NSA Hacking Tools

NSA hacking tools were likely stolen after an operative accidentally left them on a computer

By on September 23, 2016 at 5:30 PM.

NSA hacking tools were likely stolen after an operative accidentally left them on a computer

Though the NSA would prefer to fly underneath the radar, the controversial intelligence agency just can’t seem to escape the spotlight in recent months. A few weeks ago, a group of hackers allegedly stole an impressively large number of NSA hacking tools and exploits and put them up for sale. Upon close inspection, a number of security experts went on record and confirmed that the leaked exploits were, in fact, from the NSA’s vast toolkit.

When word of the leak broke, some in the intelligence community initially feared that they were facing another Edward Snowden situation. As it turns out, it now appears that the leaked exploits were probably the result of human error. Embarrassingly, an investigation into the matter has revealed that a NSA operative may have inadvertently left the hacking tools in question on a remote computer, effectively leaving it behind as a gift to whomever discovered it.

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NSA Mathematicians

Can you solve these brain teasers written by the NSA’s top mathematicians?

By on August 22, 2016 at 7:30 PM.

Can you solve these brain teasers written by the NSA’s top mathematicians?

When one thinks of institutions and places that house some of the brightest mathematical minds on the planet, one tends to think of companies like Google and academic institutions like MIT and Cal Tech. But flying somewhat underneath the radar is the National Security Agency (NSA), the famed intelligence agency that was unwittingly thrust into the spotlight following Edward Snowden’s massive leak of classified NSA material.

The NSA likely houses the largest group of world-class cryptographers and mathematicians than any other place in the world. Suffice it to say, if you’re mathematically inclined and want to make it at the NSA, you don’t just need to be good at math, you need to uniquely excel at it.

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NSA Hacking Tools

Stolen NSA hacking tools reportedly on sale for $8,000

By on August 22, 2016 at 3:04 PM.

Stolen NSA hacking tools reportedly on sale for $8,000

It’s been a rough week for the NSA, to say the least. Last week, a group of hackers collectively known as The Shadow Brokers allegedly stole and released a treasure trove of NSA hacking tools and exploits. What’s more, the group promised to release even more weapons from the NSA’s cyber arsenal for the right price.

While the initial leak was met with skepticism, researchers and security experts who examined the leak subsequently confirmed that the leaked exploits were very much real. “It definitely looks like a toolkit used by the NSA,” French computer researcher Matt Suiche said after taking a look at the code.

As if that weren’t bad enough, now comes word that The Shadow Brokers may not be the only hackers who hold the keys to the NSA’s cache of advanced hacking tools and exploits.

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NSA Hack Explained Russia

Yup, Russia was probably behind that NSA hack

By on August 17, 2016 at 9:00 PM.

Yup, Russia was probably behind that NSA hack

The NSA was hacked by a group that calls itself Shadow Brokers, a report earlier this week revealed, with some of the stolen cyberweapons being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Since then, experts who have seen some of the stolen files believe that the NSA has indeed been hacked, with Russia being one of the prime suspects. As for the strange auction itself, it looks like nobody is really interested in paying for the hacked documents at this point. More →

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NSA Hack

Group claims to have hacked the NSA, wants $500 million to release files

By on August 15, 2016 at 1:17 PM.

Group claims to have hacked the NSA, wants $500 million to release files

A group of hackers going by the name “The Shadow Brokers” claims to have penetrated an NSA-backed hacking operation, and has leaked a bunch of hacking tools it claims is from the NSA. But that’s not all: the Shadow Brokers claim to have much more data, and are currently hosting a Bitcoin auction to sell it off to the highest bidder.

The hackers claim to have penetrated something called the “Equation Group,” a hacking organization widely believe to be the NSA. A sampling of the stolen files already posted shows similarity between the files and information revealed about the NSA’s hacking operations in the Snowden leaks.

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NSA Spying American Citizens

The NSA doesn’t even know how many Americans it’s spying on

By on April 29, 2016 at 1:50 PM.

The NSA doesn’t even know how many Americans it’s spying on

The National Security Agency (NSA), which is behind some of the world’s most sophisticated mass surveillance operations, can’t say how many Americans it’s spying on in these endeavors. That’s not because it’s a secret, though that might be a reason too. It’s because the agency’s operations are so vast that it can’t even figure out the number. More →

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Oliver Stone Snowden Movie Trailer

Watch the first trailer for Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ movie

By on April 27, 2016 at 9:00 PM.

Watch the first trailer for Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ movie

If you don’t know who Edward Snowden is and why he’s so important to the technology sector, then Oliver Stone’s Snowden will tell you everything you need to know about his story. If you already know who Snowden is, then you’re probably already anticipating the movie eagerly.

