goings without your knowledge, building a case against you to presumably protect your fellow citizens.
The court reasoned that it's okay for cops to spy on citizens like this because "GPS tracking does not involve a search or seizure." The ACLU scoffed at this fantasy, saying it's "a gross violation of one's privacy, and makes the Fourth Amendment a sad clown."
What's next? Secretly embedding a chip in each one of us, giving the government the ability to track all of our movements in real time? Goodbye, privacy. Either that, or perhaps some privacy-minded judge in a higher court will rule this travesty unconstitutional.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sales manager pleads guilty to corporate spying

Philly.Com

HACKENSACK, N.J. - A former corporate sales manager has pleaded guilty to felony wiretapping for secretly listening in to a northern New Jersey company's internal conference calls.

Forty-eight-year-old David Goldenberg of Oceanside, N.Y., entered the plea Monday in a deal with Bergen County prosecutors, who had charged him with five counts of wiretapping and data theft.

He was also accused of intercepting e-mails between employees and marketing contractors of Rockleigh, N.J.-based Crestron Electronics in 2007 and 2008.

Crestron officials estimate they lost more than $10 million as a result.

Goldenberg, who was employed by a Texas-based company at the time of the crime, faces up to five years in prison.


A Creepy Mute Button for the Real World

FastCompany
Joe Paradiso and Yasuhiro Ono of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have just patented a system for a roving cone of silence, so that you can walk around your office building without anyone ever eavesdropping on you.
The inventors are trying to fix a common problem in open-plan offices: the sound of conversations that carry across the room, making your every phone call into fodder for other people's gossip sessions. So they devised a sound-damping sensor, comprised of an infra-red motion-detector, a speaker and a microphone. These would be scattered around the walls of an office. You can then activate your personal mute button from your computer. The system locks onto you, identifies anyone close enough to eavesdrop, and hits them with a murmur of white noise so they can't hear you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

FBI ‘Going Dark’ with New Advanced Surveillance Program


The proposed 2010 Justice Department budget published last week reveals the development of a new FBI advanced electronic surveillance program dubbed “Going Dark.” The program is being budgeted $233.9 million next year.
According to the
published budget summary (.pdf), the program “supports the FBI’s electronic surveillance (ELSUR), intelligence collection and evidence gathering capabilities, as well as those of the greater Intelligence Community.” An FBI spokesman told ABC News, which first reported the information, that the program’s name, Going Dark, “does not refer to a specific capability, but is a program name for the part of the FBI, Operational Technology Division’s (OTD) lawful interception program which is shared with other law enforcement agencies.” He added that “The term applies to the research and development of new tools, technical support and training initiatives.”
The program is designed to help the agency address challenges with conducting surveillance over newish technologies, such as VoIP. The program is also doing research on automated link analysis to find connections between subjects of surveillance “and other investigative suspects.”

Electronic Police State' report cites U.S.

WND
In what may be the first assessment of its kind, a private company that offers a range of privacy products for computers and other technology is ranking the United States No. 6 in the world for having the most aggressive procedures for monitoring residents electronically.
The report, called
The Electronic Police State, assesses the status of governmental surveillance in 52 nations around the globe for 2008.
The document was released
Cryptohippie, Inc., which was set up in 2007 through the acquisition of several little-known but highly regarded providers of privacy technologies.
Not surprisingly, China and North Korea ranked No. 1 and No. 2, with Belarus and Russia following up. But the United Kingdom ranked fifth followed by the United States. "Most of us are aware that our governments monitor nearly every form of
electronic communication. We are also aware of private companies doing the same. This strikes most of us as slightly troubling, but very few of us say or do much about it. There are two primary reasons for this," the report said.
"We really don't see how it is going to hurt us. Mass surveillance is certainly a new, odd, and perhaps an ominous thing, but we just don't see a complete picture or a smoking gun," the report continued. Also, "We are constantly surrounded with messages that say, 'Only crazy people complain about the government.'"

