Tag Archives: WikiLeaks

#Vault7: WikiLeaks reveals CIA ‘Scribbles’ tool can track whistleblowers & foreign spies

A user manual describing a CIA project known as ‘Scribbles’ has been published by WikiLeaks, exposing the potential for the spying agency to track when documents are leaked by whistleblowers or “Foreign Intelligence Officers.”

Released as part of the whistleblowing organization’s ‘Vault 7’ series, the project is purportedly designed to allow the embedding of ‘web beacon’ tags into documents “likely to be stolen,” according to a press release from WikiLeaks.

Dr Martin McHugh, Information Technology Programme chair at Dublin Institute of Technology, said web beacons can be used for “bad as well as good.”

“Methods of tracking have historically been developed for our protection but have evolved to become used to track us without our knowledge,” he told RT.com.

“Web beacons typically go unnoticed. A tiny file is loaded as part of a webpage. Once this file is accessed, it records unique information about you, such as your IP address and sends this back to the creator of the beacon.”

WikiLeaks says ‘Scribbles’ uses similar technology, which suggests the CIA would have been able to see when sensitive documents are accessed by third parties, including when they’re accessed by potential whistleblowers.

WikiLeaks notes that the latest iteration of the tool is dated March 1, 2016 – indicating it was used up until at least last year – and was seemingly meant to remain classified until 2066.

READ MORE: ‘Top secret CIA virus control system’: WikiLeaks releases ‘Hive’ from #Vault7 series

The ‘Scribbles’ User Guide explains how the tool generates a random watermark for each document, inserts that watermark into the document, saves all such processed documents in an output directory, and creates a log file which identifies the watermarks inserted into each document.

Scribbles can watermark multiple documents in one batch and is designed to watermark several groups of documents.

The tool was successfully tested on Microsoft Office versions 1997-2016 and documents that are not locked forms, encrypted, or password protected.

CIA’s first rule of stopping the next Manning/Snowden – don’t leave CIA document tracking software on suspected source’s computer

The guide notes that the program has a number of flaws.

Significantly, the watermarks were tested only with Microsoft Office applications so if the “targeted end-user” opened them with an alternative application, such as OpenOffice, they may be able to see the watermarks and URLs, potentially exposing the fact that the document is being tracked.

The tool also sometimes generates errors for temporary reasons, like when the Microsoft Office applications do not properly “clean up their resources.” To rectify this the guide advises users to close all Office applications and then run Scribbles again with the same input parameters.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Manhunt underway for CIA ‘traitor’ who leaked ‘Vault 7’ to WikiLeaks – report

The FBI and CIA are investigating hundreds of possible suspects in one of the biggest security breaches in CIA history, CBS News reports. The WikiLeaks “Vault 7” release, which contained thousands of top-secret documents, revealed the agency’s hacking tools.

A joint investigation and manhunt by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency into the source of WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” dump last month has begun, CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues reported Wednesday evening.

The release last month brought to light the CIA’s digital arsenal for hacking into computer systems and smart devices such as phones and televisions. Thousands of top-secret classified files that had previously been guarded within a “highly secure section of the intelligence agency,” as CBS News sources described it, were made available to the world for free by WikiLeaks.

The source of the leak, the FBI and CIA reportedly believe, was one of the hundreds of agents or contractors who had physical access to the material, not an outside hacker. That suspicion seems to align with what WikiLeaks said in their press release announcing the Vault 7 release on March 7.

“The archive appears to have been circulated among former US government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive,” the pro-transparency group said.

Unnamed US intelligence sources told Reuters within a day of the release that the CIA had been anticipating it since near the end of 2016.

The FBI and CIA coordinated reviews of the incident and a criminal investigation was opened within a day of the release, the Washington Post reported at the time, based on an unnamed former intelligence official who said to expect “another major mole hunt.”

Former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell told CBS News less than a week after the release that the leak “has to be an inside job,” as the data was on a CIA top secret network “not connected to any other network.”

Former NSA contractor and whistleblower Ed Snowden tweeted hours after the release that “only a cleared insider” could be responsible for the leak.

Last week, in his first public comments in his new position, CIA director Mike Pompeo blasted WikiLeaks as “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia” and called founder Julian Assange a “demon.”

Assange on Wednesday hit back at Pompeo on ‘The Intercepted’ podcast with Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept, accusing him of attacking WikiLeaks “to get ahead of the publicity curve.”

“In fact, the reason Pompeo is launching this attack is because he understands we are exposing in this series all sorts of illegal actions by the CIA, so he’s trying to get ahead of the publicity curve and create a preemptive defense,” Assange said.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

For the good of the party: It’s time for Donna Brazile to go

For the good of the party: It's time for Donna Brazile to go
Image: Getty

It’s time for Donna Brazile to go.

Like Debbie Wasserman Schultz before her, Brazile has lost credibility as an honest broker at the Democratic National Committee. The DNC chair should be evenhanded — but, thanks to leaked emails, Brazile’s cover is blown.

