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Health Information – National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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Sign up to receive the NIH Health Information newsletter and get email updates twice a month about healthy living and wellness from across NIH.

Too much heat isnt safe. Its even riskier if youre older or have health problems. Learn the signs of heat stroke and how to lower your risk.

As you age, you may notice you have less muscle and energy and more fat. Explore steps you can take to help fight the flab that can come with age.

Brain Health Resource This toolkit offers current, evidence-based information and resources that can help people keep their brains functioning their best. Its designed for use at senior centers and in other community settings to promote conversations about brain health.

Check out these popular recent stories from our monthly newsletter, which brings you practical health news and tips based on NIH research:

Editor: Carol Torgan, Ph.D., Science Communication Branch, Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

This page last reviewed on Monday, August 17, 2015

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NATO country orders tactical radios

ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 26 (UPI) — An unidentified country belonging to NATO has ordered secure tactical radios for its military from the Harris Corporation of the United States.

The order is worth $25 million, Harris said, but no details were given as to the number of units to be supplied or their delivery schedule.

Harris Corporation said it will provide the customer with two variants of its Falcon III communications systems — Falcon III AN/PRC-117G manpack and AN/PRC-152A handheld radios. Both feature the company’s adaptive networking wideband waveform, which enables military forces to leverage advanced battle management applications such as collaborative chat, streaming video and intelligence collection.

“Harris’ field-proven Falcon III products and systems continue to meet the growing demands for wideband data and tactical networking in countries around the world,” said Brendan O’Connell, president, Tactical Communications, Harris RF Communications. “Our radios seamlessly connect NATO and allied forces by making it easier to securely exchange voice, data and situational awareness, even while on the move.”

2015 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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NATO country orders tactical radios

Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Effect Your Business? – Video



Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Effect Your Business?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving and affecting every area of our lives. It's affecting your communications, transportation, manufacturing and delivery of products and services….

By: Unveil Digital Strategies

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Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Effect Your Business? – Video

Improving Health-Care Outcomes Is Focus of 2015 Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care

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Newswise The program for the upcoming health-care symposium is being finalized, featuring more than 200 presentations by researchers, physicians and other health-care providers, medical device designers, policy-makers, health IT professionals, and biomedical engineers. The symposium, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, will be held April 26-29 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

The program is again organized in four tracks: Patient and Health-Care Provider Safety, Clinical and Consumer Health-Care Information Technology, Medical and Drug-Delivery Devices, and Clinical Care Settings.

Here is just a sampling of the case studies, research, and design guidance that will be presented at this years symposium:

Patient, Heal Thyself: A Manifesto for Consumer Health Design, Joseph Cafazzo, Healthcare Human Factors Improve Patient Outcomes by Enhancing the Fit Between Clinical Workflow and Health-Care Information Systems, Eleanor Hunt, Toolshed Technologies, Inc. Pilots to Performance: Improving Maternal and Child Health Through Human Factors Collaborations With Public Health, Michelle Rogers, Drexel University Investigating Error in Diagnosis: Qualitative Results From a Virtual Patient Simulation Pilot Study, Daniel Nystrom, Linda Williams, and Douglas Paull, VA National Center for Patient Safety A Product Liability Perspective on Medical Device Development, Robert Rauschenberger and Emily Hildebrand, Exponent, Inc. New International and Domestic Medical Device Standards, Edmond Israelski, AbbVie Patterns of Excellent Team Coordination in Trauma Resuscitation, Sarah Parker, MedStar Institute for Innovation – National Center for Human Factors Engineering in Healthcare Combating Ebola: The Role of HF/E Response to the Recent EVD Outbreak, Chair: Joseph Keebler, Wichita State University

The symposium offers a unique opportunity for attendees from the health-care industry, academia, consulting, and regulatory agencies to engage in discussions about challenges in health-care delivery, learn how HF/E science and practice is meeting those challenges, and work jointly on improving patient safety outcomes.

To access the full preliminary program, visit http://www.hfes.org/web/HFESMeetings/2015hcspreliminary.html.

