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Confirmed: CBS News Reporter's Computer Compromised

timothy posted about a year ago | from the all-the-cool-kids-have-their-lines-tapped dept.

Security 176

New submitter RoccamOccam writes "Shortly after the news broke that the Department of Justice had been secretly monitoring the phones and email accounts of Associated Press and Fox News reporters (and the parents of Fox News Correspondent James Rosen), CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson said her computer seemed like it had been compromised. Turns out, it was. 'A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson's computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson's accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data.'"

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176 comments

Yawn... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012193)

Leave an embassador to die, no one bats an eye.

Spy on some reporters, everyone looses their minds....

Yawn....

Re: Yawn... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012203)

Smoke dis sheet mon ya mine gon be loose enough ya her

Re:Yawn... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012291)

Leave an embassador to die, no one bats an eye.

Spy on some reporters, everyone looses their minds....

Yawn....

The Slashdot audience is either retarded or full of partisan idiots.

The quoted comment is quite relevant to the level of attention the media and the public pay to seriously important failings based on party politics of the government and of course is modded down.

While this fluff nonsense gets modded up.

Maybe they just wanted hot pics of her (Score:2)
by Spy Handler (822350) on Friday June 14, 2013 @07:19PM (#44012213) Homepage Journal

She's a nice looking lady... sure she's like 50 now, but around the year 2000 I was unemployed and watching late night TV, and she used to be a regular on CBS late late night news (like past midnight). I remember thinking hey she's really cute.

I'm sick of it, and reading the comments is a waste of time here. All you libtards can congratulate yourselves on your partisanship and continue doing so as America becomes a banana republic.

And while you are at it, quit thinking of your selves as the technical elite, you're not, you're more like kiddie Hax0rs competing for attention by being idiot smartasses.

Re:Yawn... (-1, Troll)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#44012413)

TL;DR

Re:Yawn... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012651)

Banana! Banana! Banana!

Re:Yawn... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012767)

Actually that post is currently at 0, 'Offtopic'.
Quit having a hissy fit just because someone trotted out a couple sockpuppet account to bump up some bullshit post.
And last I checked, people in general are getting pretty pissed about the whole NSA deal. It's a far cry from "nobody batting an eye" like you claim.
And since that particular person is a reporter for a major Press Organization, you probably shouldn't be so shocked that Press Organizations are shouting extra loud about that particular example. People can work together for a cause easier when there's some kind of symbol to rally to.

Re:Yawn... (3, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year ago | (#44013315)

I think /. is showing it's biased, but it's mostly biased on things other than tech issues. On tech issues like online privacy, everyone has the same opinion here.

On something like Benghazi or Guantanamo Bay or (whatever), for most people it's ok when their guy does it, not ok when the other guy does it.

We will all be a lot better off if this president's (remaining) defenders admit they were sold a bill of goods.

(from a 3rd party voter)

Re:Yawn... (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44012951)

The best thing to do if you want to change people's minds is to find facts and present them reasonably, politely, logically, in a factual manner, and possibly with a reference link. Flames and insults seldom change peoples minds, and rarely snark, but facts sometimes do. Note that I wrote "sometimes." And it is often a long process. Being in the minority on Slashdot often means having to ignore insult, bad moderation, harassment, trolls, the occasional doppelganger [slashdot.org] trying to discredit you, silly arguments against you being highly moderated while you get mod bombed, the occasional death threat or wish for your injury, and all manner of other nonsense. And you have to live with the fact that vehement statements that are uninformed, silly, completely wrong, and often inflammatory, will be highly moderated as long as they are from the proper politically correct perspective. There are people from all around the world that post here with all manner of ideas, including: liberals, socialists, progressives, libertarians, conservatives, communists, Nazis, Islamists, Christians, atheists, the occasional Jedi, programmers, sys admins, engineers, doctors, lawyers, soldiers, students, mathematicians, physicists, and I'm going to stop because the full list is so long, seemingly unbounded. It can be frustrating, but try to be salt, if you care to.

Re:Yawn... (4, Interesting)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about a year ago | (#44013029)

Think back to the 1960s. Many of the complaints the "radicals" had were in fact legitimate. The Vietnam war was poorly managed and ultimately a colossal waste of lives and resources. Agent Orange really was a horrible toxin, causing permanent injuries. Drafting people to send them to a pointless war really was an evil act (and the draft dodgers were making a decision that in retrospect was a smart one)

Marijuana really was a drug with low potential for harm, black people really were being oppressed, and nudism and free love must have been pretty fun.

