Archive for December 2013

How The NSA Hacks Your iPhone (Presenting DROPOUT JEEP)

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By Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge


Following up on the latest stunning revelations released yesterday by German Spiegel which exposed the spy agency’s 50 page catalog of "backdoor penetration techniques", today during a speech given by Jacob Applebaum (@ioerror) at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress, a new bombshell emerged: specifically the complete and detailed description of how the NSA bugs, remotely, your iPhone. The way the NSA accomplishes this is using software known as Dropout Jeep, which it describes as follows: "DROPOUT JEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted."

The flowchart of how the NSA makes your iPhone its iPhone is presented below:

  • NSA ROC operator
  • Load specified module
  • Send data request
  • iPhone accepts request
  • Retrieves required SIGINT data
  • Encrypt and send exfil data
  • Rinse repeat

And visually:

What is perhaps just as disturbing is the following rhetorical sequence from Applebaum:

"Do you think Apple helped them build that? I don’t know. I hope Apple will clarify that. Here’s the problem: I don’t really believe that Apple didn’t help them, I can’t really prove it but [the NSA] literally claim that anytime they target an iOS device that it will succeed for implantation. Either they have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning that they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves. Not sure which one it is. I’d like to believe that since Apple didn’t join the PRISM program until after Steve Jobs died, that maybe it’s just that they write shitty software. We know that’s true."

Or, Apple’s software is hardly "shitty" even if it seems like that to the vast majority of experts (kinda like the Fed’s various programs), and in fact it achieves precisely what it is meant to achieve.

Either way, now everyone knows that their iPhone is nothing but a gateway for the NSA to peruse everyone’s "private" data at will. Which, incidentally, is not news, and was revealed when we showed how the "NSA Mocks Apple’s "Zombie" Customers; Asks "Your Target Is Using A BlackBerry? Now What?"

How ironic would it be if Blackberry, left for dead by virtually everyone, began marketing its products as the only smartphone that does not allow the NSA access to one’s data (and did so accordingly). Since pretty much everything else it has tried has failed, we don’t see the downside to this hail mary attempt to strike back at Big Brother and maybe make some money, by doing the right thing for once.

We urge readers to watch the full one hour speech by Jacob Applebaum to realize just how massive Big Brother truly is, but those who want to just listen to the section on Apple can do so beginning 44 minutes 30 seconds in the presentation below.


From:  How The NSA Hacks Your iPhone (Presenting DROPOUT JEEP) | Zero Hedge


See Also:

Streaming Videos of 30th Chaos Communication Conference sessions

Schedule Links for 30th Chaos Communication Conference

Inside TAO- Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit

NSA’s Secret Toolbox- Unit Offers Spy Gadgets for Every Need


Edward Snowden Christmas Message: Transcript & Video

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Edward Snowden:

“Hi, and Merry Christmas. I’m honored to have the chance to speak with you and your family this year.

Recently, we learned that our governments, working in concert, have created a system of worldwide mass surveillance, watching everything we do.

Great Britain’s George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. The types of collection in the book — microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us — are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go.

Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person. A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves — an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. And that’s a problem, because privacy matters. Privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.

The conversation occurring today will determine the amount of trust we can place both in the technology that surrounds us and the government that regulates it. Together, we can find a better balance. End mass surveillance. And remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.

For everyone out there listening, thank you, and Merry Christmas.”


[BN:  Thank you, Mr. Snowden.]

VIDEO Edward Snowden Christmas Message: End Mass Surveillance

See Also:

A computer’s microphone and speakers can covertly send and receive data

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This story was originally published by Inside Science News Service.

(ISNS)—Using the microphones and speakers that come standard in many of today’s laptop computers and mobile devices, hackers can secretly transmit and receive data using high-frequency audio signals that are mostly inaudible to human ears, a new study shows.

Michael Hanspach and Michael Goetz, researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics, recently performed a proof-of-concept experiment that showed that "covert acoustical networking," a technique which had been hypothesized but considered improbable by most experts, is indeed possible.

Their findings, detailed in a recent issue of the Journal of Communications, could have major implications for electronic security.

Computers Can Be Hacked Using High-Frequency Sound: Scientific American

Written by bothernews

December 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Motorist checkpoint in Reading draws questions

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By Don Spatz

A private firm with a federal contract – and backed up by city police – forced motorists off Laurel Street and into a private parking lot Friday to question them about their driving habits and ask for a swab of their mouth.

