Saturday, January 30, 2010

China bugs and burgles Britain

THE security service MI5 has accused China of bugging and burgling UK business executives and setting up “honeytraps” in a bid to blackmail them into betraying sensitive commercial secrets.

A leaked MI5 document says that undercover intelligence officers from the People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of Public Security have also approached UK businessmen at trade fairs and exhibitions with the offer of “gifts” and “lavish hospitality”.

The gifts — cameras and memory sticks — have been found to contain electronic Trojan bugs which provide the Chinese with remote access to users’ computers.

MI5 says the Chinese government “represents one of the most significant espionage threats to the UK” because of its use of these methods, as well as widespread electronic hacking. Written by MI5’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the 14-page “restricted” report describes how China has attacked UK defence, energy, communications and manufacturing companies in a concerted hacking campaign.


Friday, January 29, 2010

I Spy? Not Anymore
The National Security Council has ordered that the intelligence community downgrade China from a first to a second priority. It’s another victory for an American adversary.

The Obama National Security Council has ordered the U.S. intelligence community to downgrade China as an intelligence collection priority. Though the president has made no secret of his desire to mend fences with America’s adversaries, this decision to “see no evil/hear no evil” from Beijing is cause for concern. The answer to any request to “please stop spying” should be simple: “No.”
The decision to downgrade China as an intelligence collection target (first reported by Bill Gertz in The Washington Times) is wrongheaded for what should be reasons obvious to the Obama administration: Since the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, Chinese military spending has nearly quadrupled.

That spending has transformed what was once dismissed as an ineffective military force into a formidable and heavily armed one. China’s air force can now establish air dominance over the Taiwan Strait and possibly over Japan. Its missiles can strike U.S. bases as far away as Guam. Its navy has commissioned more than 30 new submarines since 2000 and is now pursuing an aircraft carrier fleet. And the People’s Liberation Army has conducted successful missile defense and anti-satellite weapon tests. In short, China is fielding a force designed to keep U.S. military assets out of the Asia-Pacific and that places special emphasis on attacking America where it is weak—in space and cyberspace.


Former Georgian President's Son Charged With Spying For Russia
TBILISI -- The son of former Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia has officially been accused of collaborating with Russian intelligence services, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.

Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was arrested in October for allegedly shooting and injuring his neighbor, David Bazhelidze. But this week he received documents regarding that case and also was told that he is being charged with cooperating with the Russian secret services.

During mass protests in Tbilisi in November 2007, Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was arrested and accused of working with Russian agents. The charges were later dropped and he was released.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Colombian officials charged with wiretapping
BOGOTA, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Colombia said on Tuesday that seven intelligence officials would stand trial, charged with wiretapping human right workers, journalists and opposition politicians in a scandal that has hurt the government's image. Critics of President Alvaro Uribe say his government has misused the Administrative Security Department, known by its Spanish initials DAS, which reports directly to his office and has been plagued by accusations of corruption.

"The facts of the case occurred in 2004 and 2005, when the accused organized the G3 group, which was dedicated to committing crimes against human rights organizations, their leaders, journalists and political leaders," state prosecutor Claudia Almeida told a news conference. Among those charged is former agency deputy director Jose Narvaez.

Uribe was first elected in 2002 on promises of crushing a decades-old leftist insurgency financed by the cocaine trade. His government has been bruised by the wiretapping scandal and another in which soldiers are accused of murdering civilians in order to win promotions and bonuses by passing the victims' bodies off as guerrillas killed in combat.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ACORN gotcha man among four arrested for attempting to bug Mary Landrieu's office
Alleging a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O'Keefe, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group's credibility.

Also arrested were Joseph Basel, Stan Dai and Robert Flanagan, all 24. Flanagan is the son of William Flanagan, who is the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, the office confirmed. All four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.

According to the FBI affidavit, Flanagan and Basel entered the federal building at 500 Poydras Street about 11 a.m. Monday, dressed as telephone company employees, wearing jeans, fluorescent green vests, tool belts, and hard hats. When they arrived at Landrieu's 10th floor office, O'Keefe was already in the office and had told a staffer he was waiting for someone to arrive.

When Flanagan and Basel entered the office, they told the staffer they were there to fix phone problems. At that time, the staffer, referred to only as Witness 1 in the affadavit, observed O'Keefe positioning his cell phone in his hand to videotape the operation. O'Keefe later admitted to agents that he recorded the event.


