Google Street View WiFi Data Dump to be Settled out of Court

Connecticut and Google agree to settle out of court over WiFi data collected during Google’s Street View data collection. According to The Register:

In December, then Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal hit Google with a Civil Investigative Demand – the equivalent of a subpoena – insisting that the company turn over the Wi-Fi payload its Street View cars collected from insecure Wi-Fi networks in the state. And Google refused to do so. Today, new Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell announced that the state had reached an agreement with Google to settle the matter out of court.

When Google captured photo data for their “Street View” project, the collection cars also collected unsecured Wi-Fi data, including e-mail and confidential data:

Google stipulates, for purposes of settlement discussions, that the payload data collected contained URLs of requested Web pages, partial or complete e-mail communications or other information, including confidential and private information the network user was transmitting over the unsecured network while Google’s Street View car was within range.”

Wireless SSID (network names) and MAC addresses were also collected.  It really makes you wonder why Google did this. From earlier reports, they inadvertently used a program that collected this information. But according to The Register, Google posted a blog entry stating they collected Wi-Fi data all across the globe. This really doesn’t sound like an accident.

Because it was done while they were creating “Street View” for Google Maps, you could assume they now have the physical location of numerous Wi-Fi routers. One would have to ask why Google would want Wi-Fi router physical location data…  

Anonymous Arrests a “Declaration of War”? Wikileaks DDoS Saga Continues

The story around the Wikileaks DDoS circus continues. On Thursday 5 people, alleged members of the hacker group “Anonymous”, were arrested in the UK.

Three teenagers, aged 15, 16 and 19, were arrested in a series of coordinated raids at 7a.m. along with two men aged 20 and 26. All five are being held in custody at local police stations.

Anonymous responded with a press release claiming the move was a “Declaration of War”:


The letter continues on their website. They likened the DDoS attacks to a peaceful protest:

It is clear then, that arresting somebody for taking part in a DDoS attack is exactly like arresting somebody for attending a peaceful demonstration in their hometown. Anonymous believes this right to peacefully protest is one of the fundamental pillars of any democracy and should not be restricted in any way.

They also claimed that no computers were compromised in the attack, that the DDoS was no more than a large number of users accessing the websites.

So how has the government responded? Well, today the FBI executed numerous search warrants according to an FBI press release:

FBI agents today executed more than 40 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into recent coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations. Also today, the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service executed additional search warrants and arrested five people for their alleged role in the attacks.

So, it appears that the fun and games is over as the reality of jail time is sinking in for those who thought this was a just a harmless game.

There was also an interesting article on Infosec Island about the DDoS program that Anonymous was using.  Apparently hacktivist “The Jester” has infected the latest version of the DDoS tool that Anonymous used:

“That’s right ladies and gents, trolls and trollettes, skiddie, wannabe, and poser…. The DHN files that you are downloading, using, and “playing” with are altered versions of the original.  These lovely beauties are, in fact, infected by none other than th3j35t3r.”

Of the alterations to the new version, the author states that “it gives up paths, usernames, ip, MAC, sysinfo, everything…”

Interesting, if the new version gives up information about the user, who is collecting it? Is “The Jester” really a government agent? And is the FBI using the information garnered for obtaining their search warrants and for prosecution? This story just keeps getting better and better.

Internet Shutdown in Egypt due to Protests

The internet is down in Egypt. Government officials have shutdown the internet due to political protests there. Unlike in Iran and Tunisia, where officials just blocked social media sites, Egypt has now shutdown the majority of the country’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs). On Tuesday, just Twitter and Facebook were blocked. But now, ISPs that provide users access to the internet have been shutdown.

Only one remained live as of this morning according to an AP article on ValleyNewsLive:

Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr – and all went dark at 12:34 a.m. Those companies shuttle all Internet traffic into and out of Egypt, though many people get their service through additional local providers with different names.

Italy-based Seabone said no Internet traffic was going into or out of Egypt after 12:30 a.m. local time.

Only Noor, which handles the Egyptian stock exchange and foreign businesses was still functional.

BlackBerry internet access has also been reportedly disabled. Though some apps still seem to work, internet browsing no longer functions. With reports stating that landline phones are still functional, this really shows how important the internet has become. 

This seems to be the new standard operating procedure when there are riots in these dictator type countries. If their is political unrest, the internet goes down to try to stop images and reports from getting out of the country.

Most of the Government systems in the US are protected by Einstein, an automated self-defense system. Kind of makes you wonder why our country is pushing so hard to get an internet kill switch

Government Smart Card Security broken by Hackers

Almost all government systems now require a smart card along with a password to gain access. Well, looks like hackers have found a way to circumvent the smart card security token.

According to a TechWorld article, security company Mandiant has discovered what they call a smart card proxy attack. Hackers have been able to bypass the security token by redirecting the token request.

Hackers gain access to systems by sending users a malicious e-mail attachment. Then they use a key-logger program to steal the users password as it is typed in.

Finally, the criminals attempt to log into the government server and redirect the token request back to the hacked system. 

For more information see the full article on TechWorld.