"I feel this incident is a gross abuse of power on many levels," Reading resident Ricardo Nieves, one of those stopped, told City Council Monday.

He said federal and local tax dollars were being used to stop innocent people without probable cause, and allow a private company to hire uniformed police to force citizens to listen to their questions.

He said he wasn’t told what the swab was for, but added, "Clearly it was for DNA."

The checkpoint was among several being carried out in Pennsylvania by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, hired by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

City Police Chief William M. Heim said the two federal agencies are trying to see what can be done about crashes and injuries, and the swabs were not to get DNA samples but to test for the presence of prescription drugs.

The checkpoint was supposed to be voluntary, but Nieves said he had to refuse several times over a five-minute period before the woman taking the survey let him go.

What irked Nieves was the presence of city police. He said they were there – including a police car with flashing lights – to intimidate motorists, and gave the checkpoint an air of authority it would not otherwise have had.

"A federal survey with local police help violates my rights," Nieves said.

Heim said city police were hired for site security only, since the survey takers were paying money for answers and for the swabs.

But he said city police did not pull motorists over, nor ask any questions, and in fact were asked to stay away from the cars.

Asked about Nieves’ statement that the private firm wanted police there for intimidation, Heim responded: "People are not pressured by police presence to do something they don’t want to.

"In the grand scheme of things, I think it’s a pretty innocuous and minor issue."

Heim said checkpoints are fairly common – for seat belt use, drunken driving, truck safety regulations – and all result in minor inconvenience.

However, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania said those checkpoints are legal only to protect public safety.

"A car driver or passenger cannot be required or pressured into providing a DNA sample and, in fact, can’t be stopped at all except on suspicion of a crime or for a properly conducted sobriety checkpoint," Mary Catherine Roper, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, told the Reading Eagle Monday.

The checkpoint was part of a $7.9 million, three-year survey by the agencies, which has been conducted several times since the 1970s.

The surveys have gained more scrutiny this year because the Obama administration has been heavily criticized over revelations that U.S. spy agencies are tracking phone and Internet traffic, CNN reported in June.

Susan Watson, executive director of the Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, told CNN that Alabama’s use of deputies to conduct the survey was an abuse of power.

Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said neither he nor Managing Director Carole B. Snyder were aware of it, and he needs to understand what role police played before making any comment on it.

Council members also were upset, and said if local police are there, it appears they are operating the checkpoint.

Councilman Dennis M. Sterner was livid that government can’t pick up local drug dealers without a two-year investigation, but can stop motorists at random.

"Our rights are being violated more and more every day," he said. "It’s another way of government intrusion into our lives."

(Staff writer Beth Anne Heesen contributed to this report.)

Contact Don Spatz: 610-371-5027 or

Written by bothernews

December 18, 2013 at 12:56 am

AT&T says it doesn’t have to disclose NSA dealings

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AT&T says it isn’t required to disclose to shareholders what it does with customers’ communications data despite complaints that the telecom giant has been sharing and selling that information to federal intelligence agencies including the National Security Agency.

In a letter sent Thursday to the Securities and Exchange Commission, AT&T said it protects customer information and complies with government requests for records "only to the extent required by law."

AT&T’s letter was a response to a Nov. 20 shareholder revolt sparked by the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the ACLU of Northern California and others. The groups are demanding that AT&T and Verizon be more transparent about their dealings with the NSA.

Nicole Ozer of the ACLU says "it’s outrageous that AT&T is trying to block the shareholder proposal."

AT&T says it doesn’t have to disclose NSA dealings

Written by bothernews

December 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

EM Wave Anomalies, 4th Schumann Resonance mode changes, and Pending Earthquakes

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A Natural Warning System or Evidence of EM/Ionospheric Weapons?



