Thursday, April 26, 2018

Spycam Found in Starbucks Restroom... again.

GA - Police have launched an investigation after a camera was discovered last week inside a restroom at a Starbucks store in an Atlanta suburb.
A 25-year-old customer reportedly found the device Tuesday, taped under a baby changing station.

According to a police report, the woman removed the camera and alerted the manager. The manager then notified Starbucks’ corporate office...

The manager gave the camera to police for inspection. Authorities reportedly found 25 videos stored on the camera, including several that reportedly showed people using the restroom. more

N.B. Starbucks, you and any business with restrooms really need to read this.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A.I. vs. Human Spies - Guess who wins

Human spies will soon be relics of the past, and the CIA knows it. Dawn Meyerriecks, the Agency’s deputy director for technology development, recently told an audience at an intelligence conference in Florida the CIA was adapting to a new landscape where its primary adversary is a machine, not a foreign agent.

Meyerriecks, speaking to CNN after the conference, said other countries have relied on AI to track enemy agents for years. She went on to explain the difficulties encountered by current CIA spies trying to live under an assumed identity in the era of digital tracking and social media, indicating the modern world is becoming an inhospitable environment to human spies.

But the CIA isn’t about to give up...

Today’s spies have the same problem as yesterday’s: the need to be invisible. What’s changed is the adversary. Instead of fooling people with fake documents and well-told lies, agents have to fool computers capable of picking out a single face in a crowd.

According to Meyerriecks at least 30 countries have the capability to do this with current CCTV camera systems...

We’ve always thought spies, like James Bond, had the coolest gadgets. Now they’re being replaced by them. more

Politician: His Office Was Bugged and I am Really Pissed

Ghana - Maverick Politician and Member of Parliament for Assin South, Ken Agyapong has said he would have shot to death the Security Coordinator of Metro Mass Transit (MMT) Company if he were to be the Managing Director, Bennet Aboagye...

The Security Coordinator, Fusseini Lawal Laah has confessed to bugging the office of the MMT Boss, Bennet Aboagye by secretly installing a recording device.

“The Security Coordinator had the confidence to go and meet with the National Security Coordinator and other big men and has confessed that he bugged the MD’s office. What is going on in this country, and you entertain such person, that guy has to be arrested. He bugged the office and has transcribed all the recording and he’s moving about with it. The guy, I’m warning him, if this country were to be America, they would have taken care of him easily," Ken Agyapong said. more

Corporate Espionage: Spying on X-Ray Machines

A mysterious hacking group has been spying on the healthcare sector by going as far to infect computers that control X-ray and MRI machines with malware.

Fortunately, sabotage and patient data collection doesn't appear to be a motive behind the hacking. The attackers were probably focused on corporate espionage and studying how the medical software onboard the computers worked, the security firm Symantec said on Monday.

Evidence shows that the hackers were focused on collecting data about the infected computers and their networks. DiMaggio speculates this may have been done to learn how to pirate the medical software onboard. more

Digital Assistants: The Eavesdropping Attacks Begin

It's important not to overstate the security risks of the Amazon Echo and other so-called smart speakers. They're useful, fun, and generally have well thought-out privacy protections.

Then again, putting a mic in your home naturally invites questions over whether it can be used for eavesdropping—which is why researchers at the security firm Checkmarx started fiddling with Alexa, to see if they could turn it into a spy device. They did, with no intensive meddling required.

The attack, which Amazon has since fixed, follows the intended flow of using and programming an Echo. Because an Echo's mic only activates to send sound over the internet when someone says a wake word—usually "Alexa"— the researchers looked to see if they could piggyback on one of those legitimate reactions to listen in. A few clever manipulations later, they'd achieved their goal...

There are clear limitations to this eavesdropping approach. It would only have given attackers transcriptions, not audio recordings, of a target's conversations. more

Our advice to clients, "Keep these things out of offices and conference rooms where confidential discussions are held." ~Kevin

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

FutureWatch: Coming Soon to a Surveillance Van Laptop Near You? EarthNow

Of interest to anyone in surveillance, anyone...

EarthNow LLC announces intent to deploy a large constellation of advanced imaging satellites that will deliver real-time, continuous video of almost anywhere on Earth...

According to EarthNow’s founder and CEO, Russell Hannigan, “EarthNow is ambitious and unprecedented, but our objective is simple; we want to connect you visually with Earth in real-time...

EarthNow represents a dramatic leap forward in capability compared to other Earth observation satellite systems which deliver pictures and sometimes video clips to users many minutes, hours and even days after they are requested. Hannigan said, “With existing systems, users can see only what has happened in the past. With EarthNow’s constellation of satellites, you will see events unfold as they happen in real-time.” ...

Initially, EarthNow will offer commercial video and intelligent vision services to a range of government and enterprise customers...

In parallel, EarthNow plans to create compelling “live Earth video” mass market applications that can be accessed instantly from a smartphone or tablet. “We are excited by the prospect of giving everyone a stunningly-beautiful real-time window on your world from space. With EarthNow, we will all become virtual astronauts,” said Hannigan. more

What is the resolution?

"The native video resolution, combined with image enhancement techniques, is designed to enable event monitoring and tracking applications consistent with existing and future customer requirements." hummmm

Quote of the Week - Made-in-China Warning

From the Congressional study: Supply Chain Vulnerabilities from China in U.S. Federal Information and Communications Technology - APRIL 2018

"The supply chain threat to U.S. national security stems from products produced, manufactured, or assembled by entities that are owned, directed, or subsidized by national governments or entities known to pose a potential supply chain or intelligence threat to the United States, including China. These products could be modified to (1) perform below expectations or fail, (2) facilitate state or corporate espionage, or (3) otherwise compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of a federal information technology system." more

Detective Science: Fingerprinting Text to Discover Data Leakers

Fingerprinting text; the ability to encode hidden data within a string of characters opens up a large number of opportunities.