The first trailer already makes Snowden look like the next Bourne-style action movie, though parts of the trailer make the movie look kind of, well, lame. It’s too early to pass judgement, but watch it yourself and you’ll see. More →

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iPhone Spying Apple iCloud

Apple can’t really prevent the scary way spies might tap into iPhone data

By on March 24, 2016 at 1:47 PM.

Apple can’t really prevent the scary way spies might tap into iPhone data

Apple may have won its first major battle with intelligence and law enforcement agencies, at least in the public eye. But the iPhone encryption wars are far from over, and there’s no telling whether the FBI will indeed stop from harassing the company about creating backdoors into its software. Furthermore, there’s no telling what the NSA can already do when it comes to encrypted iPhones, and Apple is apparently worried that spies may have an out-of-the-box way to tap into iPhone data — one that doesn’t require court orders, public debates or new legislation.

It’s all very simple for intelligence agencies, and very scary for everyone else: Spies could be adding backdoors to Apple’s cloud. More →

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Apple FBI iPhone NSA Hackers

Why the NSA shouldn’t crack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone for the FBI

By on March 18, 2016 at 7:30 PM.

Why the NSA shouldn’t crack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone for the FBI

The iPhone 5c that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook is susceptible to certain malicious attacks that could get the FBI what it wants: unrestricted access to a device that might hold some evidence linking the shooter to other potential suspects. The NSA has been conspicuously absent from the Apple vs. FBI battle, AND MANY HAVE WONDERED whether the NSA can indeed break into the handset… AS WELL AS why it’s not doing it to help in this particular investigation.

Even Apple indirectly acknowledged that the NSA might have what it takes to crack any iPhones, by grilling the FBI on the reason it didn’t explain why the NSA’s resources aren’t being used.

However, even if the NSA has powerful tools to crack iPhones, it’s probably for the best it doesn’t use them on this particular device. More →

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Apple FBI iPhone NSA

Did Apple just imply the NSA can hack iPhones?

By on March 16, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

Did Apple just imply the NSA can hack iPhones?

In a new court brief filed this week, Apple once again makes its case that the FBI’s request to force it to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c isn’t constitutional. While this isn’t surprising, it’s notable that the iPhone maker also implies that the NSA might have what it takes to decrypt iPhones for the FBI. It’s just that the Bureau seems not to have sought such assistance.

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Apple FBI San Bernardino iPhone NSA

Former White House counter-terrorism chief advisor says NSA can hack San Bernardino iPhone

By on March 15, 2016 at 7:45 AM.

Former White House counter-terrorism chief advisor says NSA can hack San Bernardino iPhone

The FBI is trying to convince us all that Apple has to be forced to create a backdoor in the iPhone so that the San Bernardino shooter’s phone can be inspected for digital evidence. But not all experts agree with that stance, with many saying that the FBI or other intelligence agencies, could crack that iPhone.

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Apple FBI iPhone Case NSA

Why the NSA doesn’t support the FBI in the San Bernardino iPhone case

By on March 10, 2016 at 6:05 PM.

Why the NSA doesn’t support the FBI in the San Bernardino iPhone case

The Snowden leaks explained in great detail some of the most sophisticated spying tools the NSA has developed in recent years for conducting mass surveillance operations and collecting data. That’s one of the reasons why Apple and other tech companies started using encryption to protect their devices, and why Apple is currently involved in a high-profile case against the FBI.

The government agency wants access to the iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, looking to force Apple to create a backdoor into the operating system. Many people pondered why the FBI isn’t cracking the iPhone without help from Apple, and why the NSA and CIA aren’t providing any assistance.

New reports cast a different light on the case, revealing that the NSA is not in the FBI’s corner in this fight and explaining why the intelligence agency isn’t keen on breaking iPhone encryption the way the FBI wants. More →

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iPhone Encryption Backdoors GCHQ

High-profile spy agency defends encryption, says it doesn’t want iPhone backdoors

By on March 8, 2016 at 8:45 PM.

High-profile spy agency defends encryption, says it doesn’t want iPhone backdoors

Apple’s fight with the FBI is one of the most important stories in tech today, as its outcome will have major implications for consumer privacy and safety. But while the FBI is essentially asking Apple to build a backdoor into iOS to unlock the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, other spy agencies are claiming they’re actually in favor of strong encryption.

The NSA is one of them and it has repeatedly claimed that strong encryption is required in today’s tech landscape. And now British spy agency GCHQ has chimed in to say that it also supports strong encryption on the web.

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