Search Results for “Christopher Bing”


April 28, 2020
Joel Schectman, Christopher Bing, Jack Stubbs / Reuters

Joel Schectman, Christopher Bing, Jack Stubbs / Reuters  
Many Surveillance and Cyberintelligence Firms Are Marketing Repurposed Law Enforcement Hacking Tools to Track Coronavirus Infections and Enforce Quarantines

At least eight surveillance and cyberintelligence companies are attempting to sell repurposed surveillance and law enforcement hacking tools to track the coronavirus and enforce quarantines, based on documents and interviews Reuters obtained.  Among those companies identified by Reuters as marketing their hacking and surveillance software to countries around the globe are Intellexa, Verint, NSO Group, Rayzone Group, Cobwebs Technologies, Patternz, and Cellebrite. Israeli mobile phone hacking software company Cellebrite is offering its mobile phone hacking and surveillance capability to help authorities learn who a coronavirus sufferer may have infected.  According to a Cellebrite email pitch to the Delhi police force this month, authorities can siphon up coronavirus-positive patients’ location data and contacts, making it easy to “quarantine the right people.” Although the company sees this tracking as done with users’ consent, they also concede that police can use their tools to hack into confiscated devices. Cellebrite is also offering a version of its product line for use by healthcare workers to trace the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, but says the tools can only be used with patient consent and can’t hack phones. Israel is the only country known to be testing a mass surveillance system pitched by the companies, asking NSO Group, one of the industry’s most prominent players, to help build its platform.

Related: Reuters, AppleInsider, iTnews – Security, MacDailyNews, CNBC Technology

Tweets:@jc_stubbs @howelloneill @bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris @joel_schectman @razhael @ron_deibert @ericgeller

Reuters: Tracing COVID-19
AppleInsider: Cellebrite pitching iPhone hacking tools as a way to stop COVID-19
iTnews – Security: Special Report: Cyber-intel firms pitch governments on spy tools to trace coronavirus
MacDailyNews: Cellebrite pitches governments iPhone spy tools for coronavirus contact tracing
CNBC Technology: Cyber-intel firms pitch governments on spy tools to trace coronavirus

@jc_stubbs: NEW: Company documents reviewed by Reuters show at least 8 cyber-intelligence firms, better known for selling hacking and surveillance tools, are now pitching coronavirus-tracking products to governments around the world https://reut.rs/2W6pTkP with @joel_schectman @Bing_Chris
@howelloneill: What's really weird about this is the governments refusing to name the tech they're buying here. There's no national security risk, coronavirus is not changing tactics because of surveillance. What's the justification for the lack of transparency?
@bing_chris: Cellebrite, a firm which gained fame for producing a iPhone hacking tool for law enforcement, .... has entered the coronavirus market. Now pitching a solution to hack phones of infected persons, emails reviewed by Reuters show https://reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spy-specialreport/special-report-cyber-intel-firms-pitch-governments-on-spy-tools-to-trace-coronavirus-idUSKCN22A2G1
@bing_chris: Cellebrite is not alone. Through source interviews and reviewing documents, Reuters found 8 companies playing in this domain: turning spy tools into coronavirus tracking platforms. They include: intelligence companies Verint, NSO, Intellexa, and others https://reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spy-specialreport/special-report-cyber-intel-firms-pitch-governments-on-spy-tools-to-trace-coronavirus-idUSKCN22A2G1
@bing_chris: We’re in a new world that some argue calls for novel surveillance methods. Several governments are considering bulk telco collection techniques to track infections and force quarantines: https://reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spy-specialreport/special-report-cyber-intel-firms-pitch-governments-on-spy-tools-to-trace-coronavirus-idUSKCN22A2G1
@bing_chris: But privacy advocates worry about an environment where intelligence firms expand their reach and product adoption. Sources tell us multiple projects are ongoing in Asia, South America and Europe. What could this mean after the virus subsides? https://reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spy-specialreport/special-report-cyber-intel-firms-pitch-governments-on-spy-tools-to-trace-coronavirus-idUSKCN22A2G1
@bing_chris: This is all happening while senior officials in multiple countries are opening the doors to telco-based mass surveillance solutions to combat the spread of the virus. He’s what that sounds like: https://reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spy-specialreport/special-report-cyber-intel-firms-pitch-governments-on-spy-tools-to-trace-coronavirus-idUSKCN22A2G1
@joel_schectman: NOW: Instead of tracking terrorists and criminals, Israeli spyware companies say want to help governments monitor coronavirus patients. http://reut.rs/3cWqhcp @Bing_Chris @jc_stubbs
@razhael: You’ve heard of the NSO Group’s effort to repurpose its surveillance solution for COVID-19 contact tracing. New reporting from @Reuters shows that it’s one of many cyber-intelligence companies retooling to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis. MicrobeMobile phone?
@ron_deibert: Special Report: Cyber-intel firms pitch governments on spy tools to trace coronavirus
@ericgeller: Great story by @joel_schectman, @Bing_Chris, and @jc_stubbs about how the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating surveillance vendors' mission creep. https://reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spy-specialreport-idUSKCN22A2G1 As @HowellONeill points out, there's no need for secrecy here. Vendors should be held accountable.