Security specialist: USA made Google hack possible
Backdoors in internet services such email, social networks or the telephone network aren't just a counter-terrorism device for government agencies, they also open doors for cyber espionage and spamming attacks. This is the opinion of security expert Bruce Schneier expressed in a guest comment on the website of American TV broadcaster CNN.

Schneier says that, as an example, Chinese hackers reportedly used a backdoor in Google's Gmail service, created at the US government's request, to spy on political opponents. Such systems are almost an invitation to criminals to snoop on private internet communication and gain knowledge of information such as account or credit card details, said Schneier. The security expert lists further examples such as the intercepting of phone calls after the September 11 attacks and the mobile phone surveillance of members of the Greek government in 2004 and 2005.


Companies unprepared for cybercrime
Many organizations are focused on stopping random hackers and blocking pornography when they should be concerned with bigger threats from professional cybercriminals, according to a new cybersecurity report.

In a survey conducted last year of 523 IT and security managers, top-level executives, and law enforcement personnel, hackers were rated the biggest threat, followed by insiders and foreign entities--probably because hackers are the "noisiest and easiest to detect," the 2010 CyberSecurity Watch Survey concluded.

However, attackers from nation-states and organized crime syndicates use more sophisticated techniques that can do more economic damage and go undiscovered, said the report, sponsored by Deloitte and conducted in collaboration with CSO Magazine, the U.S. Secret Service, and the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

State Police probe Police Jury bugging

ST. FRANCISVILLE — West Feliciana Parish Sheriff J. Austin Daniel said Friday he asked State Police detectives to investigate a report of a listening device being planted in a Police Jury office.

Daniel said determining who planted the device may be difficult because a Police Jury employee took it apart and removed a battery.

The sheriff also said the device was found around Thanksgiving but was not reported to him until after Christmas.

Note: #1: If a suspected listening device is discovered "DON'T TOUCH IT" call a professional.

Note: #2: You may want to consider reporting it to police (since it was found in a police jury room) sometime the same day you found it.....just a suggestion. JDL

Lockheed Martin and its new new IronClad USB drive
Lockheed Martin is more often for its role in the nation’s defense capabilities, but this time round they are offering something that will offer a semblance of protection for your much needed data – and it comes in the form of the new IronClad USB drive.

Basically, the IronClad crams in your notebook’s hard drive alongside its entire operating system, software applications and files onto a single device – which is a secure USB flash drive in essence. In layman’s terms, what you get here is deemed to be a 100% secure “PC on a stick” setup. Folks who are constantly on-the-go are able to plug in the USB flash drive into virtually any computer or notebook regardless of your geographical location, and you will be able to gain instant, secure access to your own personal desktop and files.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Botnets: "The Democratization of Espionage"

The cyber attacks against Google, Adobe and a raft of other top U.S. corporations late last year were by most accounts sophisticated and targeted attempts to steal proprietary data. But lost in all of the resulting media hoopla over who the remaining victims were and whether Chinese hackers or indeed the Chinese government itself were responsible is the simple, terrifying truth that individual hackers now have access to the same arsenal of cyber weapons once reserved only for nation states.

The weapons at issue are, of course, botnets -- agglomerations of remotely controlled, hacked computers that are used for a variety of criminal purposes, from spam, to high-powered, distributed online attacks against virtual targets. In these attacks, the botnets acted as a sort of "cloud" data collection and storage network.


Cambridge exhibition drags spies in from the cold

CAMBRIDGE, England (Reuters Life!) - The shadowy world of espionage is dragged into the spotlight at a new exhibition from the British university which gave the world the Cold War double spies Philby, Burgess and Blunt.

Cambridge University Library ( will use recently declassified documents and "top secret" material from its own archives in its free exhibition "Under Covers: Documenting Spies" to examine the art of espionage from Biblical times to the modern era.

The show draws on personal archives, printed books, official publicity material, popular journals, specialist photographs and maps, mostly from the university library's own collections, to illustrate a few of the ways in which spies have been documented through the centuries.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Foreign Companies Concerned Over Intellectual Property Theft in China
The recent Internet attack on Google has alarmed Western enterprises in China. It has, in addition to China's loose patent rights and increasing pressure on companies to release sensitive information, prompted some high-tech German executives to warn of a possible exodus from the country.

According to a Jan. 15 article in Germany’s Handelsblatt (Commerce paper), Beijing will launch Chinese Compulsory Certification (CCC) regulations in May 2010 that will require companies to submit their IC design blueprints or software source codes in exchange for approval to enter the Chinese market. The potential dangers for misuse of the regulations are very big, the article said.

