Friday, June 23, 2017

OpenStack 06/23/2017 (p.m.)

  • Tags: surveillance state, CIA, malware, brutal-kangaroo, air-gapped-networks

    • WikiLeaks’ latest release in its Vault7 series details how the CIA’s alleged ‘Brutal Kangaroo’ program is being used to penetrate the most secure networks in the world.
    • Brutal Kangaroo, a tool suite for Microsoft Windows, targets closed air gapped networks by using thumb drives, according to WikiLeaks.

      Air gapping is a security measure employed on one or more computers to ensure that a secure computer network is physically isolated from unsecured networks.

    • These networks are used by financial institutions, military and intelligence agencies, the nuclear power industry, as well as even some advanced news networks to protect sources, according to La Repubblica journalist Stefania Maurizi.

      READ MORE: ‘CIA’s Cherry Bomb’: WikiLeaks #Vault7 reveals wireless network targets

      These newly released documents show how closed networks not connected to the internet can be compromised by this malware. However, the tool only works on machines with a Windows operating system.

      Firstly, an internet-connected computer within the targeted organization is infected with the malware. When a user inserts a USB stick into this computer, the thumbdrive itself is infected with a separate malware.

      Once this is inserted into a single computer on the air gapped network the infection jumps – like a kangaroo – across the entire system, enabling sabotage and data theft.

      If multiple computers on the closed network are under CIA control, they “form a covert network to coordinate tasks and data exchange,” according to Wikileaks.

      Data can be returned to the CIA once again, although this does depend on someone connecting the USB used on the closed network computer to an online device.

    • While it may not appear to be the most efficient CIA project, it allows the intelligence agency to infiltrate otherwise unreachable networks.

      This method is comparable to the Stuxnet virus, a cyberweapon purportedly built by the US and Israel. Stuxnet is thought to have caused substantial damage to Iran's nuclear program in 2010.

      The CIA allegedly began developing the Brutal Kangaroo program in 2012 – two years after Stuxnet incident in Iran.

      The most recent of these files were to intended to remain secret until at least 2035. The documents released by WikiLeaks are dated February 2016, indicating that the scheme was likely being used until that point.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

OpenStack 06/10/2017 (p.m.)

  • Tags: surveillance state, NSA, 702, legislation

    • The White House and U.S. intelligence chiefs Wednesday backed making permanent a law that allows for the collection of digital communications of foreigners overseas, escalating a fight in Congress over privacy and security.

      The law, enshrined in Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, is due to expire on December 31 unless Congress votes to reauthorize it, but is considered vital by U.S. intelligence agencies.

      Privacy advocates have criticized the law though for allowing the incidental collection of data belonging to millions of Americans without a search warrant.

      The push to make the law permanent may lead to a contentious debate over renewal of Section 702 in Congress, where lawmakers in both parties are deeply divided over whether to adopt transparency and oversight reforms

    • Reuters reported in March that the Trump administration supported renewal of Section 702 without any changes, citing an unnamed White House official, but it was not clear at the time whether it wanted the law made permanent.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Monday, June 05, 2017

OpenStack 06/05/2017 (p.m.)

  • Tags: open web, net-neutrality, FCC, regulations

    • Since taking office, President Donald Trump has wasted no time in proposing rollbacks to Obama-era federal regulations. So, it should come as no surprise that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted last month to propose changes to current regulations on Internet service providers.

      Spearheaded by Ajit Pai — the Trump-appointed FCC chairman and former lawyer for Verizon — the 2-1 vote is the first step in dismantling the Open Internet Order. The lone FCC Democrat, Mignon Clyburn, was overruled by Pai and fellow commissioner Michael O’Reilly.

      The 2015 order classified broadband internet as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Opponents of the current state of net neutrality argue that the rules are archaic and place unnecessary — even harmful — restrictions on internet service providers (ISPs), leading to lack of innovation and investment.

      While it’s true that policies conceived in the 1930s could hardly anticipate the complexities of the modern Internet, a complete rollback of Title II protections would leave ISPs free to favor their own services and whichever company pays for upgraded service. Considering relaxed FEC rules on media ownership and lack of antitrust enforcement, some could argue that a rollback of net neutrality is even more toxic to innovation and affordable pricing.

