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Posts Tagged ‘Security’

​Over 5,000 Kalashnikovs, other guns stolen from Ukrainian military bases – report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 15, 2014

Reuters / Eduard Kornienko:

kalashnikov-2.si

Fears of possible armed assaults and provocation in Ukraine and neighboring countries are on the rise after yet another report that rocket grenade launchers, firearms and munitions have been stolen from a military warehouse in western Ukraine.

A source in the Ukrainian Interior Ministry told RIA Novosti that the coup appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has recently been notified that a large cache of guns and ammunition was missing from one of the military warehouses.

“Reports to Avakov indicate that over 5,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 2,741 Makarov handguns, 123 light machineguns and 12 Shmel rocket launchers were stolen from the Interior Troops’ depots in the Lvov Region in late February,” the source said. Read the rest of this entry »

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​US in tenuous sabre rattling over Ukraine

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 7, 2014

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Under the pretext of “deterring Russian aggression” in Ukraine, the US Defense Department has announced plans to add several fighter jets to US aircraft squadrons based near Russian borders, in a move to embolden the Baltic states and Poland.

Following NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announcement that alliance officials would put “the entire range of NATO-Russia cooperation under review,” Pentagon head, Chuck Hagel, outlined plans on Wednesday to broaden military cooperation with Poland and the Baltic states, without elaborating on the details.

An unnamed source told Reuters that the Pentagon plans to send six additional F-15 fighter jets, and a Boeing KC-135 refueling Stratotanker, to beef up the squadron of four F-15 currently flying air patrols over the Baltic states. NATO has been carrying out patrols in the Baltic states for the last 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Spamhaus mafia tactics – main threat to Internet freedom’: CyberBunker explains largest cyber-attack

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 28, 2013

Spamhaus is a major censorship organization only pretending to fight spam, a CyberBunker spokesman said in an RT exclusive. Sven Olaf Kamphuis claimed that as a constant bully of Internet service providers Spamhaus has only itself to blame for the attack.

In a Skype interview with RT, Kamphuis denied that CyberBunker was the organization behind the historical attack, pointing the finger at a large collective of internet providers around the globe called Stophaus.com.

Spamhaus has blackmailed a number of internet service providers and carriers into disconnecting clients without court orders or any legal process, Kamphuis says. Basically, he accuses them of claiming people are spammers when they are not.

“They do it on a regular basis,” Kamphuis said. “If people do not comply with their demands they just list the entire internet provider.”

Kamphuis claims they use “mafia tactics” and have a list of internet users that they do not like, which features a lot of users from China and Russia because they allegedly believe that a lot of spammers and criminals in these two countries use the internet to facilitate crime.

Spamhaus first reported massive DDoS attacks on March 20. At one point Spamhaus servers were flooded with 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data, making it the largest registered attack of this kind in the history of the internet, according to Kaspersky anti-virus giant’s experts.

Image from cyberbunker.com
Image from cyberbunker.com

“The data flow generated by such an attack may affect intermediate network nodes when it passes them, thus impeding operations of normal web services that have no relation to Spamhaus or CyberBunker,”corporate communications manager at Kaspersky, Yuliya Krivosheina, wrote in a statement for RT.“Therefore, such DDoS attack may affect regular users as well, with network slowdown or total unavailability of certain web resources being typical symptoms.” Read the rest of this entry »

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US claims N. Korea’s satellite is ‘out of control’ security threat

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 14, 2012

NKOREA-MISSILE-SATELLITEDespite the nature of North Korea’s recently launched satellite being unknown Washington condemned it as an “out of control” threat to regional security. Pyongyang maintains it was a surveillance device, denying allegations of warmongering.

US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity voiced their concerns over the “out of control” satellite to US broadcaster NBC News. They said that the celestial object was a threat to regional security and could potentially collide with other satellites in orbit.

Meanwhile, the South Korean Aerospace Research Institute said that Pyongyang’s satellite was orbiting at between 494 and 588 kilometers above the earth as predicted. The typical orbiting altitude for an observation satellite is between 480 and 970 kilometers.

The controversial launch was greeted with a wave of furious condemnation by the international community, who regard North Korea’s rocket launches as thinly-veiled missile tests, paving the way for possible nuclear armament.

The UN decried the launch as a violation of international law, while Washington said that Pyongyang would face“consequences” for what it branded as a “highly provocative act.” The international community is now discussing a new set of sanctions to slam on Pyongyang following the contested launch. Read the rest of this entry »

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Everyone is fair game: Spy agency conducts surveillance on all US citizens

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 14, 2012

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees (Reuters/Chris Morgan/Idaho National Laboratory)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees (Reuters/Chris Morgan/Idaho National Laboratory)

The Obama administration overruled recommendations from within the US Department of Homeland Security and implemented new guidelines earlier this year that allow the government to gather and analyze intelligence on every single US citizen.