1.  Localized ionospheric disturbance over the earthquake epicentre and modifications of Schumann resonance electromagnetic fields


The impact of seismogenic ionosphere non-uniformity is considered on the Schumann resonance (SR) signals observed both in the vertical electric and two orthogonal horizontal magnetic field components. The model is able to interpret the anomalous signals observed in Japan in possible association with the earthquakes (EQs) in Taiwan. Changes in the SR intensity arise from a localized reduction of the ionosphere over the EQ epicentre. Signals in the regular Earth–ionosphere cavity are described by using the knee model of vertical conductivity profile. It is suggested that pre-seismic and seismic activity lowers the knee altitude by 20 km at the centre of disturbance, and the perturbation has the Gaussian radial dependence in the 1 Mm zone. The diffraction problem in the cavity with a localized disturbance is resolved by using the Stratton–Chu integral equation. The data of Optical Transient Detector are used to model the source distribution. A pronounced modification is obtained in the intensity around the fourth mode frequency in a form of abrupt spectral changes. The model data are found to be similar to observations, and properties of the model seismic anomalies are discussed.

2.  The relationship between geophysical conditions and ELF amplitude in modulated heating experiments at HAARP: Modeling and experimental results

G Jin, M Spasojevic, MB Cohen… – … Space Physics (1978 …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library

[2] Experiments involving generation of extremely low frequency (ELF, up to 3 kHz) and very
low frequency (VLF, 3–30 kHz) electromagnetic waves using modulated ionospheric heating
have been conducted since Getmantsev et al.[1974]. The technique of using high‐


3.  Anomalous phenomena in Schumann resonance band observed in China before the 2011 Magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake in Japan



[1] The anomalous phenomena in the Schumann Resonance (SR) band, possibly associated with the Tohoku-Oki earthquake (EQ), are studied based on the ELF observations at two stations in China. The anomaly appeared on 8 March 3 days prior to the main shock, and was characterized by an increase in the intensity at frequencies from the first mode to the fourth mode in both magnetic field components, different to the observations in Japan before large EQs in Taiwan. The abnormal behaviors of the North–south (NS) and East–west (EW) magnetic field components primarily appeared at 0000–0900 UT and 0200–0900 UT on 8 March respectively. The finite difference time domain (FDTD) numerical method is applied to model the impact of seismic process on the ELF radio propagation. A partially uniform knee model of the vertical conductivity profile suggested by V. C. Mushtak is used to model the day-night asymmetric earth-ionosphere cavity, and a locally EQ-induced disturbance model of the atmospheric conductivity is introduced. The atmospheric conductivity is assumed to increase around the epicenter according to the localized enhancement of total electron content (TEC) in the ionosphere. It is concluded that the SR anomalous phenomena before the Tohoku-Oki EQ have much to do with the exciting sources located at South America and Asia, and also with the localized distribution of the disturbed conductivity. This work is a further confirmation of the relationship of SR anomalies with large EQs, and has further concluded that the distortions in the SR band before large EQs may be caused by the irregularities located over the shock epicenter in the earth-ionosphere cavity by numerical method.


4.  Studies on the anomalies in the behaviour of transmitted subionospheric VLF electromagnetic signals and the changes in the fourth Schumann resonance mode as signatures of two pending earthquakes



Some anomalies are observed in the subionospheric VLF electromagnetic (EM) signals at 19.8 kHz transmitted from North West Cape, Australia (lat: 21.82° S; long: 114.16° E) and 40 kHz from Fukushima, Japan (lat: 36.18° N, long: 139.85° E), recorded by VLF receivers near Kolkata (lat: 22.56° N, long: 88.5° E) during the occurrence of the two earthquakes at Andaman Island (lat:14.018° N, long: 92.92° E), India and other at South Coast of Honsu (lat: 34.78° N, long: 138.27° E), Japan. The analyses of these seismo-ionospheric VLF EM anomalies at these two frequencies during some days before and after the occurrence of earthquake on August 11, 2009 will be presented here. VLF-LF transient variations of significant magnitude in the form of spikes are observed few days prior to the day of occurrence of the earthquakes that continued several days more, then decaying gradually and finally ceased. Signals are examined to describe their connectivity with earthquakes. The enhancements of the amplitude and frequency of the fourth mode of Schumann resonance spectra have been detected during the occurrence of the two earthquakes, which will also be reported here

Studies on the anomalies in the behaviour of transmitted subionospheric VLF electromagnetic signals and the changes in the fourth Schumann resonance mode as signatures of two pending earthquakes – Springer

5.  Artificial Ionospheric Layers during Pump Frequency Stepping Near the 4th Gyroharmonic at HAARP

E Sergeev, S Grach, A Shindin, E Mishin, P Bernhardt… – Physical review …, 2013 – APS

