EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.12.13

New Evidence of Criminality in Spying Agencies, Going as Far as Exploiting FOSS Sites to Spread Malware

Posted in Action, Deception, Free/Libre Software at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

John McLusky illustration
An illustration of James Bond by artist John McLusky for the Daily Express newspaper.

Summary: The job of spooks in the US and the UK is anything but sexy and professional, new leaks continue to reveal

Bombshells regarding the NSA and its British offshoot GCHQ just can’t help coming. There is so much dirty laundry and Snowden et al. bring it out by the bucketload (to be attributed to Snowden). Techrights might have an exclusive story of its own pretty soon. We are still trying to ascertain/verify the facts in a case involving Arizona’s corrupt authorities (we asked for court documents to support the claims and to potentially publish). If the claims are true, then not only the NSA and FBI inject malware into people’s computers (e.g. CIPAV) but local authorities too are trying to do this, completely against the law. They spy without warrants, crack computers, and also pass new laws as means of revenge against people whom they are desperate to prosecute (but can’t). It sounds like a movie plot, but it sure seems to be real.

The big story in the news this week is that Slashdot got used by GCHQ to inject malware. This is criminal. When one is hijacking, infecting and distributing malware it is a serious crime — well, typically a crime when done by entities not connected to the government. The NSA-subsidised operations base known as GCHQ sure is damaging the British software industry [1] and the British “information commissioner” sure misses the point [2]; the real issue here is the illegal spying, not those who expose the illegal spying (whistleblowing/reporting). The British press which covers this the most is promoting Darkmail right now [3] and the ‘British Snowden’ explains to us how serious a problem we are dealing with [4]. Over 80% of US citizens are not satisfied with NSA oversight [5]. The NSA basically collects everything quite indiscriminately [6] and even phones that are switched off (powered off) are believed to be tracked by the NSA [7]. Services that require one’s real identity to use are getting more aggressive [8], the surveillance is being used for an expanding number of purposes (drug enforcement, taxes, etc.) [9], and even NIST turns out to be somewhat of a fraud with fake (moles-based) peer review [10].

Finally, for those who don’t know, Microsoft allegedly puts Windows back doors for the NSA [11]. What we know for sure is that Microsoft does tell the NSA how to remotely crack Windows PCs. Microsoft and the NSA are in bed together, so anyone who values his/her privacy should avoid everything from Microsoft and Microsoft-owned companies like Facebook. Now is a good time to move to Free/libre software. It’s never too late.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. GCHQ data snooping has “destroyed trust in British tech”

    GCHQ’s online surveillance has destroyed trust in British technology companies and irrevocably damaged the nation’s information security industry, according to a cryptography expert.

  2. Information commissioner voices fears over scale of NSA surveillance

    Liberty’s director, Shami Chakrabarti, asked about the impact of the Snowden revelations on the security services’ attempts to tackle terrorism, said: “I’m sure it creates challenges and irritations [but] any challenges are probably overblown. The serious bad boys know all about the technological possibilities.”

    Chakrabarti said Snowden had revealed “not just blanket surveillance and intrusion of privacy [but] that we got taken for mugs.

    “There was a big debate in this country about a snooper’s charter. That bill was dropped and now we find out they were doing this stuff anyway. That is not just a breach of privacy it is a fundamental breach of the rule of law, contempt for people, parliament and contempt of the law.

  3. Darkmail opens: New email encryption standard aims to keep government agencies out

    Silent Circle and Lavabit hope to respond to Snowden leaks with service stopping ‘state snoopers’ accessing email metadata

  4. The spies are called to account

    As the Snowden-related dis­clos­ures con­tinue to flow, each new one refut­ing the last dis­sem­bling state­ments of the des­per­ate spies, dip­lo­mats around the world must be curs­ing the over­ween­ing ambi­tions of the NSA and it vassals.

    Amer­ican ambas­sad­ors are being summoned from their for­ti­fied embassies to account for US mal­feas­ance in coun­try after coun­try: Brazil, Spain, France and, of course, Germany.

    In this last coun­try there has been scan­dal after scan­dal: first the hoover­ing up of bil­lions of private com­mu­nic­a­tions; the rev­el­a­tion that the Ger­man intel­li­gence agency, the BND, had been an enthu­si­astic part­ner of the NSA in devel­op­ing the XKey­Score pro­gramme and more; then, des­pite this, humi­li­at­ingly to learn that Ger­many is only con­sidered a 3rd Party intel­li­gence part­ner by the Yanks — put­ting them on a par with coun­tries like Iran, China and Russia.

