The 188-page “Challenging Government Hacking In Criminal Cases” report, released by the American Civil Liberties Union on March 30, addresses new amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which took effect last December.
Under the changes to criminal procedure rules, feds can remotely search computers in multiple jurisdictions with a single warrant. The rules are touted by law enforcement agencies as a way to streamline 100-year-old rules of criminal procedure
PITA, the Portable Instrument for Trace Acquisitionattack, which uses electromagnetic wave detection equipment (available at any computer hardware store) that could “read” the electromagnetic pulses emanating from a standard laptop’s keyboard, including the keystrokes used to de-encrypt secure documents.
The new attack, called DiskFiltration, does something similar using the acoustic signals emitted from the movement of a computer’s hard disk drive (HDD).
One way to beat air-gap attacks, according to the researchers, is to switch to solid-state drives (SSDs), which have no moving parts and therefore emit no noise. However, according to the researchers, “despite the increased rate of adoption of SSDs, HDDs are still the most sold storage devices, mainly due to their low cost.
metaphor for this aspect of the spy game: a layer cake.
There’s a layer of activity that is visible to all — the actions or comments of public figures, or statements made via official channels.
Then there’s a clandestine layer that is usually visible only to another clandestine service: the work of spies being watched by other spies.
Counterintelligence officials watching Chinese intelligence activities in Houston, for example, knew the consulate was a base for efforts to steal intellectual property or recruit potential agents
And there’s at least a third layer about which the official statements raised questions: the work of spies who are operating without being detected.
The challenges of election security include its incredible breadth — every county in the United States is a potential target — and vast depth, from the prospect of cyberattacks on voter systems, to the theft of information that can then be released to embarrass a target, to the ongoing and messy war on social media over disinformation and political agitation.
Witnesses have told Congress that when Facebook and Twitter made it more difficult to create and use fake accounts to spread disinformation and amplify controversy, Russia and China began to rely more on open channels.
In 2016, Russian influencemongers posed as fake Americans and engaged with them as though they were responding to the same election alongside one another. Russian operatives even used Facebook to organize real-world campaign events across the United States.
But RT’s account on Twitter or China’s foreign ministry representatives aren’t pretending to do anything but serve as voices for Moscow or Beijing.
The Times’ lawsuit follows reporting by Gizmodo that exposed multiple attempts by the FCC to manufacture stories about hackers attacking its comment system. In reality, the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) crashed, both in 2015 and 2017, after Last Week Tonight host John Oliver instructed millions of his viewers to flood the agency with pro-net neutrality comments.
For over a year, the FCC claimed to have proof that distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks were behind the comment system issues. In August 2018, however, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai finally admitted that wasn’t true. After an inspector general report found no evidence of an attack, Pai sought to pin the blame on his staff—and, for some reason, former President Barack Obama.
Pai stated in an agency memo in 2018 that it was a “fact” that Russian accounts were behind the half-million comments. His attorneys, meanwhile, were arguing the exact opposite in court.
Remember that a blockchain is an immutable, sequential chain of records called Blocks. They can contain transactions, files or any data you like, really. But the important thing is that they’re chained together using hashes.