March 23, 2020
Raphael Satter, Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters

Raphael Satter, Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters  
Hackers Tried to Break into World Health Organization as Agency Comes Under Two-Fold Increase in Cyberattacks

Elite hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization earlier this month, part of what a senior agency official said was a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks. WHO Chief Information Security Officer Flavio Aggio said the identity of the hackers was unclear, and the effort was unsuccessful. Alexander Urbelis, a cybersecurity expert and attorney with the New York-based Blackstone Law Group, which tracks suspicious internet domain registration activity, brought the attempted WHO break-in to Reuters’ attention. He picked up on the activity around March 13 when a group of hackers he had been following activated a malicious site mimicking the WHO’s internal email system. The same malicious web infrastructure belonging to a hacking group known as DarkHotel had also been used to target other healthcare and humanitarian organizations in recent weeks, although it’s unclear if DarkHotel is connected to the WHO hacking.

Related: DataBreaches.net, PYMNTS.com, Slashdot, Boing Boing, The Hill: Cybersecurity, Business Insider

Tweets:@bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris


May 8, 2020
Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters

Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters  
Iran’s Charming Kitten Hacking Group Has Targeted Staff at Drugmaker Gilead Sciences as the Company Races to Develop COVID-19 Treatment

Hackers linked to Iran have targeted staff at U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences in recent weeks as the company races to develop a COVID-19 treatment, an antiviral drug called remdesivir, according to publicly-available web archives reviewed by Reuters and three cybersecurity researchers. A fake email login page designed to steal passwords was sent in April to a top Gilead executive involved in legal and corporate affairs according to an archived version of a website that searches for malicious links. The hacking infrastructure and the targeted phishing campaign used in the attempt to compromise the Gilead executive’s email account has previously been used in cyberattacks by a group of suspected Iranian hackers known as “Charming Kitten.” Iran has denied any involvement in the hacking effort.

June 4, 2020
Christopher Bing / Reuters

Christopher Bing / Reuters  
Google Threat Analysis Group Head Says China-backed Hackers Have Targeted Biden Campaign, Iranian Hackers Have Targeted Trump’s Campaign Staff

State-backed hackers from China have targeted staffers working on the U.S. presidential campaign of Democrat Joe Biden, the head of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Shane Huntley, said in a series of tweets. He also said Iranian hackers had recently targeted email accounts belonging to Donald Trump’s campaign staff. Huntley said there was “no sign of compromise” of either campaign. Google did not offer any details beyond tweets containing the statements sent out by Huntley.

Related: Haaretz.com, CNET, ZDNet Security, Cyberscoop, TechCrunch, Boing Boing, CNET, Engadget, Washington Examiner, The Hill: Cybersecurity, POLITICO, Daily Maverick, France 24, Washington Post, SiliconANGLE, YEngadget, Futurism, Daily Maverick, Sydney Morning Herald, Wall Street Journal, News : NPR, SC Magazine, Digital Journal, McClatchyDC.com, Miami Herald, NYT > Politics, WashingtonExaminer.com, Threatpost

Tweets:@shanehuntley @shanehuntley @zackwhittaker @xeni @Joseph_Marks_ @jeneps

Haaretz.com: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeted Biden and Trump campaigns, Google says
CNET: Google found Chinese and Iranian hackers attempting to hack Biden, Trump campaigns
ZDNet Security: Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeted Biden and Trump campaign staffers
Cyberscoop: Google: Biden and Trump campaigns targeted by separate spearphishing campaigns – CyberScoop
TechCrunch: Google says Iranian, Chinese hackers targeted Trump, Biden campaigns
Boing Boing: Google says China- and Iran-backed hackers hit Biden and Trump campaigns
CNET: Chinese, Iranian hackers tried to hack Biden, Trump campaigns, Google says
Engadget: Google says state-backed hackers are targeting Trump and Biden campaigns
Washington Examiner: Trump and Biden campaigns targeted by suspected Chinese and Iranian hackers
The Hill: Cybersecurity: Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting Biden, Trump campaigns
POLITICO: Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting Trump, Biden campaigns
Daily Maverick: Newsdeck: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeted Biden and Trump campaigns, Google says
France 24: Chinese, Iranian hackers targeted Biden and Trump campaigns, Google official says
Washington Post: China, Iran targeting presidential campaigns with hacking attempts, Google announces
SiliconANGLE: Trump and Biden campaigns targeted by state-sponsored hackers
Engadget: Google says state-backed hackers are targeting Trump and Biden campaigns
Futurism: Google: Foreign Hackers Targeting Both Trump and Biden Campaigns
Daily Maverick: Newsdeck: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeted Biden and Trump campaigns, Google says
Sydney Morning Herald: State-based hackers targeted Trump, Biden campaigns, says Google
Wall Street Journal: Presidential Campaigns Targeted by Suspected Chinese, Iranian Hackers
News : NPR: Chinese, Iranian Hackers Targeted Biden And Trump Campaigns, Google Says
SC Magazine: Chinese, Iranian phishing campaigns target Biden, Trump campaigns | SC Media
Digital Journal: Biden, Trump campaigns targeted by foreign hackers: Google
McClatchyDC.com: Hackers from China and Iran trying to spy on Trump and Biden campaigns, Google says
Miami Herald: Hackers from China and Iran trying to spy on Trump and Biden campaigns, Google says
NYT > Politics: Chinese Hackers Target Email Accounts of Biden Campaign Staff, Google Says
WashingtonExaminer.com: Trump and Biden campaigns targeted by suspected Chinese and Iranian hackers
Threatpost: Trump, Biden Campaign Staffers Targeted By APT Phishing Emails

@shanehuntley: Recently TAG saw China APT group targeting Biden campaign staff & Iran APT targeting Trump campaign staff with phishing. No sign of compromise. We sent users our govt attack warning and we referred to fed law enforcement.
@shanehuntley: If you are working on a campaign this election cycle, your personal accounts may be targeted. Use the best protection you can. Two factor authentication or Advanced Protection really can make a difference.
@zackwhittaker: Statement from the Biden camp. https://tcrn.ch/2AAFF0n
@xeni: Google's threat analysis group (TAG) says China- and Iran-backed hackers have been attacking Biden and Trump campaigns. No evidence of compromise, @ShaneHuntley said earlier today.
@Joseph_Marks_: Nation state hackers targeting both Trump and Biden campaigns. A preview of a very messy election cycle to come.
@jeneps: https://twitter.com/jeneps/status/1268592676636631048?mid=1#cid=1145167


May 26, 2020
Christopher Bing / Reuters

Christopher Bing / Reuters  
Red Cross, Leading Political and Business Figures Call for End to Cyberattacks on Healthcare and Medical Research Facilities During Pandemic

In a letter published Tuesday and signed by a group of prominent political and business figures, the Red Cross called for an end to cyberattacks on healthcare and medical research facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. Among the 42 leaders who co-signed the letter are Microsoft President Brad Smith and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The letter was initiated by the non-government CyberPeace Institute whose mission is to prevent the internet from becoming “weaponized.” The appeal for the end to these cyberattacks follows digital assaults in recent weeks against medical facilities, including in the Czech Republic, France, Spain, Thailand, and the United States, international organizations such as the World Health Organization and other health authorities, the letter notes.

May 5, 2020
Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters

Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters  
NCSC and CISA Warn That Chinese, Iranian and Russian Hackers Are Targeting Pharmaceutical Companies, Research Groups, and Local Governments to Steal Information About Coronavirus Containment Efforts

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said in a joint statement that state-backed hackers had targeted pharmaceutical companies, research organizations, and local governments to steal valuable information about efforts to contain the new coronavirus outbreak. Although neither government organization said which foreign adversaries are involved, one U.S. official and one UK official said the warning was in response to intrusion attempts by suspected Chinese and Iranian hackers, as well as some Russian-linked activity.

Related: Daily Mail, ZDNet, Mirror, Cyberscoop, Bleeping Computer, The Hill: Cybersecurity, Meritalk, City A.M. – Technology, iNews, Cyber News Group, Infosecurity Magazine, The Sun, Homeland Security Today, NCSC

Tweets:@CISAGov

Daily Mail : Cybersecurity agencies warn of criminals targeting…
ZDNet: Security warning: State-backed hackers are trying to steal coronavirus research
Mirror: Hackers targeting coronavirus health workers in the UK and US, officials warn
Cyberscoop: State-linked hacking continues amid race for coronavirus treatments, US and UK agencies warn
Bleeping Computer : Nation-state hackers are targeting COVID-19 response orgs
The Hill: Cybersecurity: Authorities warn that hackers are targeting healthcare and essential services
Meritalk : US, UK Issue Cyber Warning to Healthcare Organizations – MeriTalk
City A.M. – Technology: Rival states launch cyber attacks on UK and US coronavirus labs
iNews : Coronavirus: ‘Clear evidence’ cyber criminals are targeting healthcare organisations tackling Covid-19 – iNews
Cyber News Group: ‘Bad State Actors’ attempting to steal Coronavirus research, outlines UK NCSC
Infosecurity Magazine: State Hackers Target UK Unis for #COVID19 Vaccine Research
The Sun: Scammers from hostile states and cyber criminals trying to hack UK agencies to steal secrets and research, Raab says
Homeland Security Today: CISA, NCSC Warn That APT Groups Target Healthcare and Essential Services
NCSC: Cyber warning issued for key healthcare organisations in UK and USA

@CISAGov: We partnered with @NCSC UK to expose how password spraying is another tactic used by malicious actors to access accounts and compromise credentials of healthcare and essential services sector: http://cisa.gov/news/2020/05/0


April 24, 2020
Stephen Nellis, Christopher Bing / Reuters

Stephen Nellis, Christopher Bing / Reuters  
Apple Disputes Security Firm’s Finding That Zero-Day Flaw in Mail App Was Exploited by Hackers

Apple said it found “no evidence” a zero-day flaw in its email app for iPhones and iPads has been used against customers and claimed it believes the vulnerability does not pose an immediate risk to users. Security firm ZecOps shook the information security world when it released a study saying this flaw could have exposed half a billion iPhone users to attacks. ZecOps CEO Zuk Avraham said that he found evidence as far back as January 2018 that the vulnerability was exploited in at least six cybersecurity break-ins. Apple admitted that the flaw existed in its software for email on iPhones and iPads, known as the Mail app, and said the company had developed a fix that it will introduce in a forthcoming update. ZecOps said it would release further technical detail on its discovery once Apple issues its fix for the flaw.

Related: MacRumors, The Verge, ZDNet Security, iMore, IT Pro, 9to5Mac, SecurityWeek, Japan Times, SCMP, Engadget, AppleInsider, HOTforSecurity, Gadgets Now, Asia One Digital, Blog | Avast EN, TechWorm, iPhoneHacks, Pocket-Lint, Cyber News Group, MacDailyNews, iLounge, Techradar, Trusted Reviews, RAPPLER, BGR, Bloomberg

MacRumors: Apple Says Recently Discovered iOS Mail Vulnerabilities Pose No Immediate Threat, But a Patch Is in the Works
The Verge: Apple downplays iOS Mail app security flaw, says ‘no evidence’ of exploits
ZDNet Security: Apple disputes recent iOS zero-day claim
iMore: Apple responds to claim of Mail app exploit in iOS 13
IT Pro: Apple finds “no evidence” hackers exploited critical iOS Mail flaws | IT PRO
9to5Mac: Apple strongly denies that iPhone Mail vulnerabilities have been exploited
SecurityWeek: Apple Finds No Evidence of Attacks Targeting iOS Mail App Vulnerabilities
Japan Times : Apple finds no evidence hackers exploited Mail flaw on iPhones and iPads
SCMP : Apple finds no evidence hackers exploited iPhone, iPad Mail flaw
Engadget: Apple says Mail app vulnerabilities don’t post an ‘immediate risk’ to users
AppleInsider: Apple says iOS Mail vulnerabilities do not pose immediate threat, patch coming
HOTforSecurity: Apple: iOS Mail Bug Doesn’t Pose an ‘Immediate’ Risk to Our Users
Gadgets Now: Apple says ‘no evidence’ iPhone mail flaw used against customers
Asia One Digital: Apple says ‘no evidence’ iPhone mail flaw used against customers
TechWorm: Apple’s Default iPhone mail app is vulnerable to hackers, researchers claim
iPhoneHacks : Apple Patches Mail App Related Security Vulnerabilities in Latest iOS 13.4.5 Beta [Update: Apple Responds]
Pocket-Lint : Apple responds to iPhone and iPad security flaw
Cyber News Group: iPhone defect used against customers? ‘No evidence’ says Apple
MacDailyNews: Apple found ‘no evidence’ Mail flaw was used against iPhone, iPad users
iLounge: Security flaws in Mail does not risk users, says Apple
Techradar: Apple denies hackers exploited critical iPhone vulnerabilities
Trusted Reviews: Apple denies iPhone Mail hack but admits there are vulnerabilities
RAPPLER: Hackers can ‘leak, modify, and delete’ emails through iOS Mail exploit – firm
BGR: Apple admits there’s a new iPhone security flaw, but says it wasn’t exploited

Bloomberg: Apple Finds No Evidence Hackers Exploited iPhone, iPad Mail Flaw


April 17, 2020
Raphael Satter, Christopher Bing / Reuters

Raphael Satter, Christopher Bing / Reuters  
FBI Official Says That Foreign Government Hackers Have Broken Into Companies Conducting COVID-19 Treatment Research

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Tonya Ugoretz said that foreign government hackers have broken into companies conducting research into treatments for COVID-19. Ugoretz said during an online panel discussion hosted by the Aspen Institute that the bureau had recently seen state-backed hackers poking around a series of healthcare and research institutions and that hackers had often targeted the biopharmaceutical industry.

Related: Reddit – cybersecurity, Forbes, Security News | Tech TimesWashington Examiner, Daily Mail, DataBreachToday.com, Silicon UK, Tickle The Wire, DataBreaches.net


May 18, 2020
David Shortell, Evan Perez / CNN

David Shortell, Evan Perez / CNN  
FBI Claims to Have Broken the Encryption on Pensacola Shooter’s iPhones Substantially Weakening the Government’s Push for Encryption Backdoors

Mohammed Alshamrani, a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force in training at Naval Air Station Pensacola who killed three U.S. sailors and wounded others at the base, was in touch with a suspected al Qaeda operative, according to the FBI broke which broke through the encryption protecting the Saudi attacker’s iPhones, sources say. If the Bureau did achieve this encryption breakthrough, the case made by the FBI and Attorney General William Barr for demanding backdoors into encrypted communications services and devices appears to be substantially weakened. Law enforcement said they had initially been unable to retrieve data stored on two iPhones belonging to the shooter, and they cited that hurdle in trying to complete their investigation of the attacker’s ideology and his radicalization.