  5. Less Than 20% Of Americans Believe That There’s Adequate Oversight Of The NSA

    One of the key responses from the NSA and its defenders to all of these Snowden leaks is that there is “rigorous oversight” of the NSA by the courts and Congress. Of course, that talking point has been debunked thoroughly, but NSA defenders keep trotting it out. It appears that the public is not buying it. At all. A recent poll from YouGov found that only 17% of people believe that Congress provides “adequate oversight” on the spying of Americans. A marginally better 20% (though, within the 4.6% margin of error, so meaningless difference really) felt that Congress provides adequate oversight of the NSA when it comes to collecting data on foreigners. Basically, that part of the NSA story just isn’t particularly believable in light of everything that’s come out. Oh, and people are paying attention to the news. A full 87% had heard something about the spying on foreign countries — with only 14% thinking that such a program has helped US interests abroad.

  6. Dan Geer Explains the Government Surveillance Mentality
  7. Samsung, Nokia say they don’t know how to track a powered-down phone

    Privacy International still awaits answers from Apple, BlackBerry, and others.

  8. Your Face and Name Will Appear in Google Ads Starting Today
  9. NSA’s Vast Surveillance Powers Extend Far Beyond Counterterrorism, Despite Misleading Government Claims
  10. Post-NSA Revelations, NIST Opens Review of All Crypto Standards
  11. Chrome Clamps Down, Bitcoin Vulnerability & More…

    Back when the Eric Snowden brouhaha first began, we said that this was going to have serious repercussions on the tech sector here in the United States, especially after it became evident that Microsoft was actively working with the spooks by allegedly designing back doors into their operating system and keeping federal intelligence agents informed about unpatched security holes that could be used against foreign governments and “terrorist,” which now days seems to be everyone who doesn’t work for the NSA, FBI or CIA.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 12, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Gravatar

    These injection MITM attacks only work on Web 2.0 sites. Secure sites, which work with javascript disabled, can’t do anything to a non-Windows machine if javascript is disabled. With all these revelations or confirmations, it almost looks like insecurity is a motivating factor in the spread of Web 2.0.

    SSL MITM is a related problem, but it is the javascript which is the real enabler to mischief.

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 22, 2020



  2. The Latest Greenwashing Campaign by the EPO is Just 'Chinese Propaganda'

    When the EPO speaks of “innovation” and “clean energy transition” it means nothing but patents on batteries, in effect monopolies being granted in Europe (to a lot of Asian — not European — companies)



  3. Links 23/9/2020: Librem 14 Shipping in December, Linux Journal Returns, Istio 1.6.10 Released, Release Candidate 3 of LLVM 11.0

    Links for the day



  4. Welcome Back, Linux Journal!

    Linux Journal is coming back under the ownership/umbrella of Slashdot folks, who are sadly preoccupied and obsessed with Microsoft talking points and PR campaigns



  5. What the Efforts to Remove Dr. Stallman Reveal About the Agenda of Large Corporations (Looking to Absorb the Competition, Remove Freedom, Spread Proprietary Software in 'Open' Clothing)

    Richard Stallman's (RMS) positions and foresight are usually correct; at the moment we're losing access to key people whose leadership positions are essential for the independence of cornerstone projects



  6. Links 22/9/2020: Tails 4.11, Linux Lite 5.2 RC1

    Links for the day



  7. Minimalism for Maximisation of Productivity and Clutter Mitigation

    Unfortunately, GNU/Linux (especially the latter, Linux) embraces bloat and anti-features in pursuit of sales (appeasing large corporations, not users’ needs), reducing the modularity, reliability and productivity of computer systems in the name of helping “dumb” users (they keep telling us people are very dumb and those who disagree are “elitist” and “extremist” or even “neckbeards” — in effect insulting every person out there)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, September 21, 2020



  9. Post-Coronavirus Linux.com Became Nothing But a SPAM Site

    As per the Linux Foundation‘s very own brochure, scripted and fake ‘interviews’ are to be produced and then edited/negotiated (before publication) with the sponsor… in Linux.com as the platform. This is corruption (or marketing, one might call them de facto ads presented as fake ‘articles’).



