Military Affairs

Former David Petraeus Paramour Paula Broadwell Will Not Be Charged With Cyberstalking

General Petreaus and his alleged mistress, Paula Broadwell. (Photo: Paulabroadwell.com)

At least one chapter in the Shakespeare-worthy downfall of former general and CIA director David Petraeus is ending with a whimper. Mr. Petraeus’s biographer and one-time paramour Paula Broadwell will not be charged with cyberstalking–the very accusation that led to her affair with Mr. Petraeus becoming public knowledge.

Ms. Broadwell’s lawyer gave an official letter indicating as much to the media. In the letter, United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill wrote that “no federal charges will be brought in the Middle District of Florida relating to alleged acts of cyber-stalking.” Read More

Secrets Secrets Are No Fun

American and British Anti-Terror Efforts Possibly Compromised By ‘Massive’ Data Theft

Spycraft. (tr.robinson/flickr)

An unnamed IT drone working for Switzerland’s NDB spy agency may have endangered counter-terrorism efforts around the world by stealing terabytes of classified data.

Swiss authorities warned the United States and the United Kingdom about the breach after the suspect was arrested last summer. The tech, described by one Reuters source as “very talented,” was behaving suspiciously and authorities say he was disgruntled after feeling his views about operating the agency’s network were ignored. Reuters reports the man then collected massive amounts of data on hard drives and simply carried them out of government facilities. Read More

Privacy Police

If You Work for a Spy Agency, Maybe Don’t Brag About It on LinkedIn

This guy: prooooobably not a CIA assassin. (Photo: LinkedIn)

Sure, being a James Bond-level spy is a glamorous job, one that most people would love to humblebrag about online. But if you’re a secret agent working in international espionage, you might not want to let people know about that on LinkedIn.

Flemish daily newspaper De Standaard reports that a simple search for “State Security” on LinkedIn pulls up a crop of spies who have copped to their “secret” jobs on the social network. This is essentially the Belgian equivalent of listing your position as “Top Secret Spy at the CIA” on LinkedIn. Read More

Drama

Cisco VP Goes Tony Soprano on Employees: Tracking Down the Company’s Memo Leaker Is ‘Now My Hobby’

Mr. Quinn (Photo: RIP.edu)

When you hire a former CIA operations officer to be a VP at your tech company, you have to expect that he’ll bring a little of his spy training with him. Such is the case with Cisco VP Mike Quinn, who is so furious at a memo leaker inside the company that he has threatened to make tracking down that sonofabitch his new hobby.

When Mr. Quinn found out that a member of the Cisco “family” had leaked a memo regarding responses to a bit of negative press, he went all Tony Soprano on employees’ asses: Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Jeff Bezos Bets a Bit on Quantum Computing

MWAHAHA! (Photo: flickr.com/oreilly)

No, Facebook is not outing the links you share in private messages by adding them to your list of likes–though those pages do get an additional, unattributed thumbs-up. But what if you hate-shared the link? What then, Zuck? [Business Insider]

Speaking of: Here come the Facebook IPO lawsuits! [Reuters]

Jeff Bezos and the CIA believe this startup can pull off a quantum computer, to the tune of a $30 million investment in the company. Many others are skeptical. [Technology Review]

This morning, the entire Apple homepage is devoted to a remembrance of Steve Jobs, who died a year ago today. [Apple]

New York City teens can now pay a dollar to have their smartphones stored in a truck just off campus during school hours. Just another chapter in our town’s long, proud history of hustling.  [USA Today]

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Whistleblowing Website Cryptome Hacked, Conspiracy Theories Do Not Abound

Mr. Young

Cryptome, a sort of proto-WikiLeaks website best known for exposing the CIA analyst who found Osama Bin Laden, announced this week that its entire website had been hacked. But, in a surprising response from Cryptome founder John Young—a man suspicious even of tap water—no foul play was suspected. At least no more foul than the usual Internet hijinks.

Reached by phone, Mr. Young explained that the site had been attacked by malware from Blackhole exploit kit 12, the latest iteration of  what TechWorld calls an insidious, but “incredibly common automated web compromise system. ” This kind of malware harvests IP addresses of people visiting the site for potential nefarious use later on, said Mr. Young.

Mr. Young discovered the malware when a reader got a virus this morning from downloading one of Cryptome’s files that had been in its directory for a long time. After some examination, his team discovered other files containing the malware script as well. Crytome, which made the breach public (part of the site’s mission to expose such security flaws), is currently in the process of completely restoring all of its  70,000 files and expects to be finished by the end of the day. Read More