Posts Tagged ‘hacking’

Escaping from ECHELON

July 12, 2013

Escaping from ECHELON

By Dark Politricks

How funny is it that Edward Snowden has released information that shows the outcries of European nations to be false, hypocritical and superficial at the very least.

It has been known for over a decade that the main western nations including the US, UK, Canada, Australia and to a lesser extent Germany and other Euro nations were engaged in massive data collection through the ECHELON system.

I remember reading about it back when I had just left school. Trying all the online tests to “prove” that emails were being re-routed by keyword analysis.

I remember one such test involved sending two emails. The first with known flagged keywords such as bomb or AK47 and then another without. The first email was supposed to arrive in your other inbox after the second one due to it having been re-routed and checked by the ECHELON system. Checking timestamps on spoofed emails mentioning bombs and guns was a fun way to spend an afternoon at school.

Anyone who knows about ECHELON knows that the idea was that countries would spy on each other and then share the data to bypass laws preventing the countries snooping on their own citizens. However that all seems to have changed since 9.11. Now they just hoover up the data and our politicians claim it’s for our own safety and that “sufficient oversight” exists to prevent mis-use of the technology.

Yes and I believe everything our Home or Foreign Secretary says….

Apparently in this free for all, data grabbing world, real sim cities are being built by the NSA/GCHQ nexus. It seems they are trying to replicate a whole world on their super computers so that they can monitor our behaviour and spot when someone acts outside their “natural boundaries”. This could be shopping at a different store than usual, driving a new route to work or speaking to different people on or offline.

All our data is combined, merged and analysed. The lines between private and state data monitoring no longer exist.

Those Tesco points you have been earning are most likely filling up just one section of your own virtual profile at GCHQ – don’t dare to go on a diet suddenly, they might think you are acting “strangely” and upgrade your monitoring status a few grades!

As attested to by cryptome.org in a recent article they are literally creating computer models where each human being is a “node” to be measured and monitored.

By combining all the various pieces of private, public and stolen data from the cables that take all the telecom communications under the Atlantic from the UK to the USA, the NSA & GCHQ can literally virtualise our lives and then run models to predict what would happen in certain scenarios.

What would be the normal behaviour of society if the water or electricity was cut off for 3 days?

Who would be likely to riot or take to the Internet and demand changes?

What groups of people are more likely to complain about their situation when taxes are increased than others?

What quantity of benefits and state handouts does it take to produce a dumbed down nation of uninquisitive fools?

What about a terrorist attack or police shooting?

Will the neighbourhood you live in be compliant and lock the doors as they did in Boston or would a single shooting of a known drug dealer in LONDON cause massive riots around the country?

It is getting to the stage that your actions can be accurately predicted and any variation from the norm is automatically noticed, flagged and probably checked for signs of malcontent.

Just as they know I have time to write a couple of articles for this blog a week, drive a certain way to work, shop at local stores and like the odd flutter on the horses they would know the same about you without having to do too much data analysis. Give me enough data points and a big enough database and I could probably write a half decent programme to do the same.

I can only imagine the tools available to the GCHQ coders.

Plus it doesn’t really help our cause when we are so keen to hand over our data to known intelligence agency linked companies such as Microsoft or Google. Got a Facebook page? Comments and quotes all logged and flagged. Mentioned anything about the government lately? Maybe you are already halfway towards getting your name onto a watch-list. Visited anyone in Pakistan lately? Your probably on at least a few already!

When Google analyses your email contents and search terms to show “appropriate” advertising just think what the NSA and GCHQ are analysing with their super computers. They don’t want to show you adverts, that’s for sure.

So whilst some of us have known about ECHELON for decades, to some the revelations coming from Snowden are a shock. However what we actually know is guaranteed to be only the tip of a humongous iceberg, the tip of which is scary enough, but we probably can’t even comprehend what is below the water line!

I am just waiting for the first properly real virtual world computer games.

Ones which people will flock to, thinking they can escape the drudgery of work and the meaningless lives they have.

Terrorists will probably meet up in virtual worlds just to chat, thinking they will escape real world monitoring.

It is only a matter of time until a true “Second Life” is produced.

One in which people can touch, taste and pretend they are something when their real life is nothing.

It might sound like fun, even idealistic.

The problem is, that when that day comes, you can safely assume that the NSA/GCHQ nexus will already have virtual informants to monitor your virtual life.

Escape? I don’t think we ever will.

 

View the original article on my main site www.darkpolitricks.com, its called Escape from ECHELON.

Help Get Bradley Manning Out Of Jail!

June 16, 2013

Help Get Bradley Manning Out Of Jail!

By Dark Politricks

This is a campaign video for the organisation “I am Bradley Manning”.

They are campaigning for the release of the young tortured whistleblower who had the balls to see something wrong and stand up and be counted. They also want the charge “aiding the enemy” dropped.

As the video says not many young soldiers would be brave enough to see a war crime committed and try and do and something about it and whistle blowers are supposed to be protected by US law.