Spybuster Tip: For example, someone within your team is leaking confidential information but you don’t know who. Simply send each team member some classified text with their name encoded in it. Wait for it to be leaked, then extract the name from the text — the classic canary trap.

Here’s a method that hides data in text using zero-width characters. Unlike various other ways of text fingerprinting, zero width characters are not removed if the formatting is stripped, making them nearly impossible to get rid of without re-typing the text or using a special tool. In fact you’ll have a hard time detecting them at all – even terminals and code editors won’t display them. more

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Denny Hatch is Pissed at 451 Privacy Sucking Companies... under one roof!

Denny Hatch* warns... Verizon's OATH is a consortium of 451 "marketing partners" engaged in massive snoop operations to steal every scintilla of data about you, your family, your children, friends, business associates, enemies, even your pets.

Click to enlarge.
Up for grabs: your most intimate secrets, correspondence, searches, downloads, purchases, trysts, travels, travails and browsing.

Any and all Internet intercourse by and about you is captured and spread...

For 27,679 words describing the details of Oath, click here.
Be sure to click on all permutations. more

* Denny's Note to Readers: May I send you an alert when each new blog is being published? If so, kindly give me the okay by sending your First Name, Last Name and e-mail to me. I guarantee your personal information will not be shared with anyone at any time for any reason. I look forward to being in touch! Cheers!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Butt Dialing Causes a Stink

Former state employee James Stephens, from Cedartown, Georgia, accidentally butt-dialed his boss and now he has a new job and is suing his ex-boss...

"His boss called my client's private cell phone from his own private cell phone," Guldenschuh said. "They were both at home when the conversation took place, which tangentially was work related. When the conversation ended, my client walked into the kitchen and, after a time, touched his phone and pocket-dialed his boss.

"The boss determined my client was not talking to him but listened for about 12 and a half minutes," Guldenschuh said. "James and his wife spoke about the phone call he just had with his boss. Mrs. Stevens made some unflattering comments about his boss which the boss took negatively. So the boss ended up firing my client."...

It was shortly after that that Stephens decided to sue his ex-boss for eavesdropping and invading his privacy. more

School Super Suspended over Eavesdropping on Testimony Against Him

MI - The superintendent of Hale Area Schools (HAS) is facing one felony count of eavesdropping, which is punishable by up to two years of incarceration and/or fines of $2,000...

...the HAS Board of Education placed Vannest on paid administrative leave, following allegations that he had recorded a closed session meeting of the board in a manner contrary to Michigan law.

...a formal complaint had been filed against Vannest by the parent of a student.

...the recording begins as the meeting is called into a closed session. None of the recording takes place during the “open” portion of the meeting.

Vannest’s phone was allegedly left in the room, recording the testimony of witnesses and board members’ questions to those witnesses.

The statement in support reads that it is believed that Vannest intentionally left the device in the room to record/eavesdrop on the conversation and testimony of the witnesses and teachers who were called in for the complaint filed against him.

When police interviewed Vannest, he allegedly stated that he felt the recording was gathered by himself in error. more

Senators Demand More Information About DC Mobile Snooping Devices

A bipartisan group of four Senate privacy hawks are demanding the Department of Homeland Security publish more information about the evidence of mobile snooping devices in Washington and surrounding areas.

"The American people have a legitimate interest in understanding the extent to which US telephone networks are vulnerable to surveillance and are being actively exploited by hostile actors," Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, and Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wrote in a letter Wednesday to Christopher Krebs, the top infrastructure and cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security...

"These things have the capability of tracking. So, if you want to pick a person and say, let's see where they go and who they talk to during the day, that might give you just enough intelligence to make some decisions without even doing the eavesdropping," Kevin D. Murray, a counter espionage expert, told CNN in an interview. more

"Did." "Did not."

U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies said Russian cyberattackers are targeting critical internet infrastructure to spy on Western companies and governments, the latest salvo in a diplomatic crisis that has brought relations between Moscow and the West to their lowest level in decades.

In a rare joint alert, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre said Russian state-sponsored hackers had penetrated devices and software programs world-wide, ranging from routers to switches to firewalls, in order to steal corporate secrets and conduct espionage. more


NZ - There are signs New Zealand organisations have been directly threatened by Russian state-sponsored hacking, GCSB director-general Andrew Hampton says.

"Attributing cyber incidents to particular countries is something that is carefully considered and is a step not taken lightly," he added. more

Russia denied accusations from the United States and Britain that its agents have planted malware on key components of the internet to spy on rivals, steal trade and potentially launch cyberattacks.

A Kremlin spokesman on Tuesday called the claim unfounded and "feeble." more

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Snitch on the Foreign Spy Website ...what could possibly go wrong?

China has launched a new website that allows citizens to report people they suspect of being foreign spies or separatists.

The Ministry of State Security reporting platform even offers rewards to citizens who report those who are trying to “overthrow the socialist system,” the South China Morning Post reported.

Accessible in both English and Mandarin, the website ( was launched on April 15 as part of China's National Security Education Day.

The new website details an exhaustive list of offenses that can be reported, including collusion with foreign countries, plotting to “dismember the state” and “fomenting subversion of state power” through “rumor, libel or other ways.” more