The Verge: US files expanded charges against former Twitter employees accused of espionage

The Verge: US files expanded charges against former Twitter employees accused of espionage. This is NOT the recent big hack; it’s from before. “The US has filed new and expanded charges against two former Twitter employees and a third individual for allegedly spying on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia. The three men have now been charged with acting as agents of a foreign government, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud. One individual, former Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo, was also charged with three counts of money laundering and falsification of records to obstruct the investigation.”

Washington Post: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’

Washington Post: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’. “The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software…. But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.”

TuftsNow: Are Twitter Spies Part of a Trend?

TuftsNow: Are Twitter Spies Part of a Trend?. “The simple act of signing up for a Twitter account or using the WhatsApp messaging service could expose users to international spying and malicious surveillance, according to two current legal cases—and the implications are particularly concerning for journalists and dissidents who criticize the leaders of authoritarian regimes. The threats also go far beyond what most individuals can defend themselves against, according to a Fletcher School professor.”

Times of India: Army warns officials against 150 fake social media profiles who target personnel for sensitive info

Times of India: Army warns officials against 150 fake social media profiles who target personnel for sensitive info. “The Army has cautioned its officials against 150 fake social media profiles that are being used by adversaries for honey trapping in order to extract sensitive information, sources said on Thursday.”

Wired: Trump Tweeted a Sensitive Photo. Internet Sleuths Decoded It

Wired: Trump Tweeted a Sensitive Photo. Internet Sleuths Decoded It. “For many outside experts, the only thing more intriguing than the president sharing sensitive military intelligence was the mystery of the technology that created the image…. Within hours of Trump’s tweet, a handful of amateur satellite trackers had not only determined that the photo was taken by a spy satellite, they had figured out which satellite had taken the photo.”

CNET: Russian internet giant Yandex reportedly hacked by Western intelligence agency

CNET: Russian internet giant Yandex reportedly hacked by Western intelligence agency. “Hackers working for the US or one of its closest allies broke into Russian search giant Yandex to plant malware to spy on user accounts, Reuters reported Thursday. Called Regin, the malware is known to be used by the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance of the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, sources told the news outlet.”

Experts: Spy used AI-generated face to connect with targets (AP)

AP: Experts: Spy used AI-generated face to connect with targets. “Katie Jones sure seemed plugged into Washington’s political scene. The 30-something redhead boasted a job at a top think tank and a who’s-who network of pundits and experts, from the centrist Brookings Institution to the right-wing Heritage Foundation. She was connected to a deputy assistant secretary of state, a senior aide to a senator and the economist Paul Winfree, who is being considered for a seat on the Federal Reserve. But Katie Jones doesn’t exist, The Associated Press has determined.”

CNN: Indian soldiers being ‘honey trapped’ by fake social media accounts from Pakistan

CNN: Indian soldiers being ‘honey trapped’ by fake social media accounts from Pakistan. “An Indian soldier has been ‘honey trapped’ into giving sensitive information to a fake Pakistani Facebook account, highlighting the widespread ‘catfishing’ problem facing India’s military. Sombir Singh, 22, was stationed near the India-Pakistan border when he struck up an intimate online relationship with an account he believed to be operated by an Indian army medical officer.”

Ars Technica: How did Iran find CIA spies? They Googled it

Ars Technica: How did Iran find CIA spies? They Googled it. “A covert ‘transitional’ channel used for communicating with sources that Central Intelligence Agency handlers couldn’t reach directly was exposed and infiltrated by Iranian intelligence in 2009. The breakdown in operational security—which apparently relied heavily on security through obscurity—was the result of Iranian intelligence officials simply using Google to locate the websites used as the communications channel after a double-agent exposed the method used by the CIA, according to a report from Yahoo News’ Zach Dorfman and Jenna McLaughlin.”

Iowa State University: Database will help build foundation for steganalysis of forensic evidence

Iowa State University: Database will help build foundation for steganalysis of forensic evidence. “There is nothing striking or remarkable about the tens of thousands of pictures an Iowa State University research team has spent the past 18 months collecting for a new database. Jennifer Newman, an associate professor of math leading the team on behalf of the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence based at Iowa State, says they are not interested in aesthetics or photos worthy of framing. In fact, the dimly lit and overexposed pictures make the database valuable for researchers interested in steganalysis.”

Associated Press: Report links hacking campaign to Lebanese security agency

Associated Press: Report links hacking campaign to Lebanese security agency. “A major hacking operation tied to one of the most powerful security and intelligence agencies in Lebanon has been exposed after careless spies left hundreds of gigabytes of intercepted data exposed to the open internet, according to a report published Thursday. Mobile security firm Lookout, Inc. and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, said the haul, which includes nearly half a million intercepted text messages, had simply been left online by hackers linked to Lebanon’s General Directorate of General Security.”

US News & World Report: German Intelligence Unmasks Alleged Covert Chinese Social Media Profiles

US News & World Report: German Intelligence Unmasks Alleged Covert Chinese Social Media Profiles. “Germany’s intelligence service has published the details of social network profiles which it says are fronts faked by Chinese intelligence to gather personal information about German officials and politicians. The BfV domestic intelligence service took the unusual step of naming individual profiles it says are fake and fake organizations to warn public officials about the risk of leaking valuable personal information via social media.”

BBC: Social media data shared by spy agencies

BBC: Social media data shared by spy agencies. “UK spy agencies are collecting citizens’ social media and medical data, a court has heard. The details emerged in a case brought by Privacy International, looking at the legality of mass data collection. It said it was concerned that the information could have been shared with foreign governments and corporate partners. The body which oversees UK surveillance did not know that highly sensitive data was being shared, it emerged.”