Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pentagon sets up new spy agency to eavesdrop

The Pentagon is to create a new spy service to focus on global strategic threats and the challenges posed by countries including IranNorth Korea and China. The move will bring to 17 the total number of intelligence organisations in the US.
The Defense Clandestine Service is supposed to work closely with its counterpart in the CIA, the National Clandestine Service, recruiting spies from the ranks of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and deploying them globally to boost the flow of intelligence on perceived long-term threats to US national interests.
US military news website Insidedefense said the defence department had asked Congress for authority for spies to work undercover posing as businessmen when conducting covert operations abroad.
The move by the defence secretary, Leon Panetta, emerged in briefings to US journalists.
"You have to do global coverage," a senior defence official said, according to the Los Angeles Times. The new service would seek to "make sure officers are in the right locations to pursue those requirements", the Washington Post quoted the official as saying.
The Pentagon argues that the new service is necessary because the DIA spends most of its time and manpower reporting tactical intelligence about battlefields such as Afghanistan, and not enough time looking at strategic issues.

Hookers or Russian Spies?

The Colombian prostitutes entangled in the Secret Service sex scandal could have been Russian spies, Sen. Chuck Grassley suggested Tuesday.
“We’re looking at something that is very, very serious when national security might not be protected properly,” Grassley told Radio Iowa. “Who knows who might be using prostitutes? The Russians are famous for that to get information out of us.”
In a letter last night, the Iowa Republican called on the White House to answer questions about an internal review that cleared the advance team of any involvement in the scandal. Secret Service agents and military personnel are accused of bringing prostitutes back to their hotel before President Barack Obama’s trip to Cartagena, Colombia, earlier this month.
“You find a lot of problems come from a culture within the agency,” Grassley said on Radio Iowa. “Now, I don’t think the Secret Service would have that sort of a culture, but this may be the tip of an iceberg.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Saints GM Accused of Spying

Saints GM Mickey Loomis: master spy AND bounty hunter?
There is very little that the NFL takes more seriously than espionage.  For whatever reason, they do not want officials from the teams spying on players, coaches, and organizations of other teams.  The Patriots were heavily fined and punished for Spygate.  Former Denver coach Josh McDaniels was fired over Spygate II.  Enter Spygate III.  Saints GM Mickey Loomis is accused of having a device in his luxury box that allowed him to spy on opposing coaches.
Some GMs have a radio in their luxury suites or offices that allow them to listen in on their own coaches on the sideline.  Apparently, Mickey Loomis is accused of having his radio rewired to listen in on not his own coaches, but opposing coaches.  This lasted for his first three seasons with the team, from 2002-04, and the device was removed in 2005.  He’d plug a headset into the jack on his desk and be able to monitor various communication devices used on the field and observe the operations of others.  Granted, that might not be much of an advantage to a GM, but I imagine every little bit helps.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hacker's Tiny Spy Computer Cracks Corporate Networks

The next time an unexpected “repairman” cruises past your company’s security desk, you might want to check inside his tin of mints or pack of cigarettes. Especially if he’s also carrying an ethernet cable.
Kevin Bong, a Wisconsin-based security researcher and penetration tester, has developed what he calls the Mini Pwner, a spy computer smaller than a smartphone designed to be inconspicuously plugged into an ethernet port to gain access to a corporate network, feeding information back to a nearby hacker over its wifi signal. Bong sells a kit for the mini spy node for $99, but he also explains on his website how to put one together independently with just a TP-Link router running the open source OpenWRT software, a USB thumb drive, and a battery pack–components that add up to less than $40.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Is the boss spying on you? Cyber-snooping on rise

When Linda Trottman’s husband landed a promotion at his company, a co-worker congratulated her on it a few days later. Trottman says she hadn’t even realized her colleague monitored her husband’s profile on LinkedIn, a professional-networking site, where he had posted his new title. “It hit me that he was targeting my husband’s previous position,” she said.
We keep tabs on our favorite celebrities on Twitter. We check what are friends are up to on Facebook. We scope out potential dates on And now our new habit of cyber-spying has permeated the workplace.
As social media explodes and information comes to us in the palm of our hand, we can’t resist using what we glean from the Web to gain a leg up in business. We now have the ability to go online to see who got the job we wanted, whether a co-worker spent the weekend golfing with the boss or what new marketing gimmick our competitor might be offering.
“People should be aware of what’s happening in their companies and their industries,” said Vanessa McGovern, an independent LinkedIn Strategist/Business Consultant. “It makes good business sense
Today, more people share information about their lives through status updates, location check-ins and résumé changes. Overall, more than 66 percent of Internet users participate on social networking sites as of February 2012, up from 46 percent in 2009.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ID theft plague hospitals

According to a Februarystudy, 91 percent of small healthcare organizations suffered at least one data breach, with 24 percent of them likely resulting in medical identity theft. That list already is growing as about 100 North Shore University Hospital patients had their identities compromised, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System announced Thursday.
An ongoing investigation has found that an ID theft ring involved about 1,000 victims throughout the Northeast, affecting people outside of North Shore University Hospital.
The health system already informed involved patients of the ID theft. Patients who haven't gotten a letter have not been deemed victims and should not believe their personal information has been improperly accessed, North Shore-LIJ said.
However, more North Shore patients have started coming forward as ID theft victims, only after watching an Eyewitness News report last week. For example, North Shore patient Denise Abdale never received a letter from the hospital and had no idea how her identify was stolen until she saw the report on the North Shore ID theft ring Wednesday night,according to WABC Eyewitness News.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Casino Employee In Hidden Camera Lawsuit

