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American Cyber Security Cowboys

by Oui Tue Oct 29th, 2019 at 12:06:11 PM EST

Came across this article today ...

    Tiversa dominated an emerging online market
    --before it was accused of fraud, extortion, and
    manipulating the federal government.

A Cybersecurity Firm's Sharp Rise and Stunning Collapse | The New Yorker - Nov. 4, 2019 |

Boback is a storyteller. Words pour out of him in cascades that, depending on the listener, can register as beguiling, slick, questionable, or bullshit. One colleague described him as "very confident, sometimes bordering on cocky." Another told me, "He was a master manipulator. Watching him was like watching van Gogh use oils."

As Boback began marketing his system, he landed a big meeting with lawyers representing the Recording Industry Association of America, but the lawyers said they already had a strategy to combat file sharing: sue the problem into oblivion. Undeterred, he and Hopkins flew to Los Angeles, where they met with Darcy Antonellis, the head of anti-piracy efforts at Warner Bros.

Continued below the fold ...

After the meeting, Boback's lawyer mentioned that a partner in his firm knew Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who had spoken out against pirated music and movies. Perhaps, if Hatch gave his imprimatur to the system, the concern about its legality could be overcome.

That May, Boback and Hopkins drove to Washington with another lawyer in the firm, to meet with Hatch in a conference room in the Hart Senate Office Building. They brought a laptop and made their pitch, as Hatch listened with polite interest. While wrapping up, they explained that their system could track not only music and movies (the vast bulk of the content on peer-to-peer networks) but anything else that people were sharing: documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint decks.

Some of those items appeared to have national-security implications, so Hopkins had created a second user interface for the software, called Patriot Spy. Boback shared a few examples of what the system had found, including files belonging to a person in Australia who had jihadi literature and bomb-making manuals.

... By the end of the call, Tenet had invited them to visit the C.I.A.'s headquarters, in Langley, Virginia, first thing the next morning.

Inside, the head of the Directorate of Science and Technology was joined by an official representing In-Q-Tel, a corporation that the C.I.A. had set up to fund new technologies. (The "Q" refers to the technician in James Bond films.) A follow-up call from one of the participants led to more trips to D.C., and suddenly Boback and Hopkins were journeying through the shadow world of the post-9/11 national-security establishment.

There were visits with the F.B.I. and the military. They returned to Langley, to meet with another enthusiastic official, who introduced himself only as Bad Bob. The agency also instructed them to go to a Starbucks in Reston, Virginia, from which a C.I.A. officer would convey them to a secret facility.

On the drive back to the Starbucks, Boback asked what prevented the C.I.A. from simply stealing their technology. The officer told them, "If you weren't an American citizen, I would have already stolen it--and, oh, you have a connection to Senator Hatch." The offhand comment sent a jolt of paranoia through Boback and Hopkins, who began to refer to their laptop as "the football"--the White House term for the briefcase that allows the President to access the nuclear codes. They decided to secure the software. At the time, Hopkins lived on thirty-eight acres that he had converted into a makeshift wildlife sanctuary. He burned the code to a DVD, and then walked out and buried it.

[Read on ...]

Quote from article, nice sales pitch ...

    A human-to-machine relationship defined by estrangement offers a unique sales opportunity: fomenting anxiety turns out to be an excellent way to draw in clients. One of the first people to identify the tactic was the director of I.B.M.'s Advanced Computing Systems Laboratory, Gene Amdahl, who left his job in 1970 to build machines that could run I.B.M. software more cheaply. As Amdahl went to market, he learned that his former employer was warning potential customers that any hardware not made by I.B.M. was fraught with risk. The feeling that I.B.M. was hoping to inspire, Amdahl noted wryly, was "FUD"--fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The name stuck. In the nineties, Microsoft pursued a canonical FUD strategy, creating phony error messages to make consumers wary of using Windows on a competitor's operating system--a tactic that resulted in a legal settlement exceeding two hundred million dollars.

    A legal case bsed on "FUD" - SCO's Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Opposition to IBM's Motion to Compel Discovery.

Tried to make some sense out of it by searching the Internet .. I did not succeed.