Since the spring, a little-know intelligence agency outside of Washington, DC has been able to circumvent the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution and conduct dragnet surveillance of the entire country, combing massive datasets using advanced algorithms to search and seize personal info on anyone this wish, reports the Wall Street Journal this week.

There’s no safeguard that says only Americans with criminal records are the ones included, and it’s not just suspected terrorists that are considered in the searches either. The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) has been provided with entire government databases and given nearly endless access to intelligence on everyone in the country, regardless of whether or not they’ve done anything that would have made them a person of interest. As long as data is “reasonably believed” to contain “terrorism information,” the agency can do as they wish.

What’s more is the NCTC can retain that information for years, reviewing it whenever they’d like to take a look.

The update to the agency’s policies, reported by RT at the time and reexamined this week in the Journal, expose any person in the country to invasive and nearly endless government surveillance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Senate kills Pentagon’s ‘alternative CIA’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 12, 2012

Reuters

larry-downing-reuters.nThe US Senate Armed Services Committee has halted the Pentagon’s request to send overseas more spies from the DoD’s Defense Intelligence Agency.

In a surprise addition made last week to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, or NDAA, members of the Senate added a provision to the annual Pentagon spending bill that disrupts recently announced plans to put clandestine officers from the Department of Defense’s DIA overseas.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that the Pentagon planned to send “hundreds of additional spies”abroad and in doing so would establish an espionage network that would rival in size the CIA. In a harshly worded explanation drafted in Washington last week, though, the Senate Armed Services Committee suggests that the Pentagon has a lot to get right before a request like this can be cleared by Congress.

The DoD “needs to demonstrate that it can improve the management of clandestine HUMINT [Defense Human Intelligence] before undertaking any further expansion,” the Senate Armed Services Committee wrote in drafting S. 3254 of next year’s NDAA. The measure was approved on Capitol Hill only a few days following the Post’s initial report.

The Senate Armed Services Committee “appreciates the fact” that both the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and the director of the DIA “intend to make reforms” within the Pentagon that would “correct longstanding problems,”but lawmakers cite a list of ongoing issues that need to be resolved before their request can be approved. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iran to take US to international court over intercepted spy drone

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 6, 2012

US-TECHNOLOGY-UNMANNED SYSTEMS DEMO-SCANEAGLEIran has threatened international legal action against Washington over its alleged interception of a US spy drone. Tehran claims it has evidence of illegal spying on Iran’s nuclear program to present to an international court.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced on Tuesday that Tehran now has proof of the presence of US spy drones over Iranian territory.

“We had formally protested such actions by the US and had announced that we would defend our borders by any means possible,” Salehi told national media. International law forbids the violation of national borders, which Tehran had warned the US against before, “but unfortunately they did not comply,” he said.

“We will use this drone as evidence to pursue a legal case against the US invasion at relevant international bodies,”the Iranian FM said.

In a video broadcast on Iran’s Press TV on December 4, a US ScanEagle drone recently intercepted over the Persian Gulf by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was not visibly damaged. If the drone was manufactured by Boeing subsidiary Insitu, the lack of damage indicates it was not shot down, but was ‘hooked’ intact and brought to the ground.

IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, who made the official announcement on the drone’s capture, did not specify the exact date it had been intercepted.

One year ago, Tehran was reluctant to go to an international court when Iranian electronic warfare specialists managed to take control of the top-secret US RQ-170 ‘Sentinel’ stealth drone on a mission above the northeastern Iranian city Kashmar. The Sentinel was hacked and forced to land on an Iranian airfield, and then captured intact on December 4, 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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Assange to RT: Entire nations intercepted online, key turned to totalitarian rule

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 3, 2012

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says all the necessary physical infrastructure for absolute totalitarianism through the internet is ready. He told RT that the question now is whether the turnkey process that already started will go all the way.

RT: So you’ve written this book ‘Cypherpunks. Freedom and the Future of the Internet’ based on one of the programs that you’ve made for RT. In it, you say that the internet can enslave us. I don’t really get that, because the internet it’s a thing, it’s a soulless thing. Who are the actual enslavers behind it?

Julian Assange: The people who control the interception of the internet and, to some degree also, physically control the big data warehouses and the international fiber-optic lines. We all think of the internet as some kind of Platonic Realm where we can throw out ideas and communications and web pages and books and they exist somewhere out there. Actually, they exist on web servers in New York or Nairobi or Beijing, and information comes to us through satellite connections or through fiber-optic cables.

So whoever physically controls this controls the realm of our ideas and communications. And whoever is able to sit on those communications channels, can intercept entire nations, and that’s the new game in town, as far as state spying is concerned – intercepting entire nations, not individuals.

‘intercepting entire nations, not individuals’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Petraeus mistress reveals real motive behind Benghazi attack (VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 13, 2012

The fallout from former CIA head David Petraeus’ resignation might be more significant than first thought: as all eyes turn to the ex-intelligence chief’s mistress, it’s apparent that she may have been privy to what really happened in Benghazi.

Two months after the storming of an US consulate in Benghazi, questions remain largely unanswered about both how and why insurgents entered the facility on September 11 and executed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The discussion became a heated issue on the campaign trail leading up to Election Day, and conflicting accounts from the White House, State Department and Congress all led to a mess of confusion that has only further spun out of control following the unexpected stepping down of Petraeus on Friday.

In the immediate aftermath of the CIA chief’s resignation, skeptics quickly suggested that there was more to the story, especially given Petraeus’ role as head of the country’s intelligence agency and the relatively unscathing extramarital affair that he rightfully admitted to in citing his departure from office. As journalists and investigators tried to dig deep for info on the alleged mistress, Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell, as expected the story took a drastic turn by Sunday when it was revealed that she may have been briefed on the truth of the Benghazi scandal while the rest of the country claws for answers. Read the rest of this entry »

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EU plans drone network to nab illegal immigrants

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 27, 2012

Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

The European Commission had released a proposal to deploy drones across the Mediterranean Sea to catch illegal immigrants. The surveillance effort is part of a $410 million package to bolster EU border security.

Dubbed EUROSUR, the project proposes the use of drones, high-resolution cameras, satellites and spy planes to detect migrant vessels at sea.

EUROSUR’s stated aim is to reduce the number of migrants reaching the Schengen area undetected, preventing cross-border crime and reducing immigrant fatalities. The project has yet to be officially debated in the European Parliament and Council, but some proponents of the project are pushing for it to be implemented as early as next year.

One to three million people immigrate to EU annually, and last year’s uprisings in North Africa increased the flow of immigrants to EU, with thousands attempting to cross the region’s borders. The Mediterranean is one of the central hubs for illegal immigration: Europa Press reported that 1,037 migrants on board 44 boats have been detected arriving on the Andalusian coast from 1 January 2012 to 9 July 2012 alone. With this influx in immigration, death rates have also spiked. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syrian rebels attack govt HQ, Assad’s whereabouts unknown

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 19, 2012

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 18, 2012 shows smoke billowing from a municipality building in the Al-Hajar al-Aswad district of the Syrian capital Damascus during clashes between Syrian forces and armed rebels. More than 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed on July 18 in violence across Syria, including 38 in Damascus where armed rebels are pressing an all-out offensive, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

•  Assad reported to be in Latakia directing response to killings
• Delayed UN security council vote due to take place
• Obama calls Putin to discuss crisis

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 18, 2012 shows smoke billowing from a municipality building in the Al-Hajar al-Aswad district of the Syrian capital Damascus during clashes between Syrian forces and armed rebels. More than 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed on July 18 in violence across Syria, including 38 in Damascus where armed rebels are pressing an all-out offensive, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

Clashes between the Syrian army and rebel fighters are taking place near the government headquarters in Syria’s capital Damascus.

At least one person has reportedly been killed in the fighting in the Ikhlas neighborhood adjacent to the Council of Ministers, says Reuters.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the opposition damaged one helicopter and disabled three military vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

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US could put Assange to death if it gets him – former senior NSA official

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 10, 2012

If America gets its hands on the WikiLeaks founder, they may go as far as execute him, a known National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Andrews Drake told RT, adding that in the US, security has become a state religion.

An expert on electronic eavesdropping, Drake sacrificed his career to blow the whistle on perceived wrongdoings within the NSA. He was charged under the Espionage Act, though the charges were dropped only last year.

He told RT that in America’s ‘soft tyranny’, everyone is subject or suspect in terms of surveillance.

RT: What was the potential harm of the program that you challenged while working with the NSA?

Thomas Drake: There was a very large flagship program called Trailblazer that was designed to catapult the NSA into the twenty first century to deal with the vast amounts of data generated by the digital age. Given the massive fraud and abuse that the NSA had created with the Trailblazer program, as well as the super secret surveillance program, the NSA completely violated the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment. In particular, the stature called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was the first commandment at the NSA: you did violate Americans’ privacy without a warning, and if you did – there is a criminal penalty for doing so. And I found this out to my horror and shock, that shortly after 9/11, the NSA entered a secret agreement with the White House in which the NSA would become the executive agent for this secret surveillance program. Read the rest of this entry »

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Social downer: Anonymous crash Facebook, lock out thousands

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2012

Screenshot of Twitter user @YourAnonOps

Screenshot of Twitter user @YourAnonOps

An attack orchestrated by the infamous hacktivist group Anonymous forced Facebook offline, with many of its 900 million users unable to log onto the social network for hours.