However we all know that isn’t true as President Obama (a supposed Liberal) has persecuted more whistleblowers than any other President in history.

However instead of being protected Bradley Manning has been tortured and humiliated through lack of visits and daylight, plus forced to stay naked in his cell (for his own safety of course).

He now faces a long time in prison, and maybe even the death penalty, particularly due to the “aiding the enemy” charge.

All the time he is up in court he can be proud to know that he is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and that thousands of people are supporting and thinking about his plight.

Please visit the website iam.bradleymanning.org and show your support.

Also pass the link on and help the site anyway you can by promoting it and subscribing to the mailing list.

The sites mission statement says the following:

Amidst courtroom secrecy, whistleblower and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bradley Manning is on trial after three years of confinement.

The information that Bradley gave to the public has been a catalyst for pro-democracy movements in the Arab world, exposed the unjust detainment of innocent people at Guantanamo Bay, shown us the true human cost of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and changed journalism forever.

There is no evidence that anyone died as a result of the leaked information, yet Bradley faces life in prison or possibly death. The greatest charge against him is that of “aiding the enemy,” a capital offence. As the public who benefited from this information, does that make us the enemy?

What price will future whistleblowers pay?

I have added a link to the “I am Bradley Manning” site to my list of campaigns down the right hand side of the page and I have also just realised I still had a link to the “Free Gary McKinnon” campaign site down there.

Whilst the unfair and unbalanced extradition treaty between the US and UK has still not be resolved yet – particularly due to the feeble version of the Freedom Bill ( or Protection of Freedoms Bill ) that was actually passed when compared to the original proposed Freedom billGary McKinnon himself has won his battle to not be extradited to the USA.

Therefore I will be removing the link as his future has been secured and he will not be prosecuted by English courts either.

Therefore I am happy to tick a campaign off my list!

If you missed the reasons why, and the outrage from the Americans following Theresa May’s decision not to extradite him, then the following article from the site explains the reasons why.

 Remember the site is still campaigning to get the extradition laws changed:

Joint CPS/MPS statement on the case of Gary McKinnon

Statement by Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, and Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service on the case of Gary McKinnon

Between 1 February 2001 and 19 March 2002, Gary McKinnon allegedly gained unauthorised access to 97 United States (US) Government computers. An investigation was launched in the US and a request for assistance was made to the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit in England and Wales. Following discussions between the US Department of Justice, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in the autumn of 2002, a decision was taken that the appropriate place for Mr McKinnon to be tried was the United States.

The reasons for that decision were:

The harm occurred in the US – the activity was directed against the military infrastructure of the US;
An investigation had already been launched in the US;
There were a large number of witnesses, most of whom were located in the US;
All of the physical evidence (with the exception of Mr McKinnon’s computer) was located in the US;
The US prosecutors were able to bring a case that reflected the full extent of Mr McKinnon’s alleged criminality; and
The bulk of the unused material was located in the US. Given the nature of the offence, this inevitably included highly sensitive information and the US courts were best placed to deal with any issues arising in relation to this material.

As a result, the US sought Mr McKinnon’s extradition from England and Wales for trial in the US.

The decision that the appropriate place for Mr McKinnon to be tried was the US was affirmed in 2009 and subsequently challenged in the High Court. That challenge failed. As Lord Justice Stanley Burnton said in his judgment: “… [it is] the decision of the DPP, which I consider to be lawful and unchallengeable, not to prosecute him here … the USA is the appropriate forum for his prosecution.”

On 16 October 2012, the Home Secretary decided not to extradite Mr McKinnon to the US on the basis of his health. She also announced that it was now for the DPP to decide whether Mr McKinnon had a case to answer in a UK court. At that stage there was no live criminal investigation in England and Wales, nor had there been for many years.

The DPP and the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police therefore agreed to convene a joint police/CPS panel to consider whether a new criminal investigation should be commenced.

None of the reasons for the original decision in 2002 that the appropriate place for Mr McKinnon to be tried was the United States have altered. So far as the evidence is concerned, the position in 2012 is the same as it was in 2002. Most of the witnesses are in the US, as is nearly all the physical evidence and the bulk of the unused material, some of which is sensitive. Accordingly, in November this year, the CPS and the police met senior officials from the US Department of Justice to discuss the possibility of bringing the US witnesses to England and Wales for trial and of transferring all the US material to this jurisdiction to be considered.

The potential difficulties in bringing a case in England and Wales now should not be underestimated, not least the passage of time, the logistics of transferring sensitive evidence prepared for a court in the US to LONDON for trial, the participation of US government witnesses in the trial and the need fully to comply with the duties of disclosure imposed on the CPS. The prospects of a conviction against Mr McKinnon which reflects the full extent of his alleged criminality are not high.

After consulting with the Metropolitan Police Service and the CPS and having carefully considered matters, on 4 December this year, US authorities indicated to us that they would be willing to co-operate with a prosecution in England and Wales if that would serve the interest of justice. However, they do not consider that making all the US witnesses available for trial in London and transferring all of the US material to this jurisdiction would be in the interests of justice given our representations and the reasons for the decision that the US was the appropriate forum as set out above. That is a decision the US authorities are fully entitled to reach and we respect their decision.