The point is, what did mainstream culture have to say then? What did all those protests do to affect the decisions made by The Man? Fuck-all, that's what. Doesn't seem any different now.

Re: Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013215)

You sir, are an optimist. You are right, nothing really changes. We are all out of Martin Luther Kings and even if we had one, there is no force that acts to unite us so we may stand as one.

We are all scrounging for the crumbs left in the wake of what we want to believe is the American dream. That is why we accept the idea that national security is an end in itself and worth "perpetual indentureship" [or its equivalent, the wooden yoke].

To admit otherwise would mean needing to surrender everything we ever invested to become who we are.

Regardless, we never stop to ask ourselves, "Who are we?" Because it's just easier to presume and to hope.

Re:Yawn... (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44013137)

Unfortunately that doesn't really work in the modern polarized world.
Especially when it is posted br ACs.

We've seen years worth of facts and figures and reasonable presentation be marginalized and ignored.

Re: Yawn... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013159)

The best way to make people change their mind is confuse then with conflicting stories then hit them with an FUD weapon. The predictable reaction a surrender to the colective and those interests backed by the misconception that everyone can't be wrong and strength in numbers. Herd mentality...

Don't kid yourself, logic and reason are not the equivalent of truth regardless of how politically correct it may appear to be. In fact it is the perfect proverbial carrot collectivists use to "encourage" the final sell of their agenda.

Take a look at the development of the Snowden situation, ignore the merits of each position and look at the patterns of information dispassionately.

The truth is normally the first victim in any conflict. I'll give the alphabet agency one point simply because they don't lie about being liers [through omission]. They admit they are keepin secrets and imposing confidentiality about their activities. Can't get any more politically correct than that.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013197)

The best thing to do if you want to change people's minds is to find facts and present them reasonably, politely, logically, in a factual manner, and possibly with a reference link.

So you are saying Fox News has it wrong with fear mongering their subset of people against another subset of people? They seem wildly successful.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013453)

That use to work no longer. Everyone has there heads so far up their own ass that you would think the clock revireted to 1400's or something.
Billionaires buying the news to tell the story how they want no matter the fiction the viewers believe it.
The religious pour their morrows marching orders on womens health but strangely silent in their business and politics.
Religion used like a whore for politics and you think reason will win the day. How child like.
You know what wins the day money nothing else.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013251)

yea doing a flyover with jets would have done a whole fucking lot of good, other than that whacha got, nothing, fuck off

Re:Yawn... (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44012371)

Spy on basically everyone on the planet, no one bats an eye. Spy on a public person, everything is crazy now.

Re:Yawn... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013275)

Spy on basically everyone on the planet, no one bats an eye. Spy on a reporter, everything is crazy now.

FTFY

Used to be ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013077)

When an American reporter's computer was compromised, it used to be that THE CHINESE was to be blamed

Now ?

With the revelation of PRISM and the Verizon/NSA/FBI , them Chinese have to step aside because BIG BROTHER OBAMA is now fully in charge !!

Maybe they just wanted hot pics of her (-1, Offtopic)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#44012213)

She's a nice looking lady... sure she's like 50 now, but around the year 2000 I was unemployed and watching late night TV, and she used to be a regular on CBS late late night news (like past midnight). I remember thinking hey she's really cute.

Re:Maybe they just wanted hot pics of her (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#44013085)

Man, that is so sad.

Better security might help (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44012221)

A good example why reporters (and others) need to care about IT security.

Re:Better security might help (4, Insightful)

masdog (794316) | about a year ago | (#44012235)

I'm not sure better security would help in this case. It's not like the government has compromised the major OS vendors/projects. In fact, I think there's no such agency dedicated to that task.

Re:Better security might help (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44012299)

While it is known that MS has given vulnerabilities to the NSA before patching them, it is highly doubtful the same is going on with Linux or the free BSDs. The risk of being discovered would just be too big.

Re:Better security might help (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year ago | (#44012333)

While it is known that MS has given vulnerabilities to the NSA before patching them

Citations?

Re:Better security might help (3, Interesting)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year ago | (#44012365)

Please excuse my sceptism. I just googled the topic and it seems there's some evidence they've been doing this along with contributing to PRISM. Very enlightening to say the least!

Re:Better security might help (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44012509)

No problem. I probably saw the same things you found.

Re:Better security might help (5, Informative)

AxemRed (755470) | about a year ago | (#44012379)

Re:Better security might help (1)

cffrost (885375) | about a year ago | (#44013019)

It seems to me that when Microsoft's involved, "responsible disclosure" guidelines should be adjusted to immediate public release, as long as MS is feeding exploits to hackers before fixing them.

Re:Better security might help (2)

elashish14 (1302231) | about a year ago | (#44013465)

Funny. So remember everyone - if you find a critical bug in Windows, do what this guy did. [slashdot.org] Disclosing it confidentially to Microsoft instead would be highly irresponsible.

Re:Better security might help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012391)

While it is known that MS has given vulnerabilities to the NSA before patching them

Citations?

Bloomberg [bloomberg.com]

Re:Better security might help (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44012421)

You don't need "malware" when you've got Windows.

Re:Better security might help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013119)

This was know already for a long time. It's part of the Microsoft government programs which include delivering source code for inspection and vulnerabilities reporting before public disclosure. It's not limited to US government.

Re:Better security might help (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012417)

There's no need to insert vulnerabilities into Linux. The Linux kernel is riddled with vulnerabilities.

If you've ever wondered to yourself, "how the heck do those Linux developers commit such huge changes between minor versions without introducing bugs", well I have some news for you....

If you want to run a secure system, try OpenBSD or NetBSD. Development occurs at a slower, more conservative pace, particularly with OpenBSD. And there are virtually none of the "dump and run" feature submissions that are so common with Linux.

The application and server software you run should be developed similarly--slow and conservative, with a large number of the developers having a good comprehension of all or most of the subsystems, so that they can readily critique changes instead of deferring to the single guy who, alone, understands that subsystem.

Remember, it's all about the eyeballs. But not all eyeballs are created equally, and not all projects make the most efficient use of the eyeballs available to them. Linux long ago past the point where bugs were spotted and quashed efficiently.

Re:Better security might help (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44012499)

When you are talking about local exploits, maybe. But this is about remote exploits. When you have compromised an user account, you do not need privilege escalation to spy on them, you just need to get in as said user. That limits the scope of what needs to be looked at rather dramatically.

Also, for security critical operation, a vanilla Linux is not a good idea. Use AppArmor or SELinux with custom, restrictive configurations. (Yes, I know that SELinux is from the NSA, but the risk of putting in back-doors is just to big.) Running a server is different. There, the largest risk is from the server software. Things like OpenSSH and Postfix are very secure, Apache2 without modules less so and Apache2 with modules can be a real nightmare, depending on the modules.

I do agree on the development model though. But you need to take into account that most of the fast development in Linux is the drivers. The rest is done a lot more carefully and with significantly more review.

Re:Better security might help (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44012511)

But who eyeballs the eyeballs?

Re:Better security might help (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#44012657)

The nose knows.

Re:Better security might help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013355)

And smells a rat.

Re:Better security might help (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#44013007)

Yes, NetBSD and OpenBSD are good for security (so are FreeBSD and DragonflyBSD), but there are still points to note:

First, local security is an issue. The surface attack is so big that if you let an attacker play with remote access to the shell, he will find a security hole, even in NetBSD or OpenBSD

Second, OpenBSD security emphasis push them to play down vulnerabilities, because they do not want to recognize them as such. OpenBSD errata have many "reliability fixes" that may be vulnerability fixes. And their "Only two remote holes in the default install, in a heck of a long time!" motto could suggest that the system is secure by design. It is not, and the admin still have to apply patches and updates to remain secure.

Re:Better security might help (0)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#44012601)

just where do you think SELinux came from?

Just why do you think a secret agency would go through the trouble?

NSA have a secret API into all 4 major OS platforms.

Re:Better security might help (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012787)

just where do you think SELinux came from?

Just why do you think a secret agency would go through the trouble?

NSA have a secret API into all 4 major OS platforms.

I don't think you understand what an API is or how it's used. You've done smoked yourself silly, Dragon.

Re:Better security might help (4, Informative)

Clsid (564627) | about a year ago | (#44012861)

SELinux is not provided by the NSA anymore. It has been incorporated into the kernel and all you have to do is enable stuff that you want to use now. The code has been reviewed and the NSA was not the only entity involved, so I would not worry about that too much.

