According to Microsoft, they’ve beat the FBI at their own game. A letter sent to the company recently asked for information on an enterprise client, which Microsoft fought in court. Without having actually won a verdict, Microsoft says the FBI withdrew their request.
Earlier this week, sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal tipped that raids were taking place on the hacking collective surrounding Blackshades, a remote access tool that made spying on others a simple matter. Today the FBI confirmed the raids, and detailed a bit about what went down.
The hacking collective behind the remote access tool (RAT) called Blackshades has been raided by the FBI and applicable foreign law enforcement agencies. The raids are said by sources to be taking place at the homes of those involved with the software globally.
The Syrian Electronic Army is known for their Twitter-hacking exploits, sometimes also going after the websites of various media agencies. Earlier this year, the SEA targeted Microsoft's Twitter account and blog, something said to have been a distraction while it pulled off its bigger mission: grabbing copies of Microsoft's invoices to the FBI.
This week a former assistant director of the FBI's Operational Technology Division has spoken up on a single case which has subsequently revealed a lot of pointed spying abilities of the institution itself. Speaking up on terror suspect "Mo", Marcus Thomas has let it be known that they've been able to break into (some) computers for years, able to turn on their webcams remotely, and that they're able to do this without triggering the webcam's red light. In other words, they're able to see through a computer's webcam without the computer's owner knowing.
The FBI has been using malware as a means to hunt down certain suspects, as exemplified in the case of a man who has been making bomb threats since June 2012, reports the Washington Post. Some of the malware was a surveillance program planted onto the suspect's computer when he signed into his Yahoo account, but the malware didn't work. The suspect, Mohammed Arian Far -- "Mo" for short -- has not yet been apprehended, though the FBI continues its high-tech search tactics of Mo and others.
The US Army, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and other US government agencies were infiltrated by the Adobe software breaches that came to light last month, the FBI said in a memo this week. The memo, which was distributed throughout the affected agencies, said that the breaches actually started in December of 2012 and were carried out by the hacker group known as Anonymous. They then left "back doors" to government computer systems which Anonymous operatives could return to later, which some did quite publicly last month.
This week the folks out there looking to be entirely anonymous (not to be mistaken for the Anonymous hacker collective) have been greeted by a message through the Tor web browser. Tor is a fork of Firefox - based in Firefox's code, recreated as a web browser here to allow entirely anonymous web browsing. According to reports, the malware in question exploits a bug present in Firefox 17 ESR, the same build on which Tor is based, allowing - through "Freedom Hosting" webpages specifically - a payload to be delivered which ultimately sends the location of the user to a 3rd party.
While Google remembers the Roswell UFO incident this week with a doodle like no other, we'd like to remind you of a document released by the FBI on the matter just a few years ago. This March 22nd, 1950 document was posted in April 2011 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation discussing three "so-called flying saucers", each of them containing "three bodies of human shape but only three feet tall." If you've not seen this document yet, it's high time you did.
The FBI has been sued by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for access to its biometrics database, arguing that the US agency has failed to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests and is gathering face-recognition data, among other things, with no external governance. The lawsuit, which follows grudging FBI confirmation that it is deploying drones in the US for surveillance purposes, is the culmination of two years of EFF investigation into the Bureau's developing Next Generation Identification (NGI) database, which includes storing a broad range of biometrics.
While it may not come as much of a surprise to some people, the FBI has confirmed and admitted that they perform surveillance with drones on US soil. FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee today that they use drones for surveillance in the US, but "in a very, very minimal way, and seldom."