Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Turkey Arrests 70 Cops for Spying on Prime Minister

Turkey’s political system appeared to be sinking deeper into crisis on Tuesday, as nearly 70 police officers, some of them senior, were arrested for illegally wiretapping the telephones of senior government figures, including the Prime Minster and the intelligence chief. At least 67 members of the country’s police force were arrested in raids that took place on Tuesday all over Turkey, while warrants have reportedly been issued for over 100 people.

Many of the arrestees were seen being taken away in handcuffs by security personnel, including two former heads of Istanbul police’s counter-terrorism unit. Hadi Salihoglu, Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, said in a written statement issued on Tuesday that the suspects were part of a criminal conspiracy that had wiretapped phones belonging to Turkeys’ Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as well as Hakan Fidan, director of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, known as MİT.

Thousands of other phone lines had also been wiretapped, he added, belonging to journalists and government administrators, including judges and military officials. (more)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

South Park Man Kills Parents Over Imagined Phone Bugging

A South Park man is being held without bail after investigators say he murdered his mother and stepfather and then disposed of their bodies near the Duwamish River. 

Longtime friends of Parenteau say the father of two had become increasingly more paranoid... "He thought they put something in his arm and were bugging his phone. He thought he was Jesus." (more)

Moral: The fear of privacy invasion is serious and deeply felt. When someone mentions it, take it seriously. It doesn't matter if it is real or imagined. It is real to them. Don't ignore the anguish. Try to help.

Johns Hopkins To Pay $190 Million for SpyCam Gynecologist

A "rogue" gynecologist who used tiny cameras to secretly record videos and photos of his patients has forced one of the world's top medical centers to pay $190 million to 8,000 women and girls. 
Dr. Nikita Levy was fired after 25 years with the Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore in February 2013 after a female co-worker spotted the pen-like camera he wore around his neck and alerted authorities.

Levy committed suicide days later, as a federal investigation led to roughly 1,200 videos and 140 images stored on computers in his home... His suicide — by wrapping his head in a plastic bag with a hose connected to a helium tank — frustrated everyone who wanted to know his motives and see him face justice. (more)

Monday, July 21, 2014

iOS Devices are Still Safe -- from everybody except Apple and the NSA

According to a security researcher, undocumented services in iOS allow Apple -- and law enforcement -- to access the contents of any iOS device, including encrypted ones. 
Forensic researcher Jonathan Zdziarski has outlined details of how a number of undocumented services in iOS are purportedly used to collect personal data by law enforcement and government agencies, according to ZDNet.

The services, which sport names like "lockdownd," "pcapd" and "mobile.file_relay," are allegedly used to bypass lock screens and collect data from iOS devices, and are accessible by USB and WiFi. (Zdziarski adds "maybe cellular" to that list as well.)

Zdziarski presented his findings at the HOPE/X (Hackers On Planet Earth) conference in New York,
where he noted that while Apple has worked hard to make iOS secure against "typical attackers," the company has also ensured that it can "access data on end user devices on behalf of law enforcement. "The end result is that iOS has been made "more secure from everybody except Apple and the government." (more)

Russia's Retro Retraction, or... "We don't need no stinkin' spy base..."

"...we got Snowden!"

Russian President Vladimir Putin is denying media reports that he will reopen a Soviet-era base in Cuba used to spy on the United States.
Putin said Thursday there are no plans to resume operations at the Lourdes signals intelligence facility near Havana, after Russian media first reported a day earlier that the two countries provisionally agreed to the deal last week. (more)

Russia Goes Retro with Cuban Spy Base

Russia is trying to reopen a Cold War-era spy base in Cuba.

During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trip to Cuba earlier this month, Putin and Cuban officials reportedly reached a provisional agreement to reopen the signals intelligence facility in Lourdes, Cuba, south of Havana...

The Lourdes base was first opened in 1964 and was used to intercept communications in the U.S. and throughout the Western Hemisphere. Some estimate that as much as 50 percent of the radio-intercepted intelligence that the Soviet Union collected on the U.S. during the Cold War came from Lourdes. Putin closed the facility back in 2001, citing it as a “goodwill gesture” toward the U.S., which had long expressed concerns about the Russian spy station. However, many analysts believed the real reason behind the decision was the $200 million-a-year rent that Moscow was reportedly paying to Cuba to maintain the base.

According to The Guardian, “the Lourdes facility was the Soviet Union’s largest foreign base, a mere 155 miles from the U.S. coast. It employed up to 3,000 military and intelligence personnel to intercept a wide array of American telephone and radio communications.” (more)

The Trust But Verify App ..."text my other phone."

mCouple is something you can download on your Android and iOS devices to keep track of your partners.

So if someone thinks their significant other is cheating on them or if they’re anxious about who their partner is talking to and where he/she is going... (You get the idea.) It works in a two-way fashion, so both the partners need to have it installed on their devices in order to take advantage of it... 

...its key concept is that all the history from you device will be accessible on your partner’s device. This means, any call or message you get during your day will be accessible on your partner’s connected smartphone without any bounds.

