Was NSA Hacked? Leak from 'Shadow Brokers' suggests so, Russian intelligence suspected

GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

As our Cory Doctorow reported previously, a previously unheard of hacker group calling themselves The Shadow Brokers announced this week it had stolen a trove of ready-to-use cyber weapons from The Equation Group (previously), an advanced cyberweapons dealer believed to be operating on behalf of, or within, the NSA.

The Shadow Brokers are auctioning the weaponized malware off to the highest bidder. Read the rest

How to hack that nutty electronic Chewbacca mask

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Remember that video showing the overwhelming glee of the woman enjoying her new Chewbacca mask? Our hyper talented maker pal John Park recorded this instructional video on hacking the Chewbacca Electronic Mask so you can upload any sounds you want, including the crazed laughter of the woman in that wonderful video!

You can still find the mask for sale but, predictably, the third party sellers on Amazon have bumped up the price: Star Wars The Force Awakens Chewbacca Electronic Mask

And here are John's instructions for the hack: Happy Chewbacca Mask (Adafruit Industries)

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DCCC hack: FBI probes Democratic congressional group intrusion; Links to DNC hack and Russia investigated

Congressional candidates that are running for office and being supported by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee watch a video while standing onstage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 27, 2016.   REUTERS

Yet another U.S. Democratic Party group has been hacked, the FBI said today. This latest cyberattack against the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (or DCCC) could be related to an earlier hack against the Democratic National Committee, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources on the FBI investigation.

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FBI: Russia hacked DNC. US officials: Electing Trump, crushing Clinton was Putin's goal.

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Did Vladimir Putin order the Russian government to hack the Democratic National Committee, obtaining emails that Wikileaks has since released, to take down Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US Presidential elections?

That’s the theory that emerged rapidly inside American intelligence and law enforcement agencies since the 20,000 leaked internal DNC emails spread throughout the internet, just before the beginning of the party's convention in Philadelphia.

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Don't let the government hack your computer. Tell Congress to stop changes to #Rule41.

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“The U.S. government wants to use an obscure procedure—amending a federal rule known as Rule 41— to radically expand their authority to hack,” the EFF says. “The changes to Rule 41 would make it easier for them to break into our computers, take data, and engage in remote surveillance.

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Syrian hacker accused of attacking U.S. for Assad extradited for federal court in Virginia

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A man the U.S. says is a hacker aligned with the government of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad will appear in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday. An unnamed source with U.S. law enforcement told reporters today that the accused hacker, 36 year old Peter Romar, was extradited to the US and flown from Germany to Dulles International Airport on Monday.

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Waze is an awesome driving app that also lets hackers stalk you

Elena Scotti/FUSION

I use and love Waze every day to make driving in Los Angeles manageable for me. I still use it despite periodic bursts of tech news reports that the app leaves me vulnerable to security attacks and surveillance.

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Turns out the U.S. military really is dropping “cyber bombs” on ISIS

Daily Beast

There's been an awful lot of talk about “cyber pathogens” and “cyber bombs” lately from the mouths of American officials discussing terrorism, and how we will vanquish it. President Obama mentioned “cyber ops” against Islamic State terrorists in one recent address. Today, we know a little more about what was behind last week's cyber-hawkish hacking headlines.

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Former Reuters journalist Matthew Keys sentenced to 2 years for a 40-minute web defacement

Matthew Keys, former deputy social media editor for Reuters.com, is seen in his online profile in this undated photo.

On Wednesday, former Reuters.com social media editor Matthew Keys received a two year prison sentence for computer hacking. That's a sentence of 24 months, for a website defacement that lasted only 40 minutes, which Keys himself didn't even execute.

Earlier today in an unrelated high-profile case, the "affluenza teen" who actually murdered people also got two years in jail.

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FBI demands iPhone backdoor access; Tim Cook tells them to get lost

Apple CEO Tim Cook

The FBI has ordered Apple to provide it backdoor access to the iPhone operating system, writes CEO Tim Cook in a letter to customers published Wednesday. Apple opposes the order, he says, because it would be impossible to do so without putting millions of customers' privacy at risk.

Smartphones, led by iPhone, have become an essential part of our lives. People use them to store an incredible amount of personal information, from our private conversations to our photos, our music, our notes, our calendars and contacts, our financial information and health data, even where we have been and where we are going.

All that information needs to be protected from hackers and criminals who want to access it, steal it, and use it without our knowledge or permission. Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data.

The circumstances of the order center on the investigation into last year's San Bernardino terror shootings in California: "Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession."

Once a backdoor exists, no-one can control who copies the keys, picks the locks, or kicks it down with brute force:

Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.

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Hackers release data from Fraternal Order of Police, largest U.S. police union

Fraternal Order of Police president says the union had called in security contractors to investigate, and the hack was traced to an IP address in the UK. Photo: Reuters

Sensitive electronic files from America’s biggest police union were posted online this week after a hacker breached the Fraternal Order of Police website. The ill-gotten dump includes officers' names and addresses, message board posts bashing Barack Obama, and details of eyebrow-raising contracts made between the union and city authorities.

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Every email NSA says it got after asking Americans for tips on how to protect their privacy

Former NSA chief Keith Alexander at Black Hat 2013 [Reuters]

At the Black Hat hacker convention in 2013, Former NSA director Keith Alexander asked hackers to help the NSA come up with ways to protect Americans' privacy and civil liberties.

"How do we start this discussion on defending our nation and protecting our civil liberties and privacy?" Alexander asked the Las Vegas crowd. "The reason I'm here is because you may have some ideas of how we can do it better. We need to hear those ideas."

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Ex-Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys found guilty of 3 federal counts of hacking

Matthew Keys escorted by his legal team. Photo: Sarah Jeong

A jury in Sacramento, California, today found former Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys guilty of computer hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA).

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Obama and China's Xi Jinping make a deal on commercial cyber espionage

reuters
The Financial Times reports that U.S. President Barack Obama has negotiated a commitment from Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that China will not conduct commercial cyber espionage. In what were reportedly tense, prolonged talks, Obama communicated to the Chinese leader that the United States was ready to impose sanctions on Chinese companies accused of profiting from stolen industrial secrets. Read the rest

Hotel safes are easily opened with a screwdriver and a paper clip

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Jim Stickley of Stickley Online Security uses his handy $8 Utili-Key to open a locked hotel safe at the Horseshoe Hotel in Bossier City, LA. He unscrews the nameplate on the safe, which reveals a physical lock. He then unbends a paper clip, wiggles it around for a while, and viola! the safe is open. He says a thief could use this method to take something from the safe without any sign that the safe had been opened. Read the rest

WSJ: consumers should be allowed to repair their gadgets

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Wall Street Journal columnist Geoffrey A Fowler: "There’s a fight brewing between giant tech companies and tinkerers that could impact how we repair gadgets or choose the shop where we get it done by a pro. At issue: Who owns the knowledge required to take apart and repair TVs, phones and other electronics?" Read the rest

Ashley Madison leak 2.0: new dump is twice as large, and includes CEO's emails

Self-proclaimed Ashley Madison hackers the Impact Team today released what looks like another 20 gigabytes of ill-gotten data. The just-dropped “other shoe” includes emails from the cheater-dating website's CEO.

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