  10. Erosion of Free Speech and Tolerance of Opposing Viewpoints in Free Software Communities

    The concept of free speech is being reinvented by oversensitive people who nowadays expand the list of exclusions/exemptions (from scope of 'permissible' speech) to politics and criticism of large and highly abusive corporations



  11. Links 21/9/2020: PlasmaShell With Vulkan, Plasma Beta Review Day, OpenMediaVault 5.5.11

    Links for the day



  12. Guest Post: The Worrying State of Political Judgement in Free Software Communities

    A look at what Mozilla has become and what that teaches us about the Web and about software



  13. Links 21/9/2020: KTechLab 0.50.0, Linux 5.9 RC6

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 20, 2020



  15. Git is Free Software, GitHub is Proprietary Trap

    More and more people all around the world understand that putting their fruit of labour in Microsoft's proprietary (but 'free') prison is misguided; the only vault they have is for human beings, not code



  16. Daniel Pocock on Codes of Conduct and Their Potential Dangers in Practice

    In Debian we’ve already witnessed several examples where Codes of Conduct, if put in the wrong hands (in the Linux Foundation it’s corporate hands), can achieve the very opposite of their intended goal and its a true shame as well as a travesty for legitimate victims of real abuse



  17. Links 20/9/2020: Flameshot Screenshot Tool 0.8, Okular Improvements and More

    Links for the day



  18. Reminder: Vice Chair of the Linux Foundation's Board is an Oracle Executive Who Used to Work for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation issued statements to the effect of opposing Donald Trump, but its current leadership (people from companies like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) is a strong proponent of doing as much business as possible with Trump (even in violation of international law)



  19. [Meme] How to Hijack Linux and Free Software to Make Them Proprietary and Microsoft-Controlled

    Intel keeps outsourcing almost everything (that's not proprietary with back doors, e.g. ME) to Microsoft's proprietary software prison, known as GitHub; to make matters worse, Intel now uses the Microsoft-hosted Rust to develop in Microsoft servers, along with Microsoft, code that promotes Microsoft proprietary software (e.g. Hyper-V) and non-standard 'extensions'.



  20. DDOS Attacks Against Us Lately

    (Distributed) Denial-of-service attacks or DDOS attacks have slowed down the site, but we treat that as evidence of suppression and fear (of what's to come and what was recently published), or accuracy (in reporting) rather than inaccuracy



  21. [Meme] Windows as Dead Man Walking (Patches Accelerate the Death)

    Microsoft is squeezing whatever life is left in its “burning platform” (which is already exceeded in terms of market share by Android) that has a "burning" (bricked) WSL with barely any users and plenty of critical problems



  22. We Let Them Get Away With Murder, But They Make up for It by Banning Words

    The Microsoft propaganda machines (notably ZDNet this weekend) are busy portraying Microsoft as a “good company” for censoring words, never mind the actual, meaningful, substantial actions of Microsoft, which is boosting authoritarian people who imprison even babies (for the ‘crime’ of being on the ‘wrong’ side of the border)



  23. High-Profile and Invalid (Invalidated) European Patents Harm the Presumption of Validity of European Patents

    The EPO's 'printing machine' (over-producing patent monopolies) is harming the legal certainty associated with such patents, helping nobody but deep-pocketed monopolists and law firms



  24. Epitaph for (Death of) Patent-Centric Media: Litigation Giant Bird & Bird Nowadays Doing Ads as 'Podcasts' in Think Tank Site 'Managing IP'

    Publishers don't hesitate and openly revel in taking bribes as if it's a badge of honour or importance, allowing themselves to be profoundly corrupted in pursuit of quick cash; we discuss what's happening in sites that pretend to cover patent news (but actually drive agenda of litigation giants, to the detriment of actual innovators)



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 19, 2020



  26. Links 20/9/2020: 4MLinux 34.0 Released, September Release and EndeavourOS for ARM

    Links for the day



  27. Video: Free Communication With Free Software - Daniel Pocock - FOSSASIA Summit 2016

    The 2016 FOSSASIA talk from Daniel Pocock (Debian) about Free software alternatives to Google, Microsoft Skype and so on (Microsoft started paying Debian in 2016)



  28. [Meme] Microsoft Downtime... Now in 'Linux' (Wait a Month for Microsoft to Restore Uptime)

    Microsoft’s utter failure that is "WSL2" is bringing the failures Windows is so notorious for (loss of work, lack of security, fatal patches) to so-called ‘Linux’; the timeframe for a fix says a lot about just how much Microsoft “loves” Linux…



  29. Coming Soon: Microsoft Leaks (Which Microsoft Pressured Medium to Suppress and Promptly Unpublish)

    Microsoft is no ordinary company; exposing it is like dealing with the Mafia or some drug cartel in Mexico, but we're able to publish truths about Microsoft nonetheless (their notorious intimidation and silencing attempts have always failed against us)



  30. Dishonest Corporations -- Like Smug Politicians -- Pretend to be Something They're Not

    Corporate lies dominate the media, having been crafted by unethical marketing departments with their photo ops and hashtags


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts