Wikileaks Thursday released trove of new documents from their CIA leak, outlining how the agency attacked Apple products.
Wikileaks is nicknaming this posting “Dark Matter.”
Dark matter is the second batch of leaks from the CIA archive Wikileaks has nicknamed Vault 7, largely describing hacking techniques the agency used. So far all of the techniques have been for targeted surveillance (not bulk surveillance, like the NSA would conduct) and many require the CIA to have physical access to devices to attack them. The documents range in age, and Apple announced after the first release of documents that many of the security flaws mentioned in that archive had long since been patched.
One user manual released in Dark Matter describes “Sonic Screwdriver” – a technique taking its name from Dr. Who’s utility tool – as a way to use a modified Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet network adapter (or, potentially, other modified hardware) to load malware while a Mac is booting. That document is dated 2012.
Another document describes “DarkSeaSkies,” a hacking technique that lurks in the firmware of MacBook Airs version 1.1. Firmware controls hardware that is not controlled by an operating system (firm, because it’s in between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ ware). The DarkSeaSkies documents, dated 2009, describe similar implants for iPhones, but the document is dated 2009, and may not be a still working attack for either.
Other documents provide historic information for “DerStarke,” a firmware attack leaked in the last set of Wikileaks docs. The documents in this posting describe it and related malware in its 2013 form, before the 2016 form already released.
Lawmakers and intelligence officials have been more concerned that the documents were stolen than the sensitivity of any of the documents released.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb) said that Wikileaks head Julian Assange should spend the rest of his life in “an orange jumpsuit” following the first document dump.
After a multi-month, politically charged investigation, German intelligence agencies could find no good evidence of Moscow-directed cyber-attacks or a disinformation campaign aimed at subverting the democratic process in Germany. Undaunted, Chancellor Angela Merkel has commissioned a new investigation.
Last year, Berlin’s two main intelligence agencies, the BND and BfV (counterparts of the CIA and FBI) launched a joint investigation to substantiate allegations that Russia was meddling in German political affairs and attempting to shape the outcome of Germany’s elections next September.
Like the vast majority of Americans malnourished on “mainstream media,” most Germans have been led to believe that, by hacking and “propaganda,” the Kremlin interfered in the recent U.S. election and helped Donald Trump become president.
German intelligence agencies rarely bite the hand that feeds them and realize that the most bountiful part of the trough is at the CIA station in Berlin with ultimate guidance coming from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. But this time, in an unusual departure from past practice, analysts at the BND and BfV decided to act like responsible adults.
Whereas former CIA Director John Brennan prevailed on his analysts to resort to anemic, evidence-light reasoning “assessing” that Russia tried to tip the U.S. election to Donald Trump, Berlin’s intelligence agencies found the evidence lacking and have now completed their investigation.
Better still, the conclusions have been reported in a mainstream German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, apparently because a patriotic insider thought the German people should also know. >> Continue Reading <<
Michael Flynn seems to have been undermined by disloyal unelected intelligence analysts.
The United States is much better off without Michael Flynn serving as national security adviser. But no one should be cheering the way he was brought down.
The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America’s democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn’s ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn’t the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.
Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. “Finally,” they say, “someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president!” It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously.
The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?
President Trump was roundly mocked among liberals for that tweet. But he is, in many ways, correct. These leaks are an enormous problem. And in a less polarized context, they would be recognized immediately for what they clearly are: an effort to manipulate public opinion for the sake of achieving a desired political outcome. It’s weaponized spin.
Expanding American manufacturing makes “business sense” amid “pervasive” uncertainty regarding the future of U.S. trade with China and Mexico, Stanley Black & Decker CEO James Loreetold investors Thursday in a conference call.
Although he did not mention Donald Trump by name in his remarks to investors, Loree’s comments had all the hallmarks of an effort to inoculate his company from the possible effects of the president-elect’s threatened “border tax.”
“We view it sort of as one of several political movements, or concepts, that really drive us to this concept of make-where-we-sell,” Loree said. “It’s going to be advisable to have more manufacturing in the U.S.” >> continue reading <<
Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura will attend Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., later this month, a spokesman said Tuesday.
“They are pleased to be able to witness the peaceful transfer of power — a hallmark of American democracy — and swearing-in of President Trump and Vice President Pence,” read a statement from Bush’s spokesman.
During the campaign, Bush kept his distance from Mr. Trump: neither he nor his father, former President George H.W. Bush, endorsed Mr. Trump. Neither of them attended the Republican convention last July where Mr. Trump formally received the GOP nomination.
As President Obama reflects on his legacy, a recording of Secretary of State John Kerry conversing with leaders of Syrian opposition groups is casting more light on his approach to ISIS, indicating his administration believed that allowing the Islamic State to grow would serve the White House’s objective of ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad.