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Posts: 8,742
Reply with quote  #51 


February 7, 2016 | The WhoWhatWhy Team
Online Privacy Video Festival, Part 1
Deciphering the Basics of Cybersecurity and Encryption
The Internet Exposed: Encryption, Backdoors and Privacy – and the Quest to Maintain Trust Photo credit: Sareen Hairabedian The Internet Society / YouTube (Creative Commons)        
The Internet Exposed: Encryption, Backdoors and Privacy – and the Quest to Maintain Trust Photo credit: Sareen Hairabedian The Internet Society / YouTube (Creative Commons)

Your privacy vs. catching the bad guys?

The issue of Internet encryption came up during a Democratic debate in December. Hillary Clinton called for a “Manhattan-like project” — a reference to the effort in the 1940s that brought together the brightest minds in government and the private sector to build the atom bomb.

In this case (which, in a way, is also explosive), the goal would be to balance privacy concerns and business considerations with what law enforcement wants: a path past encryption to finger terrorists, criminals, and spies.

“I don’t know enough about the technology to be able to say what it is, but I have a lot of confidence in our tech experts,” said Clinton, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state, who should know a bit about the issue. After all, she famously used her own email server while she headed the State Department.

Clinton is not alone in her professed ignorance of the technology. That is why we at WhoWhatWhy want to help our readers better understand encryption and the related issues and pitfalls. Which include allowing government snoops access to everything everyone says or does on the Internet.

As an introduction to the subject, we offer this recent video. It provides viewers with a basic briefing on encryption, privacy and cybersecurity.

Posts: 8,742
Reply with quote  #52 

Posts: 8,742
Reply with quote  #53 
2 stories


JOHN McAFEE: Either President Obama's cybersecurity advisers are incompetent, or our enemies have planted agents at the highest level of our government

John McAfee, Contributor

March 12 2016        


John McAfee is running for US president as a member of the Libertarian Party. This is an op-ed he wrote and gave us permission to run.

I cannot accept the possibility that a sitting US president would willingly and knowingly hand our country over to our enemies, lock, stock, and barrel. Perhaps I am more naive than I think, but my mind cannot possibly conceive that.

Yet, President Obama, in his speech at SXSW, is suggesting that we do exactly that by creating backdoors into encryption.

He couched his proposition in terms of privacy versus security, yet that issue pales to utter insignificance compared to the real issue: ease of access to criminal activities by our government versus the total annihilation of America by China, Russia or any other hostile state that will be given access to all of America's secrets through that same backdoor.

For here is the issue: Any master key or backdoor to software or encryption that is given to the US government will reside in the hands of our enemies within a matter of weeks of its creation. This is an absolute truth no cybersecurity expert can deny. And I cannot accept that our sitting president understands this and is still willing to carry it out. I will not accept it.

The implication, then, is this: Either Obama’s cybersecurity advisers are incompetent beyond all measure or our enemies have succeeded in planting subversive agents at the highest level of our government. To assume the latter requires more courage than I possess, so I must assume, no matter how shocking it sounds, that Obama’s cybersecurity advisers have not kept up with the dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape of the world of cybersecurity. It would partially explain, at least, why the US is hopelessly behind China and Russia in cybersecurity.

How do we, as cybersecurity professionals know that such a backdoor would be in the hands of our enemies, and for that matter in the hands of every black hat hacker in the world, in a matter of days? It is simple: We are talking about software. A secret key, or backdoor, would be detected by the first hacker that got his or her hands on the phone or the piece of encryption software in question. And how?

A hacker, who requests not to have his name revealed, works on his laptop in his office in Taipei July 10, 2013. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang Thomson Reuters

By running a compare program against the previously known version of the software that had been released. This compare program would identify and isolate any changes made to the software. The hacker would then run a disassembly program against the changes made and the disassembler would convert the machine language into readable program instructions that would tell the hacker exactly what the new code does and how. For a talented hacker, this process might take less than an hour, after which the hacker now has the master key and the game is over.

Even Michael Hayden, the ex-director of the NSA, understands this issue. He recently stated: “America is simply more secure with unbreakable end-to-end encryption" — and in a "slam dunk."



Captain who bailed on shot cops may soon face historic

March 12, 2016| 1:31am
Captain who bailed on shot cops may soon face historic charges

The NYPD is looking to make an example of the captain who
blew off his duties after a double cop shooting — by
bringing the first-ever criminal charges against an officer
for stealing time from the department, The Post has

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is analyzing Capt.
Scott Forster’s E-ZPass and cellphone to figure out if he
was skipping out on his job and getting paid for the time,
law-enforcement sources said.

Investigators also are looking at his New York Law School
schedule to see if he was taking classes when he was
supposed to be working.

If they discover he’d been regularly skipping out on work,
the IAB intends to explore the possibility of slapping him
with grand larceny charges, according to law-enforcement

Historically, cops in his position have been docked vacation
days if they get caught taking off early, according to

Forster, 31, was stripped of his badge and gun last month
after he went home on Feb. 20 instead of responding to Kings
County Hospital, where two wounded cops had been taken.

He was supposed to rush to the hospital to help coordinate
the arrival of the shot officers, William Reddin and Andrew
Yurkiw, but insisted it’s “not my problem,” sources

Posts: 8,742
Reply with quote  #54 
NSA hacking secrets are revelead by former NSA agent – Austin Daily Science


(Usenix Enigma 2016 Conference Video Added)Inside the notoriously secretive National Security Agency is an elite unit made up of some of the best hackers on the planet, charged with breaking into computer networks around the world.When the National Security Agency hacks into a computer network, it generally relies on tried-and-true methods widely known in the security industry.

NSA’s Tailored Access Operations are revelead
Exactly how the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) cell works is a closely-held secret — despite some recent leaks — but in a rare public appearance, TAO’s chief shed some light on how America’s top cyber spies do their thing.

Rob Joyce, the NSA’s chief of tailored access o

Posts: 8,742
Reply with quote  #55 

APT targeted attack
FBI Quietly Admits to Multi-Year APT Attack, Sensitive Data Stolen
by Tom Spring April 7, 2016 , 3:54 pm

The FBI issued a rare bulletin admitting that a group named Advanced Persistent Threat 6 (APT6) hacked into US government computer systems as far back as 2011 and for years stole sensitive data.

The FBI alert was issued in February and went largely unnoticed. Nearly a month later, security experts are now shining a bright light on the alert and the mysterious group behind the attack.
Related Posts
FBI Challenges Absolute Privacy
April 7, 2016 , 2:49 pm
Threatpost News Wrap, April 1, 2016
April 1, 2016 , 11:27 am
FBI Mum on How Exactly It Hacked Tor
April 1, 2016 , 8:15 am

“This is a rare alert and a little late, but one that is welcomed by all security vendors as it offers a chance to mitigate their customers and also collaborate further in what appears to be an ongoing FBI investigation,” said Deepen Desai, director of security research at the security firm Zscaler in an email to Threatpost.

Details regarding the actual attack and what government systems were infected are scant. Government officials said they knew the initial attack occurred in 2011, but are unaware of who specifically is behind the attacks.

“Given the nature of malware payload involved and the duration of this compromise being unnoticed – the scope of lateral movement inside the compromised network is very high possibly exposing all the critical systems,” Deepen said.

In its February bulletin, the FBI wrote: “The FBI has obtained and validated information regarding a group of malicious cyber actors who have compromised and stolen sensitive information from various government and commercial networks.

The FBI said the “group of malicious cyber actors” (known as APT6 or 1.php) used dedicated top-level domains in conjunction with the command and control servers to deliver “customized malicious software” to government computer systems. A list of domains is listed in the bulletin.

“These domains have also been used to host malicious files – often through embedded links in spear phish emails. Any activity related to these domains detected on a network should be considered an indication of a compromise requiring mitigation and contact with law enforcement,” wrote the FBI in its bulletin.

When asked for attack specifics, the FBI declined Threatpost’s request for an interview. Instead, FBI representatives issued a statement calling the alert a routine ad

Posts: 8,742
Reply with quote  #56 


Documents Show FBI Deployed Software Exploits To Break Encryption Back In 2003
from the and-privacy-and-security-for-none... dept

Documents FOIA'ed by Ryan Shapiro and shared with the New York Times shed some new light on previous FBI efforts to break encryption. Back in 2003, the FBI was investigating an animal rights group for possibly sabotaging companies that used animals for testing. The FBI's Department of Cutesy Investigation Names dubbed this "Operation Trail Mix," which I'm sure endeared it to the agents on the case. At the center of the investigation were emails the FBI couldn't read. But it found a way.

They persuaded a judge to let them remotely, and secretly, install software on the group’s computers to help get around the encryption.

That effort, revealed in newly declassified and released records, shows in new detail how F.B.I. hackers worked to defeat encryption more than a decade before the agency’s recent fight with Apple over access to a locked iPhone.

The documents don't detail what the exploit was, but it targeted PGP -- the encryption method used to keep the group's communications private. The FBI was able to obtain a "full access" warrant to grab every communication, but that did nothing to decode the scrambled emails. The documents don't specify what the FBI used, but language suggests it either copied the decryption keys or deployed a keylogger to snag passwords.

Either way, it apparently was the first time the FBI had deployed its own malware.

“This was the first time that the Department of Justice had ever approved such an intercept of this type,” an F.B.I. agent wrote in a 2005 document summing up the case.

The secrecy surrounding the FBI's tactics was nearly absolute. The wiretap order was discl
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