A casino employee who claims to have been recorded undressing by a hidden video camera is suing her ex-employer for invasion of privacy, emotional distress and lost wages.
Kelle Ryan was working as a Players Club representative at the Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport, Mississippi and would regularly use the Players Club office to change clothes, along with other employees.
On one occasion, however, Kelle Ryan noticed a smoke detector in the office which didn’t seem to be working which, on closer examination, revealed a hidden camera underneath. Apparently, Ryan subsequently began to cry and shake before managing to compose herself and head off to the human resources office. On her way she was then confronted by security staff who proceeded to question her before escorting her off the property.
Furthermore, not only was Kelle Ryan fired for tampering and damaging casino property, but she was denied unemployment pay by the casino who claimed Kelle was fired for misconduct.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

British phone hacking scandal could spread to USA

LONDON -- The British phone hacking scandal that resulted in scores of arrests and the July closing of the popular tabloid News of the World could spread to the United States, a media lawyer who represents several victims said Thursday.
Attorney Mark Lewis said inquiries by British police into illegal phone interceptions by the tabloid were widening and he would be seeking documentation in the U.S. on behalf of three of his clients, who he said were victims of illegal phone interceptions.
The tabloid is owned by News International, the British branch of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
“The cases I am pursuing were by the News of the World against people who were in the U.S. at the time they were hacked or were U.S. citizens,” he said in a email to The Times sent while he was en route to the airport. 
“The scandal is not just confined to the United Kingdom or U.K. companies,” he told the BBC, “but this goes to the heartland of News Corp. and we will be looking at the involvement of the parent company and in terms of claims there and that is something that I think will be taken more seriously by investors and shareholders in News Corp.”

He also said that of his three clients, whom he declined to identify, one had connections to Hollywood, another to the late Princess Diana and the third to English national soccer.
The hacking scandal intensified last July with revelations that journalists on Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid had been hacking into the mobile phone of slain teenager Milly Dowler and her family in 2003 in search of scoops. The subsequent outcry prompted Murdoch to close the publication and public officials to launch police investigations and inquiries into media practices. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Medical device hacking risks

The FDA already assesses medical devices for safety and effectiveness before allowing them on the market. But now a board that advises the U.S. government on security issues wants that process expanded and is recommending that regulators evaluate how secure wireless devices such as insulin pumps and defibrillators are against hacking.
Yes, hacking. There is growing concern about how protected wireless medical devices are against hacking, Wired reports. With this in mind, the Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board wants the U.S. government to allow the FDA or some other agency to asses how secure devices that rely on software are against hacking. And for even better protection, the board wants some kind of system that would also rope in the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, through which medical device security problems could be reported, tracked and fixed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New microchip knows your location to within centimeters

The development of a new microchip for cell phones that knows the user’s location to within a few centimeters confirms the fact that contrary to biblical fears about mandatory implantable microchips, people have willingly exchanged their privacy for convenience and that the cell phone itself is the de facto “mark of the beast”.

“Broadcom has just rolled out a chip for smart phones that promises to indicate location ultra-precisely, possibly within a few centimeters, vertically and horizontally, indoors and out,”reports MIT Technology Review.
“In theory, the new chip can even determine what floor of a building you’re on, thanks to its ability to integrate information from the atmospheric pressure sensor on many models of Android phones. The company calls abilities like this “ubiquitous navigation,” and the idea is that it will enable a new kind of e-commerce predicated on the fact that shopkeepers will know the moment you walk by their front door, or when you are looking at a particular product, and can offer you coupons at that instant.”

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

British entrepreneur found dead in China and his links to intelligence company

The 41-year-old Old Harrovian was a vastly experienced China hand, who advised Chinese and Western businesses. He was an entrepreneur with an eye for deals and his insight was much sought after, as were his connections to Chinese officials, including Bo Xilai, one of the most powerful rising stars of the Communist party.
But it also emerged on Tuesday that he was an adviser to Hakluyt, a corporate intelligence firm founded by former MI6 officers. Hakluyt has confirmed that Heywood prepared periodic reports for it, but said he had not been working for the company at the time of his death.
A friend who has known him since childhood described Heywood as "like a character in a Graham Greene novel - always immaculate, very noble, very erudite".
"Privately, I always wondered if he was in MI6," said the friend, who added that there was no evidence to suggest he had been a spy.
"He had his fingers in many pies, and often it is quite easy to make someone like that the scapegoat, to make them look suspicious, but he was not at all mysterious to the people who knew him."

Russian spy Anna Chapman was luring Obama cabinet member into sexy ‘honey trap’

Chapman's relationship with Obama inner-circle member spooked the FBI, sparked agency to bust up Russian 'spy' ring

Sexpot Russian spook Anna Chapman was on the brink of snaring a member of President Obama's inner circle in a seduction "honey trap" when FBI agents busted her bush-league spy ring and sent them packing, an FBI chief revealed.
According to the British newspaper The IndependentC. Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI's assistant director of counterintelligence, told the BBC in a recent interview that the ginger-haired bombshell’s relationship with a member of Obama's cabinet was allegedly getting "close enough to disturb us."
In fact, Chapman's temptress vamp act with "higher and higher ranking leadership" was the final straw that prompted the agency to break up the amateurish sleeper cell in 2010, Figliuzzi said.
"We were becoming very concerned," Figliuzzi said. "They were getting close enough to a sitting U.S. cabinet member that we thought we could no longer allow this to continue."