To obtain a press pass for the symposium, please contact HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (lois@hfes.org) or Communications Associate Cara Quinlan (cara@hfes.org).

* * *

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Improving Health-Care Outcomes Is Focus of 2015 Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care

Government not in favour of curtailing communication on social media, says Ravi Shankar Prasad – Video



Government not in favour of curtailing communication on social media, says Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre respects freedom of speech and …

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Government not in favour of curtailing communication on social media, says Ravi Shankar Prasad – Video

Reports of NSA spying on Canadian companies fuel calls for more transparency

Critics say a crisis of transparency surrounds modern spying methods in Canada after revelations that a close ally the U.S. National Security Agency has been looking at the communications traffic of at least two Canadian corporations.

There are people from the NSA working inside of CSE as we speak, said NDP defence critic Jack Harris, referring to U.S. intelligence analysts embedded inside the Communications Security Establishment, the NSAs Canadian counterpart.

Mr. Harris said he has many questions about the extent of Canadas close surveillance partnerships with the United States, but Parliamentarians are not authorized to get answers.

Were reaching a crisis point on this, he said in an interview, pointing out that the Conservative government faces several spying controversies.

The Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday that a leaked NSA document from 2012 includes Royal Bank of Canada and Rogers Communications Inc. on a list of global firms whose private communication networks the U.S. agency appeared to be interested in mapping.

The document which The Globe obtained from a confidential source suggests the agency was describing efforts to identify and analyze computer networks controlled by corporations.

Markings on the document, a presentation for intelligence officers, indicate it may have been shared with Ottawa nearly three years ago. Rogers and RBC told The Globe they had no idea the NSA had any interest in their networks, which they insist are secured against intruders.

The NSA has said it will not discuss allegations about its intelligence activities.

There is no indication the NSA went as far as getting at any data inside individual computers or reading communications related to the Canadian companies. However, the presentation suggests the agency went further in using its mapping techniques to look at the computer systems controlled by a Chinese telecom giant.

The name of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. appears in the presentation, and the NSA appears to have had a keen interest in isolating the corporations data channels. These links are likely to carry Huawei traffic, reads one slide.

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Reports of NSA spying on Canadian companies fuel calls for more transparency

Posted in NSA

Any regrets, Edward Snowden? "I'd have come forward sooner"

Summary:The former NSA contractor turned whistleblower said during a Reddit question-and-answer session that the leaks have also improved security and encryption in Silicon Valley.

Edward Snowden answers questions on Reddit (Image: Imgur/Reddit)

Edward Snowden has just one regret.

It’s not that he threw Obama’s second term in office under the bus by disclosing the vast surveillance by the National Security Agency. Nor did he regret that he condemned himself to the bowels of Russia. (He rightfully pointed out the weather in Moscow has been “warmer than the east coast” this past week, where temperatures have been close to zero.)

It was that he didn’t “come forward sooner” with what he knew.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras, and former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden answered questions from the Reddit community on Monday in an hour-long “ask me anything.”

The question-and-answer session comes hours before the Poitras documentary, “Citizenfour,” broadcasts on HBO. The film, which documents the first few days the whistleblower goes on the run in Hong Kong and the immediate aftermath of the leaks, won an Oscar on Sunday for best documentary feature.

Here are select highlights from the event, edited for clarity:

Snowden, months after he was granted political asylum in Russia, asked the country’s president Vladimir Putin if his government spies on its citizens. What proof do we have that Putin is being honest?

Snowden: “There’s not, and that’s part of the problem world-wide. We can’t just reform the laws in one country, wipe our hands, and call it a day. We have to ensure that our rights aren’t just being protected by letters on a sheet of paper somewhere, or those protections will evaporate the minute our communications get routed across a border. The only way to ensure the human rights of citizens around the world are being respected in the digital realm is to enforce them through systems and standards rather than policies and procedures.”