The EU Chamber of Commerce in China has publicly criticized China several times regarding the espionage problem, and one position paper mentioned that the standard demanded by the CCC’s could result in sensitive, detailed information not directly relevant to certification finding its way into the hands of corrupt Chinese.


US DOJ: Operators helped FBI illegally obtain phone records
The FBI was so cavalier -- and telecom companies so eager to help -- that a verbal request or even one written on a Post-it note was enough for operators to hand over customer phone records, according to a damning report released on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.

The 289-page report details findings of the DOJ’s investigation into the FBI’s policies for requesting phone records from 2003 through 2006.

It found that in many cases the FBI issued written requests for telephone information, saying that it had secured the proper legal authority to make such requests, even though it didn’t.

Also, the report found that the FBI used far more casual methods to obtain records, including verbal requests and requests written on Post-it notes.

When the FBI did use formal written requests, it did not track their use or keep copies of them, the report found.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FBI Broke Law Spying on Americans’ Phone Records, Post Reports
An internal audit found the FBI broke the law thousands of times when requesting Americans’ phone records using fake emergency letters that were never followed up on with true subpoenas — even though top officials knew the practice was illegal, according to The Washington Post.

The inspector general’s follow-up report on the so-called “exigent” letters — an investigation that started in 2007 — is due in a few months. E-mails obtained by the Post showed that responsible agency officials informed superiors in 2005, but the practice continued for two more years.

While it looks as if the nation’s top law enforcement agency routinely violated the nation’s wiretapping laws for years, it seems no one will actually be prosecuted since the violations are being judged as merely “technical.”

Cyber war expanding to new front

The scale and sophistication of the cyber attacks on Google Inc. and other large U.S. corporations by hackers in China is raising national security concerns that the Asian superpower is escalating its industrial espionage efforts on the Internet.

While the U.S. focus has been primarily on protecting military and state secrets from cyber spying, a new battle is being waged in which corporate computers and the lucrative intellectual property they hold have become as much of a target of foreign governments as those run by the Pentagon and the CIA.

“This is a watershed moment in the cyber war,” James Mulvenon, director of the national-security firm, Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis at Defense Group Inc., said last week. “Before, the Chinese were going after defense targets to modernize the country’s military machine. But these intrusions strike at the heart of American innovation community.”


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crime Boss Bugged, Nabbed by Feds
In Boston, home to the New England Mafia and a string of legendary former bosses like “The Cheese Man’’ and “Cadillac Frank,’’ Ralph DeLeo was a virtual unknown.

“Here, I’m nothing,’’ DeLeo said within earshot of an FBI bug.

But in New York, he said, “Everybody is holding the door for ya, helping on your coat, giving you hugs . . . kissing you, and all this type of stuff. ‘Oh, you gotta sit in front, you gotta do this, are you comfortable? Can I get you coffee?’ ’’

But to the FBI, DeLeo, 66, of Somerville was somebody.

Agents tapped his cellphone from January through November of last year, then he was indicted last month on a federal racketeering conspiracy charge. The indictment filed in US District Court in Boston alleges that he is the “street boss’’ of New York’s Colombo family and runs a small crew based in Greater Boston involved in drug trafficking, extortion, and loansharking.

DeLeo is being held in Arkansas, where he’s also facing charges of cocaine trafficking. An FBI affidavit filed last week in courts in Boston and Arkansas detailed DeLeo’s alleged position in the New York mob and offered snippets of conversations from his bugged telephone calls.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chinese hackers pose a growing threat to U.S. firms
Escalating cyber attacks on Google and other companies alarm government officials who say the U.S. may be powerless to stop the online industrial espionage.

The scale and sophistication of the cyber attacks on Google Inc. and other large U.S. corporations by hackers in China is raising national security concerns that the Asian superpower is escalating its industrial espionage efforts on the Internet.

While the U.S. focus has been primarily on protecting military and state secrets from cyber spying, a new battle is being waged in which corporate computers and the valuable intellectual property they hold have become as much a target of foreign governments as those run by the Pentagon and the CIA.

"This is a watershed moment in the cyber war," James Mulvenon, director of the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis at Defense Group Inc., a national-security firm, said Thursday. "Before, the Chinese were going after defense targets to modernize the country's military machine. But these intrusions strike at the heart of the American innovation community."