Re:Better security might help (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013001)

It isn't the operating systems. Too many people pay attention to them. The secret code is in the compilers (where all the NSA fake employees work). It works this way: the compiler itself was compiled by the NSA to add secret code to the compiler source. This way, even if you are compiling from the clean and open source files, you will still get the NSA features. And when the OS is compiled, the NSA features are also added. For all 'hard-copy' operating systems, additional effort is made to ensure that the final copy is compromised. For open source or downloadable operating systems, the NSA runs a program where they swap out bytes at the ISP level while retaining the checksums. I've heard that this program is code named LEYTUNNEL.

Posted via Tor to protect myself and my source

Re:Better security might help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013011)

The NSA has many heads. Some of them are designed to protect computers from attack. Others are designed to attack. SELinux was designed to protect US assets.

Re:Better security might help (1)

instagib (879544) | about a year ago | (#44012699)

This cooperation between MS and the NSA maybe explains why MS got away in most cases of monopolistic abuses during so many years: it's easier to infiltrate computers worldwide if they all use the same OS.

Re:Better security might help (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44013303)

What do you mean being discovered? Of course the NSA and every other security agency in the world wants early access to zero day information. And the NSA has the budget to pay for them. If you think ordinary citizens and businesses are under attack from the NSA, imagine how much effort is bent on extracting the gigatonnes of Top Secret information such an agency has on file. I'm not saying the NSA is above using the information for nefarious purposes. They are, after all, a spy agency. But they also have a counter-espionage side and those guys are very busy trying to keep their information systems secure against every other spy agency in the world.

Re:Better security might help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012825)

I'm not sure better security would help in this case. It's not like the government has compromised the major OS vendors/projects. In fact, I think there's no such agency dedicated to that task.

I wish I was registered here just so I could mod you as Funny!

Oddly specific denial (5, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44012231)

Why is the justice department denial so specific:

To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use.

It sounds like a carefully worded statement that leaves open the possibility that they planted an old fashioned bug to listen to her in her home, or a GPS tracker on her car, or secretly searched her house, or one of the other many ways they can secretly keep someone under surveillance.

Why not a simple "We have never had Ms Attkisson under any surveillance or covertly obtained any information about her"?

Besides, if she used a Verizon Business cell phone, or if the same cell phone meta-data order that was leaked to the press was given to all of the carriers, then the government *did* seek information concerning telephones used by her.

Re:Oddly specific denial (0)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#44012279)

Why is the justice department denial so specific:

    Because it wasn't the Justice Department? I would have assumed it was someone associated with the Obama campaign. I am sure there would be no shortage of volunteers.

Re:Oddly specific denial (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44012319)

Why is the justice department denial so specific:

    Because it wasn't the Justice Department? I would have assumed it was someone associated with the Obama campaign. I am sure there would be no shortage of volunteers.

well that would explain why they say that Justice Department hasn't done it.. rather than just say that they have no information whatsoever on the subject and if she wants feds to investigate she should report the crime to the police..

Re:Oddly specific denial (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44012587)

well that would explain why they say that Justice Department hasn't done it.

That is NOT what they said. Read the quote carefully. It simply says that the speaker has no knowledge of the justice dept doing it, not that they didn't do it. This is a classic example of a bureaucratic waffle. It sounds like they are actually saying something meaningful, but if you parse the sentence, it is basically vacuous.

Re:Oddly specific denial (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#44012931)

Personally I love symbolic logic.

Re:Oddly specific denial (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year ago | (#44012339)

When you have an Attorney General who will, under oath in front of Congress, commit perjury, why are any of their other statements considered credible?

Not posting anonymously because the DOJ and NSA are tracking us either way.

Re:Oddly specific denial (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#44013091)

But he's telling the truth this time. Honest.

Re:Oddly specific denial (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012349)

Besides, if she used a Verizon Business cell phone, or if the same cell phone meta-data order that was leaked to the press was given to all of the carriers, then the government *did* seek information concerning telephones used by her.

I think this is exactly why it is so specific. They are saying that they never tried to hook her, not that she has never been caught in a dragnet. Really that is all the specificity they can can readily offer.

Re:Oddly specific denial (2)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#44012427)

It sounds like a carefully worded statement that leaves open the possibility ...

because, as Brett Buck mentioned, it might not have been the DOJ, OR it might have been the DOJ and the people who did it conveniently forgot to pass the information up the chain.

Plausible deniability, doncha know.

