Archive for August, 2016

FBI forced to release 18 hours of spy plane footage: “Paging Mr Orwell …”

FBI spy planes



Eric De Grasse
Chief Technology Officer


9 August 2016 – Just back from Black Hat and DEF CON in Las Vegas, to find a welcome story :-) ….

It’s been just over a year since amateur aviation sleuths first revealed the FBI’s secret aerial surveillance of the civil unrest in Baltimore, Maryland. Now, in response to a FOIA request from the ACLU, the Bureau has released more than 18 hours of aerial footage from the Baltimore protests captured by their once-secret spy planes, which regularly fly in circles above major cities and are commonly registered to fake companies.

The cache is likely the most comprehensive collection of aerial surveillance footage ever released by a US law enforcement agency. The footage shows the crowds of protesters captured in a combination of visible light and infrared spectrum video taken by the planes’ wing-mounted FLIR Talon cameras … military-qualified and used by CIA drones in the Middle East; not available on Amazon … yet :-)

While individual faces are not clearly visible in the videos, it’s frighteningly easy to imagine how cameras … Read more

This company has built a profile on every American adult. Or so it says.

A file on every American

6 August 2016 – Every move you make. Every click you take. Every game you play. Every place you stay. They’ll be watching you. IDI, a year-old company in the so-called data-fusion business, is the first to centralize and weaponize all that information for its customers. The Boca Raton, Fla., company’s database service, idiCORE, combines public records with purchasing, demographic, and behavioral data.

Chief Executive Officer Derek Dubner says the system isn’t waiting for requests from clients — it’s already built a profile on every American adult, including young people who wouldn’t be swept up in conventional databases, which only index transactions. ‘We have data on that 21-year-old who’s living at home with mom and dad,’ he says.

 Read more

There are 1,000+ U.S. spies protecting the Rio Olympics

Rio olympics security


6 August 2016 – U.S. intelligence agencies have assigned more than 1,000 spies to security at the Rio 2016 Summer Games. NBC News reports:

“The classified report outlines an operation that encompasses all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, including those of the armed services, and involves human intelligence, spy satellites, electronic eavesdropping, and cyber and social media monitoring. Areas of cooperation include vetting 10,000-plus athletes and 35,000-plus security and police personnel and others; monitoring terrorists’ social media accounts; and offering U.S. help in securing computer networks, the review shows. ‘U.S. intelligence agencies are working closely with Brazilian intelligence officials to support their efforts to identify and disrupt potential threats to the Olympic Games in Rio,’ said Richard Kolko, a spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper.”Read more

How the U.S. uses “stealth” submarines to cyber hack other countries

Stealth submarine

1 August 2016 – When the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump asked Russia — wittingly or otherwise — to launch hack attacks to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, it stirred a commotion. Russia is allegedly behind the DNC’s leaked emails (see our boss’ take on all of this here).


But The Washington Post is reminding us that U.S.’s efforts in the cyber-security world aren’t much different. From the report:

The U.S. approach to this digital battleground is pretty advanced. For example: Did you know that the military uses its submarines as underwater hacking platforms? In fact, subs represent an important component of America’s cyber strategy. They act defensively to protect themselves and the country from digital attack, but — more interestingly — they also have a role to play in carrying out cyberattacks, according to two U.S. Navy officials at a recent Washington conference. “There is a — an offensive capability that we are, that we prize very highly,” said Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, the U.S. Navy’s program executive officer for submarines. “And this is where I Read more