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September 16, 2013
Belgacom clears up after hack attempt
The main telco in Belgium said it was dealing with the aftermath of an intrusion in its systems. The first suspect to mind was the NSA, which according to sources claimed the U.S. intelligence agency has been hacking into the telephone and Internet provider since early 2011.
Not long after and not far along the European western coast, three Dutch ministers said they had "no evidence" to suggest that major Internet provider in The Netherlands, KPN, was targeted by foreign intelligence agencies.
- Read more: Belgacom clears up after hack attempt (ZDNet)
Image: Wikimedia Commons
(Source: Belgacom; De Standard)
September 17, 2013
U.S. secret surveillance court rules phone metadata collection lawful
Another blow for civil liberties as the U.S. secret court that authorized massive data collection -- and in some cases ruled its activities "illegal" -- upheld the NSA's bulk metadata collection program as ultimately within the bounds of law.
The judges in the FISC said there is "no Constitutional impediment to the requested production" of metadata from phone companies order to hand over "all tangible things" under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
Aware of the public's reaction to the Snowden disclosures, the court's opinion was declassified in a bid to allay fears of lack of transparency within the secret court.
- Read more: U.S. secret surveillance court rules phone metadata collection lawful (ZDNet)
Image: National Security Agency
September 18, 2013
NSA purchased zero-day exploits from French security firm Vupen
A new report, thanks to a Freedom of Information request by government transparency site MuckRock showed that the U.S. government bought zero-day vulnerabilities and the software to use them from French security company Vupen.
Vupen, which describes itself as a "leading provider of defensive and offensive cyber security intelligence and advanced vulnerability research," essentially finds flaws in software and systems and then sells this data on to governments.
- Read more: NSA purchased zero-day exploits from French security firm Vupen (ZDNet)
Image via CBS News (video)