Anonymous took to Twitter, using their @YourAnonNews handle to say “looks like good old Facebook is having packet problems,” and sprinkled it with some no-nonsense hashtags like #FuckFacebook and #FuckYourIPO.

They followed with “RIP Facebook a new sound of tango down bitches”, which resulted in “RIP Facebook” trending on Twitter both in the United States and worldwide.

Facebook admitted they experienced problems in a statement.

“Earlier today, some users briefly experienced issues loading the site. The issues have since been resolved and everyone should now have access to Facebook. We apologize for any inconvenience,” the company’s announcement said.

Facebook did not deny Anonymous’ claims that they were behind the network problems.

Anonymous usually times its attacks for Fridays, but has previously focused mainly on law enforcement-alphabet agencies like the FBI, CIA and DHS. This is the first time the hacktivist group has targeted the world’s most popular social network.

The attack added insult to Facebook’s IPO injuries, with share prices falling 22 per cent since going public two weeks ago. Mark Zuckerberg’s company, along with the banks that led the float, is also the subject of two shareholder lawsuits. Read the rest of this entry »

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Diamond Jubilee: Queen’s Celebration Spurs Massive Security Operation

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2012

JEREMY SELWYN / EVENING STANDARD / ZUMA PRESS
Scotland Yard is preparing the biggest-ever royal-security operation for the Queen’s Jubilee flotilla. On Sunday, more than 13,000 police and security officials will line the Thames in London

On Sunday, as Queen Elizabeth II and members of the extended royal family cruise through London as part of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, security forces will have their eyes on Her Majesty. Given the menace of terrorism, they’ll also be watching the water, the crowds and the sky. Explosives set on bridges could detonate as boats pass underneath. Snipers lurking in tall buildings could fire into the throngs of well wishers along the 11-km route. Hijacked airplanes could crash directly into the river. “A security coordinator is appointed to look at such issues, to take necessary precautions and to advise those in charge,” says Dai Davies, the former head of Scotland Yard’s Royal Protection Unit. “But the truth is that for a journey of this kind and this length, it’s impossible to have total security.”

With the Queen and around 50 members of the extended royal family all gathering in one place, the stakes are higher than ever. As such the London police, Scotland Yard and MI5 — Britain’s counterintelligence unit — have been considering a slew of ugly scenarios as they prepare for this weekend’s Diamond Jubilee, the biggest royal-security operation ever staged in the U.K. Agencies have digitally mapped key locations from the air to identify weak spots, like rooftops, and intelligence units have tuned in to phone conversations and monitored the Internet for chatter of potential Diamond Jubilee terror. On the day itself, more than 6,000 officers will line the route — some dressed in plain clothes and embedded with the crowds. And another 7,000 stewards will help with general crowd control. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Flame’ Virus explained: How it works and who’s behind it

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 30, 2012

‘Flame’ Virus: How it works and who’s behind it

                                                                                      ‘Flame’ Virus: How it works and who’s behind it

Flame may be the most powerful computer virus in history, and a nation-state is most likely to blame for unleashing it on the World Wide Web.Kaspersky’s chief malware expert Vitaly Kamlyuk shared with RT the ins and outs of Stuxnet on steroids.

Iran appears to be the primary target of the data-snatching virus that has swept through the Middle East, though other countries have also been affected.The sheer complexity of the virus and its targets has led Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab to believe a state is behind the attack.

Kaspersky first spotted the virus in 2010, though it may have been wrecking havoc on computer systems for many years.Vitaly Kamlyuk told RT how his company discovered it, just what makes Flame so significant, features of the virus that could point towards its creator, and why we all lose out in this intensifying cyber-war.

RT: So, how did you spot the malware, was it a planned investigation, or did it come by surprise?

Vitaly Kamlyuk: It was by surprise. We were initially searching for a [different form of] malware. We were aware of the malware that had spread throughout the Middle East, attacked hundreds of computers and wiped their hard drives, making the systems unbootable after that. It was actually after an inquiry from the International Telecommunications Union, which is a part of the United Nations, who actually asked us to start conducting research. When we started looking for this mysterious malware in the Middle East, we discovered this suspicious application that turned out to be even more interesting than the initial target of our search. Read the rest of this entry »

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