Hackers into Virginia database demand $10M million ransom

TheWallStreetJournal
TEL AVIV (MarketWatch) -- Hackers claimed to have stolen personal records from the state's prescription-drug database and are demanding a $10 million ransom, media reports say.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state police are searching for the hackers, the Washington Post reported.
The hackers said they'd accessed 8 million patient records and 35 million prescriptions collected by the state's Prescription Monitoring Program. A state official told the paper that the data had been backed up and the files had been secured. State officials had learned on April 30 that the breach had occurred, the paper said, quoting the Website wikileaks.org. The ransom deadline passed on Thursday, the paper reported.

Court says police can use GPS to track anyone

cnet
The Fourth District U.S. Court of Appeals doesn't seem terribly happy about its own decision. However, the court decided, after much rumination, that GPS does not involve searching and seizing.
Which means that any information gained by sticking a secret GPS-tracking device on someone's
car will only yield information that could have been gleaned through normal visual surveillance.
Some might wonder, normal visual surveillance by whom? R2D2? Spiderman? The decision stemmed from a case against Michael Sveum, a Madison resident who was accused of stalking. In his case, police got a warrant to slip a GPS on his car.
Sveum argued that this contravened his Fourth Amendment rights, which protect him against unreasonable search and seizure. His lawyers said that he was followed out of the public view, in intimate places such as his garage.
The court begged to differ, declaring that an officer could have used his eyes to see when Sveum entered and left his garage.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hackers broke into FAA air traffic control systems


cnet

Hackers have broken into the air traffic control mission-support systems of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration several times in recent years, according to an Inspector General report sent to the FAA this week.

In February, hackers compromised an FAA public-facing computer and used it to gain access to personally identifiable information, such as Social Security numbers, on 48,000 current and former FAA employees, the report said.

Last year, hackers took control of FAA critical network servers and could have shut them down, which would have seriously disrupted the agency's mission-support network, the report said. Hackers took over FAA computers in Alaska, becoming "insiders," according to the report dated Monday. Then, taking advantage of interconnected networks, hackers later stole an administrator's password in Oklahoma, installed "malicious codes" with the stolen password and compromised the FAA domain controller in the Western Pacific Region, giving them the access to more than 40,000 FAA user IDs, passwords, and other data used to control a portion of the mission-support network, the report said.

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The Necktie Spy Camera

Here is a fun spy gadget for all the James Bond fans, the Necktie Spy Camera.

The Necktie Spy Camera is the ideal accessory for your latest spy mission, you are bound to go undetected with this covert necktie, apart from the fact that everyone will realise you don’t normally wear one.

The Necktie Spy Camera features a tiny pinhole spy camera hidden in the pattern and it can record video at a 352 x 288 resolution at 12 frames per second. The video is recorded in AVI format, and it comes with 2GB of built in memory, transferring files to your PC is easy as the necktie can be plugged directly into a USB port, and it even comes with a remote control so that you can start and stop recordings.

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32GB Clickfree™ Traveler - FL320


Clickfree
No software to install or setup, no instructions necessary. Just take it out of the package, plug it into a USB port on your computer using the integrated USB cable, and the Clickfree™ Traveler will do the rest.

Backup multiple computers with one Clickfree™ Traveler! The Clickfree Traveler offers incremental backup; upon first connection it will automatically find all of the user data files and copy them to the hard drive. Each time after that, it will only back up the new files or the ones that have changed.

While the software's default settings will probably be sufficient for most users, it is user-modifiable, providing full control over the backup settings. Even after the settings have been changed, the backup will still run without any user interaction.

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Dodgy nannies snapped in act

NZHerald

Picky parents are installing hidden cameras and ordering psychological testing to ensure they find suitable nannies.

Private investigator Danny Toreson said his company Paragon had installed two or three hidden cameras to spy on nannies in the past year, but suspected DIY versions were much more common.

Nanny agencies said an increasing number of families were using corporate-style personality testing on job applicants.

But agencies said dodgy nannies were rare and clients were sometimes to blame when things went wrong.

Toreson set up one hidden camera for the parents of two pre-schoolers concerned about their alcohol disappearing when the nanny was there.

"As soon as the parents left, she was straight into the whiskey," said Toreson. The investigators confronted the young woman, who admitted an alcohol problem and resigned.

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