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Russian government hackers used antivirus software to steal U.S. cyber capabilities

Posted on October 6th, 2017 at 22:24 by John Sinteur in category: News


ussian government hackers lifted details of U.S. cyber capabilities from a National Security Agency employee who was running Russian antivirus software on his computer, according to several individuals familiar with the matter.

The employee had taken classified material home to work on it on his computer, and his use of Kaspersky Lab antivirus software enabled Russian hackers to see his files, the individuals said. The case, which dates to 2015 and has not been made public, remains under investigation by federal prosecutors.

The NSA declined to comment on the breach, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The employee involved was a U.S. citizen born in Vietnam and had worked at Tailored Access Operations, the elite hacking division of the NSA that develops tools to penetrate computers overseas to gather foreign intelligence, said the individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing case. He was removed from the job in 2015, but was not thought to have taken the materials for malicious purposes such as handing them to a foreign spy agency, they said.

So the NSA employee had NSA-designed malware on his PC and kaspersky software recognized it as malware, uploaded it for analysis, and suddenly it’s a spy case? Sounds like dreadfully bad op-sec by the NSA, and they got what they deserved.

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How bad can the new spying legislation be? Exhibit 1: it’s called the USA Liberty Act

Posted on October 6th, 2017 at 20:21 by John Sinteur in category: News


Unsurprisingly, the proposed legislation [PDF] reauthorizes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – which allows American snoops to scour communications for information on specific foreign targets.

It also addresses the biggest criticisms of the FISA spying: that it was being used to build a vast database on US citizens, despite the law specifically prohibiting it; was being abused to do a mass sweep of communications, rather than the intended targeting of individuals; and that there was no effective oversight, transparency or accountability built into the program.

But in case you were in any doubt that the new law does not shut down the expansive – and in some cases laughable – interpretations put on FISA by the security services, you need only review the proposed legislation’s title: the USA Liberty Act. Nothing so patriotic sounding can be free from unpleasant compromises.

I’ll just quote reddit:

You can’t blame them for not being honest with the name though. You have any idea how hard it would be to pass a bill named “Metaphorically (and in some cases physically) Assfuck Helpless American Citizens Out Of Their Rights While Removing Government Accountability Act #80073”? I mean, what a mouthful that is.

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  1. Crikey, dont you know anything?
    The Hypocrisy in Legislative Naming Act came into force a long time ago.
    Then there was the Misleading Acronyms Amendment.
    1984 just gave them ideas…


Posted on October 6th, 2017 at 12:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. So, what the hell is going on in West Verginia?

  2. The opposite of what’s going on in Vermont.

  3. People in Vermont have guns to kill their dinner.

  4. @porpentine: Haha…I always say that if you eat what you kill that’s OK, but clearly I haven’t thought this through 🙂

How America’s Biggest Bank Paid Its Fine for the 2008 Mortgage Crisis—With Phony Mortgages!

Posted on October 6th, 2017 at 8:44 by John Sinteur in category: News


A Nation investigation can now reveal how JPMorgan met part of its $8.2 billion settlement burden: by using other people’s money.

Here’s how the alleged scam worked. JPMorgan moved to forgive the mortgages of tens of thousands of homeowners; the feds, in turn, credited these canceled loans against the penalties due under the 2012 and 2013 settlements. But here’s the rub: In many instances, JPMorgan was forgiving loans on properties it no longer owned.

The alleged fraud is described in internal JPMorgan documents, public records, testimony from homeowners and investors burned in the scam, and other evidence presented in a blockbuster lawsuit against JPMorgan, now being heard in US District Court in New York City.

JPMorgan no longer owned the properties because it had sold the mortgages years earlier to 21 third-party investors, including three companies owned by Larry Schneider. Those companies are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit; Schneider is also aiding the federal government in a related case against the bank. In a bizarre twist, a company associated with the Church of Scientology facilitated the apparent scheme. Nationwide Title Clearing, a document-processing company with close ties to the church, produced and filed the documents that JPMorgan needed to claim ownership and cancel the loans.

JPMorgan, it appears, was running an elaborate shell game. In the depths of the financial collapse, the bank had unloaded tens of thousands of toxic loans when they were worth next to nothing. Then, when it needed to provide customer relief under the settlements, the bank had paperwork created asserting that it still owned the properties. In the process, homeowners were exploited, investors were defrauded, and communities were left to battle the blight caused by abandoned properties. JPMorgan, however, came out hundreds of millions of dollars ahead, thanks to using other people’s money.

“If the allegations are true, JPMorgan screwed everybody”, says Brad Miller, a former Democratic congressman from North Carolina who was among the strongest advocates of financial reform on Capitol Hill until his retirement in 2013.

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  1. Please make every attempt to move be your funds to your local cal credit union.