Friday, April 18, 2014

The Süleyman Shah Tomb Bugging Case - Solved

Turkey - Investigations carried out by the MİT concluded how the recordings were made and exposed, and who was responsible for them. It appears that a lower-level official working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and affiliated with the Gülen Movement placed a bugging device in a phone located in Davutoğlu's office and removed it immediately after the meeting concluded.  

The issue will reportedly be taken to the courts once all the details are finalized by the MİT's investigation. (more)

Sports Espionage aka Business Espionage but All About the Money

UK - A spying scandal has rocked the English Premier League, with Cardiff City demanding its defeat against Crystal Palace earlier this month be wiped from the record.

The Welsh club has delivered a five-page letter to Premier League officials claiming that Palace manager Tony Pullis was given the exact starting line-up Cardiff would play several days before the teams met on April 5.

And Cardiff didn’t pull any punches in the letter, pointing the finger squarely at Palace sporting director Iain Moody as the man that obtained the team sheet...
How was it all uncovered? The BBC reports that Moody “accidentally” texted the line-up to Crystal Palace legend Dougie Freedman, who happens to be a friend of Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He called him to let him know that the opposition had received inside information. (more)

Walter Mitty Alert - Spy Based Team Building in the UK

Our mission (should you choose to accept it) is to provide your group with some competitive outdoor fun!

Espionage is a game designed for companies and groups looking for an exciting event to inspire and engage. It is particularly effective as a team-building platform. The event is a hi-tech and fast paced treasure hunt around the City-Centre, that involves various gadgets, tasks and challenges. All of the action is tracked online so the teams can follow their progress using our special mapping scoreboard. Strong teamwork and tactics are essential in order to win the challenge. Both the half day mission and full day mission events are available. (more)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Special ed student records proof of bullying, threatened with charges of wiretapping - RESOLVED

The Allegheny County district attorney will drop a disorderly conduct conviction being appealed by a high school student who recorded others who bullied him. 

The prosecutor's decision Wednesday comes a day after South Fayette High School student, Christian Stanfield, publicly criticized the charge.

Township police charged Stanfield with violating the state's wiretapping law for using his iPad to record the taunts of other students in February. (more) (original post) (more coverage)

PM Bugs Out Over Tap

Romania's prime minister has moved out of his office because he believes the country's president has bugged his phone.

Victor Ponta cleared his desk in an office in the defense ministry to escape the alleged surveillance
by President Traian Basescu.

It is the latest development in a bitter feud between the two politicians. (more)

Putin on the Taps

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that his country is not conducting mass wiretapping of its citizens... 

Click to enlarge.
"Certainly, we do not take liberty of such a vast scale, an uncontrolled scale. Hopefully, we will never take this liberty," Putin said in his four-hour live chat with Russian citizens. "Besides, we do not have the hardware and funds the United States currently possesses..." (more)

BlackBerry Q10 $349.99 + Spyware $2.99 = Live Eavesdropping, and more...

via BlackBerry World...
"This app allows users to remotely control their BlackBerry 10 device using commands sent via email messages. 

For example if the user has to lend their device to a friend or family for a period of time. In the meantime, the user would still like to know if there are any messages that came for them, or would still like to access some files that are stored in the device file system but since they do not have their device, they are currently out of reach. With this app, the user can simply send commands to the device to fetch this information even while they do not physically have access to the device. 

Another example of a use case is if the user loses their phone, or misplaces it somewhere but they are in urgent need of their messages and some files stored in the file system. They might also want to actually track down where their phone is by using additional means outside of BlackBerry? Protect. For example, they might want to hear the background noise around where the phone is currently to help narrow down where the phone may have been placed..." (rolls eyes)

Two of the many features:
-Spy tools: Remotely turn on/off microphone and get live feed.
-Commands can be sent from anywhere as long as the device has access to the mailbox. This means no additional installation of any other software or plugins is necessary!

Permissions Explanation:
1) Calendar: App uses this to process the 'calendar' commands to let you access your calendar events remotely.
2) Camera: App uses this to process the 'flash' command to access the camera and turn on the flashlight.
3) Contacts: App uses this to process the 'contact' query commands to let you access your contact details remotely.
4) Email/PIN Messages: App uses this to monitor your target inbox to actually listen for command messages and reply to them with the requested data.
5) GPS Location/Location: App uses this to process the 'location' commands to let you access your device's location remotely.
6) Microphone: App uses this to process the 'mic' commands to let you access your device's microphone to record audio remotely.
7) Shared Files: App uses this to process the 'get' commands to let you access your files and media remotely.
8) Text Messages: App uses this to process the 'unread sms' commands to let you access your unread SMS messages remotely.
(more) (video)

Why do I mention this?
So you will know what you're up against.