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Any regrets, Edward Snowden? "I'd have come forward sooner"

Posted in NSA

Robert Saloschin, lawyer who helped with Freedom Riders, dies at 95

Robert L. Saloschin, a Justice Department lawyer who found an unconventional legal basis for the federal government to order the racial integration of interstate bus travel and bus terminals during the violence-wracked Freedom Rides of 1961, died Feb. 24 at his home in Bethesda. He was 95.

The cause was myelodysplasia, a blood disorder, said his daughter, Mary Ann Hubbard.

In a 23-year Justice Department career, Mr. Saloschin also was a top official advising federal agencies on compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, and he was one of the authors of the legislation that created Comsat, the Communications Satellite Act of 1962.

In 1961, he recommended that desegregation of bus and terminal facilities be brought about by petition to the Interstate Commerce Commission, which many lawyers previously thought had authority only over economic matters.

Early that year, groups of Freedom Riders, black and white, had boarded New Orleans-bound buses in Washington, intending to challenge racial segregation laws and customs throughout the South. There were minor incidents and some arrests from Virginia through Georgia.

But in Alabama the riders were met by Ku Klux Klan-led mobs armed with crowbars, pitchforks and clubs. A bus was burned near Anniston, Ala., and riders were attacked and beaten. Photographs and video tapes of the violence were broadcast around the world, much to the embarrassment of the new president, John F. Kennedy, and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, whose pleas for a cooling off period went unheeded.

It was at that point, then-Deputy Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach wrote in his 2008 memoir Some of It Was Fun, that Mr. Saloschin suggested a petition to the Interstate Commerce Commission. Mr. Saloschin had years of experience with federal agencies, Katzenbach wrote, and he knew whereof he spoke.

The two men met with the general counsel of the ICC, who doubted that the commission had the authority to issue any such order.

But Saloschin had the bit in his teeth, Katzenbach wrote, quoting him as having said, Well, the Attorney General can formally and publicly petition the Commission to desegregate all buses and terminals if he wants to.

Continued Katzenbach, This seemed a dramatic and somewhat original way of supporting the Freedom Riders, and Bobby [Kennedy] liked it. So did the president.

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Robert Saloschin, lawyer who helped with Freedom Riders, dies at 95

UN Free Speech Expert Praises US Net Neutrality Decision

The U.N.’s independent expert on freedom of speech has praised the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for voting to enforce “net neutrality” rules for the broadband industry.

David Kaye says Thursday’s decision was “a real victory for freedom of expression and access to information in the United States.”

In a statement Friday, Kaye said he hoped the rules preventing U.S. Internet service providers from blocking or slowing Web traffic for some sites while favoring others would serve as a model for governments elsewhere in the world.

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UN Free Speech Expert Praises US Net Neutrality Decision

Gemalto Confirms It Was Hacked But Insists the NSA Didnt Get Its Crypto Keys

Gemalto, the Dutch maker of billions of mobile phone SIM cards, confirmed this morning that it was the target of attacks in 2010 and 2011attacks likely perpetrated by the NSA and British spy agency GCHQ. But even as the the company confirmed the hacks, it downplayed their significance, insisting that the attackers failed to get inside the network where cryptographic keys are stored that protect mobile communications.

Gemalto came to this conclusion after just a weeklong investigation following a news report that the NSA and GCHQ had hacked into the firms network in 2011. The news was reported by The Intercept last week, which said the agencies had gained access to huge cache of the cryptographic keys used with its SIM cards.

The investigation into the intrusion methods described in the document and the sophisticated attacks that Gemalto detected in 2010 and 2011 give us reasonable grounds to believe that an operation by NSA and GCHQ probably happened, Gemalto wrote in a press release on Wednesday. But, the company said, The attacks against Gemalto only breached its office networks and could not have resulted in a massive theft of SIM encryption keys.

Many in the information security community ridiculed Gemalto for asserting this after such a short investigation, particularly since the NSA has been known to deploy malware and techniques capable of completely erasing any signs of an intrusion after the fact to thwart forensic discovery of a breach.