Against this background, the joint CPS/police panel recommended to the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police that he should not commence a new criminal investigation into Mr McKinnon. The Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has accepted that advice.

Therefore I am very happy to remove this link now Gary McKinnon is safe from US prison life.

You can still visit the site at freegary.org.uk to get up to date information on details to any changes to the extradition treaty if and when they happen.

I just hope I can remove this campaign link for iam.bradleymanning.org as soon as possible.

View the original article I Am Bradley Manning – Help Bust Him Out Of Jail! at darkpolitricks.com

Online warfare is now the norm as Anonymous and the Al-Quds Brigade attack Israeli computer systems

November 21, 2012

Online warfare is now the norm as Anonymous and the Al-Quds Brigade attack Israeli computer systems

By Dark Politricks

Recently we have had Anonymous claim to have used the “Great Oz Firewall” to prevent Karl Rove and co steal the American election.

This was by blocking his own hack attempts into key computers in swing states such as Iowa and Florida to switch votes over from Obama to Romney as apparently happened in 2000 and 2004.

Apparently a “power cut” occurred at exactly the same time this year as it did in 2004 and allowed the company connected to the Republicans to hook into electronic voting machines and toggle votes over to from the Democratic candidate to his opponent i.e. George W Bush.

If these claims by Anonymous are true then it truly is a shocking indictment of US politics and elections and just shows that even in democracies elections can be stolen.

It would certainly explain Karl Roves outburst on FOX News when he couldn’t believe that Iowa had been declared so prematurely.

Was he expecting something to happen, a power cut maybe, one that maybe occurred but didn’t have the desired effect due to the Great OZ Firewall Anonymous claims to have introduced to prevent this from occurring?

This is what Anonymous said before the election and indicated that they were watching Karl Roves attempts to influence the outcome by vote switching.

Then the other day when Israel started Operation Pillar of Defense, their latest attack on Gaza, Anonymous claimed to have infiltrated Israeli computer systems.

This included stealing thousands of email addresses and passwords, hacking hundreds of Israeli Web sites including government-owned ones as well as privately owned pages. They also hacked Israeli databases belonging to the Bank of Jerusalem and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A quote from their report on their attack which can be read in full here says:

Let us once again be perfectly clear: Anonymous does not in any way support the use of violence. Anonymous is a world wide collective of individuals whose means pursue human rights, justice, and universal equality for the citizens of every nation.

Pro-Israeli groups throughout the world have grown from a foundation of Israeli/US propaganda and lies. They arbitrarily dismiss the apartheid system of racial segregation and oppression imposed by the Israeli government on the Palestinian people. The fact of the matter is, in the eyes of the media, only the United States and it’s allies are capable of labelling another state or organization as a terrorists.

Throughout our campaign, we’ve been inundated with one response in particular; references to Hamas hiding in school buildings or using women and children as human shields. Selective memory seems to have given pro-Israeli organizations the ability to forget that in 2005 Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz appeared in court to defend the practice of using Palestinians as human shields in combat after a supreme court outlawed the practice, noting it violated International Law.

The reasons for Anonymous intervention through #OpIsrael should be abundantly clear: What is happening in Palestine is oppression. They have no navy, no army, or air force. There is no war in Gaza. There is only the continuous application of military force by Israel in an attempt to push every last person out of the Palestinian state, despite international laws that make these efforts illegal.

Then we also learn that the Al-Quds Brigades’ intelligence apparatus was able on Saturday to penetrate 5000 mobile phones that belong to Zionist soldiers who are taking part in the offensive against Gaza, and send them warning messages in Hebrew that said:

We will turn Gaza into a graveyard for your soldiers, and will turn Tel Aviv into flames (Al-Quds Brigades)“.

This faction further published files that belong to Zionist soldiers and that included important information (personal papers, names, birthdays, duties, private and work phone numbers, emails, jobs, positions, ID numbers, ages, and addresses). A scare tactic that is one of the few open to them at the moment as thousands of IDF troops amass on the border of Gaza ready to attack the population as they did in Operation Cast Lead.

It seems that whilst Israel and the USA can create the Stuxnet and Flame viruses to take out nuclear installations. The availability of easily downloadable hacking software gives even the smallest army or protest group the chance of fighting back, and anyone can help hack the “enemy” whoever they may be.

Warfare of every kind has truly been changed by the Internet.

 

View the original article at darkpolitricks.com.

Great news as the UK grows a pair and prevents Gary McKinnon from being sent to the USA

October 17, 2012

Gary McKinnon not being sent to the USA for trial over alien hacking scandal

By Dark Politricks

We heard great news yesterday as the UK suddenly grew a pair of balls and stood up to America for once – almost an unheard of event in this day and age.

What was it that caused the government to finally grow a pair?

Well the Home Secretary Theresa May decided to keep Daily Mail readers and the majority of the UK public happy by not sending Gary McKinnon to the USA.