We report on artificial descending plasma layers created in the ionosphere F region by high-
power highfrequency (HF) radio waves from High-frequency Active Auroral Research
Program at frequencies f0 near the fourth electron gyroharmonic 4fce. The data come from

6. Fast Convergence Algorithm for Earthquake Prediction Using SLF/ELF Horizontal Electric Dipole during Day and Night and Schumann Resonance



Electromagnetic wave radiation from a SLF/ELF horizontal electric dipole (HED) related to seismic activity is discussed. In order to estimate the effects on the electromagnetic waves associated with the seismic activity, SLF/ELF waves on the ground radiated from a possible seismic current source modeled as a electric dipole, are precisely computed by using a speeding numerical convergence algorithm. A theoretical calculation of the VLF/SLF electric wave propagating among the Earth-ionosphere cavity generally utilizes the full wave method to solve the model equation. The field in the cavity is comprehended as the sum of each wave mode. However, this method is very complex, and unsuitable to the ELF frequency band. In 1999, Barrick proposed an algorithm, which was only suitable to solve the electromagnetic problems under the ideal electric conductor condition. To solve the problems under the non-ideal electric conductor condition, we have further developed Barrick’s method and proposed a speeding numerical convergence algorithm. The spherical harmonic series expressions of electromagnetic fields excited by SLF/ELF HED in non-ideal Earth-ionosphere cavity are derived. The speed of this algorithm is faster thirty times than it of calculating directly the sum of the series. If it calculates directly the sum of the series, it needs 1,000 series items, while it needs only 200 series items by this algorithm. Our algorithm is compared with the second order spherical surface approximate algorithm, and two algorithms agree with each other very well. Therefore, our algorithm is correct. Schumann resonance is also verified.


7.  Anomalous excitation of Schumann resonances and additional anomalous resonances before the 2004 Mid-Niigata prefecture earthquake and the 2007 Noto Hantou Earthquake



We have carried out the observation of ULF/ELF electromagnetic waves below 50 Hz at Nakatsugawa (in Gifu Prefecture in Japan) with three component induction coil antennas (the permalloy of 1.2 m length with 1,00,000 turns of the copper wire) since 1998. We have observed the excitation of anomalous resonances possibly associated with earthquakes at Nakatasugawa station. In this paper, we analyzed the anomalous strong Schumann resonance and an additional anomalous resonance observed before the 2004 Mid-Niigata Prefecture earthquake and the 2007 Noto Hantou earthquake. The intensity of a particular mode of the Schumann resonance increased before the large earthquake near the observation station, and decreased after the occurrence of earthquake. An excitation of another anomalous resonance was also observed at the frequency shifted by about 2 Hz from the typical frequency of the Schumann resonance. Since the temporal changes of the intensity of the anomalous Schumann resonance and another excited anomalous resonance were almost the same, there is a possibility that another anomalous resonance was related with the Schumann resonance. However, we need to consider a more convincible generation mechanism of anomalous resonances.



8.  Monitoring Schumann resonance and other electromagnetic precursors of an earthquake with a virtual MIMO wireless sensor network


The frequency shift and amplitude change in Schumann resonance (SR) as a precursor of some moderate to strong earthquakes was observed and reported. Co-seismic SR variation could be occurring at even large magnitude and scale. In this study, we first model Schumann resonance associated with the occurrence of an earthquake and assess the SR variation recorded from an earth-based sensor network. Based on the computer simulation results, we then propose a wireless observation system to monitor SR as a potential precursor prior to an earthquake using a wireless sensor network (WSN). A WSN based on single antenna wireless sensor nodes are cooperated to establish a multiple-antenna WSN that is called virtual MIMO-WSN. Virtual MIMO-WSN is adjustable and tunable to monitor electromagnetic signals in different frequencies based on the number of the cooperative wireless sensor nodes. An electromagnetic map could then be generated by activating a virtual MIMO-WSN in specific direction by switching on/off certain sensor nodes based on their location (also known as beamforming). Cost effectiveness, system scalability, ease of deployment, adjustability in frequency tuning, and reliability in ELF/VLF direction-finding are the key design factors in virtual MIMO-WSN to overcome the bottlenecks in the existing techniques for ELF/VLF monitoring systems. Simulation results are used to evaluate these quality indices of the proposed virtual MIMO-WSN

Written by bothernews

December 5, 2013 at 6:30 am