The NSA Revelations All in One Chart — ProPublica.org
An (extra) step in the right direction: Apple extending two-factor authentication to iCloud.com log-in
A while back, I enabled two-factor authentication to a number of my accounts following Mat Honan’s terrible hacking story.*
This morning I noticed that, without any fanfare, Apple has extended that preference to the iCloud.com website portal …
… so that to log in to iCloud, I need to have one of my ‘trusted devices’. (Well, given the Snowden/NSA revelations, ‘trusted device’ is a relative term now, surely?)
Apple sends a four-digit verification code which is entered and voila!
Anyway, that’s a good step.
I highly recommend you enable two-factor authentication on your key accounts. It’s a small inconvenience with a huge potential pay-off in terms of security.
I skim-read, and was just about to download the Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities from a web page run by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, when I remembered spotting this:
[McAfeee] attributed the trend to Adobe’s greater popularity in mobile devices and non-Microsoft environments, coupled with the ongoing widespread use of PDF document files to convey malware.
Remember? Beware the ubiquitous PDF? Really?
Now I’m not paranoid … am I?
So restrained, so understated, so brilliant.
Good on them (always.com) for doing this.
The Bride of Endor
Mia left the old nurse to her magazine and finished her rounds. There were nine children on the floor with five rooms empty. It would be an easy, quiet night she decided, and perfect for her purpose. Of all the children but Lester F were recovering from chemotherapy. Two were to go home in the morning and the others to remain another three or four nights, depending on their conditions. All were stable, and all rested easily on low doses of morphine or oxycodone.
Mia slipped back into Lester’s room and turned the cock to CLOSE on her drip bag of painkillers. Continue reading →
Making a buck out of people’s paranoia/rational fear of cyber warfare and espionage … and these (apparently) terribly insecure devices many of us carry with us everywhere.
Read all about it: www.vysk.com (not an affiliate link).
Update: Audio of soundtrack here:
I spotted this National Party campaign ad yesterday thanks to @jamileeross who tweeted it into my timeline. Hmm, I thought, monochrome, concrete block bunker, working the phones. Looks like they’re going for a 1960s Kennedy campaign vibe.
I wonder who’s on the other end?
Early in the second part of PBS’s (highly recommended) ‘United States of Secrets‘ documentaries, The Guardian‘s reporter Ewan Macaskill recalled Edward Snowden’s reaction in his Hong Kong hotel to a simple question: Do you mind if I record our interview on my iPhone?:
Ewan Macaskill — excerpt from PBS ‘United States of Secrets’ part 2 MP3 file
I’ve referred before to my uneasiness about what a sufficiently-motivated (I hope) security agency or other entity is able to learn about, say, me (or you!) though our smartphone or internet connection — the bulk surveillance nightmare that Edward Snowden revealed a year ago.
An enterprising National Public Radio reporter called Steve Henn decided to find out … Project Eavesdrop: An Experiment At Monitoring My Home Office
When my iPhone connected to the network, suddenly a torrent of data began flowing over the line. Porcello was monitoring my traffic in his office across the country in Vermont.
“Oh, jeez,” he said. “You are not opening apps or anything?”
The iPhone was just sitting on my desk — I wasn’t touching it. We watched as my iPhone pinged servers all over the world.
“It’s just thousands and thousands of pages of stuff,” Porcello said.
My iPhone sent Yahoo my location data as unencrypted text. The phone connected to NPR for email. It pinged Apple, then Google. There was a cascade of bits.
Oh dear. Yes, I use the built-in weather app … with its little YAHOO! symbol at the bottom … and yes, I gave that app permission to use Location Services (along with only a few other apps).
But it didn’t occur to me that it would be routinely telling Yahoo where I am located — and transmitting that data unencrypted — even when I’m not actually checking the weather. Data like that is sooo hackable, as Yahoo mail demonstrated recently. Ger-rump!
Before Edward Snowden’s revelations about bulk surveillance and storage, I was quite relaxed about location services, as you can see in 2011′s Despite that, your honour, I wasn’t ACTUALLY there where I (naively?) reproduced this …
But I am … considerably less comfortable now.
A sad farewell to a comedic genius. Rik Mayall has died unexpectedly at 56.