      That is, fast lanes could be created for companies with deeper pockets, effectively giving them an advantage over companies and individuals who can’t pay extra. This approach effectively penalizes small businesses, nonprofits and innovative start-ups.

      Today’s Internet is so vast and so pervasive that it’s hard to grasp the impact that an abandonment of net neutrality would have on every aspect of our culture.

    • While the FCC’s proposed change will touch most Americans, net neutrality remains a mystifying concept to non-techies. To help our readers better understand the issue, we have compiled some videos that explain net neutrality and its importance.

      The FCC will be accepting comments from the public on their website until August 16, 2017.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

OpenStack 06/05/2017 (a.m.)

  • Tags: open web, net-neutrality, FCC, regulations

    • Since taking office, President Donald Trump has wasted no time in proposing rollbacks to Obama-era federal regulations. So, it should come as no surprise that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted last month to propose changes to current regulations on Internet service providers.

      Spearheaded by Ajit Pai — the Trump-appointed FCC chairman and former lawyer for Verizon — the 2-1 vote is the first step in dismantling the Open Internet Order. The lone FCC Democrat, Mignon Clyburn, was overruled by Pai and fellow commissioner Michael O’Reilly.

      The 2015 order classified broadband internet as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Opponents of the current state of net neutrality argue that the rules are archaic and place unnecessary — even harmful — restrictions on internet service providers (ISPs), leading to lack of innovation and investment.

      While it’s true that policies conceived in the 1930s could hardly anticipate the complexities of the modern Internet, a complete rollback of Title II protections would leave ISPs free to favor their own services and whichever company pays for upgraded service. Considering relaxed FEC rules on media ownership and lack of antitrust enforcement, some could argue that a rollback of net neutrality is even more toxic to innovation and affordable pricing.

      That is, fast lanes could be created for companies with deeper pockets, effectively giving them an advantage over companies and individuals who can’t pay extra. This approach effectively penalizes small businesses, nonprofits and innovative start-ups.

      Today’s Internet is so vast and so pervasive that it’s hard to grasp the impact that an abandonment of net neutrality would have on every aspect of our culture.

    • While the FCC’s proposed change will touch most Americans, net neutrality remains a mystifying concept to non-techies. To help our readers better understand the issue, we have compiled some videos that explain net neutrality and its importance.

      The FCC will be accepting comments from the public on their website until August 16, 2017.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Friday, May 19, 2017

OpenStack 05/20/2017 (a.m.)

  • Tags: Internet, net-neutrality, FCC, rulemaking

    • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon voted to begin slashing regulations protecting a free and open internet.

      The decision (pdf) ran along party lines, with the FCC’s two Republican members voting to dismantle net neutrality. Mignon Clyburn, the Commission’s Democratic member, was the sole dissenting vote.

      “While the majority engages in flowery rhetoric about light-touch regulation and so on, the endgame appears to be no-touch regulation and a wholesale destruction of the FCC’s public interest authority in the 21st century,” Clyburn wrote in her dissent, according to The Hill.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

OpenStack 05/07/2017 (a.m.)

  • Tags: privacy rights, Internet, user-data, Congress, fight-back

    • Billboards targeting legislators who voted to end online privacy measures earlier this year have gone up in key districts, as promised by activists.

      Digital rights group Fight for the Future vowed to put up the ads against Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and John Rutherford (R-Fla.), Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), as well as other lawmakers after they voted in favor of a resolution, introduced by Flake, that overturned federal rules preventing broadband providers from selling user data to third parties without consent.

      Blackburn, Rutherford, Flake, and Heller took large contributions from the telecommunications industry before supporting the resolution, Fight for the Future said. The billboards—paid for through a crowdfunded campaign—encourage viewers to contact the lawmakers’ offices and ask why they voted against their constituents’ privacy rights.

    • Flake’s resolution was introduced under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which gives lawmakers the authority to overturn recently-introduced agency rules with a simple majority. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implemented the data-sharing ban in October.

      Once a rule is repealed under the CRA, an agency cannot reintroduce it without specific authorization by a new law.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Friday, May 05, 2017

OpenStack 05/06/2017 (a.m.)


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.