Very impressive, Gemalto had no idea of any attacks in 2010, one week ago. Now they know exactly what happened, French developer and security researcher Matt Suiche wrote on Twitter.

Chris Soghoian, chief technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union had the same reaction.

Gemalto, a company that operates in 85 countries, has figured out how to do a thorough security audit of their systems in 6 days. Remarkable, he tweeted.

The Intercept alleged in its story that the spy agencies had targeted employees of the Dutch firm, reading their siphoned emails and scouring their Facebook posts to obtain information that would let them hack employee machines. Once on Gemaltos network, The Intecept reported, the spy agencies planted backdoors and other tools to give them a persistent foothold. We believe we have their entire network, boasted the author of a government PowerPoint slide that was leaked by Snowden to journalist Glenn Greenwald.

If true, this would be a damning breach. Gemalto is one of the leading makers of SIM cards; its cards are used in part to help secure the communications of billions of customers phones around the world on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and more than 400 other wireless carriers in 85 countries. Stealing the crypto keys would allow the spy agencies to wiretap and decipher encrypted phone communications between mobile handsets and cell towers without the assistance of telecom carriers or the oversight of a court or government.

Edward Snowden criticized the agencies for the hack in an Ask Me Anything session for Reddit on Monday. When the NSA and GCHQ compromised the security of potentially billions of phones (3g/4g encryption relies on the shared secret resident on the sim), Snowden wrote, they not only screwed the manufacturer, they screwed all of us, because the only way to address the security compromise is to recall and replace every SIM sold by Gemalto.

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Gemalto Confirms It Was Hacked But Insists the NSA Didnt Get Its Crypto Keys

Posted in NSA

Snowden: Spy Agencies Screwed All of Us in Hacking Crypto Keys

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden didnt mince words during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session on Monday when he said the NSA and the British spy agency GCHQ had screwed all of us when it hacked into the Dutch firm Gemalto to steal cryptographic keys used in billions of mobile SIM cards worldwide.

When the NSA and GCHQ compromised the security of potentially billions of phones (3g/4g encryption relies on the shared secret resident on the sim), Snowden wrote in the AMA, they not only screwed the manufacturer, they screwed all of us, because the only way to address the security compromise is to recall and replace every SIM sold by Gemalto.

Gemalto is one of the leading makers of SIM cards used in billions of mobile phones around the world to secure the communications of telecom customers of AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and more than 400 other wireless carriers in 85 countries. Stealing the crypto keys essentially allows the spy agencies to wiretap and decipher encrypted phone communications at will without the assistance of telecom carriers or the oversight of a court or government. The keys also allow the agencies to decrypt previously intercepted messages they hadnt been able to crack.

But in stealing the keys with the aim of targeting the communications of specific customers, the spy agencies undermine the security of billions of other customers.

Our governments should never be weighing the equities in an intelligence gathering operation such that a temporary benefit to surveillance regarding a few key targets is seen as more desireable than protecting the communications of a global system Snowden wrote.

As The Intercept reported last week, the spy agencies targeted employees of the Dutch firm, reading their siphoned emails and scouring their Facebook posts to obtain information that would help the agencies hack the employees. Once on employee systems, the spy agencies planted backdoors and other tools to give them a persistent foothold on the companys network. We believe we have their entire network, the author of a PowerPoint slide, leaked by Snowden to journalist Glenn Greenwald, boasted about the hack.

Snowden commented on the story after being asked what he thought about recent revelations from Kaspersky Lab that it had uncovered a spy module, believed to belong to the NSA, designed for hacking the firmware of hard drives. Snowden said the firmware hacking was significant but even more significant was the theft of the crypto keys.

[A]lthough firmware exploitation is nasty, Snowden responded, its at least theoretically reparable: tools could plausibly be created to detect the bad firmware hashes and re-flash good ones. This isnt the same for SIMs, which are flashed at the factory and never touched again.

Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute shared Snowdens sentiments about the crypto theft.