The Devil Inside the Beltway: The Shocking Expose of the US Government's Surveillance and Overreach Into Cybersecurity, Medicine and Small Business

In 2008, Michael Daugherty, CEO of LabMD, a private Atlanta-based cancer detection facility, received a call from Tiversa, a Pittsburgh-based data security firm, stating that they had obtained a 1,718-page patient health information file belonging to LabMD through a peer-2-peer (P2P) network. Tiversa wasn't about to divulge any further information about its acquisition until LabMD bought into their unsolicited lawyer-fee services. Daugherty had no idea that his polite refusal to Tiversa's assistance would lead to an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and thereby thrusting him into a nightmarish four-year journey Inside the Beltway - "an idiom used to characterize matters that seem to be important primarily to U.S. federal government officials, its contractors, lobbyists, and the corporate media who cover them, as opposed to the interests and priorities of the general U.S. population." (Edited from Wikipedia).

The Devil Inside the Beltway is not limited to Daugherty's harrowing story. It is replete with enough factual information about the FTC that would make our Founding Fathers voluntarily turn in their graves just to hide their utter shame over a system they painstakingly sculpted that has gone awry. As of January 29, 2014, Daugherty announced on his blog that "the debilitating effects of the FTC investigative practices and litigation have forced him to wind down operations" at LabMd.

A Leak Wounded This Company. Fighting the Feds Finished It Off | Bloomberg - April 2016 |

In April he was eating dinner with friends at a Thai restaurant in Atlanta when his cell phone rang. It was Richard Wallace, an analyst who'd just left Tiversa. Daugherty recalls pacing the parking lot as Wallace, his voice shaky, confessed his role in LabMD's destruction. Wallace told Daugherty he'd been the one to discover the LabMD file while probing the company through the open LimeWire connection. Tiversa had never found any copies of the files outside LabMD's own computer network, he said. Wallace told Daugherty that when LabMD refused to engage Tiversa's services, Boback retaliated by adding LabMD to a list of supposedly compromised companies and organizations, which was sent to the FTC in late 2009. Boback also instructed him to create a fake trail of Web addresses where the LabMD file had supposedly been found, Wallace said, as evidence for the FTC's case.

Tiversa, Inc. : White Knight or Hi-tech Protection Racket | U.S. Congress Report - Jan. 2015 |
Former Tiversa employee at center of House probe of Pittsburgh firm

Related reading ...

RAT: Prolific Malware Developer Responsible for Countless Computer Intrusions
Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Outlook and Review: 2015

George Bush admin ushered in the age of electronic health records (EHRs). 2006 is a year I will never forget, because I became acquainted with the first Director of  Health Information, David Brailler, by chance in a radio program interview. I was shocked, immediately understanding from his discursion on the "benefits" which would accrue to "consumer-patients" (his term) that the WH had created a commercial market and data property rights which teh people would never fathom.

What did I do then? I monitored the trade rag "Government Health IT" for nearly a decade and watched products and services --especially data warehouses-- in this newly formed sector of the unregulated ICT industry expand like the universe.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 29th, 2019 at 04:39:32 PM EST
Darryl Issa! of all fucking people vs Tiversa (2015) is some pig, some high-flying irony over the Telecommunications wtf Act of 1994.

Good find, Oui.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 29th, 2019 at 06:06:36 PM EST
Got much more than I expected ... was unable to read all ... one instance legal papers of LabMD covering 356 pages. Somewhere I read the FBI worked with Tiversa ... the latter got sophisticated software for intrusion, hacking into computer networks.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 29th, 2019 at 06:18:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet another boatload of sleaze passing through the tollgate that was my senior senator.
by rifek on Tue Oct 29th, 2019 at 10:24:47 PM EST

Related reading ...

Israel's NSO Group Permits Foreign Intelligence Agencies to Spy on Human Rights Activists
Apple iPhone, Israel's Unit 8200 and Spying on Human Rights Advocates

Black-Ops Mercenaries On the Internet

From the BooMan archive ...

Ori Cohen Hard to Trace His Roots

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 30th, 2019 at 12:51:36 AM EST
DarkMatter located on Oulu Finland ... near Nokia Bell Labs and Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Ideal for recruitment of engineers ...

Secretive UAE cybersecurity firm is operating in Finland

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 30th, 2019 at 09:52:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 30th, 2019 at 04:50:22 AM EST
WhatsApp Sues NSO Group Over Exploit Which Attacked Political, Military Leaders in 20 Nations | Tikun Olam |

This takes the attack beyond the realm of individual victims into the realm of state-against-state espionage; a far more serious breach than previously known. Whatsapp also announced that it had reported the incident to the FBI. Facebook has taken further punitive action, deleting all accounts of NSO employees on its platform.

It was previously known that Intelligence agencies in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have used NSO's Pegasus malware, the most powerful product of its kind on the market, to spy on targets they view as threatening the security of their dynastic regimes.

