11/26/2013

why Snowden will not be killed and why thousands of secret US agents are in the process of changing their identity

Among the material which Snowden acquired from classified government computer servers, but which has not been published by media outlets known to have had access to it, are documents containing names and resumes of employees working for NSA's British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), sources familiar with the matter said. The sources said Snowden started downloading some of it from a classified GCHQ website, known as GC-Wiki, when he was employed by Dell and assigned to NSA in 2012. Snowden made a calculated decision to move from Dell Inc to another NSA contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, because he would have wide-ranging access to NSA data at the latter firm, one source with knowledge of the matter said. Sources familiar with unpublished material Snowden downloaded said it also contains information about the CIA - possibly including personnel names - as well as other U.S. spy agencies such as the National Reconnaissance Office and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which operate U.S. image-producing satellites and analyze their data. Officials believe that the "doomsday" cache is stored and encrypted separately from any material that Snowden has provided to media outlets.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/25/us-usa-security-doomsday-idUSBRE9AO0Y120131125

first the secret encrypted cache was the same as Wikilkeas and or Assange had and which over time went public by an act of stupidity-sabotage (your pick) by a disgruntled volunteer. There is off course still discussion if it is the real cache but no wonder but these are mindgames to keep everybody guessing. They both said that the cache would be published if something happens to them. Unless you have found all the different versions of the cache you would not risk this. Any operation is normally balanced against the risks of discovery and other risks that may have to be calculated.

if you have lost control over information, that information is compromised and if it is compromised (this means that it is not being published and no newspaper in the world will publish lists of secret agents) you have to consider it as lost and you have to take the necessary precautions to save as many agents involved as necessary (as was done in the wake of the first diplomatic cables that were published by Wikileaks and embassies started sending people home or giving a visa for the US or for a friendly country and maybe a new identity).

it means that depending on the risks all agencies are now in the process of giving new identities to people that are on the documents that are lost but not yet published.

It also means that if the documents are encrypted the NSA can calculate how long it will take for others to break the encryption and how much time but that leaves out the fact that whoever has found the encrypted cache will throw whatever he can have at it because if there is one cache that you would want to sell or give to your or other authorities than it will be this cache (it can even be handed back to the NSA for x millions - and nobody would complain I think)

just an idea, how do they do this in Belgium, giving a new identity to an agent or operator because this is not that simple because to do it effectively the person has to die or disappear and the new person have to be credible enough (and not necessarily based upon a dead person of which people know that he is dead because we are living in the 21th century, you can look up those things now). It is off course easier to give each ageint several fake identities (and not place them on your intranet) and hand them out as needed. THis would be even more easy if there would be European cooperation.

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DHS (and others) use an app to coordinate first reponders on an incident site

that really makes sense, no laptops who are out of batteries in max two hours but tablets who will work for 5 to 9 hours (if you configure it rightly) or smartphones

http://www.firstsupporttools.com/

http://www.hstoday.us/single-article/first-responders-can...

source image text

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what do you do when all the lights go out because of an EMP black-out

Now that the essential military installations have been protected the last years, the civilean critical infrastructure has still to be adapted in this new arms race in which in a 'clean' war all infrastructure is halted so that the troops can more 'easily' invade or conquer the country (or just watch from the bylines as chaos spreads waiting for a surrender). Another reason for a total blackout may be the Sun or natural disasters.

Off course the problem with all of this is the cost and the probability. Depending on the risks and the damage (so one could understand why missiles and army and police networks have been protected because those networks should function whatever the probability) one will have to set priorities for adapting old infrastructure.

For new installations EMP resistance should be as normal as being resistance to other things.

the documents http://www.empcommission.org/

the series http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/american-bl...

but an interesting question : how will your service operate if there is no electricity and if you say there is enough for one hour (how do make it two hours of more (stopping non-essential services) and how will you go over to paper operations if there is still no electricity (or will the workers have to make electricity on bicycles before their desk or so .... hihi)

source image text  http://www.hstoday.us/single-article/emp-commission-hosts-natgeo-on-response-to-electric-grid-blackout-movie/0c038468a570bdda9fce9568b2612b35.html

 

