On Wednesday, Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian reported that the NSA has been collecting millions of telephone records from US customers. A top secret order required Verizon to hand over information on an “ongoing, daily basis.” Greenwald wrote that “the document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.” Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
Yesterday, Washington Post reporters Bart Gellman and Laura Poitras elaborated on how the NSA and FBI are also collecting data from nine US Internet companies to track foreign targets. According to Gellman and Poitras, “The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers.” Will we see a backlash to both types of government snooping? We’re curious to see what will happen next.
According to an article by Victoria Woollaston of the Daily Mail, a virus that steals bank details and empties money from accounts has been found on Facebook. The links are believed to be controlled by the Russian Business Network – an online criminal gang accused of stealing internet users’ identities and private information. According to the article, “The link was discovered by Feinberg and called ‘Bring the N.F.L to Los Angeles.’” The malware scans all the personal files and steals any private information such as login details, even if they aren’t stored in documents on your PC. Security experts at Kaspersky Lab also discovered five new variants of the Zeus Trojan that specifically affected BlackBerry and Android devices last year. If a malicious link is clicked via the Facebook app or mobile site on these devices, the owner may still be at risk.
Check us out at the Gartner Security and Risk Management Conference in DC next week, June 10 – 13 — Stop by booth 47 & see a live demo!
Thoughts or comments on this week’s news? Reach the Appthority team on Twitter at @Appthority.