When Whatsapp first announced the NSO attack, I wrote this piece for Jacobin in which I argued that it was imperative for the former company and its corporate parent, Facebook, to sue the Israeli firm and hold it accountable for its behavior. I also encouraged the federal government to assume a role in protecting U.S. companies and the privacy of American citizens who use their technology. It's not surprising that the Trump Justice Department has taken no action against the Israeli firm. But luckily, Whatsapp announced yesterday that it was suing NSO in federal court in San Francisco.

Its leader explained the company's position in this Washington Post op-ed. This takeaway echoes my own views in Jacobin.

In response to the lawsuit, NSO stated:

    "In the strongest possible terms, we dispute today's allegations and will vigorously fight them," NSO said in a statement. "The sole purpose of NSO is to provide technology to licensed government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to help them fight terrorism and serious crime."

The WhatsApp Revolution in Lebanon | The New Yorker |

Related reading ...

US intervention root cause of crisis in Lebanon: Hezbollah parliamentary bloc

Israel's digital mercenaries unite | Forbes - Oct. 2019 |

    Outside of Candiru's apparent relationship with Dilian's spyware enterprises--WiSpear and Intellexa--it has at least one tie to the most controversial of Israel's surveillance providers: NSO Group. That's because two industry sources said the main Candiru financial backer was Founders Group, cofounded by one of the three men who set up NSO, Omri Lavie.

A tangled web ... start-ups to hack into mobiles and with same financial backers and sometimes engineers to setup Interne security. Can't miss, always a hit.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 31st, 2019 at 10:18:26 PM EST
Avi Rosen, Microsoft's general manager of IoT [Herzliya Area, Israel - March 2019 to present]

Former Cyota executive, early co-founder cybersecurity startup Kaymera with the founders of NSO Group Technologies Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio.

Additional reading ...

Security was perfect - they just forgot about the smart aquarium  | CTech |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 31st, 2019 at 10:21:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 2nd, 2019 at 06:19:15 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 04:56:36 AM EST
After mistrust of 25 years peace deal with Israel ...

Jordan's King Abdullah II visits Naharayim enclave after Israelis clear out

Israeli farmers lament the end of Jordan land deal

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 08:11:30 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 12:06:35 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 05:11:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 05:08:19 PM EST
The US trail of the man whose security firm spied on Julian Assange | El Pais |

Emails sent by David Morales, owner of UC Global, place him in Alexandria, in the state of Virginia, near the federal court that has been investigating the Australian cyber activist for years.

What was David Morales, owner of UC Global S. L., the Spanish company that spied on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, doing in Alexandria, Virginia?

Located around 10 kilometers from Washington DC, Alexandria is home to the US federal court that has been investigating the Australian cyber activist for years and has requested his extradition from the United Kingdom, where he remains in prison after he was expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in April following a seven-year asylum.

An analysis of emails sent by Morales to several of his employees shows that this former member of the military was in Alexandria on March 1 and 2, 2017. The IP addresses of these messages, which EL PAÍS has seen, show that at the time that they were sent Morales was in Alexandria, where a federal court is seeking Assange's extradition on 18 counts stemming from accusations that he revealed classified intelligence about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which could lead to a prison term of 175 years.

UC Global S. L. spied on Assange for the CIA, as shown by testimony and documents disclosed by this newspaper. Morales allegedly gave the intelligence agency audio and video material on the cyber activist's meetings with his lawyers and collaborators at the embassy. Following this newspaper's revelations, Judge José de la Mata of Spain's High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, agreed to consider a criminal complaint filed by Assange against Morales, who was arrested and is now the target of an investigation into alleged violations of Assange's privacy and attorney-client privilege, as well as misappropriation, bribery, money laundering and illegal possession of arms.

Work for Sheldon Adelson

Morales often traveled to the United States. The IP addresses of the emails he sent his workers showed him to be variously in New York, Dallas, Miami, Washington, Chicago, Lakewood and Las Vegas. At this last location, the messages were sometimes sent from the hotels owned by Sheldon Adelson and his Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Morales has been working for the billionaire business magnate for years, taking care of security on the latter's yacht during trips to the Mediterranean.  

War on Wikileaks: How the Trump Admin Used a Secret Livestream to Spy on Julian Assange | MintPress |

Director of Spanish security company that spied on Julian Assange arrested | El Pais |
UK blocks Spanish judge from questioning Julian Assange over spying allegations

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 29th, 2019 at 12:07:07 AM EST

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