They had always promised pre-election to do this and re-balance the unfair extradition treaty between our two countries but no-one really believed them until yesterday.

This was an extradition order in which he was facing up to 60 years in prison for hacking insecure US military computer systems on his hunt for an alien cover up. He was a loner with a UFO fix that needed scratching and he did all of his hacking with easily obtainable tools and open to attack US military computers.

However compared to the Goldman Sachs banksters who have hooked their  super computers into the Wall Street stock exchange so that they can manipulate the DOW Jones, front run trades and actually steal billions from pension funds and personal investors he was incomparable.

If anyone needs locking up for 60 years it is these “hackers” who have been given a free run by both the Bush and Obama governments to steal from the public without risk of fine or punishment.

As the BBC News site said:

British computer hacker Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.

Mr McKinnon, 46, who admits accessing US government computers but claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs, has been fighting extradition since 2002.

The home secretary said there was no doubt Mr McKinnon was “seriously ill” and the extradition warrant against him should be withdrawn.

Mrs May said the sole issue she had to consider was his human rights.

She said it was now for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, to decide whether he should face trial in the UK.

Mr McKinnon, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, faced 60 years in jail if convicted in the US.

This is great new for Gary who has always admitted the charge and wanted to face justice where the crime took place. Here in the UK  not in some US court where he would have surely ended up in an orange jumpsuit in a federal prison somewhere.

A person like Gary would not have lasted long in a hardcore US Federal prison where he would have faced beatings, rape and even death due to his gentle nature. All for his crime of “hunting for aliens” on insecure US military computers.

Therefore the Human Rights Act, which the Daily Mail and Tories attack so often, was used legitimately to protect a UK citizen who was vulnerable to suicide from a horrible fate in a US prison. I just hope these right wingers will now see how the Human Rights Act can benefit us all – not just the terrorists and scroungers that are constantly used as straw men to attack it for protecting their human rights.

We have just extradited a number of terrorist suspects to America including hook handed Abu Hamza who is charged with setting up a terrorist training base in America and attacks in Yemen.

These people are real terrorists not people suffering from autism like Gary McKinnon who just wanted to look for signs of an alien cover-up.

In reality Gary McKinnon did the US a favour as despite what the US claim, that he committed the most serious hacking attack ever faced by the USA. In reality all he did was reveal that multiple US computers were open to the easiest of hack attempts.

He wasn’t some brilliant computer genius who hacked his way pass numerous hyper secure firewalls using viruses and trojans but instead he used a basic port scanning tool to find open computers within various US military installations that “forgot” to use secure administrator passwords.

If he and anyone else could do this with free downloadable tools from the Internet then China and Russia surely would have already got much further than him and probably already have along with many other countries.

These computers should have had been super secure but as Gary has said in his interviews they were totally vulnerable to even the most untrained hacker and he was able to access numerous computers in his hunt for signs of an alien cover up and claims to have succeeded in his task.

If you watch the interview below you will actually see that Gary McKinnon claims to have found proof of alien spaceships just as he was being caught.

He also claims that there is a whole department in NASA that “cleans” photos that contain any signs of alien spacecraft or other objects before sending them off to universities and other scientists for use in the public domain.

It is clear from other hacking cases that the country who has been hacked is willing to take on the expertise of the hacker in lieu of punishment and then use their skills for their own nefarious activities e.g Stuxnet or the new Flame virus – both viruses that use multiple zero day exploits to work their way round the middle east destabilising Iranian nuclear plants.

However because Gary took advantage of such an easy method to gain access to these US computer systems there was little benefit in offering him such a choice as he wasn’t a “super hacker”. Instead they have been chasing him for a decade for the misdeed of revealing how vulnerable their computer systems were to attack and his life has been made a misery because of the threat of spending the rest of his days in a US prison.

In reality the US government should be thanking Gary for helping to shore up their security but instead they have chased and harassed a man with Aspergers syndrome for the best years of his life.

I only hope this is the end of the matter and Gary McKinnon can get on with his life in peace without ending up in some sort of “accident” such as a double shot to the head suicide.

Here is Gary McKinnon’s interview about what he saw and how he accessed the US computers with a basic port scanner tool.

Within the interview Gary talks about:

  • Why the American government want him so much and how the Labour government seemed to capitulated without a fight.
  • How he was a clueless hacker who didn’t cover his tracks whilst investigating US computer systems.
  • How he gained access to high grade military and NASA computer system through unsecured administrator accounts without passwords.
  • How the US government claims that he caused $5,000 of damage to every computer he accessed which coincidentally is the minimum amount required by US law to be charged with the crimes he has been.
  • Why he believes that the US government has access to alien technology such as free energy which should be distributed to the people of the world.

Brain Hacking is a reality – now what if they mixed that with TRAPWIRE?

August 27, 2012

By Dark Politricks

For those of you who haven’t heard about TRAPWIRE it is a system that has the ability to grab video from far-flung CCTV and surveillance cameras located in stores, casinos and other businesses around the country and then uses sophisticated facial recognition software to identify people of interest.

Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points by CCTV cameras in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence.

Mixed with huge NSA and CIA super computers this information allows the powers that be to identify people who are on the run, have illegally entered the country, are possible terrorists or “domestic extremists” or maybe they just want to track a person of interests movements as they move around their town.

This system makes no distinction between good people and bad – it scans us all.

If you have ever seen the TV programme “Person of Interest” in which a computer programmer developed a system after 9.11 that does exactly what TRAPWIRE does then it doesn’t seem so far fetched as some TV commentators have stated.

Now add the ability to track “people of interest” all around the country as they move from car, on to the road and then back home with CCTV, GPS in your phone (and triangulation from phone masts if GPS is turned off), constant tracking on the Internet, XRays at airports and now train stations and you have a surveillance state that people like George Orwell could only dream of.

Now add that to the story that scientists can now “hack your brain” and steal information such as PIN numbers and Bank details and you can see how this already scary brave new world could turn into a nightmare for the common man.

In a few years time these scientists will probably be able to integrate parts of their new “brain hacking system” into systems like TRAPWIRE and you can imagine the possibilities. As a TRAPWIRE linked camera spots you having an argument it can detect your levels of stress and adrenaline, score you for possible signs of malcontent and then send in the boys in blue to taser and pepper spray you until you submit to their will.

It might seem far fetched but then I would never think our countries would implement a global surveillance system that tracked everybody, stored our details on huge super computers and logged our every move.

Although scientists are at the beginning of their “brain hacking” mission I am sure the NSA and other state agencies would be very interested in their work and who knows how much further they have really gone – all redacted due to “National Security” of course. Who knows this technology could already be in use without our knowledge.

When our leaders tell us they have prevented terrorist attacks and we find out that really they were dupes and patsies led on by the FBI to commit crimes they wouldn’t have done on their own, we really have no idea if we are really under threat at home at all.

Do we need all this high tech and very expensive computer technology monitoring our every move or is it just because “they can” that they are doing it?

What I do know is that there hasn’t been a major terrorist attack by al-Qaeda in the USA or Europe for quite a few years and bin-Laden is dead as well as numerous number 2’s who seem to get killed every other week by a drone strike.

Drone strikes by the way that seem to kill more civillians that terrorists and only create more and more people who will want to hurt us in the future. Also drones that have somehow made their way back home to fly the skies of the USA – do they think they will be fighting terrorists in the streets of America in the near future?

When you next laugh at “conspiracy theorists” who think that they are being watched, monitored and that the state is trying to make the domestic population the enemy just remember that all of the following are TRUE:

The NSA is building a spy center the size of a city in UTAH that will have bottomless databases storing all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

ECHELON has been a reality for many decades, listening into our phone calls and electronic communications for trigger words and signs of malcontent.

The USA has turned from the home of the free to a semi-dictatorship in which American citizens can be locked up indefinitely without charge, killed abroad (or at home) without any judicial process on the say so of the President. Also since 9.11 America is still living under “emergency laws” which give the President almost dictatorial powers including 500 dormant legal provisions, including those allowing him to impose censorship and martial law.

-NSA employee William Binney revealed this year that the NSA has a dossier on virtually every American – very Stasi like of America to do this don’t you think?

-The Internet is constantly monitored and new laws mean that server log files are kept for years in case they need to be reviewed at a later date. This is on top of repeated attempts by governments to introduce laws to implement “kill switches”, and ways to shut down websites they don’t like.

Almost 900,000 Americans have hold top-secret security clearances. How many others hold lower security level clearances?

All European banking details are handed over to the USA after the EU found out the American intelligence services, including the CIA and other agencies, had been accessing European banking data illegally via SWIFT anyway – so they just made it legal so that it could continue – that’s how much they care about your privacy people!

-All the technological tools we use such as Facebook, iPhones, Google and Microsoft have been found to breach our privacy by illegally storing our data or selling it to advertisers and even uploading it to police tools so they can know where we have been.

-This comes on top of our knowledge that all the major tech companies have links with US intelligence agencies including Microsoft implementing back-doors into their PC’s so that the NSA can access your computer whenever they want and Google helping the CIA develop their search algorithms to help them monitor the web in real time.

We are walking into a surveillance state by consent as kids growing up today have no concept of privacy and constantly put pictures and data online that years ago would have been kept personal. Now it is sold to advertisers and to government agencies for tracking social groups and networks and their possible intent.

-The UK government has reneged on promises to roll back Labour’s surveillance society by committing themselves to rolling out a super computer system to track UK citizens online in real time. As the Sunday Times revealed: “Internet companies will be told to install thousands of pieces of hardware to allow GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping centre, to scrutinise “on demand” every phone call made, text message and email sent and website accessed in real time.

-Within the next couple of years, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you or you knowing about it.

Now imagine if these super computers all had the ability to read your mind as well from a distance. How scary would that be?

iPhone fixes GPS tracker “bug” but you are still being tracked

May 9, 2011

By Dark Politricks

By now you should have heard about the scandal surrounding consolidated.db the iPhone database that logs your GPS location to a file on your phone.