We hear a great deal lately about the value of information sharing in cybersecurity, he wrote in a blog post about the hack of Gemalto. Well, heres a case where NSA had information that the technology American citizens and companies rely on to protect their communications was not only vulnerable, but had in fact been compromised.[T]his is one more demonstration that proposals to require telecommunications providers and device manufacturers to build law enforcement backdoors in their products are a terrible, terrible idea. As security experts have rightly insisted all along, requiring companies to keep a repository of keys to unlock those backdoors makes the key repository itself a prime target for the most sophisticated attackerslike NSA and GCHQ.

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Snowden: Spy Agencies Screwed All of Us in Hacking Crypto Keys

Posted in NSA

Big Brother Watch calls for reform of social media communications laws

Britain’s communications laws need to be reformed to take account of the explosion in online communications wrought by broadband internet.

That is the conclusion of a report by civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, which claims that there were 6,329 people charged or cautioned under either the Communications Act of 2003 or the Malicious Communications Act of 1988 in the three years between November 2010 and November 2013.

Avon & Somerset Police head the table for the total number of charges and convictions under the two Acts, with Lancashire, Suffolk, Northumbria and Great Manchester Police also particularly active.

Big Brother Watch argues that in an age of semi-personal online communication via media such as Facebook and Twitter, the two Acts are outdated and stifling freedom of speech. Section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003, it added, can be dated back to the Post Office (Amendment) Act of 1930, which was intended to reduce abuse of telephone operators in the days before automated exchanges.

It was followed by the Telecommunications Act 1984, which contains very similar wording to Section 127. This legislation enables a court to convict you based on whether it deems a message to be ‘grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character’. “It is arguable that the outdated nature of the law is why we are seeing an increase in legal cases involving comments made on social media,” claims the report.

Guidelines drawn up to govern the prosecution of social media cases did not address the key concerns, claims Big Brother Watch.

The two main problems with Section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003, claims the organisation, is that it was drafted to deal with one-to-one communications, rather than one-to-many, but was nevertheless extended into the social media area by case law. It was also originally aimed at public utilities, but has been extended to cover any communications company, including social media service providers.

Big Brother Watch has called for the repeal of Section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003 and the removal of the phrase “grossly offensive” from the Malicious Communications Act of 1988.

“The phrase ‘grossly offensive’ is highly subjective and causes more problems than it solves. More importantly it shouldn’t be a crime to cause offence. The wording sets a very dangerous precedent, without a clear definition it is very difficult to ensure a standardised approach across police forces in the types of cases that require their attention,” it concludes.

The report, wrote John Cooper QC in the foreword, highlighted “in clear terms the problems that the present criminal law has with adapting to the fresh and vibrant world of social media”. He added that there was an “urgent need for a rationalisation of existing law to reflect the new mediums at a time when cash-strapped police forces across the country are struggling to cope with social media-related complaints”.

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Big Brother Watch calls for reform of social media communications laws

SIM card makers hacked by NSA and GCHQ leaving cell networks wide open

The NSA could be able to listen in on your lols.

Christian Rivera

In a new report on some of the confidential documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, The Intercept wrote that operatives from both the National Security Administration (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) joined forces in April 2010 to crack mobile phone encryption. The Mobile Handset Exploitation Team (MHET) succeeded in stealing untold numbers of encryption keys from SIM card makers and mobile networks, specifically Dutch SIM card maker Gemalto, one ofthe largest SIM manufacturers in the world. Gemalto produces 2 billion SIM cards a year, which are used all over the world.

Although the SIM card in a cell phone was originally usedto verify billing to mobile phone users, today a SIM also stores the encryption keys that protect a user’s voice, text, and data-based communications and make them difficult for spies to listen in on. The mobile carrier holds the corresponding key that allows the phone to connect to the mobile carrier’s network. Each SIM card is manufactured with an encryption key (called a Ki) that is physically burned into the chip. When you go to use the phone, it conducts a secret ‘handshake’ that validates that the Ki on the SIM matches the Ki held by the mobile company, The Intercept explains. Once that happens, the communications between the phone and the network are encrypted.