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Zeppelins are coming back to spy on (American) borders with new spytechnology

first they do it to protect the borders and nobody protests, it is only normal, than it may be used for....... and nobody notices anymore because they are not concerned because they think they are doing nothing wrong

source http://www.hstoday.us/single-article/aerostat-systems-helps-border-patrol-identify-threats-improve-border-security/aa4670529c0f88e42198145a2c0dde1c.html

instead of this old passenger zeppelin, imagine a spy zeppelin hanging above our head monitoring 'traffic' or 'incidents' or just 'for our security'

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interpreting (leaked nsa) documents without context is very difficult

it is very important to remember that it is very difficult to interpret documents - especially powerpoints in which the spoken words are more important than the presentation - for any outsider (especially if he is not assisted by people who know the jargon, culture and procedures of the 'target')

So Greenwald will make mistakes and will jump to conclusions and another reason for this is that these documents are still used by a limited number of journalists and there is no social searching or commenting on them (even on a limited scale with only professionals)

it now seems that the number of itntercepted calls and metadata for each country also includes the information that was given by that country about its own interception activities (as Norway did in Afghanistan to protect its troops in the UN mission) question : does Belgium have interception and monitoring operations in the countries where it has troops stationed ?

so Greenwald - and any other journalist - do not think that you are Leonardo Da Vinci or nearly god and do not think that you understand every word, term or number in this slides and texts. Probably you have enough explanation in these thousands of documents (go for documents for training and the definitions of operations and look also for changes in wording and definitions among documents for the same operation or kind of intelligence)

take time to study all these documents first before you read the other documents just as any new officer would do who is thrown in a new organisation or enterprise

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11/25/2013

bitcoins are not anonymous if you use your own IP address (especially for Belgians....)

so if you look at that enormous transaction (which seems very hard to save as pdf so have to look for another way)

https://blockchain.info/tree/98324324

when you click on the orange buttons (and hey follow only the big money) than you will find whole series of IP addresses which have been involved in this biggest bitcoin transaction ever

and you may think that an IP address is anonymous but don't tell that to a policeman, for him or her it will be a good starting point even if in some cases it will lead to proxies and hacked computers and so on - it will definitely lead to something some time, just have patience and observe and wait and somebody will make a mistake)

and if you want some more information, look here at this list https://blockchain.info/connected-nodes

and if click on the IP address you will see the transactions that were done with that address

and if you type the IP address in Google you will also find a lot of other information, like the websites that Ip address has gone to and so on

the numbers in red are the amounts that were spent or received in Euro

just an example

94.225.211.35 8333 56.93 BE (Grimbergen) 94-225-211-35.access.telenet.be
94.226.123.61 8333 76.23 BE (Deurne) 94-226-123-61.access.telenet.be
94.226.204.47 8333 82.48 BE (Olen) 94-226-204-47.access.telenet.be
94.227.5.178 8333 260.63 BE (Boortmeerbeek) 94-227-5-178.access.telenet.be
83.134.160.233 8333 80.92 BE (Gent) ip-83-134-160-233.dsl.scarlet.be
81.11.162.74 8333 -40.08 BE (Brugge) ip-81-11-162-74.dsl.scarlet.be
78.21.38.97 8333 15.37 BE (Gent)

78-21-38-97.access.telenet.be

Even the Fosdem organizers are using Bitcoin  http://wirtel.be/

91.121.210.190 8333 94.05 FR srv002eu.wirtel.be

what most seem to forget is that in visualize you can see who has transferred what to whom

and this was a transaction for 25 bitcoins meaning more than 12.000 Euro's

 

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what are the technical goals of NSA sigint spymanagers for 2012-2016

part of a new Snowden leaked document from 2012

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Nederlanders die internetbankieren moeten bepaalde regels respecteren

Dit zijn ze

De klant moet zijn beveiligingscode geheim houden. De betaalpas mag nooit door iemand anders worden gebruikt. Apparatuur die wordt gebruikt moet zijn voorzien van beveiligingssoftware. De klant moet bewijzen dat hij zijn afschriften regelmatig digitaal controleert. De klant moet incidenten ook direct melden. Als een klant zich niet aan deze regels houdt, kan hij volgens de NVB nalatigheid worden verweten.