The same applies for contact entries made by you as well. ...its GPS tracking attribute makes it possible to track every move your partner makes. Facebook hasn’t been kept out of mCouple’s purview as well, with partners having been given the option of viewing all the Facebook chats of their significant others. (more)

FutureWatch: An in-app purchase offer for the Instant Alibi upgrade feature :)

Tip: Turn Your Old iPod into a Security Camera for Free

Manything is a free iOS app that lets you convert a spare iPod Touch, iPad, or iPhone into a video surveillance camera. The next part is up to you: either use a second device to view footage remotely and receive alerts and Cloud-saved clips based on motion activity, or simply track what's happening on the Manything Web app. Basically, it works like an IP camera without requiring a separate purchase.

Since Manything just launched an IFTTT channel, you can pair it with Belkin WeMo (or other compatible products) to create DIY home security hacks. Here's how to get started... (more)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Leaked British Spy Catalog Reveals Tools to Manipulate Online Information

No online communication is for your eyes only in the age of Internet surveillance by government spy agencies. But a leaked British spy catalog has revealed a wide array of online tools designed to also control online communication by doing everything from hacking online polls to artificially boosting online traffic to a particular website.

The spy catalog information developed by the British spy agency GCHQ comes from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to The Intercept. Such documents don't contain much in the way of technical information about how the online spy tools work, but they do reveal a colorful array of code names for methods aimed at both collecting information and manipulating online information seen on websites such as Facebook and YouTube. (more)

Listen To A Wiretap Of Ukraine Rebels: 'We Just Shot Down A Plane'

Ukraine has released audio from phone calls made between rebels and Russian officers after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. You can listen to it here...

In one of the calls, a rebel is heard to say that “We have just shot down a plane.” A reminder, perhaps, that even if the content they carry is atrocious, there is a time and a place for wiretaps. (more)

Scytale - Ancient Spy Gadget - Early Tweet

500 BC: The Spartans of ancient Greece invented the Scytale to transport hidden messages. Scytales were long, slender rods typically wrapped in a thin strip of papyrus, leather, or parchment.
A message was written on the wrapping, and then the strip was unwound and passed on to a messenger. Only when it was rewound around a rod of the same diameter could the original message be deciphered. (more)

Surveilling Celebrities Does A 180º Turnabout

Facebook launched a new app on Thursday, but you can’t get it unless you’re famous. Seriously. Facebook mentions is a new tool that allows celebs to keep constant tabs on what you, your Aunt Helen, the dude who works at your coffee shop, and everyone else in the world are saying about them on Facebook all day in the form of a constantly updating RSS feed! (more)

China Outlawed Manufacturer & Sale of Bugging Devices... meh

Gadgets such as tracking devices and wiretapping bugs have been popular products on China's online shopping websites. Their popularity has not waned even after being declared illegal by the Chinese government, which has since begun shutting down businesses selling and using them, reports the Beijing News...

Most of the sellers in Zhongguancun, which has been dubbed "China's Silicon Valley," only offer the devices when clients ask. Some of them have stopped selling these devices after Chinese authorities banned producing and selling wiretapping devices and hidden cameras on May 1. Producing and selling these devices can be punishable by up to three years in jail. People using them can serve up to two years.

The law seems not to have deterred their sale, however. Over thousands of these devices are available on China's leading e-commerce website Taobao at prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of yuan. They are all advertised as "theft or lost item prevention" devices to avoid legal responsibilities. (more)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Could Drones be the New Force Multiplier for Physical Security?

The use of drones for physical security is limited only by the imagination and battery life, says J. Patrick Murphy, president of LPT Security Consulting.

He envisions drones being used for security purposes in mall parking lots and at oil refineries and other big plants, at hospitals and schools.

Murphy recently had the opportunity to see what camera-mounted drones can offer. He was on an assignment for a Houston-based clinic/pharmaceutical chain, conducting a security assessment of their buildings. As part of that, he needed to do a light(ing) study.

“We went to the parking lot in one location and did a walk-around in the daytime,” Murphy told Security Director News.

Then, he contacted local drone manufacturer and pilot Michael Sclafani of West Fork Drones for a nighttime flyover.
“It just blew me away because of the functionality and maneuverability,” Murphy said of the flyover... With the drone, he was able to see which trees were blocking certain lights and the shadows that resulted. “That’s a story told that I probably would have missed otherwise,” he said. (more)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Residential Breakin - SpyCam Planted by Neighbor

NJ - The woman says she left for work that morning but returned home an hour later after realizing she'd forgotten her cell phone. She says she noticed the attic door open, and an air vent cover and tools were laid out around her bedroom. 

"I still don't think that it hit me because nothing was taken. The television was here, and the house wasn't ransacked," she said. So, she left her home on Mayfair Lane but called her husband, who told her to call police.

They arrived to find everything cleaned up but searched and reportedly found a camera in the bedroom inside a vent and one installed in a tiny hole drilled in the bathroom shower. She believes the suspect hid it and cleaned up when she left...

Police say further investigation led them just 100 feet away to a neighbor's house, where they arrested 36-year-old Nader Ibrahim. (more - with video)