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United States Privacy

Snowden Claims That NSA Collaborated With Israel To Write Stuxnet Virus 491

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-today's-leaked-news dept.
andrewa writes "In an interview with Der Spiegel Snowden claims that the NSA, amongst other things, collaborated with Israel to write the Stuxnet virus. Not that this is news, as it has been suspected that it was a collaborative effort for some time. When asked about active major programs and how international partners help, Snowden says: 'The partners in the "Five Eyes" (behind which are hidden the secret services of the Americans, the British, the Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians -- ed.) sometimes go even further than the NSA people themselves. Take the Tempora program of the British intelligence GCHQ for instance. Tempora is the first "I save everything" approach ("Full take") in the intelligence world. It sucks in all data, no matter what it is, and which rights are violated by it. This buffered storage allows for subsequent monitoring; not a single bit escapes. Right now, the system is capable of saving three days’ worth of traffic, but that will be optimized. Three days may perhaps not sound like a lot, but it's not just about connection metadata. "Full take" means that the system saves everything. If you send a data packet and if makes its way through the UK, we will get it. If you download anything, and the server is in the UK, then we get it. And if the data about your sick daughter is processed through a London call center, then ... Oh, I think you have understood.'"
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Snowden Claims That NSA Collaborated With Israel To Write Stuxnet Virus

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  • by ganjadude (952775) on Monday July 08, 2013 @08:55AM (#44214949) Homepage
    not at all surprised. some of us have been saying this kind of thing has been going on forever while all the while getting laughed at for being paranoid. But what I am really interested in is what now happens to Snowden. Russia said they would help him as long as he stopped leaking information. Will Russia do anything about this? or do you think it was just lip service??
    • by Xest (935314) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:00AM (#44214973)

      No, Russia said they would give him asylum as long as he stopped leaking information. He withdrew his asylum request to Russia in response and so has opted not to take them up their offer in exchange to stop leaking, which is why he's continued leaking.

      Russia views him as not their problem whilst he continues to not enter the country officially and if he continues to opt not to officially enter Russia then they seem to let him do whatever he feels the need to do.

      • by ganjadude (952775)
        Thank you, I was unaware about the pulling of the request.
      • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Monday July 08, 2013 @10:08AM (#44215441)

        Russia views him as not their problem...

        And indeed he isn't. Nor should he in fact be a problem to the US. After all, a government that is doing nothing wrong has nothing to fear from whistleblowers.

        Although I'm not a US voter, I am mightily disappointed in Obama's stance on this issue. His election platform was supposed to represent transparency in Government dealings, but instead he has perpetuated and compounded the worst excesses of the former Republican administration.

        Not that I'm surprised, mind you. An election promise is as empty as a politician's soul.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Xest (935314)

          It's no different here in the UK though, the Conservative part of the coalition government got into power in large part on a ticket of rolling back the surveillance state and excesses of the previous government but once in power it hasn't taken them long to push the interception modernisation programme from the previous government.

          I think the problem is that it's easy to make promises when you don't matter, but once in power you have the likes of the security services lying to you - "There's a real threat t

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday July 08, 2013 @08:55AM (#44214951) Homepage

    who suffered financial loss because of stuxnet use this evidence to sue the NSA & Mossad for damages ? If not, why not ?

    • by Entropius (188861) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:04AM (#44214987)

      They can't because the world one learns about in law school, where courts are impartial arbiters of justice and where any tort deserves compensation, doesn't exist. We live in a world where Bush/Cheney's lawyers wrote the flimsiest of legal justifications for torturing prisoners and got away with it not because of their justifications but because of who they are.

      Mossad is the sort of organization that will drive up next to you on a motorcycle in traffic and throw a magnetic grenade on your car. What are you going to do, sue them for wrongful death?

      • That, and even at the best of situations it's only possible to sue the government if they consent to be sued.

        Which does happen. Just not in this case.

      • by Rob Riggs (6418) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:59AM (#44215369) Homepage Journal

        Mossad is the sort of organization that will drive up next to you on a motorcycle in traffic and throw a magnetic grenade on your car. What are you going to do, sue them for wrongful death?

        If ever there was a time to reverse the polarity on the deflector shield, that would be it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Mossad is the sort of organization that will drive up next to you on a motorcycle in traffic and throw a magnetic grenade on your car.

