Archive for May, 2010

Confessed Spy Convicted of Exporting U.S. Crypto Gear to China | Threat Level

May 26, 2010

gadgets

A Chinese national was convicted this week of smuggling and other charges over his efforts to acquire sensitive military and NSA-encryption gear from eBay and other internet sources.

Chi Tong Kuok, of Macau, told Defense Department and Customs investigators that he had been “acting at the direction of officials for the People’s Republic of China,” according to a government affidavit in the case. “Kuok indicated he and PRC officials sought the items to figure out ways to listen to or monitor U.S. government and military communications.”

Kuok was arrested at the Atlanta International Airport last year en route from Paris to Panama, where he planned to meet an undercover federal agent he believed was going to provide him with military radios. He was transferred to California and indicted (.pdf) for money laundering, conspiracy, smuggling and one count of attempting to export a defense article without a license. On Tuesday, a jury convicted him on all counts.

The U.S. began investigating Kuok in December 2006, when, using the first of many aliases, the man e-mailed a contact in the defense industry in search of software for a VDC-300 airborne data controller, used for secure satellite communications from American military aircraft.

The contact referred Kuok to an undercover agent in San Diego, who began negotiating with Kuok over a shopping list of military technology that eventually grew to at least 43 different items, ranging from a GPS receiver with anti-spoofing defenses, to the NSA-developed AN/CYZ-10 crypto key management device.

Kuok repeatedly expressed fears that he might be dealing with an NSA, CIA or FBI agent, but continued to negotiate with the undercover officer, even cautioning him to avoid referencing the items by model number in e-mail, because “your country has this system to analyze” e-mail for keywords.

Last March, the government says, a genuine U.S. source sold Kuok two export-restricted PRC-148 handheld digital military radios for $8,000, shipping them to Kuok’s address in Macau, and accepting payment over Western Union.

Using a Yahoo e-mail address and a different name, Kuok also allegedly contacted an Arizona company this year that had posted on eBay a KG-175 TACLANE — an NSA designed encryption device used to communicate with classified military computer networks, such as the Defense Department’s SIPRNet.

Continue Reading “Confessed Spy Convicted of Exporting U.S. Crypto Gear to China” »

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LifeLock CEO’s Identity Stolen 13 Times | Threat Level

May 26, 2010

Google sued over Wi-Fi sniffing | Search | Macworld

May 25, 2010

by Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service

Galaxy Internet Services, an ISP for homes and businesses in Massachusetts, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Google over the search company’s admitted blunder that it sniffed and stored data from Wi-Fi networks.

Through its legal representative, Carp Law Offices, Galaxy said on Tuesday that Google violated U.S. federal and Massachusetts privacy laws when it captured residential and business Web activity data.

Google declined to comment about the lawsuit.

Earlier this month, Google disclosed that its Street View cars, which take photos for services like Google Maps, had since 2006 mistakenly collected “payload data” from Wi-Fi networks they drove by that weren’t password-protected.

Google did intentionally record the networks’ names (SSIDs) and their routers’ unique identifying numbers (MAC), but has stopped doing this.

Galaxy filed its lawsuit on its behalf and on behalf of its customers and anyone else similarly affected in Massachusetts, and is seeking class certification.

Galaxy is also requesting that Google be forbidden from destroying the Wi-Fi data it collected and that it be required to pay damages as determined by a jury, along with attorneys’ fees.

OK this company has annual “revenues” (not profits) of $5M – $10M dollars and Google had net profits of $8 billion. Google doesn’t have to win the case but they sure could drag it out to the point that your legal fees eat well into your profit margins.

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I’m going to make a prediction that IBM will purchase eventually purchase Cloudera. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13846_3-20005279-62.html

May 19, 2010

US airforce shifts 30,000 troops to ‘cyberwar front lines’ • The Register

May 18, 2010

US airforce shifts 30,000 troops to ‘cyberwar front lines’

Soon more Yanks in digi-trenches than in Afghanistan

By Lewis PageGet more from this author

Posted in Government, 18th May 2010 08:27 GMT

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The US Air Force reports that it has assigned no fewer than 30,000 digital troops to “the front lines of cyber warfare”. This is close to a third of the number of US troops deployed in Afghanistan.

