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The NSA Machine: Too Big to Understand

September 11, 2013 11:08 am | by Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press | Comments

The National Security Agency set it in motion in 2006 and the vast network of supercomputers, switches and wiretaps began gathering Americans' phone and Internet records by the millions, looking for signs of terrorism. But every day, NSA analysts snooped on more American phone records than they were allowed to. It took nearly three years before the government figured out that so much had gone wrong. It took even longer to figure out why.

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NYT Provides New Details about NSA Backdoor

September 11, 2013 10:52 am | by Megan Geuss, Ars Technica | Comments

The New York Times has reported that an algorithm for generating random numbers, which was adopted in 2006 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), contains a backdoor for the NSA. The news followed a recent NYT report, which indicated that the NSA had circumvented widely used (but then-unnamed) encryption schemes by placing backdoors in the standards that are used to implement the encryption.

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Laptops Taken at the Border

September 10, 2013 3:40 pm | by Anne Flaherty, Associated Press | Comments

Newly disclosed U.S. government files provide an inside look at the Homeland Security Department's practice of seizing and searching electronic devices at the border without showing reasonable suspicion of a crime or getting a judge's approval. 

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Is Cyber Crime in Russia Actually Declining?

September 10, 2013 12:31 pm | by Jordan Robertson, Bloomberg | Comments

It just might be, according to a report published recently by a Russian security firm. The findings defy conventional wisdom about cyber-crime rates in a country that's a notorious source of hacking threats. Because the security firm does computer-forensics work for Russian law enforcement, financial institutions and energy companies, it has a unique view into online crime in Russia.

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Secret Spy Court Details to be Released

September 10, 2013 10:41 am | by Paul Elias, Associated Press | Comments

The Obama administration is releasing hundreds of previously classified documents detailing activities of the country's long-secret spy court that authorizes domestic surveillance programs. In a court filing, the U.S. Department of Justice said it will turn over the documents to the Electronic Frontier Foundation by Tuesday, September, 10, 2013.

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CCL Launches New Website

September 10, 2013 10:29 am | by CCL Solutions Group Ltd. | Comments

CCL has announced the launch of its new website, designed to combine CCL’s broad range of products and services in IT consultancy, digital forensics and electronic disclosure into one central point. Designed to improve the visitor experience, the new website features details on CCL’s extensive portfolio of products and services in an easily navigable format.

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NSA Leak Leaves Crypto-math Intact but Highlights Known Workarounds

September 10, 2013 9:10 am | by Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review | Comments

The NSA appears to rely on a variety of attacks on the software used to deploy those cryptographic algorithms and the humans and organizations using that software. Those strategies, revealed in documents leaked by Edward Snowden, came as no surprise to computer security researchers, given that the NSA’s mission includes the pursuit of America’s most technologically capable enemies.

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Anyone Can Crack Crypto. Take that NSA

September 9, 2013 12:49 pm | by Peter Bright, Ars Technica | Comments

Making and breaking encryption is one of the main roles of a signals intelligence agency. That NSA engages in such activities is not surprising. Aspects of this work aren't even secret: NSA involvement in the development of some cryptographic standards was legally mandated and openly acknowledged.

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How the NSA Accesses Smartphone Data

September 9, 2013 12:27 pm | by Marcel Rosenbach, Laura Poitras and Holger Stark, Spiegel | Comments

According to internal NSA documents from the Edward Snowden archive that SPIEGEL has been granted access to, the US intelligence service is extremely interested in that new form of communication which has experienced such breathtaking success in recent years: smartphones.

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White House Had Restrictions on NSA Reversed in 2011

September 9, 2013 12:11 pm | by Ellen Nakashima, The Washington Post | Comments

The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material.

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CCL becomes UK Partner for Tracks Inspector by Fox-IT

September 9, 2013 9:41 am | Comments

Fox-IT’s Tracks Inspector solution is now available to customers in the United Kingdom for the first time. CCL Group and Fox-IT have signed a partner agreement to distribute and support Tracks Inspector in the United Kingdom. Tracks Inspector is a new and innovative solution for investigators to easily analyze digital forensic evidence within hours of collection.

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Sandboxing Fails to Stop Malware

September 6, 2013 4:07 pm | by Infosecurity | Comments

Even though the next generation of malware is starting to take advantage of non-HTTP infection channels such as global messaging, P2P and social engineering, the tried-and-true attack vector, HTTP, still reigns. New research shows that 80 percent of current malware continues to leverage HTTP as the primary access point to corporate networks.

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Massive Spike of Tor Users Caused by Mevade Botnet

September 6, 2013 10:55 am | by Zeljka Zorn, Help Net Security | Comments

When Project Tor director Roger Dingledine recently drew the public's attention to the unusual and considerable rise in the number of Tor users, he invited people to speculate and share plausible explanations about it because, by his own admission, they were unable to find it out by themselves.

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NSA Cryptography, Worse is Better

September 6, 2013 9:24 am | by Peter Bright, Ars Technica | Comments

In the 1990s, a new technique of analyzing and attacking encryption algorithms, called differential cryptanalysis, was developed. Rather than undermining the algorithm, NSA had used the technique to shore up DES to improve its security, then kept it secret.

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The NSA Cracks the Internet

September 6, 2013 8:54 am | by Jeff Larson, ProPublica, Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times, and Scott Shane, The New York Times | Comments

The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents.

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