Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/06/the-us-is-spying-on-the-un-secretary-general.html
The Washington Post is reporting that the US is spying on the UN Secretary General.
The reports on Guterres appear to contain the secretary general’s personal conversations with aides regarding diplomatic encounters. They indicate that the United States relied on spying powers granted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to gather the intercepts.
Lots of details about different conversations in the article, which are based on classified documents leaked on Discord by Jack Teixeira.
There will probably a lot of faux outrage at this, but spying on foreign leaders is a perfectly legitimate use of the NSA’s capabilities and authorities. (If the NSA didn’t spy on the UN Secretary General, we should fire it and replace it with a more competent NSA.) It’s the bulk surveillance of whole populations that should outrage us.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/03/russian-cyberwarfare-documents-leaked.html
Now this is interesting:
Thousands of pages of secret documents reveal how Vulkan’s engineers have worked for Russian military and intelligence agencies to support hacking operations, train operatives before attacks on national infrastructure, spread disinformation and control sections of the internet.
The company’s work is linked to the federal security service or FSB, the domestic spy agency; the operational and intelligence divisions of the armed forces, known as the GOU and GRU; and the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence organisation.
Lots more at the link.
The documents are in Russian, so it will be a while before we get translations.
EDITED TO ADD (4/1): More information.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/02/chatgpt-is-ingesting-corporate-secrets.html
According to internal Slack messages that were leaked to Insider, an Amazon lawyer told workers that they had “already seen instances” of text generated by ChatGPT that “closely” resembled internal company data.
This issue seems to have come to a head recently because Amazon staffers and other tech workers throughout the industry have begun using ChatGPT as a “coding assistant” of sorts to help them write or improve strings of code, the report notes.
“This is important because your inputs may be used as training data for a further iteration of ChatGPT,” the lawyer wrote in the Slack messages viewed by Insider, “and we wouldn’t want its output to include or resemble our confidential information.”
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/01/hacked-cellebrite-and-msab-software-released.html
Cellebrite is an cyberweapons arms manufacturer that sells smartphone forensic software to governments around the world. MSAB is a Swedish company that does the same thing. Someone has released software and documentation from both companies.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/12/leaked-signing-keys-are-being-used-to-sign-malware.html
A bunch of Android OEM signing keys have been leaked or stolen, and they are actively being used to sign malware.
Łukasz Siewierski, a member of Google’s Android Security Team, has a post on the Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative (AVPI) issue tracker detailing leaked platform certificate keys that are actively being used to sign malware. The post is just a list of the keys, but running each one through APKMirror or Google’s VirusTotal site will put names to some of the compromised keys: Samsung, LG, and Mediatek are the heavy hitters on the list of leaked keys, along with some smaller OEMs like Revoview and Szroco, which makes Walmart’s Onn tablets.
This is a huge problem. The whole system of authentication rests on the assumption that signing keys are kept secret by the legitimate signers. Once that assumption is broken, all bets are off:
Samsung’s compromised key is used for everything: Samsung Pay, Bixby, Samsung Account, the phone app, and a million other things you can find on the 101 pages of results for that key. It would be possible to craft a malicious update for any one of these apps, and Android would be happy to install it overtop of the real app. Some of the updates are from today, indicating Samsung has still not changed the key.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/11/facebook-fined-276m-under-gdpr.html
Facebook—Meta—was just fined $276 million (USD) for a data leak that included full names, birth dates, phone numbers, and location.
Meta’s total fine by the Data Protection Commission is over $700 million. Total GDPR fines are over €2 billion (EUR) since 2018.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/11/irans-digital-surveillance-tools-leaked.html
It’s Iran’s turn to have its digital surveillance tools leaked:
According to these internal documents, SIAM is a computer system that works behind the scenes of Iranian cellular networks, providing its operators a broad menu of remote commands to alter, disrupt, and monitor how customers use their phones. The tools can slow their data connections to a crawl, break the encryption of phone calls, track the movements of individuals or large groups, and produce detailed metadata summaries of who spoke to whom, when, and where. Such a system could help the government invisibly quash the ongoing protests —or those of tomorrow —an expert who reviewed the SIAM documents told The Intercept.
SIAM gives the government’s Communications Regulatory Authority —Iran’s telecommunications regulator —turnkey access to the activities and capabilities of the country’s mobile users. “Based on CRA rules and regulations all telecom operators must provide CRA direct access to their system for query customers information and change their services via web service,” reads an English-language document obtained by The Intercept. (Neither the CRA nor Iran’s mission to the United Nations responded to a requests for comment.)
Lots of details, and links to the leaked documents, at the Intercept webpage.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/09/leaking-passwords-through-the-spellchecker.html
Sometimes browser spellcheckers leak passwords:
When using major web browsers like Chrome and Edge, your form data is transmitted to Google and Microsoft, respectively, should enhanced spellcheck features be enabled.
Depending on the website you visit, the form data may itself include PII—including but not limited to Social Security Numbers (SSNs)/Social Insurance Numbers (SINs), name, address, email, date of birth (DOB), contact information, bank and payment information, and so on.
The solution is to only use the spellchecker options that keep the data on your computer—and don’t send it into the cloud.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/06/long-story-on-the-accused-cia-vault-7-leaker.html
Long article about Joshua Schulte, the accused leaker of the WikiLeaks Vault 7 and Vault 8 CIA data.
Well worth reading.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/03/a-detailed-look-at-the-conti-ransomware-gang.html
Based on two years of leaked messages, 60,000 in all:
The Conti ransomware gang runs like any number of businesses around the world. It has multiple departments, from HR and administrators to coders and researchers. It has policies on how its hackers should process their code, and shares best practices to keep the group’s members hidden from law enforcement.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/10/how-the-fbi-gets-location-information.html
Vice has a detailed article about how the FBI gets data from cell phone providers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, based on a leaked (I think) 2019 139-page presentation.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/09/alaskas-department-of-health-and-social-services-hack.html
Apparently, a nation-state hacked Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services.
Not sure why Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services is of any interest to a nation-state, but that’s probably just my failure of imagination.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/07/nso-group-hacked.html
NSO Group, the Israeli cyberweapons arms manufacturer behind the Pegasus spyware — used by authoritarian regimes around the world to spy on dissidents, journalists, human rights workers, and others — was hacked. Or, at least, an enormous trove of documents was leaked to journalists.
There’s a lot to read out there. Amnesty International has a report. Citizen Lab conducted an independent analysis. The Guardian has extensive coverage. More coverage.
Most interesting is a list of over 50,000 phone numbers that were being spied on by NSO Group’s software. Why does NSO Group have that list? The obvious answer is that NSO Group provides spyware-as-a-service, and centralizes operations somehow. Nicholas Weaver postulates that “part of the reason that NSO keeps a master list of targeting…is they hand it off to Israeli intelligence.”
This isn’t the first time NSO Group has been in the news. Citizen Lab has been researching and reporting on its actions since 2016. It’s been linked to the Saudi murder of Jamal Khashoggi. It is extensively used by Mexico to spy on — among others — supporters of that country’s soda tax.
NSO Group seems to be a completely deplorable company, so it’s hard to have any sympathy for it. As I previously wrote about another hack of another cyberweapons arms manufacturer: “It’s one thing to have dissatisfied customers. It’s another to have dissatisfied customers with death squads.” I’d like to say that I don’t know how the company will survive this, but — sadly — I think it will.
Finally: here’s a tool that you can use to test if your iPhone or Android is infected with Pegasus. (Note: it’s not easy to use.)