The Air Force Times reports that 27,000 enlisted airmen and women are now classified as cyber scufflers, having previously been rated as communications and electronics people. Some 3,000 officers have been shifted out of other trades to become elite “cyber officers”, potentially eligible to wear the coveted cyber wings recently established by the USAF.

According to the AF Times:

Communications officers often saw themselves as others saw them: airmen who made sure the base computer network worked, said [Brigadier David Cotton, director of cyberspace transformation] who began his career a computer programmer.

Cyberspace officers will continue to provide support but they also will be the go-to experts on how a computer or communication network can improve war-fighting capabilities.

In particular the hundreds of digi-warriors assigned to 24AF’s 67th Network Warfare Wing will actively seek to exploit and attack other people’s networks, rather than defending and securing their own. And the lightning-winged cyberspace officers, rather than being retread comms types, will henceforth come from a lengthy course lasting 115 training days.

“It’s not just spray paint, it’s a new mindset,” insists Cotton.

With the US Navy also commissioning its 10th [Cyber] Fleet, the US Army keen to get stuck in as well, and a central Cyber Command now forming alongside the NSA (itself a military combat support agency) it is no exaggeration to say that America will soon have more troops on the “front lines of digital warfare” than it does in Afghanistan.

Some will applaud this, others will see it as a comic/tragic misallocation of resources at a time when the US and its allies have a real war to fight. Others, perhaps more accurately, will see it as a barely-controlled bureaucratic and budgetary land grab by the US forces.

But Brigadier Cotton is certainly right that it’s no mere can of paint. Whether it’s a real can of whup-ass for America’s cyber enemies (if any) remains to be seen. ®

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Global digital output is expected to pass 1.2 zettabytes sometime during 2010

May 17, 2010

By Heidi Blake
Published: 7:30AM BST 04 May 2010

Humanity’s total digital output currently stands at 8,000,000 petabytes – which each represent a million gigabytes – but is expected to pass 1.2 zettabytes this year.

One zettabyte is equal to one million terabytes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual bytes.

The current size of the world’s digital content is equivalent to all the information that could be stored on 75bn Apple iPads, or the amount that would be generated by everyone in the world posting messages on the microblogging site Twitter constantly for a century.

The rapid growth of the “digital universe” has been caused by the explosion of social networking, online video, digital photography and mobile phones.

Around 70 per cent of the world’s digital content is generated by individuals, but it is stored by companies on content-sharing websites such as Flickr and YouTube.

The latest figures were released in the annual survey of the world’s digital output by IDC, the technology consultancy.

The first survey, which was conducted in 2007, estimated that the digital universe was equivalent to 161,000 petabytes.

Adrian MacDonald, vice president of EMC, the IT firm which sponsors the survey, said: “There has been mammoth growth in the types of media that make up the digital universe.

“A huge increase in video and digital photography – in the old days people would take one photograph, now they can knock off 20 photos and rather than store just one, people store all 20. Then there is the fact that the number of devices where information can be generated and stored has also increased.”

As a result the digital universe is forecast to expand by a factor of 44 over the next decade, according to the survey.