This database of all your GPS locations can be used to track your movements as most people take their phones everywhere they go and this functionality can be used to help provide certain geolocation services such as applications to provide the location of nearby restaurants or shops or to help emergency services find you when you make a 911 / 999 call.

However the downside is that this logging can also be used by the Police and other security forces to track your recent movements. They have already been caught doing this illegally in Michigan when they downloaded smart phone geolocation data without the users knowledge after pulling over motorists over for minor traffic violations.

By using handheld mobile forensics devices the police have been able to quickly steal the relevant databases from the users smart phone and quickly determine their recent movements. Sources in the UK have also told me that the Police in this country also regularly take this data from iPhones and other smart phones when arrested persons hand in their belongings during their stay in Police custody and hackers and security experts have already proven ways in which all outbound phone traffic can be tricked into sending their traffic to false phone towers which could be used by private investigators or hackers.

If you think because you don’t use an iPhone or have downloaded the latest OS for the iPhone that many people have called a “bug” that you’re safe from this behaviour then you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Taken from arstechnica.com

Apple also triangulates your location from cell phone towers and logs that information in order to help get a faster GPS lock (or to find your location without GPS if you’re getting bad GPS signal).

Allan and Warden point out in their iPhone Tracker FAQ that this is indeed the method Apple is using in the consolidated.db file, and this is also the reason users might see strange iPhone Tracker dots in places they haven’t been.

“As far as we can tell, the location is determined by triangulating against the nearest cell-phone towers. This isn’t as accurate as GPS, but presumably takes less power,” they wrote. “In some cases it can get very confused and temporarily think you’re several miles from your actual location, but these tend to be intermittent glitches.”

Users don’t get to decide whether their locations are tracked via cell towers or not—unlike GPS, there is no setting that lets users turn it off, there’s no explicit consent every time it happens, and there’s no way to block the logging

So, whether or not you’re using GPS, if you’re using your iPhone as a cell phone, you are being tracked and logged constantly without your knowledge.

So even if you have wiped your consolidated.db database, turned GPS off or bought another smart phone you are still being tracked by your cellphone company using cellphone tower triangulation and this data is being stored for years at a time on their huge databases just waiting to be handed over to anyone with the right court order or warrant.

The fact that this tracking goes on and that the data is being held by your phone company is nothing new and if like me you have ever had the the unfortunate experience of being involved in a court case involving conspiracy you will be quite shocked when during disclosure your brief shows you a history of all your phone calls between co-defendants.

This log contains not only the time the call took place and the length of the call but the location the call was made from. I was made aware of this logging way back in 1998 so the fact that it’s taken 13+ years for people to be made aware of this fact is the more scary aspect of this story in my view.

So remember people just because you have downloaded the latest iPhone patch you are not safe from being logged by your phone company and this data is easily obtainable by anyone with enough authority or power who wants it.

The Police and various security forces have previously admitted remotely accessing suspects mobile phones enabling GPS to track them, use the inbuilt speaker microphone to listen to them and track them without their knowledge.

From a BBC News report from 2004.

But today’s spies are also able to convert conventional phones into bugs without the owners’ knowledge.

Mobiles communicate with their base station on a frequency separate from the one used for talking. If you have details of the frequencies and encryption codes being used you can listen in to what is being said in the immediate vicinity of any phone in the network.

According to some reports, intelligence services do not even need to obtain permission from the networks to get their hands on the codes and also according to one security expert, telephone systems are often fitted with “back doors” enabling them to be activated at a later date to pick up sounds even when the receiver is down.

So provided it is switched on, a mobile sitting on the desk of a politician, businessman, terrorist, criminal or just a person under suspicion because of the all invasive PATRIOT act  can act as a powerful, undetectable bug.

From schneier.com

The U.S. Commerce Department’s security office warns that “a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone.” An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can “remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner’s knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call.”

Nextel and Samsung handsets and the Motorola Razr are especially vulnerable to software downloads that activate their microphones, said James Atkinson, a counter-surveillance consultant who has worked closely with government agencies. “They can be remotely accessed and made to transmit room audio all the time,” he said. “You can do that without having physical access to the phone.”

The only way to live in the modern digital age without being tracked by your smart phone, Google, the advertisers that appear on all the big websites and your ISP is by either going without all these gadgets and tools or minimising the risk by protecting yourself as much as possible.