Related: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Justice Department, MacRumors, Associated Press, Task & Purpose, Capital Gazette, The Sun, Business Insider, AOL, GANNETT Syndication Service, Newsweek, Yahoo! News, Bloomberg, RT USA, The Crime Report, Axios, Cult of Mac, USATODAY, AppleInsider, NBC News, Wired, The Register – Security, Cyberscoop, CNET, News : NPR, iDownloadBlog.com, Fortune, WCCFtech, ZDNet Security, AppleInsider, iMore, Cult of Mac, Patently Apple, Business Insider, The Sun, BuzzFeed News, Newsweek, iDownloadBlog.com, Appleosophy, MacRumors, Homeland Security Today, Zero Hedge, CBSNews.com,TechSpot, iPhone Hacks, The Mac Observer,Cult of Mac, The Guardian, UPI.com, TIME, Ars Technica, USATODAY, New York Post, AppleInsider, The Huffington Post , Capital Gazette, TIME, Heavy.com, Engadget, Slashdot, Daily Dot, Cyberscoop, Multichannel, Vox, WCCFtech, POLITICO, The Sun, USNI News, Business Insider, Fortune, Input, TribLIVE, emptywheel, PhoneArena, Channel News Asia, RT USA, Algemeiner.com, MacDailyNews, Reuters: U.S., France 24, The New Daily, The Verge, Slashdot, Washington Post, New York Times

Tweets:@dnvolz @adamgoldmanNYT @kevincollier @nakashimae @zackwhittaker @zackwhittaker @zackwhittaker @iblametom @karaswisher @macrumors @zackwhittaker @iblametom @dotmudge @DevlinBarrett @ahmed