        That's a bit crude by their standards. Mossad took out one terrorist by indirectly giving him a cell phone with a bomb, that could be dentonated remotely: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahya_Ayyash [wikipedia.org]

      • Again Mossad is not the problem. In fact, the NSA or Mossad developing a virus to sabotage Iranian centrifuges or what have you is also not the problem. This is what spy agencies are for. The problem is when the NSA develops viruses which affect, or engages in espionage on, the US public. The NSA is not supposed to do that.

        Again, I raise the analogy of the US military dropping bombs on US citizens; they don't do it because they're not supposed to. The same rules should apply to the NSA and its espionage bag

    • Well, for one thing Snowden didn't provide any hard evidence and lacking a literal smoking gun intelligence agencies basically have carte blanche to do whatever the fuck they want to do.

      Pus the general who was in charge of the stuxnet development seems to have leaked this information over a year ago.

      http://www.voanews.com/content/retired-general-target-of-stuxnet-leak-investigation/1690953.html [voanews.com]

    • by onyxruby (118189)

      Sure, they can line right up behind the victims of Iran's and Hezbollah's terror attacks that tend to range from daily to weekly. Would you can to have your case heard after bombings, rocket attacks, hijackings, kidnappings or murders?

  • If someone downloads some hollywood movie; and your ISP sends a copy of those bytes to the NSA (or other-country's equivalent) for profit --- doesn't that mean the NSA just paid that person's ISP for a stolen copy of that movie?

    Same with if an author sends a draft of a book to a publisher.

    Seems to me those programs could be charged with piracy, no?

  • No shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday July 08, 2013 @08:58AM (#44214965)

    I knew that pretty much from the get-go. Only the truly deluded didn't immediately realize that Mossad and/or the CIA were behind that. Of course, there are always those idiots out there who reflexively deny that the U.S. government is behind ANYTHING--who seem to think that the tens of thousands of employees of the CIA and NSA just sit and stare at walls all day, I guess.

    • Just to clue you in on another obvious fact, for those of you who may have somehow missed this too: Mossad has been assassinating [cnn.com] Iranian nuclear scientists (with the CIA's full cooperation).

    • Re:No shit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:28AM (#44215135) Homepage Journal

      I knew that pretty much from the get-go.

      No, you strongly suspected that from the get-go. It was a good hunch which panned out. Many tech geeks understood this was likely, but most common folks didn't even know about it. Most press was happy to not make a big deal about it.

      But now everybody knows what's been going on with near certainty (due to the corroborations, including Senators, lack of denials, and willingness to use a NATO air blockade, an act of war, to apprehend Snowden (just "a 29-year-old hacker")).

      Everybody now knowing has changed the public debate, causing the Snowden Effect [pressthink.org].

  • I've seen that movie. It was really a wormhole!
    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      I've seen that movie. It was really a wormhole!

      And in the wormhole lived a groundhog. And if it was cloudy when he emerged...

  • That summary was all over the place. It barely talked about what was in the headline.
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Entropius (188861) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:10AM (#44215023)

    ... if someone emails someone else a compressed (.zip etc.) file, do the computers automatically decompress it to examine it, or do they store only the compressed version?

    I recall people using specially designed .zip archives which decompress to many times their original size (a 10KB file turning into a 100GB file, for instance) as a form of DoS attack. If the spooks have been lazy the same thing might catch their computers out...

    • Zip bombing the NSA - sounds like the title of a song that will get you locked up in prison if you tweet it.

    • this sounds like very fun idea i wonder how many people sending .zip bombs it would take to clear their buffer in their data center and delete all other data?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your input is appreciated, Comrade! We have patched this vulnerability in our Precog program. The Party thanks you!

    • by Alarash (746254)
      This is to overload DPI gateways scanning documents for viruses, attacks or Data Loss Prevention (confidential documents being sent out, 80% of the time by mistake according to Check Point). They indeed unzip the archives since they need the uncompressed version of files to match them against known signatures, or even execute them in virtual environments, in some cases. Two easy tricks: put a password on the archive (they won't take the time to try and crack it, but might put it aside), or "overzip" it. The
  • Well, duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:11AM (#44215029) Journal

    An amazingly well written worm designed to target a particular brand of hardware PLCs that most hackers have never even heard of (and certainly couldn't afford), and not only target them, but target them in a way specifically designed to destroy the attached equipment under a VERY specific set of curcumstances.

    That has "nation state" written all over it.

    Not only that but it has "very high tech nation state" written all over it.

    Basically about the only people with the will, the resources, and the ability are US + Israel. There's basically no one else that was likely to have done it.

    But honestly, it was one of the most amazingly awesome high tech attacks ever perpetrated. I mean seriously they managed to successfully target machines that weren't connected to the public internet and physically destroy them.

