I was remembering about the summer 2013. It was middle June, right after the first Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive surveillance activity of NSA against alleys but also the same US citizens she has to protect. In these days there was really some kind of revolution, all the media were involved in the World biggest disclosure about control technologies and, in reaction to this pacific revolution, we have gained knowledge and safety. Government infrastructures are more safe, citizen computing is more safe, cryptography is spread as never before but what about now?
On a article appeared on Security Affairs, is reported the analysis of NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, confirming the risks of efficient cyber espionage by at least two countries other than China.
This fact, joined to the continuation of massive data gathering activity on US citizens (even if data harvesting rules have been changed after the datagate) has an incredible side effect: in fact, not only the US government has spied or continue to spy on his citizens but what’s worst is that they can’t provide an effective protection to this data.
In an article published on Wall Street Journal we have leaned about a new (for us) spy technology used by U.S. Government security agencies (this time doesn’t seem a matter of NSA) to track criminals and assure the internal State security. By the way who can say if there’s also a use of this technology beyond the legal and security purposes.
The core of technology is a device that, mounted on an airplane (e.g. a Cessna like plane) may replicate a cellphone tower. Acting as a BTS, the device may setup a man in the middle attack, intercepting phone calls, sms and all the traffic routed by the cellular infrastructure. It’s also possible (standing to this information leak) to track a cellphone (and the owner) with a 3 meters precision.
That’s a new amazing technology revelation that we have to add to the possible privacy threats and “state of control” issues even if this technique seems to be used only for legal purposes, like fighting criminality and terrorism.
Even if these news let us scared and have a big impact on the media, we have always to remember that this kind of control is more surgical than the kind exercised by economical reasons. In fact, it’s more probable that we are spied by commercial companies to track our behavior in the internet or collecting metadata on our emails etc… that we have a plane on our head listening our phone calls.
According to the latest news we are likely to consider NSA as pure evil. Reality is that NSA does even what she is designed for: protect US citizens.
Regarding to the computer’s world, NSA releases a quite good documentation on how to secure systems and softwares.
I’ve followed the directives to enforce the installation of Adobe Acrobat Reader X (document is designed also for XI) and I’ve found it really useful.
Document is designed for systems that are accessed by more than one user and describes how to lock or unlock definitely some options directly in the Windows Registry, bypassing the user settings. Also is described how to set advanced options and operate on menus and program capabilities.