Posts tagged Fast and Furious
Hackers Break into Smartphones to Access Your Bank Account
Security Research Labs (SRL) states that SIM cards in smartphones could be utilized by hackers to gather online banking account information.
Indeed, an estimated 500 million subscriber identity module (SIM) cards have been identified as having vulnerabilities that allow remotely controlled attacks to occur.
SIM cards are “tiny computers that store crucial cryptographic data.”
SIM cards store data on user’s such as phone number, private login and billing information. This includes details about a user’s PayPal and credit card numbers so that the hacker can infiltrate all financial records of individuals.
It is unclear whether or not users can verify that their SIM card is vulnerable to hacker attacks. Specific details provided by the manufacturer cannot assist the user with determining if they are a sitting duck.
Apps made for smartphones are syphoned through SIM cards because they act as a portal .
Karsten Nohi, founder of SRL, is expected to provide this research to the BlackHat Conference in Las Vegas in the later part of this month.
SRL asserts that hackers would send “an unrecognizable, binary text message usually meant to carry user logs and telephone settings to a victim’s phone.
The cellphone then responds by sending back an error message carrying a signature that can be distilled to reveal a 56-bit Data Encryption Standard (DES) key. DES is an old encryption standard used by about one in eight phones around the world.”
Through the “cracked key” the hacker can “download software onto the SIM card that can, among other tricks, change voicemail numbers and find out exactly where a phone is at any time. This allows for remote cloning of possibly millions of SIM cards including their mobile identity as well as payment credentials stored on the card.”
Nohi said : “We can remotely install software on a handset that operates completely independently from your phone. We can spy on you. We know your encryption keys for calls. We can ready your [SMSes]. More than just spying, we can steal data from the SIM card, your mobile identity, and charge your account.”
Because SIM cards are employed as a de facto trust anchor for cellular phones, simply using two Short Message Service texts can allow a hacker to break into the phone, steal data, listen in on the calls made, and make purchases as if they were the owner of the phone.
The UN issued a warning under the Telecommunications Union (UNTU), that this research provided by SRL is “highly significant” and that “these findings show us where we could be heading in terms of cybersecurity risks.”
Under the direction of the UNTU, academics, private tech corporations and mobile phone companies will be admonished to cooperate with the international community to set up regulations with government officials so that this threat is quelled.
Last October, smartphone connecting to customer bank accounts and conducting remote online banking is utilized by an estimated 29% of US mobile phone users.
Although those invested in keeping the online banking revolution alive are reassuring the general public that it is safe, malware software is rampant throughout the internet and used by fake hacker groups to justify stricter restraints on our digital freedoms. The smartphone banking apps are not different.
Earlier in 2012, the CIA-sponsored hacker group Anonymous breached security systems for VISA and MASTERCARD. These two corporations alerted other banking institutions across the US that there was a “massive breach” within the financial sector.
In October of 2011, the fake hacker group apparently took control over Bank of America (BoA), one of the oldest central banking cartel funded banks. Lately, BoA was used to funnel funds to known drug cartels in Mexico under the Fast and Furious scandal.
January of 2012, Trusteer, the Israeli-based security firm, discovered a banking virus that will steal funds from customers and cover its tracks in the process. This new creation from the SpyEye Trojan will “swap out banking Web pages . . . preventing customers from realizing that their money is gone.”
This Trojan waits patiently for the user to visit their online banking site, copies their login and password, then divulges the personal data surveyed; such as debit/credit card information.
When the user inputs their credit/debit card information in to conduct a purchase, the Trojan will swap web pages and siphon out the funds. According to Truseeter, this is a “post transaction attack”.
The cover-up ability of this Trojan is remarkable. It will edit balance amounts, line by line transactions, and all activity that would trigger suspicion by the owner of the account.
In 2011, SpyEye Trojan attacked Android mobile online banking by siphoning out data from the customer to be used by the hacker. SpyEye also changes while circumventing mobile SMS which is a security measure taken by banks when a customer is conducting online account transactions to certify that the correct user is conducting the business.
SpyEye was victimizing Verizon customers with fake billing pages that require the customer to log in which reveals personal financial data to the virus concerning the user. This Trojan can deter anti-virus software, jumping over firewalls and sit undetected between the browser and the computer redirecting the user to pages without ever being caught.