New York Times: F.B.I. Is Said to Find Links Between Pensacola Gunman and Al Qaeda
Wall Street Journal: FBI Discovers al Qaeda Link in Pensacola Attack
Forbes: Feds Hack iPhones In Pensacola Terrorist Shooting Case, But Still Slam Apple For Not Helping
Justice Department: Attorney General William P. Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray Announce Significant Developments in the Investigation of the Naval Air Station Pensacola Shooting
MacRumors: FBI Reportedly Gained Access to iPhone Used by Mass Shooter in Florida After Apple Refused to Help
Associated Press: Pensacola gunman’s cellphones reveal meticulous planning for attack, FBI says
Task & Purpose: The FBI has evidence linking Al Qaeda to the NAS Pensacola shooting
Capital Gazette: Gunman accused of killing 3 sailors at Pensacola military base linked to al-Qaida, US official says
The Sun: Saudi student who shot dead 3 US sailors on Florida Naval Base ‘had been in contact with Al Qaeda’ in days before attack
Business Insider: The FBI found links to Al Qaeda after cracking the phones of the Saudi gunman who attacked a Florida naval base
AOL: Official: FBI finds link between Pensacola gunman, al-Qaida
GANNETT Syndication Service: Official: FBI finds link between NAS Pensacola gunman, al-Qaida
Newsweek: FBI Finds Florida Gunman Who Killed U.S. Sailors Was Linked to Al Qaeda After Breaking iPhone Encryption
Yahoo! News: FBI finds Al Qaeda link to Pensacola naval base shooting suspect: US official
Bloomberg: FBI Gets Into Pensacola Shooter’s iPhone, Finds an Al-Qaeda Tie
RT USA: Saudi pilot who went on gun rampage at Florida naval base linked to ‘Al-Qaeda operative’
The Crime Report: FBI Finds Link Between Pensacola Shooter, Al-Qaeda
Axios: FBI finds links between Pensacola gunman and Al Qaeda
Cult of Mac: FBI cracks alleged al-Qaida shooter’s iPhone without Apple’s help
USATODAY: Feds connect al Qaeda contacts to deadly Pensacola Naval Air Station shooting
AppleInsider: FBI breaks iPhone security to uncover Pensacola shooter & Al Qaeda link
NBCNews: FBI: Pensacola gunman prodded by al Qaeda to attack
Wired: The FBI Backs Down Against Apple—Again
The Register – Security: Attorney General: We didn’t need Apple to crack terrorist’s iPhones – tho we still want iGiant to do it in future
Cyberscoop: U.S. officials say they’ve cracked Pensacola shooter’s iPhones, blast Apple
CNET: FBI slams ‘Apple problem’ as it unlocks Pensacola shooter’s iPhones – CNET
News : NPR: FBI: New iPhone Evidence Shows Pensacola Shooter Had Ties To Al-Qaida
iDownloadBlog.com: The FBI has reportedly bypassed the security on the Pensacola mass shooter’s iPhone
Fortune: FBI: “We received effectively no help from Apple” in accessing Pensacola Shooter’s iPhones
WCCFtech: FBI Hacks Florida Shooter’s iPhones without Apple’s Help & Finds al Qaeda Link
ZDNet Security: FBI criticizes Apple for not helping crack Pensacola shooter’s iPhones
AppleInsider: Apple rejects ‘false claims’ by Justice Department regarding Pensacola investigation
iMore: Apple denies “false claims” by Justice Department over Pensacola attack
Cult of Mac: FBI attacks Apple for ‘no help’ unlocking Florida attacker’s iPhone; Apple rejects ‘false’ claims
Patently Apple: DOJ and FBI described crucial data found on the Pensacola Terrorist’s iPhones today in a news Conference, without Apple’s Assistance
Business Insider: The FBI found links to Al Qaeda after cracking the phones of the Saudi gunman who attacked a Florida naval base
The Sun: Saudi student who shot dead 3 US sailors on Florida Naval Base ‘had been in contact with Al Qaeda’ in days before attack
BuzzFeed News: The Pensacola Naval Base Shooter Had Longtime “Significant Ties” To Al-Qaeda
Newsweek: FBI Finds Florida Gunman Who Killed U.S. Sailors Was Linked to Al Qaeda After Breaking iPhone Encryption
iDownloadBlog.com: The FBI has reportedly bypassed the security on the Pensacola mass shooter’s iPhone
Appleosophy: Apple Fires Back at FBI and Attorney General William Barr Regarding Florida Shooter’s iPhone
MacRumors: FBI Reportedly Gained Access to iPhone Used by Mass Shooter in Florida After Apple Refused to Help
Task & Purpose: The FBI has evidence linking Al Qaeda to the NAS Pensacola shooting
MacRumors: Apple Calls FBI Comments on Lack of Help Unlocking Florida Shooter’s iPhone an ‘Excuse to Weaken Encryption’
SlashGear » security: Apple blasts Barr over iPhone lock “false claims” in Pensacola shooter case
Homeland Security Today: FBI: Pensacola Shooter Tied to AQAP Before Coming to the U.S., Discussed Attack
Zero Hedge: FBI Cracks Into Pensacola Shooter’s iPhone, Find “Significant Ties” To Al Qaeda
CBSNews.com: Saudi shooter in Florida air base attack had ties to al Qaeda
TechSpot: Officials still want backdoor into cellphones after cracking two iPhones without help
Yahoo! News: U.S. Supreme Court heaps more damages on Sudan in embassy bombing cases
iPhone Hacks: FBI Has Reportedly Unlocked One of the iPhones Used by Mass Shooter in Florida Last Year
The Mac Observer: FBI Bypasses Encryption on Pensacola Attacker’s iPhones
Cult of Mac: FBI cracks alleged al-Qaida shooter’s iPhone without Apple’s help
The Guardian: Pensacola gunman’s cellphones reveal meticulous planning for attack, FBI says
UPI.com: FBI: Agents unlocked phones to tie Pensacola gunman Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani to al-Qaida
TIME: Gunman in Deadly Pensacola Military Base Attack Linked to al-Qaida, FBI Says
Ars Technica: iPhone crypto hid al-Qaida link to naval base shooting, AG fumes
USATODAY: Feds connect al Qaeda contacts to deadly Pensacola Naval Air Station shooting
New York Post: FBI found al Qaeda’s link to Pensacola shooter through iPhones
AppleInsider: FBI breaks iPhone security to uncover Pensacola shooter & Al Qaeda link [u]
The Huffington Post : FBI Says It Found Links Between Pensacola Gunman And Al-Qaeda
Capital Gazette: Gunman accused of killing 3 sailors at Pensacola military base linked to al-Qaida, US official says
Stars and Stripes: FBI: Shooter at Naval Air Station Pensacola had link to al-Qaida
TIME: Gunman in Deadly Pensacola Military Base Attack Linked to al-Qaida, FBI Says
Ars Technica: iPhone crypto hid al-Qaida link to naval base shooting, AG fumes
Heavy.com: Pensacola, Florida Gunman Mohammed Alshamrani Link to Al-Qaida Found
Engadget: AG Barr seeks ‘legislative solution’ to make companies unlock phones
Daily Dot: FBI unlocks Pensacola shooter’s iPhone despite Apple’s opposition
Multichannel: AG Barr Hammers Apple in Terrorism Case Announcement
Vox: Why Attorney General Bill Barr is mad at Apple
Heavy.com: Pensacola, Florida Gunman Mohammed Alshamrani Link to Al-Qaida Found
POLITICO: Pensacola gunman was working with al Qaeda, FBI finds
USNI News: FBI Says Unlocked iPhone Messages Link NAS Pensacola Shooter to Al Qaeda; AG Barr Says Incident was ‘Act of Terrorism’
Input: FBI breaks into Pensacola shooter’s iPhone after six months, revealing al Qaeda links
TribLIVE: FBI: Shooter at Pensacola military base linked to al-Qaida
emptywheel: Bill Barr and Chris Wray Schedule a Press Conference to Admit Trump Let an Al Qaeda Terrorist onto Our Military Base
PhoneArena: Who is lying, Apple or Attorney General William Barr?
Channel News Asia: FBI phone probe links al Qaeda to Saudi who killed 3 at Florida base
RT USA: Saudi pilot who went on gun rampage at Florida naval base linked to ‘Al-Qaeda operative’
Algemeiner.com: FBI Phone Probe Links Al Qaeda to Saudi Shooter Who Killed Three at Florida Navy Base
MacDailyNews: Apple rejects ‘false claims’ by Justice Department regarding Islamic terrorist attack in Pensacola
Reuters: U.S.: FBI phone probe links al Qaeda to Saudi who killed three at Florida base, Barr says
France 24: FBI says al Qaeda linked to Saudi shooter at Florida naval base
The New Daily: FBI links al-Qaeda to US base shooting
MacDailyNews: FBI cracks iPhone encryption, links al Qaeda to Islamic terrorist who killed three at Florida naval base
MacDailyNews: Apple rejects ‘false claims’ by Justice Department regarding Islamic terrorist attack in Pensacola
CNN.com: FBI delivers to America a chilling reminder about al Qaeda
Input: FBI breaks into Pensacola shooter’s iPhone after six months, revealing al Qaeda links
The Verge: The FBI successfully broke into a gunman’s iPhone, but it’s still very angry at Apple
Washington Post: Attorney general and FBI director blast Apple after tracing Pensacola gunman’s phone to al-Qaeda
New York Times: F.B.I. Finds Links Between Pensacola Gunman and Al Qaeda

