Tags Posts tagged with "NSA"


We all know NSA is powerful. Getting into your email accounts and accessing all the private information that include your pictures, voice calls, private webcam photos, your passwords and they can even watch your Skype sessions just by typing your name and email address. And this is just the beginning. No one knows how far is NSA’s reach and if something called “Private” still exists with the national agency lurking in the shadow keeping an eye over you 24/7.

Now the question arises is “Is there any extent to NSA’s breach?” and more importantly, “How do they DO that?” The answer to the first question is a grim NO. And the next one is in a top secret and classified 48 paged documents provided by none other than NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The documents have been published by The Intercept on Wednesday that date back to 2013. These documents have once again brought NSA under scrutiny and their spying policies. The keyword in that pile of documents is XKEYSCORE.

Used just like common man’s Google, XKEYSCORE is NSA’s tool of mass survilliance and it can collect and store data from across the globe for 3 to 5 days, and the important meta data up to 45 days. The documents reveal that there are tens of billions of records stored in the NSA’s database while the XKEYSCORE program runs across thousands of servers globally, thus increasing its processing power and storage capabilities.

NSA has itself referred XKEYSCORE as its “widest reaching” system. The government agency has previously used XKEYSCORE to steal millions of encryption keys that are used to protect cell phone privacy by hacking inside the world’s biggest SIM card provider Gemalto. The program had been even used to spy on U.N. Secretory General Ban Ki-moon to know his points of discussion before his meeting with President Barack Obama.

When it comes to spying on the general public, NSA uses XKEYSCORE to analyze your Facebook and Twitter activities. Even the iOS and Android apps that garner your data after you accept their license agreements are used to track you down by NSA. According to the report by The Intercept, smartphones connections were tracked by XKEYSCORE to app marketplaces of Samsung and Google.

The XKEYSCORE program is very easy to learn and use as per the CEO of Toucan Systems. It is analogous to common man’s Google. Just type the name of the targeted server into XKEYSCORE and then press enter; and there you are with the login and password pairs.

Not only USA but different nations have access to XKEYSCORE. Canada, New Zealand and UK are some of them that use the mass surveillance program to hack into the world’s biggest domains for their personal interests.

NSA has claimed that this program has been developed to fight against terror, but its actions tell an entirely story. So much lost are the government agencies to secure their countries that they are making their own citizens insecure. It seems that privacy laws do not even exist in the country and neither do the security agency cares.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. With XKEYSCORE as their weapon, right now I’m feeling uneasy about writing this article. So that’s it by me, For now…

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Source : The Intercept

It was Edward Snowden, the infamous former contractor for the National Security Agency who turned rogue and leaked thousands of pages of classified NSA intelligence documents, which included some speculation of Apple’s iPhone “special software” that authorities could activate remotely to be able to gather information about the user.  Your iPhone can now secretly spy on you.

It was not clear if this “special software” was made up of standard diagnostic tools, or if the NSA intelligence agency had found a way to compromise the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple. Apple claims it does not allow government agencies to have direct access to its servers.

But NSA leaks from the Edward Snowden documents showed how the agency developed specific spyware to target iPhones, allowing information to be gathered from iPhone devices. Apple has denied being involved in any spyware development with the NSA.

With their latest operating system, iOS 8, Apple claims it is not even able to decrypt messages itself that come through its devices, as it values its emphasis on user security. But if these PRISM tools are already in place Apple may have plausible deniability with any compromise on current and future iPhone upgrades.

We do know that the documents leaked by Snowden revealed that iPhone security is an area of interest for the world’s spy agencies, specifically the British spy agency GCHQ where it was recently revealed to have used the UDID system to track iPhone users.

Apple was among the first company that was accused of participating in the PRISM data mining project of the NSA, but it was not the only one. The PRISM data-mining project allegedly involved extracting video, audio, pictures, documents, emails and connection logs from devices, allowing analysts to track the movement of the device’s user and the communications that they are receiving or sending out.   Let the buyer beware with future upgrades of Apple as the NSA has its eye on iPhones and their users.