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By Tim Brown
According to a high-ranking Mexican drug cartel operative, who is currently in U.S. custody, there are some things that the American people are not being told about Fast and Furious. We obviously knew something was not being told behind the scenes because of Barack Obama issuing executive privilege and Holder being in contempt of Congress for failing to comply. But this makes even the sleepiest of people perk up their ears and pay attention.
Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, known as the Sinaloa Cartel’s “logistics coordinator,” has brought allegations that the gunwalking operation had nothing to do with tracking guns and everything to do with supplying them. According to Zambada-Niebla it was part of an elaborate agreement between the U.S. and Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel to take down rival cartels.
Zambada-Niebla claims that under a “divide and conquer” strategy, the U.S. helped finance and arm the Sinaloa Cartel through Operation Fast and Furious in exchange for information that allowed the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies to take down rival drug cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel was allegedly permitted to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the U.S. border from 2004 to 2009 — during both Fast and Furious and Bush-era gunrunning operations — as long as the intel kept coming.
This pending court case against Zambada-Niebla is being closely monitored by some members of Congress, who expect potential legal ramifications if any of his claims are substantiated. The trial was delayed but is now scheduled to begin on Oct. 9.
Zambada-Niebla is reportedly a close associate of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the son of Ismael “Mayo” Zambada-Garcia, both of which remain fugitives, likely because of the deal made with the DEA, federal court documents allege.
Zambada-Niebla believes that he, like the leadership of the Sinaloa cartel, was “immune from arrest or prosecution” because he also actively provided information to US federal agents.
By Alex Newman
July 29, 2012
The Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement in drug trafficking is back in the media spotlight after a spokesman for the violence-plagued Mexican state of Chihuahua became the latest high-profile individual to accuse the CIA, which has been linked to narcotics trafficking for decades, of ongoing efforts to “manage the drug trade.” The infamous American spy agency refused to comment.
In a recent interview, Chihuahua state spokesman Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva told Al Jazeera that the CIA and other international “security” outfits “don’t fight drug traffickers.” Instead, Villanueva argued, they try to control and manage the illegal drug market for their own benefit.
“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Villanueva told the Qatar-based media outlet last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.”
Another Mexican official, apparently a mid-level officer with Mexico’s equivalent of the U.S. Department of “Homeland Security,” echoed those remarks, saying he knew that the allegations against the CIA were correct based on talks with American agents in Mexico. “It’s true, they want to control it,” the official told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity.
Credibility issues with employees of the notoriously corrupt Mexican government aside, the latest accusations were hardly earth shattering — the American espionage agency has been implicated in drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Vietnam to Latin America and everywhere in between. Similar allegations of drug running have been made against the CIA for decades by former agents, American officials, lawmakers, investigators, and even drug traffickers themselves.
Some of the most prominent officials to level charges of CIA drug trafficking include the former head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Robert Bonner. During an interview with CBS, Bonner accused the American “intelligence” outfit of unlawfully importing a ton of cocaine into the U.S. in collaboration with the Venezuelan government.
Even the New York Times eventually covered part of the scandal in a piece entitled “Anti-Drug Unit of C.I.A. Sent Ton of Cocaine to U.S. in 1990.” And the agency’s Inspector General, Frederick Hitz, was eventually forced to concede to a congressional committee that the CIA has indeed worked with drug traffickers and obtained a waiver from the Department of Justice in the 1980s allowing it to conceal its contractors’ illicit dealings.
By Susanne Posel
Last week, the delegates who attended the Arms Trade Treaty Conference (ATT) reportedly did not come to a consensus to ratify the ATT, but rather will come back to the issue later this year.
Further talks will likely take place at a UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting wherein 192 nations could achieve the 2/3rd majority vote for ratification of the ATT.
According to the British delegation: “We feel that we could have agreed (a treaty). It is disappointing that more time is needed. But an arms-trade treaty is coming – not today – but soon. We’ve taken a big step forward.”
Although activists in support of a convention for global gun control advocated the need to prevent illicit trade of guns into conflicted zones, such as in Syria, those same activists blamed the US and Russia for causing a stalemate during the negotiations process.
Victoria Nuland, US Ambassador to the UN released a statement on the US State Department website wherein it was admitted that “the illicit trafficking of conventional arms is an important national security concern for the United States.”
By Kurt Nimmo
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa has confirmed that wiretap applications reveal in-depth detail on the Fast and Furious operation, including evidence showing that “agents were well aware that large sums of money were being used to purchase a large number of firearms, many of which were flowing across the border.”
