The U.S. Government is Spreading Malware

003thThe U.S. Government is Spreading Malware

Some years ago, I predicted the government was reading all of our e-mails and looking at our financial records. I thought I was on the edge of the curve, understanding what others did not. I was wrong. I only anticipated the edge of the iceberg. Those crazy bureaucrats sucked up more information than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.

And now our pseudo-protectors are planting malware in our computers to evade our protections.

They are deliberately sabotaging our property. Others can piggyback in on the holes they are making in our anti-virus programs. They are making all of us vulnerable to hacking and theft.

Isn’t this a crime? If not, shouldn’t it be?

James Pilant

Mark Zuckerberg: US government surveillance is a threat to the internet | Technology |

The billionaire CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, criticised US government surveillance in a Facebook post on Thursday, saying it was a “threat” to the internet – and revealed he had called Barack Obama personally to air his concerns.

Zuckerberg made his remarks a day after the The Intercept website reported that the NSA has been using automated systems to spread malware over the internet, sometimes using “fake” Facebook servers.

“The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Thursday. “They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.”

In the post, Zuckerberg said he had called Obama to express his “frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future” and said he was confused by the government’s actions.

“The internet works because most people and companies do the same. We work together to create this secure environment and make our shared space even better for the world,” he wrote.

He went on: “This is why I’ve been so confused and frustrated by the repeated reports of the behavior of the US government. When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government.”

via Mark Zuckerberg: US government surveillance is a threat to the internet | Technology |

From around the web.

From the web site, Setanta Solutions.

German computer security and antivirus detection company G Data Security has alleged that the Russian goverment has created, or has contributed to the creation of the newly detected malware known as “Uroburos”.

G Data bases its allegations on the Russian governement in the complexity of the malware and the presence of Cyrillic words in the malware sample. File names, encryption keys, and the behaviour of Uroburos are also being used to support G Data’s claim.

Another key piece of “evidence” according to G Data blogger “MN”, is that Uroburos functions by looking for a piece of malware that has been tied to Russia (although not its government conclusively).

ChamberLeaks: Plan Solicited By Chamber Lawyers Included Malware Hacking Of Activist Computers (via ThinkProgress)

The Chamber of Commerce and I do not agree on many issues ranging from outsourcing to taxes to mortgage foreclosures to financial regulations. That would probably make me in the Chamber’s judgment an “activist.” At this time, I am a very small player but that might change. But I am hardly worth a cyber attack at this time. However, I am concerned about this because against this kind of firepower, I’m a duck in a shooting gallery.

What’s more, I have complete and total confidence that federal, state and local law enforcement will have no interest in protecting my rights, my web site or my right to free speech. Those things are so “passe.”

James Pilant

From the article

HBGary, the parent company of HBGary Federal, specializes in analyzing “malware,” computer viruses that are used to maliciously steal data from computers or networks. In other presentations, Barr makes clear that his expertise in “Information Operations” covers forms of hacking like a “computer network attack,” “custom malware development,” and “persistent software implants.” The presentation shows Barr boasting that he had knowledge of using “zero day” attacks to exploit vulnerabilities in Flash, Java, Windows 2000 and other programs to steal data from a target’s computer.

Indeed, malware hacking appears to be a key service sold by HBGary Federal. Describing a “spear phishing” strategy (an illegal form of hacking), Barr advised his colleague Greg Hoglund that “We should have a capability to do this to our adversaries.” In another e-mail chain, HBGary Federal executives discuss using a fake “patriotic video of our soldiers overseas” to induce military officials to open malicious data extraction viruses. In September, HBGary Federal executives again contemplate their success of a dummy “evite” e-mail used to maliciously hack target computers.

Some of the initial e-mails discussing the Chamber deal with Team Themis stress the fact that HBGary Federal would provide “expertise on ‘digital intellgence collection’ and social media exploitation.’”

Barr also sent another document to the Chamber’s attorney describing in greater detail Team Themis’ hacking abilities (download a copy here). In one section, Team Themis claims that “if/when Hunton & Williams LLP needs or desire,” they can use “direct engagement” to “provide valuable information that cannot be acquired through other means.” This cryptic pledge appears to be in reference to same malware data intrusion techniques proposed in the other Team Themis documents.

(Generally, I pull links out of any quoted material but these are so useful, I decided to leave them in.)

Can Brad Pitt Kill Your Computer?

He might. Well, not him personally but looking for him on the web can. Mr. Pitt is what is known as a lure. You search for him on the web and you have a better chance to hit a malware site. For some celebrities the odds of hitting a malware site are as high as one in ten.

Celebrities are very popular lures but it can be any popular product or hot topic of the day. Keep you virus and malware protection software up to date and stay with reputable web sites if at all possible.

For more information and a list of the top 8 most dangerous celebrities to search for you can visit McAfee’s web site.