Secrets Secrets Are No Fun
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.”
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.
How Not to Use Email
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.
In spite of her training in military intelligence and West Point education, David Petraeus’s biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell apparently never learned about tracing data embedded in emails. That’s what ultimately brought the F.B.I. to Ms. Broadwell’s door and led to the ugly unveiling last Friday of her affair with the former general and CIA director.
Wired reports the tawdry tale began its downhill slide into public scandal with email harassment:
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
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:
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.