Re:Oddly specific denial (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44012479)

Not all hacking comes from the government, but as they say, probably a good part do. That was what i read in their denial, "this time, i think that wasn't us"

Re:Oddly specific denial (0)

Main Gauche (881147) | about a year ago | (#44012641)

Why is the justice department denial so specific:

Because they're refuting a specific accusal?

Seriously, what kind of logic is this? The justice department didn't say that they didn't try to poison her! They must have!

Re:Oddly specific denial (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44012821)

Why is the justice department denial so specific:

Because they're refuting a specific accusal?

Seriously, what kind of logic is this? The justice department didn't say that they didn't try to poison her! They must have!

If think it's more like if she was found poisoned, and the Justice department said "I have no knowledge the DoJ had any involvement with poisoning her food or by poisoning her with toxic gas. We have no comment on whether or not we poisoned her with an injection toxin or through a contact poison".

Re:Oddly specific denial (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#44013489)

The DoJ is telling you what they have done with that statement. They issued a denial that only references hardware. They say nothing about email accounts, cloud storage accounts, text messages, voicemail, or anything else that was intercepted going from here to there.

PRISM (1)

psymastr (684406) | about a year ago | (#44012247)

PRISM?

Re:PRISM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012309)

Good question. The answer is almost certainly "No". Why, after all, would any government agent need to hack in to an individual computer to steal data when they can simply download it from some cloud provider's server or capture it as it traverses the internet?

hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012249)

they need to do way instain hackers, who snoop thier data, becuse these data cant frigth back?

Re:hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012415)

it was on the news this mroing a president in dc who had snoop his citizens.

tsk tsk.... (4, Funny)

arcite (661011) | about a year ago | (#44012263)

Looks like someone didn't renew their Norton Anti-Virus subscription. They warned you!

Welcome to the Botnet (5, Insightful)

checkitout (546879) | about a year ago | (#44012283)

Occam's razor would suggest that she got pwned by a drive-by exploit on some site she visits. In the same way anyone else might. She just happened to be of some level of importance.

Re:Welcome to the Botnet (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44012323)

Occam's razor would suggest that she got pwned by a drive-by exploit on some site she visits. In the same way anyone else might. She just happened to be of some level of importance.

but it was an attack by someone who knew the user/pass. like, from her mail or whatever..

Re:Welcome to the Botnet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012369)

Welcome also to the current climate of turbo-charged "Big Brother is at hand!" confirmation-bias where there are NSA black-bag operators hiding under everyone's bed.

Re:Welcome to the Botnet (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#44012949)

Of course! We wont let facts about their activities get in the way of our delusional world. If you lose rights to watch that puppet show, the populace will never hear the end of it!

Re:Welcome to the Botnet (2, Insightful)

Mista2 (1093071) | about a year ago | (#44012399)

Drive-by hacking, probably not as it doesnt look like they were after money, or extortion, or attempting ransomware installation. In fact, because it attempted to be stealth, its not even an attack for fun, as most vandals like to let you know you got pwnd.
It might not be internal domestic spying thug, could be from the UK (The Guardian likes to tap phones and listen to voicemails too) or china - (too many examples to list).

Re:Welcome to the Botnet (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44013319)

Or it could have been another news organization using her to do their research for them. It's so embarrassing to get scooped.

Re:Welcome to the Botnet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012667)

Occam's Razor would suggest that if her computer was part of a botnet or other script-kiddie-like attack it would be quite obvious since there is tons of experience finding that type of stuff.

This was a targeted attack with a different goal than adding a bot to a net.

Re: Welcome to the Botnet (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012781)

Total coincidence that she was the only non-Fox reporter looking into Fast & Furious gun running scandal, and this happened right around when that was heating up.

Obama's people wanted to know if they'd been caught.

Re:Welcome to the Botnet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013053)

Occam's razor would suggest that she got pwned by a drive-by exploit on some site she visits. In the same way anyone else might. She just happened to be of some level of importance.

someone watched Contact

Military Coup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012293)

Has there been a military coup in the US and nobody bothered to tell anyone?

Re:Military Coup? (1)

zeroryoko1974 (2634611) | about a year ago | (#44012387)

The DOJ and Dept of St are like Obama's own private army.

