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Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee chair, has said former NSA contractor Edward Snowden didn't raise snooping concerns before deciding to leak information to the media. Snowden repeatedly noted he left a "paper trail," though Feinstein said that isn't what the NSA found when it tried to unravel the mess he left behind when he left the country.
"The email, provided to the committee by the NSA on April 10, 2014, poses a question about the relative authority of laws and executive orders - it does not register concerns about NSA's intelligence activities, as was suggested by Snowden in an NBC interview this week," Feinstein recently said.
Snowden's recent interview with NBC News clearly has ruffled feathers among U.S. politicians, as they become more vocal regarding Snowden's behavior. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently called Snowden a coward, and said the former contractor is welcome to tell his side of the story if he returns back to the United States.
The owner and operator of BlackShades has plead not guilty to computer hacking charges, for his role in selling malware software. Alex Yucel, 24, was arrested last November and extradited to the United States, and now faces up to 15 years if convicted of conspiring to commit access device fraud and access to device fraud, among other charges.
The group reportedly sold its Remote Access Tool (RAT) to thousands of customers across the world since 2010, authorities noted.
Recently, authorities announced 100 people have been arrested in multiple countries for their participation in BlackShades. Federal authorities are trying to clamp down on cybercrime groups, though tend to only make arrests following major incidents - and have been largely unable to stop groups before they compromise users.
Online giant Amazon is reportedly ready to throw down with Spotify, Google Play, Rdio and Beats Music with its very own on-demand music streaming service. Until now, Amazon has focused on individual songs and album sales, though this will give another incentive to consumers to pay for the $99 yearly Prime subscription.
So far, Amazon has agreements in place with Warner Music Group and Sony Music, and is currently in talks with the Universal Music Group.
However, the Amazon music service won't have new artist releases, and music will not be available for at least six months following release, according to reports. Amazon Prime members spend almost double than non-Prime members, and this should be a welcome gift for its members. The company has focused on expanding its digital content offerings, providing television shows, movies, music, and books available for download.
An estimated 2.2 billion smartphones and tablets will be sold to consumers worldwide in 2014 alone, and security will continue to be a major problem, according to Gartner. The research firm predicts 75 percent of mobile security breaches by 2017 will be caused by mobile application misconfiguration. The threat of mobile malware is a constant headache for IT staff, especially when jailbroken devices are introduced on corporate networks.
" Mobile security breaches are - and will continue to be - the result of misconfiguration and misuse on an app level, rather than the outcome of deeply technical attacks on mobile devices," said Dionisio Zumerle, Gartner principal analyst. " A classic example of misconfiguration is the misuse of personal cloud services through apps residing on smartphones and tablets. When used to convey enterprise data, these apps lead to data leaks that the organization remains unaware of for the majority of devices."
IT security specialists should make use of mobile device management (MDM) solutions, coupled with appropriate app shielding and anti-malware solutions to keep corporate devices more secure. Making sure smartphones and tablets are secure with a password, at the very least, can help keep devices secure from anyone snooping.
Former NSA spy/contractor Edward Snowden, currently living in Russia, believes he's a patriot and would like to return to the United States one day. Snowden believes he conducted "civil disobedience" as he broke the law, essentially becoming a martyr to expose widespread and organized surveillance of U.S. citizens.
"I don't think there's ever been any question that I'd like to go home," Snowden said in his NBC News interview. "I mean, I've from day one said that I'm doing this to serve my country. Now, whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say. That's a debate for the public and the government to decide."
Considering how many angry politicians and Obama Administration members there are, it seems unlikely Snowden will be given amnesty or clemency. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said clemency "would be going too far," though does want to see if a fair resolution can be found if Snowden accepts responsibility. Secretary of State John Kerry described Snowden as a coward, and Snowden will likely be unable to return with Obama still in office, at the earliest.
A hacker was forced to back down after a millionaire cryptocurrency supporter offered a $20,000 bounty to identify the people responsible for hacking his Hotmail account. Roger Ver, dubbed "The Bitcoin Jesus," was compromised by someone using the hacker handle "Nitrous" and received a letter demanding 37 bitcoins, or Ver's Social Security number and other personal information would be released.
Instead, Ver offered $20,000 on Facebook, seeking information that the police could use to arrest Nitrous. Shortly after, the hacker offered a written apology to Ver via email, claiming he was "just a middleman" and demanded payment because he "was being told what to tell" Ver.
It's an ironic twist - as most hackers would quietly steal the personal information and later sell or trade it - though "Nitrous" wanted to get paid directly by the victim. Ver, a U.S. citizen currently living in Japan to better promote bitcoins, doesn't expect law enforcement to arrest the hacker, however.
At least two people responsible for targeting Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa have been arrested, with the president previously blaming "extreme right" opposition. Correa's email and Twitter accounts have been hacked, though it's unsure what the two suspects in custody allegedly breached.
It's unknown what kind of sentence the two accused hackers could face if convicted of hacking the president, though likely won't be an enjoyable experience.
"There are two people in custody who are being subjected to investigation having entered the president's accounts," said Galo Chiriboga, Ecuador's attorney general.
The Chinese government believes U.S. officials intentionally fabricated evidence and riled up other Asian governments in an effort to "stir up trouble" over an island land dispute. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed charges against five Chinese Army officers, accusing them of cyberespionage charges.
The current relationship between the United States and China continues to be turbulent, with both countries slinging cyber accusations at one another. The U.S. is investigating "retaliatory options" against Chinese cybercrime, though U.S. spies are now targeting Chinese politicians, businesses, and mobile users.
"In the field of Internet technology and infrastructure, the U.S. is blessed with an advantage, so fabricating some so-called 'evidence' is certainly no hardship," according to a post on the Chinese defense ministry.
America First Credit Union bank employees noticed suspicious activity on customer debit cards, with 20,000 members affected in the security breach. The breach was discovered after each affected card had up to three suspicious transactions on each card, which was an immediate red flag.
It appears customers had their debit card information stolen with a skimming device, though the compromised retailer wasn't named. However, one victim said the information likely was taken sometime between October 2013 and February 2014 - and victims won't likely know until credit card company Visa launches an investigation.
"There were multiple occurrences," noted Rex Rollo, America First executive VP and chief financial officer. "We were on the early end of this one."
As the situation grew more tense in the Ukraine and Russia over the annexing of Crimea, so did malicious activity between the two states in cyberspace.
According to a new report from security company FireEye, by looking at malware "callbacks" - where communications from compromised machines go back to the attacker's first stage server- increased dramatically over the period. Although the reasons cannot be known for sure, FireEye says it sees a "likely correlation" between the number of callbacks to Russia and Ukraine and the intensification of the crisis.
For 2013, Russia was seventh place in the amount of malware callbacks but in March 2014 it jumped to third place - at the same time its parliament authorized the use of force in Ukraine and Putin incorporated Crimea into the Russian Federation.