Things like:

  • Not using technology when discussing important information. Talking in a park or secluded area face to face is probably the safest way to communicate if you are worried that someone might be listening in to your conversations.
  • Using throwaway unregistered SIM cards on Payasugo phones without GPS technology.
  • Taking the battery out of your phone whenever you don’t want to be tracked. As the earlier report shows cellphone triangulation tracking takes less power than GPS tracking and even when your phone is turned off a tiny amount of battery charge is available to the phone which is enough to log your presence at a nearby tower and then log your presence down to the nearest 100 metres or so.
  • Use pay phones, or pay strangers and ask passers by to use their phone when you need to make a call when your phone is unavailable.
  • Use throwaway or disposable email accounts to send emails and to sign up to message boards or sites that require verification.
  • Use search tools like Scroogle or Super Search to search Google, Yahoo and Bing at the same  time anonymously without Google tracking or your search requests being logged.
  • Use anonymisers and proxy servers to hide your web use or even create your own one with the many freely available down-loadable scripts that you can setup on your websites or on rented servers in other countries.
  • Turn off 3rd party cookies (cookies set by advertisers or other scripts not part of the webpage you are visiting), disable Javascript until you know it’s safe and remember any ActiveX, OBJECT, APPLET or Flash movie can be used to track you if they wanted to. This page details all the various methods that web pages can track you.

Remember unless you want to go an live in the woods without phones, computers and other modern technology then all these great technological advances should be seen as double edged swords and used carefully.

Whilst it’s 99% likely you are not going to be subjected to covert intelligence gathering by the authorities it is also good to wise up to the possibility that if for whatever reason you are then the tools you consider invaluable at the moment such as iPhones and computers will be the same ones that convict you at any trial.

Free Gary McKinnon Campaign, Planned Twitter Storm Nov 5th

October 30, 2010

By Dark Politricks

Now that we have a supposedly pro civil liberties inclined government in power it will be interesting to see whether they keep to all their promises regarding Gary McKinnon and his extradition to the USA on trumped up charges of hacking into US military computer systems.

Before the election both Nick Clegg and David Cameron attacked the Labour governments decision to allow his extradition to the USA for numerous reasons including:

  • The unbalanced extradition treaty that gives US citizens many more rights than UK citizens.
  • The fact the USA waited a number of years after the crime had been committed until the unfair treaty was ratified by the UK before requesting his extradition.
  • The fact that Gary, who claims he was looking for aliens, has Aspergers a form of autism which would make his extradition, trial and punishment all that more harsh.

From a technical point of view I understand that the hacking was pretty unsophisticated and didn’t involve much more than Gary running an easily available port scanner tool to find unsecured computers on various US military networks and then popping up stupid messages whilst he was looking for evidence of aliens.

Whilst the USA claim he cost them a billion dollars in damages what they actually mean is that Gary exposed the uselessness of their unsecured networks and the cost incurred was actually the amount it cost to install proper security measures that should have been there in the first place. In reality they should have been thankful that it was only a stoned autistic alien hunting geekoid that was poking around their unsecured networks and not a professional team of Chinese or Russian hackers.

In fact I am guessing that the real reason the US is prosecuting Gary instead of offering him a well paid job in their cyber security department like they have done with other high profile hackers is purely the unsophisticated nature of the hack which didn’t actually involve any mad hacking skills at all. It’s probably out of pure embarrassment that they are pursuing him as he has basically revealed to the world that the most advanced high tech armed forces in the world had their network breached in such a simple manner.

This is not to say that Gary didn’t commit a crime and we all know hacking is illegal. However to give him the orange jumpsuit treatment and put him in some dark penitentiary with gang members, rapists and proper full on mentalists seems a bit harsh to me. The crime was committed in this country on a PC in London therefore he should be punished in the UK and not sent off to the USA to never come back.

Not only does the USA have stupidly over the top sentencing guidelines they seem to love locking people up for their natural lifetimes and I can easily foresee a US judge throwing the whole book at Gary for his crime and locking him up for 20+ years. The fact that the Labour government first introduced such an unfair and biased extradition treaty in the first place is bad enough but to then bend over and just let them have their way with one of our citizens in this manner is appalling and I just hope that our new coalition leaders have a bit more bottle and are capable of keeping their word on this subject.

Obviously I don’t hold up too much hope as power corrupts very quickly and it seems that morals and high ground are quickly left on the opposition benches once the ministerial cars pull up. We have already had cries of “sell out” directed a the Lib Dem’s due to their support of Tory cuts, increased tuition fees and the raise in VAT which they actively campaigned against during the election therefore I am half expecting the same excuse to be used in relation to Gary and aspects of their proposed freedom bill, which was a lofty idea aimed at rolling back Labours surveillance state, restoring Civil Liberties and reviewing the US extradition issue in particular.

Both Clegg and Cameron have gone on the record with their support for Gary McKinnon and pressure needs to be applied to both leaders of the coalition so that they are constantly reminded that this is one promise we expect them to keep. Not only is it an important case in terms of Gary’s personal situation but it is also a strong reminder and maybe even a wake up call to the UK population about how little our UK citizenship means when it really comes down to it. If we don’t fight together to keep Gary from being extradited then who is to say who could be next.

The USA is already trying to implement cut off switches claiming that they own the Internet and they are increasingly concerned about cyber security using the threat of terrorist hackers as a reason to implement mass online surveillance and tracking. Who is to say that the next person to be accused of cyber attack isn’t some middle aged housewife who accidentally forwards an email containing a dangerous virus onto an American government network. With our current extradition law British citizens can be extradited to an American jurisdiction without a prima facie case of a crime having been committed which makes it very easy for the US government to import Brits into their horrible justice system even when the crime was committed here as it was in Gary McKinnon’s case.