To steal the SIM encryption keys, MHET exploited a weakness in SIM manufacturers’ business routinethat SIM card manufacturers tend to deliver the corresponding Kis to mobile carriers via e-mail or File Transfer Protocol. By doing basic cyberstalking of Gemalto employees, the NSA and GCHQ were able to pilfer millions of SIM Kis, which have a slow turnover rate (your phone’s Ki will likely remain the same as long as you keep the SIM in the phone) and can be used to decrypt data that has been stored for months or even years.

Gemalto not only makes SIM cards, but it also makes chips that are placed into EMV credit cards as well as the chips built into next-generation United States passports. Paul Beverly, a Gemalto executive vice president, told The Intercept that the company’s security team began an audit on Wednesday and could find no evidence of the hacks. The most important thing for me is to understand exactly how this was done, so we can take every measure to ensure that it doesnt happen again, and also to make sure that theres no impact on the telecom operators that we have served in a very trusted manner for many years, Beverly said. Gemalto’s clients include hundreds of wireless networks around the world, including all four major carriers in the US.

According to the documents procured by The Intercept, MHET was able to use the NSA’s XKeyscore to mine the e-mail accounts and Facebook profiles of engineers at major telecom companies and SIM card manufacturing companies, looking for clues that would get them into the SIM Ki trove. (XKeyscore is a program designed by the NSA to reassemble and analyse the data packets it finds traveling over a network. XKeyscore is powerful enough to be able to pull up the full content of users’ Web browser sessions, and it can even generate a full replay of a network session between two Internet addresses, as Ars reported in 2013.) Eventually, MHET learned enough to be able to plant malware on several of Gemalto’s internal servers.

In the course of trying to break into Gemalto’s internal network, the NSA and GCHQ looked for employees using encryption as preferred targets. The spy agencies also expanded their surveillance to include mobile phone companies and networks, as well as other SIM manufacturers. The Intercept explained:

In one instance, GCHQ zeroed in on a Gemalto employee in Thailand who they observed sending PGP-encrypted files, noting that if GCHQ wanted to expand its Gemalto operations, he would certainly be a good place to start. They did not claim to have decrypted the employees communications, but noted that the use of PGP could mean the contents were potentially valuable.

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SIM card makers hacked by NSA and GCHQ leaving cell networks wide open

Posted in NSA

Russian Censorship: Tor, Anonymous VPNs Could Be Target Of Next Crackdown, Kremlin Warns

The 200,000 or so Russian Internet users who have signed up with Tor since Vladimir Putin regained the countrys presidency in 2012 might soon have to find new ways of getting around Internet censorship. Under Putin, Russia has increased the Kremlin’s ability to control information online, and now, based on the remarks of a powerful politician, it looks like Tor could be next.

One of the factors in the formation of the Internet environment in our country has become the authority for the pretrial blocking of websites, Leonid Levin, the head of the Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies and Communications, said in a speech Thursday, as quoted by RBC.Ru. It allows [us] to block information banned in Russia quickly. At the same time the pretrial blocking of anonymizing services deserves attention, such as access to the anonymous network Tor.

Tor, which stands for The Onion Router, cloaks Web users’ Internet activities and physical locations, gives them access to otherwise inaccessible regions of the Internet and provides other services that help people hide themselves online. Its open to question exactly how safe the software is, but it’s clear that Russia is not the only country trying to find out who is doing what — and where. Originally a U.S. military project, Tor has been a target of virtually every major intelligence agency (including the National Security Agency) and repeatedly demonized by lawmakers throughout the world.

This could mean the Russian government’s offer last July to pay $3.9 million rubles ($111,000 at the time) to anyone who could study the possibility of obtaining technical information about users and equipment on the Tor anonymous network wasn’t successful.

Levin, who also said the state could pursue virtual private networks, expressed frustration that Moscow invests substantial additional funds in police and military but lacks the wherewithal to do so online.

