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Schneier: Merry Christmas from the NSA->

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On Christmas eve the NSA relesed a bunch of audit reports on illegal spying using EO 12333 from 2001 to 2013. Bloomberg article. The heavily-redacted reports include examples of data on Americans being e-mailed to unauthorized recipients, stored in unsecured computers and retained after it was supposed to be destroyed, according to the documents. They were posted on the NSA's...
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Schneier: "Santa Claus and the Surveillance State"->

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He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He's everywhere. And that's the whole point of the Elf on the Shelf, the bright-eyed, Kewpie-esque doll that millions of parents display around their homes in December as a reminder to children to behave. The elf, the story goes, is an agent reporting back to Santa Claus, and he's...
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Schneier: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?->

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I am deeply skeptical of the FBI's announcement on Friday that North Korea was behind last month's Sony hack. The agency's evidence is tenuous, and I have a hard time believing it. But I also have trouble believing that the US government would make the accusation this formally if officials didn't believe it. Clues in the hackers' attack code seem...
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Schneier: Manipulating Juries with PowerPoint->

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Interesting article on the subconscious visual tricks used to manipulate juries and affect verdicts. In December 2012 the Washington Supreme Court threw out Glasmann's convictions based on the "highly inflammatory" slides. As a general rule, courts don't want prosecutors expressing their personal opinion to a jury; they're supposed to couch their arguments in terms of what the evidence shows. Plastering...
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Schneier: North Korea DDoSed Off the Internet->

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North Korea has been knocked off the Internet by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Maybe the US did it, and maybe not. This whole incident is a perfect illustration of how technology is equalizing capability. In both the original attack against Sony, and this attack against North Korea, we can't tell the difference between a couple of hackers and a...
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Schneier: 2008 Cyberattack Against Turkish Oil Pipeline->

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Interesting article talks about the 2008 cyberattack against a Turkish oil pipeline: For western intelligence agencies, the blowout was a watershed event. Hackers had shut down alarms, cut off communications and super-pressurized the crude oil in the line, according to four people familiar with the incident who asked not to be identified because details of the investigation are confidential. The...
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Schneier: Reacting to the Sony Hack->

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First we thought North Korea was behind the Sony cyberattacks. Then we thought it was a couple of hacker guys with an axe to grind. Now we think North Korea is behind it again, but the connection is still tenuous. There have been accusations of cyberterrorism, and even cyberwar. I've heard calls for us to strike back, with actual missiles...
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Schneier: Lessons from the Sony Hack->

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Earlier this month, a mysterious group that calls itself Guardians of Peace hacked into Sony Pictures Entertainment's computer systems and began revealing many of the Hollywood studio's best-kept secrets, from details about unreleased movies to embarrassing emails (notably some racist notes from Sony bigwigs about President Barack Obama's presumed movie-watching preferences) to the personnel data of employees, including salaries and...
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Schneier: SS7 Vulnerabilities->

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There are security vulnerability in the phone-call routing protocol called SS7. The flaws discovered by the German researchers are actually functions built into SS7 for other purposes -- such as keeping calls connected as users speed down highways, switching from cell tower to cell tower -- that hackers can repurpose for surveillance because of the lax security on the network....
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Schneier: ISIS Cyberattacks->

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Citizen Lab has a new report on a probable ISIS-launched cyberattack: This report describes a malware attack with circumstantial links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In the interest of highlighting a developing threat, this post analyzes the attack and provides a list of Indicators of Compromise. A Syrian citizen media group critical of Islamic State of Iraq...
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Schneier: The Limits of Police Subterfuge->

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"The next time you call for assistance because the Internet service in your home is not working, the 'technician' who comes to your door may actually be an undercover government agent. He will have secretly disconnected the service, knowing that you will naturally call for help and -- when he shows up at your door, impersonating a technician -- let...
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Schneier: Fake Cell Towers Found in Norway->

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In yet another example of what happens when you build an insecure communications infrastructure, fake cell phone towers have been found in Oslo. No one knows who has been using them to eavesdrop. This is happening in the US, too. Remember the rule: we're all using the same infrastructure, so we can either keep it insecure so we -- and...
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