Friday, January 15, 2010

Hilton Worldwide execs accused of corporate espionage

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has accused Hilton Worldwide' chief executive officer, Christopher Nassetta, of playing a role in an alleged case of corporate espionage, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Starwood filed a lawsuit last April, against Hilton, alleging that two top executives stole confidential and proprietary information used to launch Hilton into the lifestyle-hotel market. The suit specifically claimed that Ross Klein, global head of Hilton Luxury and Lifestyle Brands, and Amar Lalvani, global head of Hilton Luxury and Lifestyle Brand Development, pilfered more than 100,000 electronic files from Starwood when they were recruited to Hilton in June 2008.

The Journal reported Friday that Starwood has now filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y., claiming that Hilton's misconduct reached the highest levels of the McLean-based chain's management, including CEO Nassetta, and its head of global development, Steven Goldman. The complaint says that the alleged theft was condoned by at least five of the 10 members of Hilton's executive committee.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Corporate espionage case moves forward

HACIENDA HEIGHTS - A federal judge has upheld most of a local company's counter-lawsuit against Seiko Epson that claims the printing giant used a spy to gain trade secrets while illegally cracking down on the local firm's right to sell recycled products.

The ruling was a victory for two-year-old Hacienda Heights-based Green Project, a 13-employee company that recycles and sells used ink and toner cartridges.

In July, the firm alleged in U.S. District Court in Oregon that Seiko Epson sent an investigator named Herbert W. Seitz, who trespassed into its Hacienda Heights headquarters and used a false identity to obtain price lists and other information from Green Project's sales department.

Green Project's lawsuit was a response to Seiko Epson's original suit in April, claiming that Green Project and several similar firms infringed on their copyrights.

For Judge Anna H. Brown, the issue centered around whether Green Project had taken reasonable measures to protect what the firms says were vital "trade secrets."


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google attack part of widespread spying effort

IDG News Service - Google's decision Tuesday to risk walking away from the world's largest Internet market may have come as a shock, but security experts see it as the most public admission of a top IT problem for U.S. companies: ongoing corporate espionage originating from China.

It's a problem that the U.S. lawmakers have complained about loudly. In the corporate world, online attacks that appear to come from China have been an ongoing problem for years, but big companies haven't said much about this, eager to remain in the good graces of the world's powerhouse economy.

Google, by implying that Beijing had sponsored the attack, has placed itself in the center of an international controversy, exposing what appears to be a state-sponsored corporate espionage campaign that compromised more than 30 technology, financial and media companies, most of them global Fortune 500 enterprises.


New details in Chevy Chase spy case

The Chevy Chase scientist accused of attempted espionage may have impersonated a naval research official and stored classified information at his home, according to documents filed in federal court last week.

Stewart Nozette, 52, of the 100 block of Grafton Street in Chevy Chase Village demanded information on a classified national defense project from a Naval Research Laboratory official, Mark Johnson, claiming that he had "paid for it." The exchange took place when Nozette was working on the classified project at a Defense Department-affiliated laboratory in October 2002, according to an affidavit from an FBI agent seeking a search warrant of Nozette's home and vehicle on Oct. 16, 2009, just three days before Nozette was arrested and charged with attempted espionage.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

FBI's top cybersecurity official to lead bureau's DC field office
WASHINGTON (AP) — The top FBI official for cybersecurity is taking over the bureau's D.C. field office.

Katherine Schweit, a spokeswoman for the FBI field office in Washington, confirmed that assistant director Shawn Henry has been chosen to take charge of one of the most high-profile FBI offices in the country, one which frequently investigates members of Congress, espionage and international terrorism.

Henry, 47, was born in New York City and started his bureau career at the Washington office. Since becoming the FBI's point man on cybercrime in 2008, he has expanded the bureau's global reach to battle hackers who often strike American companies from overseas.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sarkozy puts woman in charge of 'spy school'
Academy designed to stop infighting between rival intelligence chiefs.

President Nicolas Sarkozy is to create a "school for spies", whose principal job will be to discourage French intelligence chiefs from spying on, and fighting against, one another.

The first head of the new "intelligence academy" is likely to be named in the next few days. According to Le Monde, the Professor Dumbledore of the French spy world will be a woman with no previous experience of espionage. She is at present a senior figure in one of the grandes ├ęcoles, or elite university-level French colleges.

The job of the spy school will not be to teach aspiring James Bonds or Mata Haris how to hide bugs or choose dead letter drops or murder opponents with poisoned umbrellas (or toxic baguettes). The school – to be based in the Ecole Militaire, near the Eiffel Tower – will admit only senior spy chiefs. It will be, in effect, an espionage "staff academy", whose principal role will be to forge a single culture and esprit de corps from the complex, and often antagonistic, alphabet soup of the French spy world.