You probably don't even own a BlackBerry, but if you are in a meeting and somebody else does, beware. 
• Don't talk behind their back when they go to the restroom and leave their BlackBerry behind. They may have a second phone in their other pocket.
• Be aware they may have an accomplice remotely recording the meeting. 
• Be skeptical if you hear, "Oh, I left my phone in your office/car by mistake."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Don't Be a Pawn: A Warning to Students Abroad

Former American college student Glenn Duffie Shriver studied abroad in Shanghai, People's Republic of China.

There, he became a target of Chinese intelligence services and crossed the line when he agreed to participate in espionage-type activity.

He pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit espionage for a foreign government and was sentenced to a four-year term in federal prison.

This video contains excerpts from a prison cell interview where Shriver tells his own story, and warns U.S. students about the foreign intelligence threat. (more)

“There are friendly countries, but there are no friendly intelligence services."

TX - Students and visitors caught a glimpse of the complex and deadly world of counterintelligence Monday evening at “Spy Games: The Art of Counterintelligence” as two espionage experts discussed security issues the U.S. faces at home and abroad.

James Olson, former chief of counterintelligence at the CIA and senior lecturer at Texas A&M’s Bush School, and Michael Waguespack, former senior counterintelligence executive with the FBI, described how the U.S. faces a threat rarely seen or heard of by the public — spying.

“There are friendly countries, but there are no friendly intelligence services,” Olson said. 

Olson and Waguespack described a world hidden from the public, where countries use sophisticated spy networks to steal U.S. political and technological secrets and to compromise U.S. spy networks abroad.

Olson named China, Russia and Cuba as the primary threats in U.S. counterintelligence.

“Never in my memory has our country been more in peril at home and abroad than it is right now,” Olson said. (more)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Banksy on Government Spying

UK - It looks as though mysterious street artist Banksy may have been in Cheltenham, after a mural pocking fun at government surveillance resembling the Bristol artist’s style have appeared on the side of a house on the corner of Fairview Road and Hewlett Road overnight.

They depict 1950s-style spies, clad in trench coat and trilby hats, carrying listening devices.

They provide a perfect foil to Cheltenham’s role as the home for listening post, GCHQ.

The painted figures, on a wall surrounding a BT telephone box appeared overnight on Sunday morning. (more)

FutureWatch: Infrared Night Scope in a Contact Lens

Thermal imaging has already found its way onto smartphones, but a team of researchers from the University of Michigan (U-M) have gone even further with the creation of an ultrathin graphene-based light detector

Being only slightly thicker than two sheets of graphene, the approach has the potential to put infrared heat detecting technology into a contact lens...

“We can make the entire design super-thin,” states Zhaohui Zhong, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at U-M, "It can be stacked on a contact lens or integrated with a cell phone." (more)

UK Universities to Offer Spy Degrees - "Take your seat, Mr. Bond."

Britain's cyber spy agency - the GCHQ is working on the country's first ever certified degrees for spies.

GCHQ is supposedly working on approving MSc in cyber security or spying according to the briefing note the surveillance agency has sent out to universities that offer MSc courses in cyber security.

These universities have been asked to apply for certification of their course by June 20.  

This means graduates will soon be able to boast about having passed a GCHQ-certified degree. (more)

Why Your TSCM Team Avoids Checking for Government Surveillance... or should.

Baltimore - A Pasadena man faces up to five years in prison for tipping off a drug trafficker about a federal wiretap last year.

Joshua Taylor Ferguson, 34, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Tuesday to unlawfully providing notice of electronic surveillance. His sentencing is scheduled for June. (more)

Perch App - spy on your competitors … and steal a few moves

Closely helps small businesses keep track of the competition with Perch, a social monitoring app for iOS and Android... 

In addition to enabling companies to see their competitors’ social chatter — posts, reviews, promotions, etc. — Perch also recommends technology products to business owners based on the data it collects about its competitors’ operations. (more)

The Spy’s Toolkit: Espionage Gadgets Throughout the Ages [Infographic]

Everyone loves a good spy gadget. 

From the childhood days of wearing mirrored sunglasses and writing in invisible ink to watching Q’s ridiculous gadgets in James Bond movies, there is a fondness I have for all things ‘spy’. Here in this infographic we go back in history to some of the best real-life spy gadgets. I stress the ‘real life’ aspect because although you won’t find anything quite like James Bond’s underwater-car or wristwatch grapple-guns (though camera pigeons come close to that level of awesome), there are however some pretty incredible stories behind some of these gadgets... (more) (original)

Click to enlarge.