His fans will celebrate the groundbreaking The Young Ones and remember with relish his scene-stealing and virile Lord Flashheart (woof!) in Blackadder — as I do — and these were great.
But for me, I will always remember his Alan B’Stard, beautifully described in the first episode of The New Statesman (below) as ‘a Thatcherite toy-boy’. To glimpse such deep cynicism in a politician was, yes, funny, but also oh-so-pointed.
As I know from my own case, even Snowden’s own testimony on the stand would be gagged by government objections and the (arguably unconstitutional) nature of his charges. That was my own experience in court, as the first American to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act – or any other statute – for giving information to the American people.
I had looked forward to offering a fuller account in my trial than I had given previously to any journalist – any Glenn Greenwald or Brian Williams of my time – as to the considerations that led me to copy and distribute thousands of pages of top-secret documents. I had saved many details until I could present them on the stand, under oath, just as a young John Kerry had delivered his strongest lines in sworn testimony.
But when I finally heard my lawyer ask the prearranged question in direct examination – Why did you copy the Pentagon Papers? – I was silenced before I could begin to answer. The government prosecutor objected – irrelevant – and the judge sustained. My lawyer, exasperated, said he “had never heard of a case where a defendant was not permitted to tell the jury why he did what he did.” The judge responded: well, you’re hearing one now.
And so it has been with every subsequent whistleblower under indictment, and so it would be if Edward Snowden was on trial in an American courtroom now.
Update: Here’s The Guardian’s (very positive) review.
Here’s a clip from the Brian Williams/NBC interview with Edward Snowden on the vulnerability of smartphones to intelligence agencies … (as we discussed in Oh. The NSA ‘owns’ iPhones (but only if it can get its hands on them, for now). It’s worse than I thought.
excerpt: Edward Snowden talks to NBC’s Brian Williams re security agency intrusion into smartphones MP3 file
Watch the whole interview below
(removed youtube embed after it was removed from youtube following an NBC copyright request)
Here’s the NBC news webpage with additional material (and, free bonus! US government/establishment spin) on the Snowden interview: INSIDE THE MIND OF EDWARD SNOWDEN
Expectations, Providence, and Enquiry
Our route to the bridge was a circuitous one. Lilith led the way, but not before resting for a few hours until her metamorphosis was complete. Her ungainly, awkward shape, she said, would get in the way and hinder our passage. So, we sat quietly together in a small, green glade bounded by wildflowers, overlooking a quiet mossy gully nestled between towering pillars of rock.
It was nice. And despite everything that had gone on before, I felt Lilith and I were becoming friends.
“I find your mind still on Lincoln,” I said. “But your anguish is not there as it was before.”
“Yes. It is true, but it will come again to me, so you must be prepared,” she replied. “It was in that shape the Magus trapped me. It was in this shape that I broke her spell and discovered Lincoln dead.”
We sat for a long time, saying nothing. I was thinking of Lincoln: as a puppy, and of bringing him home, and the kids going crazy over him, and he, phenomenally excited at all the attention and peeing on the living room rug. I smiled at the memory, but at the time remember being furious about it. And after all that had happened, I wondered why. That other me, before the rental, seemed to be as lost and as distant as my dreams of being player in the real-estate industry.
“Shapes trap things, exnzpat,” Lilith said suddenly. “The bulk of my grief for Lincoln remains inside that other me. I am compromised, to be sure, so be careful when that other me returns.”
It sounded like a warning and I took heed, knowing how her mind had compromised mine on our walk down the mountainside.
I sighed and said, “It will take time, Lilith. Grief is not easy, believe me, this last year has been the blackest of blackest nightmares. I would have gladly killed myself to rid myself of it.”
She looked at me. Her perfect human face shining in the light, and I saw why. Her face was wet with tears.
“Oh, exnzpat, you are a dear fool. Death changes nothing.”
I reached up to her and kissed her face.
* * * Continue reading →
Here’s a line that recent news reports about this worldwide malware infestation might usefully have mentioned more prominently …
Blackshades malware affects Microsoft Windows-based operating systems.
But I guess they got hung up on the Shock! Horror! ‘Miss Teen USA nude photos’ angle, huh?
Click to read the FBI bulletin here.