China sends Rio espionage case to prosecutors
Chinese authorities have referred the Rio Tinto commercial espionage case to the Shanghai People's Procuratorate (prosecutor) to decide whether the case will be brought to court, said Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade on Monday.

Chinese prosecutors will have about a month to decide whether the case should go on trial, or they could refer it back to the police if they feel there is insufficient proof for a prosecution.

Four Rio staff have been under Chinese custody since July after China accused them of illegally obtaining commercial secrets.


Friday, January 8, 2010

FBI probe: Did DMV exec wiretap workers?

Telephone technician says he told grand jury that 2 former leaders' phones let them listen.

RALEIGH Federal authorities are investigating whether the former commissioner of the state Division of Motor Vehicles illegally wiretapped the phone calls of agency employees.

George Tatum, who resigned in 2007 amid a corruption scandal, had a special telephone in his office that allowed him to listen in on the calls of his subordinates without their knowledge, according to current DMV officials. Greg Lockamy, who retired unexpectedly last year after serving as the agency's internal affairs director, also had a phone set up for secret eavesdropping.

State law forbids intercepting phone calls without a warrant unless at least one person in the conversation is aware the monitoring is taking place.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bank Thieves Foiled by GPS-Spiked Cash

Forget exploding dye packs. Three thieves who made off with about $9,000 in cash from an Illinois bank were thwarted by a GPS device inserted in the cash that led authorities straight to their door, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Timothy Rucker, 33, Phillip Griffen, 31, and Brandon Barnes, 25, entered a branch of the TCF Bank on Dec. 30 with their faces concealed and pointed a gun at a teller, demanding cash.

The three made off with a nylon bag full of money. But unknown to them, the bag contained two GPS-tracking devices hidden among the bills.

Signals from the devices led police to the home of one of the suspect’s parents, where the thieves were arrested about an hour after the robbery.

Threat Level was unable to reach the bank to determine the make of the device it used. But it could have been a system such as the one made by 3SI Security in Pennsylvania, a leader in currency protection systems.

The company wouldn’t answer any questions about its security systems. But according to its website, the GPS currency tracker it sells, called Electronic Satellite Pursuit (ESP), has helped recover more than $3.1 million.


Security Cam app turns your iPhone into a spy camera
There has been plenty of controversy around which iPhone applications are appropriate for the Apple App Store, including the heated rejection of Google Voice. In this context, it’s almost shocking that Crowded Road’s new Security Cam iPhone app has been accepted to the App Store.

The camera app is pretty questionable on its own. It basically turns your iPhone into a functioning “security and spy camera,” according to its developer. Promoting users to spy on people and take pictures without their knowledge doesn’t seem very socially responsible to me — something that you’d think the Apple guard dogs would have caught onto by now.

Regardless, if you’re looking to get into the security or spy business, the app has some pretty impressive features. Notably, users are able to customize an audio trigger so that the camera will only snap a photo when a certain audio level is reached.


Cuba accuses detained US contractor of spying

Cuba has accused a US contractor it arrested last month of working for the US secret services.

The unnamed American was detained at Havana airport on 5 December. He was not seen by US consular officials until 28 December.

Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon said the man was still under investigation and had not been charged.

This incident suggests US-Cuba ties have once again taken a turn for the worse, the BBC's Michael Voss says.

Relations between the two countries had started to thaw after US President Barack Obama came to office in January last year.

Washington said the detained man was working for a US company called Development Alternatives, which is part of a US government programme aimed at promoting civil society and democracy in Cuba.

"This is a gentleman hired by a company that hires for the American secret services and is now the subject of an investigation," Mr Alarcon told reporters in Havana.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Newark Airport's Security Cameras Were Broken
A set of security cameras owned by Newark Liberty International Airport were not functioning properly Sunday night when a person was spotted walking into a secure section of the airport, setting off a security alert and shutting down the airport for hours, ABC News has learned.

Now, the responsibility to operate those cameras -- broken since Dec. 28 -- has become a point of contention between the airport and the Transportation Security Administration.

The security cameras, owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the airport's operator, were rolling but not recording, forcing the TSA to seek permission to use a second set of surveillance cameras controlled by Continental Airlines.

"The Port Authority-owned camera was not working," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who plans to hold hearings on this subject later this month. "The TSA was the one that was supposed to notify the Port Authority that the cameras weren't working."


