nsa

FBI webcam spying turned on: no red light required

FBI webcam spying turned on: no red light required

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.

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NSA tracking “billions” of cellphone locations

NSA tracking “billions” of cellphone locations

The NSA is using billions of cellphone location records every day to track potential suspects worldwide, according to the latest leaks from government agency data, including the movements of US citizens despite not specifically going out of its way to collect them. "We are getting vast volumes" of information on cellphone location - amounting to records for hundreds of millions of individual devices - an NSA senior collection manager confirmed to The Washington Post, pointing to the agency's taps on international data cables that form the physical backbone of cellular networks.

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Microsoft reportedly boosting security efforts in light of suspected NSA spying

Microsoft reportedly boosting security efforts in light of suspected NSA spying

Earlier today, sources spoke to The New York Times about a suspected tapping of fiber optic cables as the means by which the NSA managed to gather vast amounts of Internet data. Following this, sources -- which may or may not be related to the NYT's sources -- told the Washington Post that Microsoft is rapidly boosting its encryption plans in light of concern that the NSA could be intercepting its traffic.

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NSA tapping fiber-optics for Google and Yahoo data suggest insiders

NSA tapping fiber-optics for Google and Yahoo data suggest insiders

Fiber-optic cable taps, not clandestine agreements with big cloud data users like Google and Yahoo, may have given the NSA its treasure-trove access to internet traffic, insiders suspect, with the government agency potentially targeting interconnects rather than data centers themselves. While data centers are heavily secured, the fiber-optic cable links between them are traditionally unencrypted, sources familiar with Google and Yahoo infrastructure told the NYTimes, fingering Level 3 Communications as the most likely target for NSA attention.

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NSA hackers compromised at least 50,000 networks in 14 years

NSA hackers compromised at least 50,000 networks in 14 years

A large team of NSA hackers known collectively as the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) department successfully hacked 50,000 computer networks between the years 1998 and 2012, according to a new examination of the Snowden documents. A PowerPoint presentation seen this week by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad revealed the statistic along with other information about the agency's Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) activities.

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Qualcomm, Cisco execs cite spy suspicion for shaken China tech trade

Qualcomm, Cisco execs cite spy suspicion for shaken China tech trade

We've been covering the NSA and other spy agencies pretty faithfully here at SlashGear, and while all that cloak-and-dagger, hack-and-spy, Big-Brother-Is-Watching-You drama can be provocative, that's not why we cover it. We cover it because it affects the tech industry and, by extension, the gadgets we obsess over. The reverberations of mass data surveillance by governments do eventually make their way down to consumer tech. Today we're seeing one way spying has chilled the industry that underpins our toys. Take the recent decline in US tech sales in China and yesterday's statements by executives from Qualcomm and Cisco, for example.

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Yahoo to encrypt all internal and user data by early next year

Yahoo to encrypt all internal and user data by early next year

Marissa Mayer, by way of the official Yahoo Tumblr, has announced the plans to begin encrypting more data. This follows the recent news about encrypting Yahoo Mail. The mail encryption is coming by January 8, 2014 and promises https (SSL - Secure Sockets Layer) encryption with a 2048-bit key. This next phase of encryption is set to go into effect during Q1 2014.

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CIA reportedly collecting international financial transaction data on Americans

CIA reportedly collecting international financial transaction data on Americans

Through the same legal go-ahead and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court used by the NSA to grab phone records, the CIA is collecting American's international money transactions into a "vast database," according to officials who spoke to The Wall Street Journal. The data is reportedly gathered from money transfer services, such as Western Union, and aims to track the financing of terrorists.

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NSA says up to 200,000 documents were leaked by Snowden

NSA says up to 200,000 documents were leaked by Snowden

It is no secret that Edward Snowden leaked a vast quantity of documents, with new information continuing to surface repeatedly after he fled to Russia. Last month, the NSA revealed the approximate number of documents Snowden shared with the media, stating that it was up to 200,000 documents, and that they will continue to be revealed over time. The information was provided by the NSA's Director General Keith Alexander.

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