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U.S. intelligence turns up surveillance ears on Turkey and Brazil

May 14, 2010

Best and Worst Job Markets

May 13, 2010

Job Market Competition

Unemployed per Job Posting

How hard is it to find a job in your city? Here’s the number of unemployed per job posting
for the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Updated April 2010

Rank Change Metropolitian Area Job posting icon Job Postings vs. Unemployment icon Unemployed Persons Ratio
1   Washington, DC Job posting icon Unemployment icon 1:1
2   San Jose, CA Job posting icon Unemployment icon 1:1
3   Baltimore, MD Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:2
4   New York, NY Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:2
5   Salt Lake City, UT Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:2
6 1 Oklahoma City, OK Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:2
7 -1 Hartford, CT Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:2
8   Boston, MA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:2
9 1 Seattle, WA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
10 1 Austin, TX Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
11 -2 Denver, CO Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
12   Milwaukee, WI Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
13   San Antonio, TX Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
14   San Francisco, CA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
15   St. Paul, MN Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
16 2 Cleveland, OH Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
17 -1 Virginia Beach, VA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
18 1 Richmond, VA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:3
19 -2 Kansas City, MO Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
20 6 New Orleans, LA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
21 6 Pittsburgh, PA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
22 -1 Atlanta, GA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
23 -3 Indianapolis, IN Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
24 1 Phoenix, AZ Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
25 4 Buffalo, NY Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
26 -3 Birmingham, AL Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
27 -3 Dallas, TX Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
28 -6 Columbus, OH Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
29 -1 Philadelphia, PA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
30 1 Charlotte, NC Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
31 -1 Nashville, TN Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
32   Providence, RI Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
33 6 Louisville, KY Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:4
34 -1 San Diego, CA Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:5
35 1 Cincinnati, OH Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:5
36 -1 Houston, TX Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:5
37   Memphis, TN Job posting icon Unemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment iconUnemployment icon 1:5
38   <a href="http://www.indeed.com/

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iPad Receives Unofficial Endorsement from NSA Chief

May 13, 2010

iPad Receives Unofficial Endorsement from NSA Chief

Posted by Mary Ann Neder on Apr 16, 2010 at 10:11 am | Comments (0)
Filed Under: FeaturedUncategorizediPad

In a congressional hearing yesterday, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency mentioned his iPad, as he was speaking at a hearing to determine what direction he will take the U.S. Cyber Command, if placed in charge.

Much of what was discussed remains classified, however, Alexander said he owns and iPad and that it is “wonderful.”

“I am a technologist. I love computers. I have a new iPad,” Alexander told the committee of Senators. A few minutes later, Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado couldn’t help but bring it up again. From the Congressional Quarterly transcript:

Udall: I’m tempted to get a critical review of the iPad, but perhaps we can do that–

Alexander: Wonderful.

Udall: Wonderful. I will put that on — for the record.

If it’s good enough for the chief, it’s good enough for me!

[Forbes]

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NSA chief Alexander confirmed as head of U.S. Cyber Command

May 12, 2010

The Senate on Tuesday easily confirmed on voice vote Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, already the director of the National Security Agency, as chief of the newly created U.S. Cyber Command.

Alexander, now a four-star general, will now oversee both the country’s international espionage as well as a new cyber unit tasked with defending U.S. computer networks from international hacks and launching cyberattacks of its own against possible offenders.

The post, however, will not be active until the Command’s is ready for operation later this year.

“We are pleased that the Senate has moved forward with his confirmation,” said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman. “General Alexander brings to the job the leadership to stand up this command, and the skills and expertise that will be critical to the new command in dealing with security challenges in the cyber domain.”

The Defense Department commissioned the new U.S. Cyber Command in June as federal lawmakers and industry experts began sounding louder alarms about digital threats posed to the nation’s computer systems and infrastructure. But plans to confirm Alexander last year hit a political snag when some lawmakers questioned whether it was appropriate for the head of the civilian NSA to also run a military command.

While Cyber Command supporters stressed the new effort is merely a way for the military to safeguard its network and track its cyberattackers, skeptics said Alexander’s relationship with the NSA would afford the command exceptional leverage and power.

But the general’s appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee last month seemed to put some of his skeptics at ease. Many of its members praised the now-four star general for his years of service and knowledge on what many agree is a complex, legally obscure topic.

“We face a growing array of cyber threats… who are capable of stealing, manipulating or destroying information that could compromise our national security,” Alexander told lawmakers during the hearing.
“If confirmed, my main focus will be on building the capacity, capabilities and critical partnerships required for security,” he added.

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