Spying on Icebergs Instead of Terrorists?
Washington, DC - As terrorists continue to infiltrate America, the Obama Administration is tasking some of our nation's most elite intelligence-gathering agencies to divert their resources to environmental scientists researching global warming.

Experts with The National Center for Public Policy Research are decrying this practice as a distraction from important counterterrorism duties. They further question if it is a possible avenue to renew climate change subterfuge already plaguing some of these scientists.

"This is another example of President Obama not taking terrorism seriously," said Deneen Borelli, a fellow with the National Center's Project 21 black leadership network. "Our enemies must be laughing at the Obama Administration's incompetence."


Accused scientist spy breached top-secret policy in '02

A Maryland scientist accused of giving classified defense information to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer was under suspicion of breaching top-secret protocols as early as 2002, court documents said.

Despite the suspicion, Stewart Nozette was allowed to keep his clearance through 2007. It finally was stripped after federal authorities found classified information on his home computers while investigating him for fraud. He has since pleaded guilty to stealing almost $1 million in salary and benefits by lying on invoices for work he did for the Department of Defense and NASA through his nonprofit company, Alliance for Competitive Technology.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Berlusconi Backs Spy Chief In Espionage Scandal

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's prime minister has intervened to defend a former spy chief accused of being part of an illegal espionage ring, in a twist to a case that drew in Italy's top telecoms firm and embarrassed the secret service.

The case first shocked Italy in 2006, when employees at former monopoly Telecom Italia and parent group Pirelli were arrested in a probe into a spy ring suspected of snooping on Italy's elite by using data from phone records.

Among others arrested was Marco Mancini, a former No. 2 official in the military intelligence agency SISMI. At his preliminary hearing in November, Mancini refused to answer questions, saying doing so would violate state secrecy laws.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wrote to the judge confirming that "state secret" issues existed in the case, his office said.

Secret service units and their relations with other groups on their activities are given maximum protection under the law, Berlusconi's office said in a statement.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Devine sues former employee over espionage claims

TWO of Queensland's biggest construction firms have been drawn into a legal battle involving allegations of commercial espionage, fraud and embezzlement of more than $500,000.

Devine Industries Pty Ltd is suing the former personal assistant of founding director David Devine in the Supreme Court for $570,000.

Mr Devine accuses Gissel Alves of leaking corporate secrets to the Queensland head of Leighton Properties, with whom he alleges she shared an "intimate personal relationship".

Last month Mr Devine lodged an affidavit accusing his secretary of more than 10 years of embezzling money by altering cheques and making fraudulent claims for travel, accommodation and other expenses.

Mr Devine also claimed in the court documents that Leighton Properties state manager Andrew Borger was the recipient of hundreds of emails from Ms Alves undermining him and the company. "During the course of their relationship, Ms Alves had sent a large number of emails to Mr Borger disclosing, and attaching, highly confidential information and documents," his affidavit claimed.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

SMS Snoop Software Captures Tigers of the World
Thinking of pulling off a Tiger Woods? You’d best go through your thought processes a couple of times more with wives and girlfriends being all the more wary about your ‘good boy’ image, as they now have the help of SMS Snoop – an application that was specially designed and programmed to catch those who abuse cellphone technology by cheating on their spouse or partner via SMS. All you need is a momentary lapse of concentration, where your spouse can then install the application without you knowing any better, and each SMS sent out by you will also be forwarded to their cellphone. All data can be saved or retrieved at any time for future proof in the event of infidelity.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Kingston's Secure USB Drive, Hackable...

Kingston Technology admits "It has recently been brought to our attention that a skilled person with the proper tools and physical access to the drives may be able to gain unauthorized access to data contained on the following Kingston Secure USB drives:
  • DataTraveler BlackBox (DTBB)
  • DataTraveler Secure – Privacy Edition (DTSP)
  • DataTraveler Elite – Privacy Edition (DTEP)
Kingston says; It is important to note that the following Kingston Secure USB drives are NOT AFFECTED:
  • DataTraveler Locker (DTL)
  • DataTraveler Locker+ (DTL+)
  • DataTraveler Vault (DTV)
  • DataTraveler Vault – Privacy Edition (DTVP)
  • DataTraveler Elite (DTE)
  • DataTraveler Secure (DTS) 
 Kingston has recommended that users return their drives to get a "factory update". Before sending your DataTraveler back to Kingston, please make sure you backup the data and then delete the contents of the drive. Once we receive your drive and apply the factory update process, any data still on the drive will be deleted.