At the same time that Brazile was publicly claiming to be neutral in the fierce Clinton-Sanders primary battle, she was using her job as a CNN political analyst to give the Clinton campaign advance notice of questions that would be asked during a CNN debate between the two candidates.

Yet Brazile seems tone deaf about her integrity breach — just as the Democratic Party establishment has been tone deaf about the corrosive effects of servicing Wall Street and wealthy contributors.

As the Washington Post reported a week ago, “Donna Brazile is not apologizing for leaking CNN debate questions and topics to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the Democratic primary. Her only regret, it seems, is that she got caught.”

More from The Hill

Posted by Libergirl

New WikiLeaks Shows More Clinton Problems!

Just when it seems Donald Trump is on the mat, pinned with both shoulders and ready to be counted out, Julian Assange comes to the rescue with really damning evidence that Hillary and Bill Clinton have not only lied, but have committed ethics breaches that appear to show a “pay to play” situation while Hillary […]

More from Desert Musings

Posted by Libergirl

WikiLeaks release: Internet governance body trying to stop NSA surveillance

WikiLeaks has published what the anti-secrecy organization says is the penultimate draft agreement expected to be discussed later this month in Brazil at a global internet governance meeting co-hosted by 12 countries including the United States.

The 11-page document published on Tuesday by the secret-spilling website is based on the recommendations submitted by more than 180 international contributors who cared to weigh in with their take on how they think the internet and its infrastructure should be governed ahead of a conference on the matter scheduled to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil April 23-24.

According to the draft published by WikiLeaks this week and dated April 4, the committee tasked with preparing for the upcoming Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance — or NETmundial — are concerned about the impact that government-sanctioned surveillance is having on the privacy of the planet’s web-connected population and the infrastructure of the internet, as well as the repercussions being brought to light as cyber-weapons continue to be waged between adversarial states around the world as warfare remains a central yet shadowy activity within the digital realm.

The meeting, the conference website reads, “[W]ill focus on the elaboration of principles of Internet governance and the proposal for a roadmap for future development of this ecosystem,” and “represents the beginning of a process for the construction of such policies in the global context, following a model of participatory plurality.” Representatives from Brazil, France, Ghana, Germany, India, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey and the US have agreed to participate.

“With the goal of bringing together representatives of civil society, private sector, academia and technical community to establish strategic guidelines related to the use and development of the Internet in the world, NETmundial was concept into committees format, each one with representatives of the involved stakeholders, distinguished experts, aiming to give guidelines and organize the meeting,” the conference site continues.

 More from Russia Today

Posted by The NON-Conformist

WikiLeaks publishes secret draft chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership

WikiLeaks has released the draft text of a chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a multilateral free-trade treaty currently being negotiated in secret by 12 Pacific Rim nations.

The full agreement covers a number of areas, but the chapter published by WikiLeaks focuses on intellectual property rights, an area of law which has effects in areas as diverse as pharmaceuticals and civil liberties.

Negotiations for the TPP have included representatives from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, and Brunei, but have been conducted behind closed doors. Even members of the US Congress were only allowed to view selected portions of the documents under supervision.

“We’re really worried about a process which is so difficult for those who take an interest in these agreements to deal with. We rely on leaks like these to know what people are talking about,” says Peter Bradwell, policy director of the London-based Open Rights Group.

“Lots of people in civil society have stressed that being more transparent, and talking about the text on the table, is crucial to give treaties like this any legitimacy. We shouldn’t have to rely on leaks to start a debate about what’s in then.”

The 30,000 word intellectual property chapter contains proposals to increase the term of patents, including medical patents, beyond 20 years, and lower global standards for patentability. It also pushes for aggressive measures to prevent hackers breaking copyright protection, although that comes with some exceptions: protection can be broken in the course of “lawfully authorised activities carried out by government employees, agents, or contractors for the purpose of law enforcement, intelligence, essential security, or similar governmental purposes”.

More from The Guardian

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Julian Assange: Snowden Is ‘Healthy, Safe and in Good Spirits’

Posted by Libergirl

Swampland

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told reporters in a 75-minute telephone conference call on Monday that Edward Snowden is “healthy and safe.” Assange also made clear he is relishing Snowden’s defiance of the U.S. “I have personal sympathy with Snowden, having gone through similar personal experiences,” he said.

But Assange had few new details to offer about Snowden’s dramatic voyage. He couldn’t say where Snowden is now, where he’s going or even whether Assange had spoken directly to the former NSA contractor. “As a result of the security situation, we cannot talk about commutation methods or time,” Assange said in the call with reporters. “If we lived in a better world we would be able to go into those details. Unfortunately, we live in a world, as illuminated by Mr. Snowden, where most communications are intercepted unlawfully.”

The call’s stated purpose was to highlight WikiLeaks’ help of Snowden, though Assange and…

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