Hacked documents: Headache of U.S. officials

United States officials are now worried about the hacked data may put their spies at risk. The hacked documents by the Chinese hackers has become a headache for the U.S. officials as they believe  Chinese government could use the stolen records of millions of federal workers and contractors to piece together the identities of intelligence officers secretly posted in China over the years.

However, some officials in the President Obama administration said that the theft was not as damaging as it might have been because the Chinese hackers did not gain access to the identities of American undercover spies.

Similarly, it is still unclear that how Chinese officials were using or might use the stolen files, which include personal information gathered during background checks of government workers.

According to a news report published in NYTimes, it would be a significant setback for intelligence agencies already concerned that a recent data breach at the Office of Personnel Management is a major windfall for Chinese espionage efforts.

In the days after the breach of records of millions of federal workers and contractors became public last month.

The C.I.A. officials said intelligence agencies were taking steps to try to mitigate the damage however, it is not clear what are they doing.

According to the news report, “The information that was exfiltrated was valuable in its own right,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “It’s even more compromising when it is used in combination with other information they may hold. It may take years before we’re aware of the full extent of the damage.”

“The C.I.A. and other agencies typically post their spies in American embassies, where the officers pose as diplomats working on political affairs, agricultural policy or other issues,” the report read.

It is said that even if the identities of the agency officers were not in the personnel office’s database, Chinese intelligence operatives could run searches through the database on everyone granted visas to work at American diplomatic outposts in China.

During an interview, the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, “From an intelligence perspective, it gives you great insight potentially used for counterintelligence purposes,”

 “If I’m interested in trying to identify U.S. persons who may be in my country — and I am trying to figure out why they are there: Are they just tourists? Are they there for some other alternative purpose?  There are interesting insights from the data you take from O.P.M,” he added.

Chinese Huawei allegedly hacked into Indian state-owned Telecoms company BSNL

Parliament of India was informed on Wednesday that the State-owned Telecoms Company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited(BSNL)'s network was allegedly hacked by a Chinese Telecom equipment maker Huawei.

"The government has constituted an inter-ministerial team to investigate the matter."Killi Kruparani, Minister of State for Communications and IT, told the Lok Sabha.

According to reports,  the engineers of Huawei allegedly hacked a BSNL's mobile tower in Coastal area of Andhra Pradesh in October 2013.

India has launched an investigation, the investigation team is comprise of top officials from National Security council Secretariat, Intelligence Bureau, Union home ministry and BSNL.

It is worth to note that BSNL has offered a major part of its network expansion tender to another Chinese company ZTE in 2012.  The goverment suspects it might be the "inter-corporate rivalry" between these two chinese companies.

Huawei India denies allegations of hacking BSNL's network, said it will continue to work with Indian customers and Government and ready to help in addressing any network security issues.

NETRA - An Internet spy system to be launched by Indian Government

Think twice before using words like "bomb", "blast", "kill", "attack" in your emails, blogs, tweets, facebook status or any other social network status updates.

Using such kind of words will put you under a surveillance of Indian security agencies.

"NETRA", is an Internet Spy System, developed by Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), a lab under Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which is capable of detecting mala fide message, reports Times of India.

Besides status update in social networks, the NETRA project is capable of capture any dubious voice traffic passing thorough VOIP services such as Skype or Google Talk.

"When Netra is operationalized, security agencies will get a big handle on monitoring activities of dubious people and organizations which use Internet to carry out their nefarious designs," a government official said.

Indian Election Commission-Google tie up may impact National Security

Thanks to Our Indian Election Commission for tie up with the "US Based" Internet Giant Google, Now NSA can easily get the info of every Indian citizen.

According to Times of India, Google and Election Commission have entered into an agreement under which Google will help EC to manage online registration of new voters and facilitation services ahead of the 2014 elections.

The registered voters can check the address at which they are registered and get directions to the nearest polling station.

Cyber Security experts says the EC'S move will impact national security and democracy itself.

"It is shocking that in a country like India which is called world's software superpower, Election Commission, instead of an Indian company, has chosen a foreign company like Google, which has colluded with American intelligence agencies like NSA (National Security Agency) for global cyberspying, to provide electoral registration and facilitation services by providing them the whole database of registered voters in India," TOI quoted the Indian Infosec Consortium as saying.

The group said it will pose a potential risk to India, as the data could possibly misused by Google and US agencies for cyber espionage.

Rajsekhar Murthy, another member of the consortium, said the poll panel should have spoken to Indian companies such as Infosys or TCS before jumping into such a decision. "Cost wise it is not much," he said.

Convicted Hackers could be recruited for UK cyber defence force

I consider this is best move by the United Kingdom- recruiting a convicted computers hackers for the Cyber Defence force.  The best way to improve the cyber security is hiring a hackers.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael White told BBC that even convicted hackers could be recruited if they pass security vetting.  He also added that the recruitment process will be based on "capability development" of a person instead of "personality traits".

Hundreds of computer experts are expected to be recruited by the British Ministry of Defence as cyber reservists to help defend the national security.

"The Cyber Reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyberspace." the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond noted in September.  "This is an exciting opportunity for internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities"

South Korean Defense Ministry Bans Smartphones usage to prevent Military data leaks

South Korean Defense Ministry is banning their staffs from using the Interent connectivity and Camera functions inside the Ministry's building in a move to prevent the Military information leaks, according to the Yonhap News

According to the newly implement mobile device management plan, the employees will be required to install a smartphone app that deactivates the most of the smartphone features while they are inside building.

Employees will still be able to make phone calls or using the text messages but those who have Apple iPhone only allowed to do that.

Visitors won't be allowed to carrying any mobile phones inside the Ministry's building. The plan goes into effect from July 15. 

The defense ministry said a trial run will be held first and it would consider revising it if necessary.