@dnvolz: Sound familiar? FBI gets into iPhone belonging to dead terrorist that they said months ago they could not unlock.
@adamgoldmanNYT: The F.B.I. found the gunman, a Saudi Air Force cadet training with the American military, had communicated with a Qaeda operative who had encouraged the attacks
@kevincollier: "Breaking encryption" on an iPhone has a specific meaning and enormous consequences. I really hope those making that claim today wouldn't do so without backing it up.
@nakashimae: FBI Director Chris Wray: "We received effectively no help from Apple" in accessing the Pensacola shooter's iPhones.
@zackwhittaker: Apple in January: "The FBI only notified us on January 6 that they needed additional assistance—a month after the attack occurred. Only then did we learn about the existence of a second iPhone associated with the investigation and the FBI's inability to access either iPhone."
@zackwhittaker: Apple also said at the time it responded to six more legal requests for information between Dec. 7 and Dec. 14, and that it provided iCloud backups, account information and transactional data for multiple accounts.
@zackwhittaker: It's not that Apple provided "effectively no help" to the FBI. It's that Apple didn't acquiesce to the wants and wishes of the government and backdoor its own devices. We almost had an entire court case about this — but the FBI bottled it.
@iblametom: New - The FBI hacks into the iPhones of Pensacola shooter, finds links to Al Qaeda. But director Chris Wray still says Apple should've helped and its delays caused real problems.
@karaswisher: Looks like the government can do what it said it could not do
@macrumors: FBI Reportedly Gained Access to iPhone Used by Mass Shooter in Florida After Apple Refused to Help https://macrumors.com/2020/05/18/fbi-reportedly-accessed-alshamrani-iphone/ by @rsgnl
@zackwhittaker: ACLU statement is extremely Nail polish "The boy who cried wolf has nothing on the agency that cried encryption."
@iblametom: Source at FBI told me they chose the wrong battle with Pensacola too... they’ve been able to get into iPhone 5 and 7 for some time.
@dotmudge: Two things: 1 - AQAP (Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula) linked terrorist attack on US soil, and it barely makes the news cycle 2 - investigations show accessing iPhones on one-off’s continues to negate necessity to drop user crypto protections at large
@DevlinBarrett: Attorney general and FBI director crank up their encryption fight with Apple, blasting the company after agents traced data on a Pensacola gunman’s phone to al-Qaeda
@ahmed: FBI says Saudi shooter at Pensacola base was in touch with al-Qaeda leaders, accuses Apple of wasting “valuable time” by refusing to unlock his phone to investigators


December 10, 2019
Joel Schectman and Christopher Bing / Reuters

Joel Schectman and Christopher Bing / Reuters  
White House Veterans, Former NSA Operatives and Beltway Insiders Helped Create UAE Spy Program Spearheaded by Former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke, ‘DREAD’ Unit Evolved Into Project Raven