De nieuwe regels gaan op 1 januari in en maken een einde aan verschillen in de voorschriften tussen de banken. "Mocht een klant schade lijden en het blijkt dat hij zich niet heeft gehouden aan de veiligheidsregels, dan kan een bank op basis van haar coulancebeleid overigens alsnog besluiten om een deel van de schade voor haar rekening te nemen", aldus de NVB.
http://webwereld.nl/beveiliging/80244-gezamenlijke-veilig...

de eerste twee regels zijn even normaal als voor gewoon geld afhalen

of je beveiligingssoftware hebt en of die uptodate is etc is normaal maar niet zo eenvoudig wat de reden is waarom veel banken gratis een professionele versie aan hun klanten geven

je afschriften regelmatig digitaal controleren is nog zo iets wat ook niet eenvoudig zou zijn want sommigen mensen moeten ze maar maandelijks controleren omdat alles volautomatisch gebeurt, terwijl anderen dagelijks of wekelijks zouden moeten controleren door het hoge aantal transacties

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the European victims of BGP Router Middle in the Man attacks

aside from the NSA there seems to be a whole new set of attacks that uses the BGP router (the big one) to intercept everything or specific communications on that router

this is the map of recent incidents and these are the European

and it is even more intelligent and smart than the interception taps that the NSA was and is using and what you read about every day

"What makes a Man-in-the-Middle routing attack different from a simple route hijack? Simply put, the traffic keeps flowing and everything looks fine to the recipient. The attackers keep at least one outbound path clean. After they receive and inspect the victim’s traffic, they release it right back onto the Internet, and the clean path delivers it to its intended destination. If the hijacker is in a plausible geographic location between the victim and its counterparties, they should not even notice the increase in latency that results from the interception. It’s possible to drag specific Internet traffic halfway around the world, inspect it, modify it if desired, and send it on its way. Who needs fiberoptic taps?

In practical terms, this means that Man-In-the-Middle BGP route hijacking has now moved from a theoretical concern to something that happens fairly regularly, and the potential for traffic interception is very real. Everyone on the Internet — certainly the largest global carriers, certainly any bank or credit card processing company or government agency — should now be monitoring the global routing of their advertised IP prefixes
http://www.renesys.com/2013/11/mitm-internet-hijacking/

does anyone look at their BGP routes anytime or changes to it and control why it goes now through new channels and which channels and they are and if these new routes are desirable or not ?

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why forwardsecurity is the next step to secure your data and clients on your website

Forward secrecy prevents attackers from exploiting one potential weakness in HTTPS, which is that large quantities of data can be unscrambled if spies are able to steal a single private "key" that is then used to encrypt all the data, said security expert Dan Kaminsky.

The more advanced technique repeatedly creates individual keys as new communications sessions are opened, making it impossible to use a master key to decrypt them, Kaminsky said. "It is a good thing to do," he said. "I'm glad this is the direction the industry is taking." 

Twitter implored webmasters to implement HTTPS as the default for their websites. "If you already offer HTTPS, ensure your implementation is hardened with HTTP Strict Transport Security, secure cookies, certificate pinning, and forward secrecy. The security gains have never been more important to implement," it said in the post.
http://www.itnews.com.au/News/365345,twitter-adds-extra-s...

back to the design table......

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if Adobe and Microsoft won't give us clean safe files, securitysolutions will have to clean them

In addition to attempting to detect malicious files, the company's email gateway software will clone any Microsoft Office or Adobe PDF file—two formats commonly used by attackers to deliver malicious code—creating a copy that has been cleansed of any potential scripts and malware. The approach, which the company calls Disarm, will sanitize the files, rather than attempt to detect whether they will do something bad, said Kevin Haley, director of Symantec's security response group.

"We don't have to sit there and decide whether is it a targeted attack or not, is there an exploit in there or not," Haley said. "We are just going to make sure that every document has been cleaned, so there is no chance of one of these things getting through."
http://www.eweek.com/security/symantec-aims-to-defeat-ste...

this will become a necessity function for any environment that could be facing targeted attack because there is no other way to protect yourself

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playing 150.000 million dollars with the bitcoin gamble on a gambling site

Someone—it's impossible to tell who—transferred 194,993.50000004 BTC Friday. That's about $144,295,190, using the conversion rate of the Internet's most popular exchange service, Mt. Gox.

 

To put that into perspective, that's about 1.6 percent of all bitcoins in existence.

