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Who Are The NSA’s Elite Hackers?

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Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Who Are The NSA’s Elite Hackers?

Last week, a mysterious group calling itself The Shadow Brokers dumped online a series of hacking tools associated with the NSA. The leak provided an unprecedented look into the actual tools that the NSA uses to hack its targets, and

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China’s Elite Hacking Unit Disappeared Inexplicably

The company that helped uncover major online security breaches from China last year says exposing the hackers had the effect of shutting them down — at least temporarily.

Last year, the New York Times reported on what it believed to be an elite Chinese military unit that had been sitting on its networks, quietly spying on it and countless other U.S. companies. The news kicked off months’ worth of debate about America’s exposure to cyberattack.

The unit, labeled as “Advanced Persistent Threat 1” or APT1 by the independent security firm Mandiant, usually communicates with the malware it has installed in various targets year-round.
According to a new report from Mandiant published on Thursday, APT1 ceased virtually all its activity in early 2013.

An unusual behavior for this group was compared to previous years. And found an abnormal pattern compared to other threats Mandiant tracks and that it says are based in China.

After the Times report, this advanced persistent threat didn’t stop its activities for more than a couple months. If anything, its command and control communications seemed to intensify in late summer last year compared to previous years.

“This is actually fascinating evidence (data in graphs by Mandiant) that shows that you have an adaptive adversary,” said Allan Friedman, a cybersecurity scholar at George Washington University. “If we interpret this as a fairly complete sample, then it looks like they shut down things as soon as this information was published.”

That’s supported by another finding in the Mandiant report showing that APT1 abruptly changed the IP addresses it was using to access its malware when Mandiant issued its own profile on the hacking unit.

The drop in activity may also suggest that “naming and shaming” by the United States is a viable tactic, said Jason Healey, a cyber-scholar at the Washington-based Atlantic Council.
What’s still unclear is who arranged the change in behavior. It’s possible that higher-ups in the Chinese government were not aware of what APT1 was doing, said Friedman. If that’s the case, he said, then upon seeing the U.S. reports, Beijing may have called down to stop the activity because it didn’t serve China’s strategic mission. But Friedman adds there’s also a chance that APT1’s espionage was part of an officially sanctioned program, and that when APT1 was detected, its tactics changed simply to limit the Chinese government’s exposure to criticism.

Source: http://whogothack.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/chinas-elite-hacking-unit-disappeared.html#.VjPpffmqqko

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San Antonio’s NSA facility includes ‘elite hackers’

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

WASHINGTON — Documents from fugitive former government contractor Edward Snowden spell out new details of AT&T’s cooperation with National Security Agency spying and an NSA operation with teams of elite hackers in San Antonio breaking into computers around the world. NSA Texas hackers aimed at Mexico, Cuba, Columbia, Venezuela and unspecified targets in the Middle East, documents showed. An offensive targeting Mexican leaders — called “WhiteTamale” — proved especially productive. Documents from Snowden’s archive disclosed this month by the New York Times and ProPublica detailed AT&T’s involvement in NSA’s interception of email traffic at a time when AT&T made its headquarters in San Antonio. AT&T moved its corporate offices to Dallas in 2008. Among those documents, a slide presentation shows San Antonio among the hubs of fiber-optic circuitry used in data interception under an NSA program called Fairview. Together, the disclosures underscore San Antonio’s central role in intelligence gathering over the years. The Snowden documents related to hacking started trickling out 20 months ago. They confirm one of the missions of NSA Texas in San Antonio — a growing role in Tailored Access Operations, the program of gathering intelligence by penetrating computers of foreign targets. A slide presentation labeled top […]

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St. Paul’s School: Rape Trial Targets Sexual Culture at Elite New Hampshire Campus

A former student at an elite New Hampshire prep school is going on trial on charges he raped a 15-year-old girl on campus. But it’s not just the defendant who’s facing judgment.

The rape allegedly occurred at the prestigious St. Paul’s School, whose alumni Secretary of State John Kerry, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau and several members of Congress. The trial is expected to cast a spotlight on unsavory aspects of its on-campus sexual culture — including accusations of graduating boys’ competitive pursuit of younger students.

The man on trial, 19-year-old Owen Labrie, is accused of repeatedly raping the girl on the roof of a school building in May 2014, according to The Associated Press.

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Less Than Half Of Elite Russell Group Universities Don’t Record Rape Allegations Properly

Less than half of Britain’s elite universities do not properly record allegations of rape, sexual assaults or sexual harassment, an investigation has revealed. Seven of the 24 Russell Group universities record only “some”, while the same number admitted they do not “systematically” record the incidents. A further one in five universities – Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff, Manchester and King’s College – do not even have specific guidelines for students on how to report such allegations,

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Rape case at elite Indonesian expat school. A witch hunt?

For more than six decades, the Jakarta Intercultural School has educated the children of expats and Indonesian elites, offering an alternative to the country’s woeful public schools. Cloistered in a posh neighborhood, its 2,700 K-12 students amble freely on a sprawling campus. The feel is progressive. Most students are issued iPads. They arrange their desks in class as they like or tackle assignments on large comfy cushions. Read More….

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