Obamas their puppet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012721)

Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez said after Congress on Wednesday was given a classified briefing by NSA officials on the agency's previously secret surveillance activities:

"What we learned in there is significantly more than what is out in the media today. . . . I can't speak to what we learned in there, and I don't know if there are other leaks, if there's more information somewhere, if somebody else is going to step up, but I will tell you that I believe it's the tip of the iceberg . . . . I think it's just broader than most people even realize, and I think that's, in one way, what astounded most of us, too."

I think you have that the wrong way, I think you'll find the political class is the puppet of the military now.

There's quite a good explanation that Glenn provided on how the CIA levered the European politicians to do their bidding despite voter opposition:
http://www.salon.com/2010/03/27/wikileaks/

And on the military propaganda unit:
http://www.salon.com/2008/05/09/cnn_abc/

Whose the boss? Military is the boss!
It is a military coup isn't it, a military coup by stealth. You vote for the candidate the military likes, because they leak and smear the other guys. He gets into power and does their bidding, regardless of what his voters want, because he knows that's the reality. We elected Obama to fix it, he does the opposite in secret. Military 1, Voters 0, another battle lost.

What data? (5, Interesting)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about a year ago | (#44012329)

I love how they fail to mention what data was searched. Im sure that would provide alot of information as to who was doing the searching.

Re:What data? (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44013321)

Perhaps they just copied everything in in her user profile. If I were going to hack somebody's computer, that's what I'd do. Grab it all while you can and sift it later for whatever you're looking for. You never know when she's going to change her password and you lose access.

Re:What data? (1)

ArghBlarg (79067) | about a year ago | (#44013357)

You mean "meta-data". :p

Security begins with Linux (2)

seyfarth (323827) | about a year ago | (#44012355)

I would not trust a commercial operating system to not be loaded with back doors accessible to the NSA. That's not even considering the history of Windows vulnerabilities. If I were in charge of IT for a foreign government, a news agency, a military or any business I would start by banning the use of Windows. With Linux it should be possible to have a computer which can search the Internet and prepare reports with no open ports for external attack. That should be the first step. Following that there needs to be training in human factors vulnerabilities. A computer for work should be a tool, not a toy, and user preference should not be the highest priority. Security should be first. Linux is clearly good enough for business purposes. I can see a value in Windows for gamers, but not for work computers. OS X is less vulnerable than Windows, but can you really be sure that the NSA can't access all OS X systems?

I would expect that hackers might also discover back doors. They would certainly study the instructions in the OS to try to find the holes.

Now I have been assuming that the computer was not running Linux. Perhaps it was. It is possible to screw up with Linux systems.

Fortunately for me, no one wants me to run their IT operation. It would be so painful trying to educate the users.

Maybe I'm a little too paranoid. Luckily not much is at risk on my home computers. I would not wish to do anything interesting to the NSA.

Re:Security begins with Linux (3, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#44012409)

With Linux it should be possible to have a computer which can search the Internet and prepare reports with no open ports for external attack.

So you are going to read code line by line to determine that no such exploits exist?

Anytime you run ANYTHING that you did not build AND control yourself... you run that risk... the best we can do is hope we can trust who we get our OS, router or tank from... and perhaps audit them from time to time (if we have that power) to try to make sure.

Re:Security begins with Linux (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44012555)

So you are going to read code line by line to determine that no such exploits exist?

It's probably enough just to run an operating system by and for paranoiacs, e.g. OpenBSD. If you really think someone is out to get you, at least take some precautions.

Re:Security begins with Linux (0)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#44012823)

It's probably enough just to run an operating system by and for paranoiacs, e.g. OpenBSD. If you really think someone is out to get you, at least take some precautions.

Then you have already lost!

How did you download that copy of OpenBSD? ISO or sources?

ISO? Did you check the hash against the web page? How do you know neither were modified

Sources? Ok... did you read the entire source tree (and understand it)? Yes? Ok... now don't forget to do the same for your entire compiler tool chain! Who knows what the NSA/FBI/CIA/etc may have slipped in there that you missed. Or are you going to build your compiler from ASM that you wrote by hand?

While there is much anger against things like UEFI's Secure Boot... it has roots in the same place as the SSL system we trust today... assuming that there is a trusted root authority (or 3) that we can defer to in part... and that we can ignore should a user so choose.

How far up/down the chain are you willing to trust? Here is hoping that the manufacturer of your motherboard didn't slip something in as well!

Re:Security begins with Linux (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44013171)

How did you download that copy of OpenBSD? ISO or sources?