Roll Call reports today that Issa released details concerning the wiretaps in the House. His disclosure is protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech on the floor.
According to Darrell Issa’s letter sent to Maryland Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings on May 24, not only did ATF officials know about the purchases, they oversaw activity by straw purchasers and ended their surveillance without interdicting the guns.
“Although ATF was aware of these facts, no one was arrested, and ATF failed to even approach the straw purchasers,” Issa’s letter states. “Upon learning these details through its review of this wiretap affidavit, senior Justice Department officials had a duty to stop this operation. Further, failure to do so was a violation of Justice Department policy.”
As we noted on June 22, Obama lied to the American people on March 23, 2011, when he said that neither he nor Attorney General Holder authorized the effort to arm the drug cartels in Mexico. Several weeks later, on May 3, Holder lied to Congress. He said he did not know who approved Fast and Furious. He also lied when he said he “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
Issa talks about contempt and criminal case against Holder.
On Thursday, House Republicans held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The House made the historic move after Holder refused to divulge additional documents on the gun-running operation and Obama invoked executive privilege in an attempt to block the request for more information.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Certain reporters in the mainstream media and progressive politicians in Washington have engaged in rhetoric that exhibits a marked insensitivity to the whistleblowers and victims in the Fast and Furious scandal.
In the aftermath of the vote Wednesday by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, certain mainstream reporters and progressive politicians went on a spree of hurling inflammatory statements at Republicans in the House and some of the reporters who broke the Fast and Furious story.
The hate spree has had the net effect of slamming and insulting the whistleblowers and victims who through no fault of their own found themselves caught up in a sordid scheme of illegal activity including gun and drug smuggling and murder, perpetrated by the Obama Justice Department and its agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
So what was Obama’s level of involvement in the incident and the cover-up?
Well, is the heat being turned up on Attorney General Eric Holder regarding operation Fast & Furious today, and what will the resulting outcome be? The House Committee holds Holder in Contempt. The party-line vote was 23-17. The controversy goes next to the full House, which is to vote next week unless there is some resolution in the meantime.
The vote followed a decision by President Barack Obama earlier in the day to assert executive privilege for the first time in his administration in order to protect the confidentiality of the documents.
There is committee chairman, Darrell Issa of California,heading the investigation in Arizona of gun-running into Mexico, called Operation Fast and Furious. This operation resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Agent Terry was shot on December 14, 2010 and he died the following day. Fast & Furious has also claimed the lives of over 300 Mexicans.
Issa said that “more than eight months after a subpoena and clearly after the question of executive privilege could have and should have been asserted, this untimely assertion … falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”
According to the DOJ, In Fast and Furious, agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Arizona abandoned the agency’s usual practice of intercepting all weapons they believed to be illicitly purchased. Instead, the goal of gun-walking was to track such weapons to high-level arms traffickers, who had long eluded prosecution, and to dismantle their networks.
If you believe that at face value I have property on the most pristine oceanfront beach locations in Arizona I would love to sell you, along with a few bridges, lol.
Add to this the President calling for executive privilege to what appears a power play to keep the Legislative branch along with the American people from every finding out the truth. So what is Obama’s role and involvement with this more than shady operation. The president is doing his best to avoid accountability, so why?
The last Cabinet member to be cited by a congressional committee for contempt was Attorney General Janet Reno in President Bill Clinton’s administration.
By Doug Book
Wiretap applications obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform prove Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant AG Lanny Breuer lied to Committee members when they claimed DOJ personnel knew nothing of the tactics used by the ATF during Operation Fast And Furious.
Wiretap applications are forms that must be filled out and submitted to a judge, asking permission to perform a wiretap. As these requests may only be made if all other information-gathering techniques have been tried and found wanting, the applications are completed in extraordinary detail, listing all prior methods employed by law enforcement to gather existing evidence. In short, the entire history of the efforts put forth by law enforcement during a particular case or investigation are presented in writing to the court.
According to Committee chair Darrell Issa, six wiretap applications are now in Committee possession, all presented to the court between March and June of 2010 and all having been approved by Department of Justice officials. In fact, “each application included a memorandum from Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer to Paul M. O’Brien, Office of Enforcement Operations, authorizing the wiretap applications on behalf of the Attorney General.” “The memoranda from Breuer are marked specifically for the attention of Emory Hurley, the lead prosecutor for Operation Fast and Furious.”