Former U.S. counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke worked as a consultant through his company Good Harbor Consulting to guide the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as it created a cyber-surveillance capability that would employ top American intelligence contractors to help monitor threats against the country. Clarke created a unit with the acronym DREAD, short for Development Research Exploitation and Analysis Department, which, in the years following 2008 expanded its hunt far beyond suspected extremists to include a Saudi women’s rights activist, diplomats at the United Nations and personnel at FIFA, the world soccer body. The unit ultimately became known among its American operatives as Project Raven, which used former NSA operatives and other elite American intelligence veterans to help the UAE spy on a wide range of targets through the previously undisclosed program. Clarke worked with at least five former White House veterans in creating DREAD and ultimately ceded control of it to U.S. contractors who helped keep DREAD’s contingent of Americans on the UAE’s payroll

Tweets:@joel_schectman @Bing_Chris @Bing_Chris @Bing_Chris @Bing_Chris @Bing_Chris @Bing_Chris @Bing_Chris @Bing_Chris @Bing_Chris @GossitheDog @dnvolz @josephfcox @samuel_woodhams @emilyjodell @josephdevanny @yjtorbati @josephmenn @njfrandino @AASchapiro @razhael

@joel_schectman: SCOOP: Ex White Housers including one of America’s most famous national security veterans - Richard Clarke - helped create the UAE hacking unit that would become known as Project Raven https://reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-raven-whitehouse/ @Bing_Chris
@Bing_Chris: NEW story by @joel_schectman and myself charts the origins of a secret UAE hacking unit all the way to the White House. One of the most famous counterterrorism experts in our country's history was the original architect of PROJECT RAVEN
@Bing_Chris: This is essentially the prequel/origin story to our report in January about Lori Stroud and Project Raven (https://reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-spying-raven/) and goes deep into how a foreign nation state hacking team was built by Americans because of American interests.
@Bing_Chris: In the years after 9/11, a cohort of White House veterans arrived in the UAE to build the country's homeland security strategy from the ground up. The Americans recommended the creation of an NSA-like agency. They say they only wanted to fight Al Qaeda.
@Bing_Chris: But things got out of hand. The US government’s controls didn’t work. By allowing top government officials to blueprint a spy agency for a human rights violator, it set off a path that would see dozens of NSA-ers help the UAE crack down on domestic dissident.
@Bing_Chris: Richard Clarke’s Good Harbor would rely on another beltway contractor, SRA international, for ground level support to the Emirati hacking unit, which was first housed in an abandoned building on the outskirts of an airbase. (Not a movie script)
@Bing_Chris: As part of this article, we also reveal a series of Project Raven’s most significant hacking operations (not previously reported), including attacks on: FIFA, the United Nations, a German human rights group, and a prominent Saudi women’s rights activist that was tortured
@Bing_Chris: The 2014 fifa operation was codenamed “BRUTALCHALLENGE”. The purpose of the operation was to dig up and leak dirt about Qatar’s World Cup bid. (An astute reader might see why the timing is so significant)
@Bing_Chris: Think about this for a moment: former NSA-ers were hacking the United Nations in NYC from Abu Dhabi for a monarchy, based on a strategy blueprinted by a former White House insider. And the UN confirmed the attacks...
@Bing_Chris: DREAD hacked a German human rights group after the 2011 Arab spring because it advocated for press freedom and saw the staff write to each other: “assume all comm channels have been” compromised ?. They were correct.
@GossitheDog: Former NSA staffers helping UAE hack US assets. Link: https://reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-raven-whitehouse/
@dnvolz: "A pair of former senior White House leaders, working with ex-NSA spies and Beltway contractors, played pivotal roles in building a program whose actions are now under scrutiny by federal authorities."
@josephfcox: Reuters investigates the origins of US contractors hacking for the UAE, which started years before Project Raven proper https://reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-raven-whitehouse/
@samuel_woodhams: Next time that you read that China/Russia is the only exporter of digital authoritarianism, it may be worth remembering this:
@emilyjodell: To stay within the bounds of the law, the Americans did not press the button on the ultimate attack, but would often literally stand over the shoulders of the Emiratis who did, 10 former operatives told Reuters.
@josephdevanny: A thought-provoking @reuters report about the development of a major ??-?? #cyber capacity-building programme, raising questions more broadly about how states should regulate their respective cyber export sectors.
@yjtorbati: Blown away by this reporting, by @joel_schectman and @Bing_Chris, which chronicles how former U.S. officials helped the UAE build a vast surveillance operation that eventually targeted journalists, dissidents and human rights activists
@josephmenn: Another terrific story by my colleagues.
@njfrandino: In news that makes me express shock out loud (my preferred word is “Jesus”), check out this story by @Bing_Chris and @joel_schectman on how former WH officials got contracts with the UAE to help build the country’s major spying unit, one that would target dissidents and Others.
@AASchapiro: This is a bombshell investigation, revealing deep U.S. involvement & complicity in equipping Gulf autocracies to spy on critics. One telling detail: a State Dept. license for surveilence exports to the UAE *did not* prohibit spying on journalists.
@razhael: This is the extraordinary story of how a group of former U.S. officials turned the United Arab Emirates into a cyberespionage powerhouse.