  • filtering. (Score:5, Funny)

    by nblender (741424) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:12AM (#44215043)

    I've always said, since the NSA is reading all of my e-mail anyway, the least they could do is filter out all the spam for me ... If I could subscribe, via RSS from an NSA site, a .procmailrc; that'd be bitchin'...

  • by niks42 (768188) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:21AM (#44215081)
    I wonder how many of the software technologies that these agencies are using, have their roots in open source? Hadoop? Hbase? Hive? Mahout? It would be nice to see them publishing their developments back to the Open Source communities.
  • Tempora isn't new (Score:5, Informative)

    by tsa (15680) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:32AM (#44215159) Homepage

    My government has been doing what the UK does for many years already, we learnt this weekend. I'm Dutch, BTW.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:37AM (#44215203) Homepage
    Its important to clarify what this system is intended to do, as im certain the government will furiously refute this new round of allegations...presuming mainstream media feels like covering this one
    This is not, nor has it ever been about terrorism. Its about the maintenance of power, wherein terrorism is a convenient excuse as it directly challenges and undermines a governments authority. All legitimate challenges, be they from disenfranchised middle eastern nationals or occupy protestors, are now taken very seriously. The middle east questions everything from the well established narrative of american freedom in the context of guantanamo bay to the carter doctrine of foreign imperialism and Israeli occupation each time a bombing or attack is successfully affected. People begin to ask why we are being attacked, and the excuse that terrorists "hate our freedom" becomes less effective with each blast that rocks a city as more of its citizens learn about the home state of the bomber, her motives and objectives and most dangerously, the full context under which america became a part of it.

    the occupy protests question the narrative of the american dream in the context of class stratification that is so rife with inequality it guarantees forty percent of a worlds wealth is concentrated amongst one percent of its wealthiest inhabitants. Bank foreclosures and unemployment can only be explained by "economic downturn" and "irresponsible homeowners" so many times before the answers do not work anymore, and with each march or sit-in a protest gains momentum to change this class stratification. protests like occupy work to force a ruling class to remain under scrutiny or crush dissent. Crushing dissent is a force multiplier however, like water on a grease fire, and merely galvanizes your opponents. Ruling plutocracies cannot tolerate sustained scrutiny.

    the middle of the road is simply surveillance. Find the organizers, topple them first, and the dissent never has an opportunity to interrupt the american "dream." pre-emptive detention of G8 protesters, flypapering articles about how much americans think Snowden is a traitor, and manufacturing crimes against peaceful demonstrators is much more efficient and effective. you contol the outcome of the detentions, and without a rally point protestors are supplanted by media reports of valiantly thwarted attacks by the TSA or FBI. Snowdens security state, as its been exposed, also serves also to galvanize more severe convictions against protestors by providing nearly infinite evidence of any crime the prosecution so wishes. its a slightly larger padlock by which political and social unrest is quelled. it is our form of political prisoner.

    to fix it not only requires expunging elected leaders but cutting the feed bag from a society that largely reviles the poor and champions the rich, and consents to warrantless search so long as they have enough room on the DVR to still make it home in time to catch up on Big Bang Theory. We must begin to ask uncomfortable questions: Why are people rich, what is the longstanding history of our foreign policy and its potential future ramifications, why should corporations be given say in politics, and why do we need a deep-rooted surveillance system to combat something that kills orders-of-magnitude fewer people each year than heart disease?
  • by geekmux (1040042) on Monday July 08, 2013 @09:54AM (#44215323)

    I find it comical that people are still arguing over the validity of Snowden's claims, as he continues to be hunted down by the very government who is attempting to dismiss him as a mere nothing.

    Perhaps the governments stance to dismiss this as nothing (at least on the surface) has merit, for the government knows that no matter how alarming, no matter how bad the breaches of privacy are or has been, citizens simply don't give a shit enough to care.

    And the government knows this. So do many major companies, which is why they continue to operate the way they do (yes, AT&T I'm speaking to you and your recent surcharges that generated hundreds of millions...yes, I'm speaking to you Facebook, and your gall to start charging to put an email where it belongs).

    Why do governments and corporations act in this arrogant way? Because they know that no one gives a shit anymore.

    Apathy will be the demise of all privacy and Rights as we know them today. I promise you that.

    And regardless of Snowden's claims, proof, facts, or evidence, not a damn thing will change for the better. Not a damn thing.

    Now, go ahead. I dare you to prove me wrong.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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