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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 13,056

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Researchers Solve Juniper Backdoor Mystery; Signs Point to NSA

Source: Wired

Security researchers believe they have finally solved the mystery around how a sophisticated backdoor embedded in Juniper firewalls works. Juniper Networks, a tech giant that produces networking equipment used by an array of corporate and government systems, announced on Thursday that it had discovered two unauthorized backdoors in its firewalls, including one that allows the attackers to decrypt protected traffic passing through Juniper’s devices.

The researchers’ findings suggest that the NSA may be responsible for that backdoor, at least indirectly. Even if the NSA did not plant the backdoor in the company’s source code, the spy agency may in fact be indirectly responsible for it by having created weaknesses the attackers exploited.

Evidence uncovered by Ralf-Philipp Weinmann, founder and CEO of Comsecuris, a security consultancy in Germany, suggests that the Juniper culprits repurposed an encryption backdoor previously believed to have been engineered by the NSA, and tweaked it to use for their own spying purposes. Weinmann reported his findings in an extensive post published late Monday.

They did this by exploiting weaknesses the NSA allegedly placed in a government-approved encryption algorithm known as Dual_EC, a pseudo-random number generator that Juniper uses to encrypt traffic passing through the VPN in its NetScreen firewalls. But in addition to these inherent weaknesses, the attackers also relied on a mistake Juniper apparently made in configuring the VPN encryption scheme in its NetScreen devices, according to Weinmann and other cryptographers who examined the issue. This made it possible for the culprits to pull off their attack.


Read more: http://www.wired.com/2015/12/researchers-solve-the-juniper-mystery-and-they-say-its-partially-the-nsas-fault/



Weinmann's post:

http://rpw.sh/blog/2015/12/21/the-backdoored-backdoor/


The NSA backdoor is known as FEEDTROUGH:

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Dec 22, 2015, 04:17 AM (34 replies)

For Manny G: "You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful...

...than you could possibly imagine"

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Dec 20, 2015, 08:16 PM (0 replies)

The ACLU agrees with the NRA and Paul Ryan about terror watch/no fly lists

Reposted from GD:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027439041

https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/until-no-fly-list-fixed-it-shouldnt-be-used-restrict-peoples-freedoms

Until the No Fly List Is Fixed, It Shouldn’t Be Used to Restrict People’s Freedoms

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project
December 7, 2015 | 5:30 PM

The No Fly List is in the news this week, just in time for the ACLU’s argument in federal court on Wednesday in its five-year-long challenge to the list’s redress process.

Last night, in response to last week’s tragic attack in San Bernardino, California, President Obama urged Congress to ensure that people on the No Fly List be prohibited from purchasing guns. Last week, Republicans in Congress defeated a proposal that would have done just that. "I think it’s very important to remember people have due process rights in this country, and we can’t have some government official just arbitrarily put them on a list," House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

There is no constitutional bar to reasonable regulation of guns, and the No Fly List could serve as one tool for it, but only with major reform. As we will argue to a federal district court in Oregon this Wednesday, the standards for inclusion on the No Fly List are unconstitutionally vague, and innocent people are blacklisted without a fair process to correct government error. Our lawsuit seeks a meaningful opportunity for our clients to challenge their placement on the No Fly List because it is so error-prone and the consequences for their lives have been devastating...

...We disagree with Speaker Ryan about many things. But he’s right that people in this country have due process rights. We want to see them respected.


No doubt this will cause consternation and/or cognitive dissonance in some.
The resulting logical twists should be quite amusing to watch...




Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Dec 10, 2015, 05:14 PM (5 replies)

The ACLU agrees with the NRA and Paul Ryan about terror watch/no fly lists

https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/until-no-fly-list-fixed-it-shouldnt-be-used-restrict-peoples-freedoms

Until the No Fly List Is Fixed, It Shouldn’t Be Used to Restrict People’s Freedoms

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project
December 7, 2015 | 5:30 PM

The No Fly List is in the news this week, just in time for the ACLU’s argument in federal court on Wednesday in its five-year-long challenge to the list’s redress process.

Last night, in response to last week’s tragic attack in San Bernardino, California, President Obama urged Congress to ensure that people on the No Fly List be prohibited from purchasing guns. Last week, Republicans in Congress defeated a proposal that would have done just that. "I think it’s very important to remember people have due process rights in this country, and we can’t have some government official just arbitrarily put them on a list," House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

There is no constitutional bar to reasonable regulation of guns, and the No Fly List could serve as one tool for it, but only with major reform. As we will argue to a federal district court in Oregon this Wednesday, the standards for inclusion on the No Fly List are unconstitutionally vague, and innocent people are blacklisted without a fair process to correct government error. Our lawsuit seeks a meaningful opportunity for our clients to challenge their placement on the No Fly List because it is so error-prone and the consequences for their lives have been devastating...

...We disagree with Speaker Ryan about many things. But he’s right that people in this country have due process rights. We want to see them respected.





Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Dec 10, 2015, 05:08 PM (5 replies)

Laquan McDonald police reports differ dramatically from video

Source: Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of pages of newly released Chicago police reports from the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald are most striking for one simple reason: They are dramatically at odds with the dash-cam video that has sparked protests across the city, cost the city's top cop his job, and embroiled Mayor Rahm Emanuel in scandal.

The reports, released by the city late Friday, show that Officer Jason Van Dyke and at least five other officers claim that the 17-year-old McDonald moved or turned threateningly toward officers, even though the video of the October 2014 shooting shows McDonald walking away, and the scenario sketched out by Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez in charging Van Dyke with murder contends he was walking away as well.

At least one patrol officer said that McDonald was advancing on the officers in a menacing way and swung his knife at them in an "aggressive, exaggerated manner" before he was shot and killed. Officers claimed, too, that even after McDonald had been shot by Van Dyke, the teen tried to lift himself off the ground with the knife pointed toward the officers, and though he had been mortally wounded, still presented a threat...

...With the video of the shooting as a backdrop, the reports — the first detailed accounts from the officers at the scene — offer a way to examine what Van Dyke and his colleagues say happened. Because they diverge so dramatically from the video, they suggest one possible avenue for additional investigation.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-laquan-mcdonald-chicago-police-reports-met-20151204-story.html



Reading this story, it becomes clear that Van Dyke is not the only one that needs to do time
over this
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat Dec 5, 2015, 06:36 AM (8 replies)

An awkward question that no one has yet asked

John Rosenthal runs Stop Handgun Violence:

http://www.stophandgunviolence.org/

and was interviewed last night (2 December) on WBZ radio's "Nightside"
- the podcast is available here:

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/12/02/nightside-another-tragedy/

I was listening to the first hour last night, and was struck by something

At 13:40, Rosenthal says that he has helped to pass strong gun laws, and that Massachsetts
has the second lowest gun death rate in the country (Hawaii is lowest).
These are both true. What's also true is that two states with some of the laxest gun laws
in the US are immediately next to MA (New Hampshire and Vermont). You can drive
to New Hampshire from Boston in less than an hour, and Vermont in two (traffic permitting)

The host, Dan Rea, points out at 14:12 that Chicago has really tough gun laws. Rosenthal
replies that (paraphrasing) Illinois doesn't, and guns are easily accessable in bordering towns
and in next-door Indiana.

Which raises the 'awkward question' of the subject line:

Why does the same condition that occurs in Chicago - lax gun laws within easy driving
distance- not cause the same claimed effect in Massachusetts?

I was driving, so did not call in and ask.





Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Dec 3, 2015, 04:49 PM (1 replies)

Your browser history, IP addresses, online purchases etc all up for grabs without a warrant

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/30/isp_national_security_letter_details_published_following_11year_legal_battle/


Your browser history, IP addresses, online purchases etc all up for grabs without a warrant
What the FBI can do with an NSL and a gagging order

30 Nov 2015 at 22:53, Kieren McCarthy

Following a decade-long legal battle, the details of a US national security letter (NSL) sent to ISP owner Nicholas Merrill can finally be revealed

The broad details have been known for some time, and a recent court decision all but listed the personal information that Merrill was told to hand over on all of his ISPs' customers.

However, the decision by the FBI to not continue appealing the federal court's judgment means people are now able to formally see the personal information that the US government believes it has a right to be granted access to without a warrant...

...At the same time the gag order built into the NSL was officially lifted, an unredacted version of a court decision from Judge Victor Marrero was published listing in full all the details that the FBI requested be handed over by Calyx Internet Access back in 2004.


That PDF can be found at the following link, and is worth a detailed read not only for
what it reveals, but for wonderful levels of judicial snark:

https://regmedia.co.uk/2015/11/30/merrill-fbi-unredacted.pdf
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Dec 1, 2015, 03:03 AM (3 replies)

Your browser history, IP addresses, online purchases etc all up for grabs without a warrant

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/30/isp_national_security_letter_details_published_following_11year_legal_battle/


Your browser history, IP addresses, online purchases etc all up for grabs without a warrant
What the FBI can do with an NSL and a gagging order

30 Nov 2015 at 22:53, Kieren McCarthy

Following a decade-long legal battle, the details of a US national security letter (NSL) sent to ISP owner Nicholas Merrill can finally be revealed

The broad details have been known for some time, and a recent court decision all but listed the personal information that Merrill was told to hand over on all of his ISPs' customers.

However, the decision by the FBI to not continue appealing the federal court's judgment means people are now able to formally see the personal information that the US government believes it has a right to be granted access to without a warrant...

...At the same time the gag order built into the NSL was officially lifted, an unredacted version of a court decision from Judge Victor Marrero was published listing in full all the details that the FBI requested be handed over by Calyx Internet Access back in 2004.


That PDF can be found at the following link, and is worth a detailed read not only for
what it reveals, but for wonderful levels of judicial snark:

https://regmedia.co.uk/2015/11/30/merrill-fbi-unredacted.pdf
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Dec 1, 2015, 02:57 AM (0 replies)

Burger King manager told grand jury of gap in Laquan McDonald video

Source: Chicago Tribune

Minutes after McDonald was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke on a Southwest Side street, several police officers entered a Burger King located just yards from where the teen fell, demanding to view the restaurant's password-protected surveillance video, Jay Darshane, a district manager for the fast-food chain, told the Tribune this week.

When the police left the restaurant almost two hours later, the video had an inexplicable 86-minute gap that included when McDonald was shot, according to Darshane....

...The equipment had been in perfect working order for weeks before the shooting, Darshane said. But the next morning, Burger King discovered the 86-minute gap when investigators with the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police shootings, sought to make a DVD copy of the surveillance video. Missing was any footage from 9:13 p.m. to 10:39 p.m., Darshane said.

When the video system kicked back on, it recorded two police officers in the Burger King office who appeared to be looking at something on the monitor over and over, according to Michael Robbins, an attorney representing McDonald's family.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-cop-shooting-laquan-mcdonald-met-20151127-story.html



McCarthy, Alvarez's and Rahm's careers are probably toast after this
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Nov 27, 2015, 07:16 PM (28 replies)

Apparently, "Assult rifles" in video game fanfic prove that assault weapons are a real thing

Note: the videogame is "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/126210025

"Next time a pro gunner says there is no such thing as an assault weapon, send them here."



Hmm, desperate reaching, cynical manipulation, or false-flag op?







Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Nov 26, 2015, 09:03 PM (2 replies)
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