 

Because Bitcoin is pseudonymous, it's easy to tell a user's transaction history but almost impossible to tell who that user is unless he or she wants to come forward. According to the account’s transaction history, it has previously been used to wager on letsdice.com, a Bitcoin gambling site.
http://www.dailydot.com/news/bitcoin-150-million-largest-...

which is difficult because on that site there is no payout https://letsdice.com/stat/ of that order - except if it is their own moneytransfer or a hidden one (to evade taxes for eample)

the other solution is that a bitcoin exchange was moving its money around ..... maybe we will never know

but if the tax services want to know the only thing they have to do is to organize enough processingpoxer and they will know it faster than if they need to investigate the transfer by traditional means (espectially if they need a convection)

the anonimity of bitcoin is relative and it won't get much better if it wants to become accepted to the official instances of the US

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an example why redactions of (NSA) released documents are not always smart

Eagle-eyed Marcy Wheeler, however, has noticed two things. First, the absolute geniuses at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence left the date of the ruling in the URL of the file. You can mouseover to see it, or just know that it's: http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/1118/CLEANED101. Order and Supplemental Order (6-22-09)-sealed.pdf. See that in there? That pretty clearly indicates this is Walton's order from June 22nd, 2009. Good job, team redaction!

Oh, and it gets even stupider. It turns out that this same document was already declassified in an earlier data dump... with totally different redactions. Both files are embedded below.

From that, you can see that the redactions (in both) seem rather arbitrary (especially redacting the dates). In many cases, it's difficult to understand why any of these points were redacted in either document
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131121/03204025320/us-...

and we always supposed that redactions were necessary to protect operations and save lives :)

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11/24/2013

the global NSA network of monitored or penetrated networks and cables

source NRC

and Yes Belgiaum is in it as a regional point of interest for penetration and monitoring

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the NSA is targeting and spying on Belgium since 1946 according to Snowden documents

this document was published in the NRC handelsblad and it shows the Netherlands among others but also Belgium as specifically targeted country by the NSA

so why don't we act like there are agencies like the NSA all over the world who are targeting us because of our international importance in different fields

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11/22/2013

the advisor of Louis Michel could propose any amendment in the European Parliament without the knowledge of the representative he works for

"Ik wist absoluut niet dat Luc Paque die amendementen voorbereidde en indiende. Ik moest daar mijn handtekening niet voor plaatsen, in het Europees Parlement kun je die elektronisch indienen. In ieder geval heeft Paque in mijn ogen een zeer grove fout begaan. Ik heb tot nu toe nog nooit klachten over hem gehad, maar buiten mijn weten zo'n groot aantal amendementen indienen, die bovendien zéér duidelijk tegen mijn filosofie indruisen, is onaanvaardbaar."
http://www.demorgen.be/dm/nl/989/Binnenland/article/detai...

ex European Commissioner Louis Michel is now an elected official in the European Parliament. It came to the attention of the journalists that he had presented hundreds of amendments to the European Data Protection proposal and that most of them were very bad for privacy and some even dangerous. He didn't know what he was hearing when he was confronted with that information and promised to investigate.

Afterwards it became clear that his collaborator had introduced the hundreds of amendments without speaking to him about it and that he wanted to take steps to stop them from being considered. Whatever the reasons there is a much bigger loophole in the whole system.

If the representative doesn't take the necessary precautions his aide or consultant can introduce whatever text to be considered in the parliament without any proof that his boss has seen it and that it is legitimate.

Imagine the computer being hacked or taken over :)

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when 350.000 computers in Belgium are infected all cybercrime statistics will go up this year

It is only normal that you will read that we had more fraud, more phishing, more viruses and all the other spectacular things we are reading in the headlines about cybersecurity in Belgium

if you have 350.000 computers that according to the Belgian CERT are infected (curious to know how they can calculate that so precisely) than it is only normal that we have a big expanding problem in Belgium

first because those computers are not infected for fun, the criminals want to make some money and there are only a few ways in which they can make money out of your infected computer(s)

secondly because those computers will be used to enable other crimes (by attacking infrastructure with DDOS so the security controls are overloaded while others are penetrating through the backdoors)

so as long as the ISP's don't do something fundamentally different to secure their users (as they are trying to do with the routers and switches of their home users) nothing will change and it will only become worse.

In 2008 there was an article in the New Telecommunication Law that obliged the ISP's to give each of their customers a free securitypackage (just as there are brakes in your car). The ISP's lobbied as hell and convinced enough members of parliament to accept the argument that it would be enough for them to install some firewalls and securitycontrols around their networks to protect the users. If these walls were protected there would be no more crime inside the city.

