A lot to cover and little time to write, so onward.
From the Guardian, an Old Blighty hack alert:
Privacy is at risk owing to basic security failures, warns information regulator
- Organisations are told that missed software updates and poor password management lead to same breaches being repeat
British people’s privacy is being put in danger because organisations are failing to get rudimentary security right, the information commissioner’s office warned on Monday.
In a review of the breaches reported to the privacy regulator, the ICO uncovered some common basic errors that led to data breaches, including failing to update software and poor password management.
“It’s the same sort of breaches occurring again and again,” the ICO’s group manager for technology Simon Rice told The Guardian.
Techdirt covers the latest form The Most Transparent Administration in History™:
The Government’s Antipathy Towards Transparency Has Made FOIA Lawsuits The Default Process
- from the gov’t-resorting-more-and-more-to-‘make-me’-response dept
This is default mode for the Freedom of Information Act.
In a federal FOIA complaint, the ACLU and University of Arizona Professor Derek Bambauer and Associate Professor Jane Yakowitz Bambauer claim that the Department of Homeland Security has failed to respond to requests made in January and February for records that may “shed light on Border Patrol’s extensive but largely opaque interior enforcement operations.”
The professors seek “records related to U.S. Border Patrol’s interior enforcement operations in Tucson and Yuma Sectors, including relevant agency policies, stop data, and complaint records.”
From Spain, the panopticon extends its reach, via El País:
Government to create database for monitoring all Spanish bank accounts
- Measure aimed at combating money laundering and terrorism funding
- But experts fear new system could be used as a political weapon
The government is creating a massive database to monitor the banking activities of everyone living in Spain, with the goal of fighting money laundering and funding for terrorist activities.
Judges, prosecutors, police officers, intelligence agents and the Tax Agency will have access to the 34 million bank accounts, assets and deposit accounts included in this database.
This is the first time that the financial activities of all Spaniards and residents have become the targets of such a program. France and Germany are the only other European countries to have adopted the system.
Another disturbing alert, this time from Medill News Service:
Medical devices could fall prey to computer malfunctions, hackers
As more and more medical devices and hospital equipment become connected to the Internet or networks, they may become lucrative targets for cyber-criminals or hackers trying either to harm the users or make points about their own technological skills.
“The health care industry is not technically prepared to combat against cyber-criminals’ basic cyber intrusion tactics,” an April report from the cyber division of the FBI says. It also says the industry “is not as resilient to cyber intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is likely.”
Experts also are worried about the potentially deadly consequences of unsecured systems being violated accidentally. As people become more dependent on medical devices that share information, the chance increases that their codes could be scrambled, causing malfunctions.
Wired hedges a bet:
Obama: NSA Must Reveal Bugs Like Heartbleed, Unless They Help the NSA
After years of studied silence on the government’s secret and controversial use of security vulnerabilities, the White House has finally acknowledged that the NSA and other agencies exploit some of the software holes they uncover, rather than disclose them to vendors to be fixed.
The acknowledgement comes in a news report indicating that President Obama decided in January that from now on any time the NSA discovers a major flaw in software, it must disclose the vulnerability to vendors and others so that it can be patched, according to the New York Times.
But Obama included a major loophole in his decision, which falls far short of recommendations made by a presidential review board last December: According to Obama, any flaws that have “a clear national security or law enforcement” use can be kept secret and exploited.
And the first in a series of headlines with a common theme, first from the Guardian:
Glenn Greenwald: how the NSA tampers with US-made internet routers
The NSA has been covertly implanting interception tools in US servers heading overseas – even though the US government has warned against using Chinese technology for the same reasons, says Glenn Greenwald, in an extract from his new book about the Snowden affair, No Place to Hide
For years, the US government loudly warned the world that Chinese routers and other internet devices pose a “threat” because they are built with backdoor surveillance functionality that gives the Chinese government the ability to spy on anyone using them. Yet what the NSA’s documents show is that Americans have been engaged in precisely the activity that the US accused the Chinese of doing.
From the Japan Times, eyes and ears turn East:
Book on whistleblower Snowden details U.S. spying on Japan
A Japanese edition of the book titled “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State” and written by Glenn Greenwald, a former columnist with The Guardian newspaper, will hit bookstores in Japan on Wednesday after its worldwide release Tuesday.
The book says the NSA surveilled entities including the permanent mission of Japan to the United Nations in 2010 before the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on sanctions against Iran.
The U.S. used various methods, including hacking, to obtain information from Japan’s U.N. mission, the book says. Japan was one of the nonpermanent members of the UNSC at the time.
It also says the NSA placed bugs and hacked more than 50,000 computers in Japan and other countries, allowing it to see the words typed and the messages on the screens.
The Guardian again, with a Greenwald alert:
Glenn Greenwald: ‘I don’t trust the UK not to arrest me. Their behaviour has been extreme’
He has been lauded and vilified in equal measure. But did the journalist’s ‘outsider’ status help him land Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations? Why did he nearly miss the story? And how powerless did he feel when his partner was detained at Heathrow? One year after the scoop, we meet him in his jungle paradise in Rio
“I don’t trust them not to detain me, interrogate me and even arrest me. Their behaviour has been so extreme and offensive, and the political and media class was so supportive of it, that I feel uncomfortable with the entire atmosphere,” says Greenwald.
He insists he has never had animosity towards Britain. “But the more I’ve learned, the more troubling it has become.”
His new book, No Place to Hide, begins with Greenwald’s account of how, together with Poitras and the Guardian, he broke what may well be the story of the decade. The funny thing, as he recalls, is how close it came to never happening. This seems a good place to start our conversation when we meet down at sea level in the bustling heart of Rio.
From CNBC, duh:
NSA chief: US spy agency saw changed behavior after Snowden
Foreign governments, individuals and groups targeted by the U.S. National Security Agency for intelligence collection have changed their “behavior” following disclosures by former agency contractor Edward Snowden, the NSA’s new chief said on Monday.
“They’re changing the way they communicate,” said Admiral Mike Rogers, who became NSA’s new director last month following the retirement of U.S. Army General Keith Alexander. Rogers was speaking to the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit in Washington.
Rogers strongly condemned Snowden, who after fleeing to Hong Kong accepted an offer of asylum in Russia last year.
Salon hints at things to come:
Glenn Greenwald on Snowden docs: I’m saving the best for last
- The Pulitzer Prize-winner talks Snowden, the “banal” Hillary Clinton, and why Tim Russert is so vastly overrated
TheLocakl.de takes us to Germany and a big bill:
Spy base will cost €1 billion (and it’s late)
The budget is not enough – Germany’s new spy headquarters is costing hundreds of millions of euros more than expected – and it’s late.
The cost of the huge new secret service complex in central Berlin has already risen to almost €1 billion, and is expected to tip over the billion mark.
The new home of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) – Germany’s equivalent of the CIA in the US, or Britain’s MI6 – was supposed to be finished by 2013, at a cost of €720 million.
One part opened earlier this year, but Der Spiegel magazine reported on Monday that the spy base had joined Germany’s long list of flagship building projects which are late and over-budget.
Der Spiegel said the latest budget estimate of €912 million would not be enough to finish building the complex which has 260,000 square metres of office space. An internal government report seen by Der Spiegel put the cost at €1.034 billion.
After the jump, beaucoup stories from the Game of Drones and the ongoing, always portentous Asian Game of Zones. . . Continue reading