To highlight this current injustice an online campaign has been created which aims to create a Twitter Storm on November 5th to raise awareness for Gary McKinnon. If you want to join in this campaign for Gary then you just need to send one or more tweets to @ukhomeoffice between 12pm and 5pm that mention Gary and include the following tags: #tweet4gary #freegary #mckinnon #garymckinnon.

Hopefully we can create a mad Twitter Rush, get these tags to trend and raise Gary’s plight to those people not in the know. However the main aim is to show the current UK government how much support there is to prevent his extradition and to reform the unfair treaty that currently treats Brits as 2nd class citizens.

So remember to create some automated scheduled tweets for Nov 5th or just set yourself a reminder to post some or Retweet any of the others that will filling the web. For more details check out: tweetstorm4gary.wordpress.com

New government brings hope for the campaign to free Gary McKinnon

May 26, 2010

James Slack and Michael Seamark
freegary.org.uk

Gary McKinnon is to be saved from the threat of immediate extradition as early as today.

Home Secretary Theresa May believes a court case to send the vulnerable hacker to the U.S. – due to begin in a few days – should be halted.

Her intervention gives Gary – who is backed by the Daily Mail’s Affront to British Justice campaign – a vital new chance to plead the case for being dealt with in the UK.

Without it, the Asperger’s sufferer would have been extradited within weeks to a foreign jail, where it is feared he would be almost certain to take his own life.

Gary faces up to 60 years imprisonment on charges of hacking into U.S. military computers.

Psychiatrists have warned that the 44-year-old – who was looking for evidence of ‘little green men’ – will kill himself if sent to America under the ‘lopsided’ Extradition Act 2003.

A succession of Labour home secretaries had abandoned Gary to his fate despite the desperate warnings about the state of his mental health.

But after the Mail’s vigorous campaign, which was launched ten months ago and is supported by civil liberties groups, autism charities, celebrities and scores of MPs, Mrs May is understood to want a rethink.

She will now reconsider the medical case for keeping Gary here, where he has agreed to be tried for his ‘crimes’.

This reflects a request made by Gary’s legal team last week for the new Government to look at the case afresh.

Mrs May’s decision will be formally put to Gary’s legal team as early as today, under a process which requires them to agree to adjourn the court case.

The judicial review of former home secretary Alan Johnson’s refusal to intervene had been due to begin next week and was virtually a last throw of the legal dice.

If it is adjourned Mrs May can then begin formal consideration of the mountain of medical evidence that Gary is unfit to be extradited.

If it is established that he cannot be allowed to go, it opens the door to a prosecution in the UK.

Last night Gary’s mother Janis Sharp said: ‘Obviously, the Home Secretary reconsidering the case would be good news but we will only be happy if we are told it is all over.’

His solicitor Karen Todner, of Kaim Todner, said: ‘The legal team is extremely pleased that the Home Secretary appears to have appreciated that she is able to exercise discretion in relation to Mr McKinnon.

‘We will make further representations to her in the hope that she will stop this extradition.’

View the original article at freegary.org.uk

Defects in e-passports allow real-time tracking

January 27, 2010

The Register
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Computer scientists in Britain have uncovered weaknesses in electronic passports issued by the US, UK, and some 50 other countries that allow attackers to trace the movements of individuals as they enter or exit buildings.

The so-called traceability attack is the only exploit of an e-passport that allows attackers to remotely track a given credential in real time without first knowing the cryptographic keys that protect it, the scientists from University of Birmingham said. What’s more, RFID, or radio-frequency identification, data in the passports can’t be turned off, making the threat persistent unless the holder shields the government-mandated identity document in a special pouch.

“A traceability attack does not lead to the compromise of all data on the tag, but it does pose a very real threat to the privacy of anyone that carries such a device,” the authors, Tom Chothia and Vitaliy Smirnov, wrote. “Assuming that the target carried their passport on them, an attacker could place a device in a doorway that would detect when the target entered or left a building.”

To exploit the weakness, attackers would need to observe the targeted passport as it interacted with an authorized RFID reader at a border crossing or other official location. They could then build a special device that detects the credential each time it comes into range. The scientists estimated the device could have a reach of about 20 inches.

Full article here

Google delays mobile phone launch in China as Beijing says search engine must obey censorship laws

January 19, 2010

Graham Smith
UK Daily Mail
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Google has delayed the launch of its new mobile phone in China amid a diplomatic row with Beijing over censorship laws.

The decision is a result of Google’s threat to pull out of China if restrictions are not lifted, said a person briefed on the move.

The company has decided it would ‘not be a good experience’ for consumers to receive a phone right now with its applications, said the person, who spoke anonymously.

Marsha Wang, a spokeswoman for Google Inc., however, only said today’s planned ceremony with local carrier China Unicom Ltd. was postponed.

She did not give a reason or say when the launch might be rescheduled.

TuneUp Utilities 2010

View the original article at UK Daily Mail