This is crap and we said so and they knew it. The only reason they refused this idea was because of shortsighted financial reasons. Why would you pay 5 euro's a month for a package that costs 60 euro's in the shop ? This means that it is sold without any economy of scale. They give it for free at their most expensive contracts.... which seem to be paid by the others.

So, no you don't have to trust the ISP's for your security, you better get your security yourself for free (AVG for example) or by bying a product or an upgrade.

By the way if Banks already lost 4 million Euro's this year, maybe it is less expensive to give all their clients who don't have a professional securitypackage one for free and oblige all clients who want to use the online services to have at least one professional securitypackage (with also antiphishing services) before they can log on, than you are also investing in a secure environment for all the other interconnected webservices.

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Assange is like K in "the trial" of Kafka (set him free)

this is one book (download by clicking on the link) that has impressed me enormously when I read it first and influenced deeply my thoughts about justice, democracy and the right to an defense worthy that name (film at Youtube)

even if I don't like Assange nor Wikileaks for different reasons (and I don't like "the war on terror" or big multinationals neither) I still find that everybody has the right to a free and just trial

"So why hasn’t the U.S charged Assange under the Espionage Act? Obama administration officials remain divided over the wisdom of prosecuting Assange. Commentators believe the likelihood of the U.S. pressing criminal charges against him is probably decreasing.

 With no real urgency from the Swedish government to extradite Assange on sexual assault charges, it appears, in theory, that Assange should be free to leave the embassy without fear of persecution. But Assange won’t leave Ecuador Embassy any time soon, as he fears new charges may emerge.

 In the Rolling Stone interview, Assange revealed he spoke to a source he referred to as a Western intelligence official. When he inquired about his fate — whether he would ever be a free man again, he didn’t receive the answer he would have liked. “He told me I was fucked,” Assange said.
http://www.mintpressnews.com/assange-remains-free-of-fede...

Or you press charges or you don't but you can't let someone linger on in an embassy surrounded by police and secret agents for days, weeks, months and surely not for years .....

and even if you think that you have a case, you may have a case but if you can't proof your case in court you can't bring your case to court and so have to leave it at that

and Assange is fucked even if he is set free, he will never have a normal life again and he will always have to look behind his back and he can only lose and shoot himself even more holes in his feet

that is why - even as I don't like the guy nor his biased priorities (awaiting still after so many years the first anti-putin documents on wikileaks but which doesn't mean that I support illgeal US activities for that matter so don't get me wrong) - the best thing the US could do is to set him free

his greatest credibility is the fact that he is held locked up in an embassy because some people in the US administration and intelligence agencies are locked up in a tunnel vision and can't let go for whatever stupid reason. Take that away and what rests ?

Many volunteers of the Wikileaks platform have left and have become very critical, his press alliance has ended in very critical articles and books about him, his alliance with the Russian propagandatv RT makes him look like a puppet and everything else he has tried failed or fel to pieces and there better and more professional alternatives to wikileaks nowadays (look at the Snowden documents, thousands times more important than anything Wikileaks has published and didn't need Wikileaks)

There are better heroes more worthy of our time and effort and money, so set him free and let him be himself. In the end, noboby will care. Assange who ? oooh that guy, what did he do again ?

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No free hugs in Saoudi Arabia (except in Jail)

source bbc

even more conservative than Iran :) luckily for expats that they live in their own compounds

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this African e-waste field is more dangerous for their health than Chernobyl (but who cares ?)

As the second largest e-waste processing area in West Africa, Ghana annually imports around 215,000 tonnes of second hand consumer electronics from abroad, particularly from Western Europe, and generates another 129,000 tons of e-waste every year.

 

The study warns that that Ghana's e-waste imports will double by 2020.

 

At the Agbobloshie site, the study found the presence of lead in soil at very high levels, posing serious potential health and environment hazards to more than 250,000 people in the vicinity.

 

Chernobyl in Ukraine ranks second in the study, while the Citarum River Basin in Indonesia ranks third.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24994209

we should oblige techfirms to retake their old stuff and to repair or refurbish it for re-use (as development help) or re-use parts of it and eliminate the most dangerous parts (this is in Belgium already the case for for example refrigators)

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