You can view the fingerprint from an anonymous login, and use it to verify your ISO.

How far up/down the chain are you willing to trust? Here is hoping that the manufacturer of your motherboard didn't slip something in as well!

Yes, that's a good point. If you are willing to run one of the small handful of motherboards for which coreboot is a simple recipe, that's one answer.

Re:Security begins with Linux (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#44013213)

FUD.

BSD is a far more mature and tested codebase than Linux + GNU. Exploits and vulnerabilities found are quickly fixed. Compare that to Microsoft. All open source OS that are commonly used have the "thousands of pairs of eyes" going for it at least, way better than a "black box".

I build my openbsd from source, that's how you patch it anyway. Never been p0wn3d in 12 years of use and I put my server right on the internet without firewall (it is a firewall among other things). Meanwhile, Windows.....

Re:Security begins with Linux (1)

seyfarth (323827) | about a year ago | (#44012709)

Yes, you are right - we must hope we can trust the supplier. No, I will not read the code, though it is possible and many people around the world have read the Linux code. It seems like a better bet than an OS where you can't read the code. I also have over 20 years of Linux experience with 1 hacking episode about 18 years ago. I was running a BBS system on a fairly early Linux. No harm was done. My suspicion is that some young person read about an exploit and ended up creating a "schlongg" account with root access. It was not fun for me, so I posted a polite message on the BBS asking for whoever it was to give me a break. Apparently I was fortunate. Now I limit outside connections to ssh. I could be paranoid about limiting the ssh connections, but the potential harm is really not that great. I have several other computers in my home with no open ports and only Windows is a problem. Someone else suggested BSD "for paranoics". That's certainly a good idea. I can't judge whether it is safer than Linux.

Re:Security begins with Linux (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#44012929)

Some organisations will audit their code, and when they do so it will be better to start from a small, clean codebase.

Re:Security begins with Linux (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44013331)

A computer for work should be a tool, not a toy, and user preference should not be the highest priority. Security should be first.

For most businesses, first is maintainability via tools that your IT staff knows how to use, then user preference, then productivity, then security.

For businesses with well-run IT departments, it's either productivity, security, maintainability, preference or security, productivity, maintainability, preference.

The latter schemes are both valid, depending on what your business's security needs are.

shuddup (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012431)

u conservative need to stop it i'm going to get my OBAMACARE for everybody :)

audit all the tee party people

Use linux, and ditch the cell phone!! (1)

dalan (462305) | about a year ago | (#44012543)

Linux is more secure than Windows, flame on.

Cell phones are, um, monitored, recorded, gps'd, trackable, traceable, uh never mind. This is Slashdot.

How long? (0)

Ogre332 (145645) | about a year ago | (#44012795)

How long before the nude pictures and/or sex video are available in a torrent?

I know.... I KNOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012837)

I know.... I just KNOW that I can gonna be hit sideways by making this comment...

But if these systems are all holding sensitive data, such as the contact information of inside sources and such....

Why are they even plugged into the internet at all?

ohhh nooos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012899)

that never happens to stupid people...oh wait....

Hold it... (2)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about a year ago | (#44013031)

...why say DOJ? It could be the Chinese.

Re:Hold it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013061)

...why say DOJ? It could be the Chinese.

It could be the Jews

Re:Hold it... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#44013093)

It could be Anon.

Re:Hold it... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44013205)

...why say DOJ? It could be the Chinese.

(when looked at with the "common sense eyes", both of them behaves in a totally "alien" way. So, what's the difference?)

Re:Hold it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013289)

Or...it could be the only entity that has total access to all internet and phone communications: "the phone company".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_President's_Analyst

buyers regret for leftists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44013087)

SO now the leftist media wonks finally get bit by the dog they have been cheering for.

"But but... I thot they wer only gonna use it on the ebil republicans and conservatives an biblethumpers !!!"

Whine whine, shriek shriek, bleat bleat ....

Need to read more history arrogant dimbulb leftists. More ruthless leftists have no problem putting other leftists up against the wall and shooting them when those lesser leftists somehow have a notion that power is to be shared.

Protection for me but not for theee.... Hypocrits got what they deserved for enabling/aiding and abetting the freedom stealers

Errrr... China? (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about a year ago | (#44013445)

Just sayin'. NSA may be bad-boy du-jour, but China's the one who's been hacking accounts on media and technology companies. I'd think NSA would be content to just sit there and sniff your traffic.

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