Maybe the only surprise about the Russian government’s going after Tor is that it hasn’t clamped down already. Not content with television and radio, the Kremlin quickly increased its control of the Internet with laws targeting foreign social media outlets, popular Russian bloggersand was recently cited as the possible perpetrator of iOS malware launched against Russia’s European rivals.

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Russian Censorship: Tor, Anonymous VPNs Could Be Target Of Next Crackdown, Kremlin Warns

Obsidian plans to establish super-computer business in India

Singapore, Feb 5:

Canada-based Obsidian Strategics is in discussions with technology companies to establish a super-computer business network in Asian markets, including India.

There are discussions underway with suitable groups that have the capabilities and technologies, said Bill Halina, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Obsidian Strategics.

As our company begins to grow in markets such as India, China and Australia, we see opportunities to manufacture wherever our product is being used, Halina told PTI.

Obsidian, which manufacturers its hardware and software in the US and Canada, has super computer-based technology to move data faster than anyone else.

We work with contract manufacturers and want to make sure the quality of the manufacturing is to our satisfaction, Halina said.

We will help bring jobs to a jurisdiction with the local economy that is in place and helping them to grow, he stressed.

We are also in the early days of exploring other markets, added Dr David Southwell, the groups Chief Visionary Officer.

The company prefers joint venture-based partnerships for operating in multiple markets, said at the recently held technology conference, EmTech Singapore.

Obsidian used its supercomputer, infiniband technology, on a trial basis on Tata Communications Trans-Pacific Subsea Cable from the US to Australia late last year.

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Obsidian plans to establish super-computer business in India

Link between NSA and Regin cyberespionage malware becomes clearer

Security researchers found a strong connection between Regin and a keylogger used by the Five Eyes intelligence alliance

Keylogging malware that may have been used by the NSA shares signficant portions of code with a component of Regin, a sophisticated platform that has been used to spy on businesses, government institutions and private individuals for years.

The keylogger program, likely part of an attack framework used by the U.S. National Security Agency and its intelligence partners, is dubbed QWERTY and was among the files that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked to journalists. It was released by German news magazine Der Spiegel on Jan. 17 along with a larger collection of secret documents about the malware capabilities of the NSA and the other Five Eyes partners — the intelligence agencies of the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“We’ve obtained a copy of the malicious files published by Der Spiegel and when we analyzed them, they immediately reminded us of Regin,” malware researchers from antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab said Tuesday in a blog post. “Looking at the code closely, we conclude that the ‘QWERTY’ malware is identical in functionality to the Regin 50251 plugin.”

Moreover, the Kaspersky researchers found that both QWERTY and the 50251 plug-in depend on a different module of the Regin platform identified as 50225 which handles kernel-mode hooking. This component allows the malware to run in the highest privileged area of the operating system — the kernel.

This is strong proof that QWERTY can only operate as part of the Regin platform, the Kaspersky researchers said. “Considering the extreme complexity of the Regin platform and little chance that it can be duplicated by somebody without having access to its source code, we conclude the QWERTY malware developers and the Regin developers are the same or working together.”

Der Spiegel reported that QWERTY is likely a plug-in of a unified malware framework codenamed WARRIORPRIDE that is used by all Five Eye partners. This is based on references in the code to a dependency called WzowskiLib or CNELib.

In a separate leaked document authored by the Communications Security Establishment Canada, the Canadian counterpart of the NSA, WARRIORPRIDE is described as a flexible computer network exploitation (CNE) platform that’s an implementation of the “WZOWSKI” Five Eyes API (application programming interface).

The document also notes that WARRIORPRIDE is known under the code name DAREDEVIL at the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and that the Five Eyes intelligence partners can create and share plug-ins for it.

The newly discovered link between QWERTY and Regin suggests that the cyberespionage malware platform security researchers call Regin is most likely WARRIORPRIDE.

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Link between NSA and Regin cyberespionage malware becomes clearer

Posted in NSA