back to article Snowden documents show British digital spies use viruses and 'honey traps'

At the start of this week, documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden detailed DDOS attacks on chatrooms by a British online intelligence unit dubbed the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG). Now he has released a new trove showing that JTRIG is about much more than purely online annoyances. According to the …

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Phy vs Virtual

"JTING could also block up older technologies, such as fax machines, it said and delete someone's entire online persona."

I the real world, a "disappeared" or "harangued" person would be called "persona non grata".

In the online world, a blocked, blacklisted, or otherwise harangued or "profile disappeared" person would be...

"persona non-data" (dah-tah)

Sorry... Couldn't... Re... Sist....

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Joke

Re: Phy vs Virtual

Sorry... Couldn't... Re... Sist....

Resistance is Futile (If less than 1 Ohm).

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SIGINT-Friendly Hotels

No surprises here:

Recall the Spooks (MI-5) Episode in which the concierge/hotel staff employee was asked about the accessibility of the room and the timetable of the target, and told he was to sign the National Secrets Act letter Tom handed him. (IIRC, this, but mayber another, episode verbalized MI-5 having the ability to bugger/dig into corporate hotel accounts to find those who paid block room reservations short to eternity periods.)

Even still, Malcom and an assistant still drilled into the walls and set up cams and mics.

Then, later, Zoe was caught on video, to the horror of Colin.

May be better to arrive at the room door face-masked, and enter with a suitably-high trade show booth canvas, erected against all walls and windows to provide a face-secure way to sweep the room for electronics eavesdropping. That was depicted somewhat in Ep 3 or 4 (IIRC) of Spooks when an Embassy/Consulate was taken under siege.

It could become costly for intel agencies if highly-sought targets just started holing up in the likes of Motel 6, Days Inn, and budget hotels scattered about.

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FAIL

Re: dssf Re: SIGINT-Friendly Hotels

Down vote for failing to realise the yawning gap between "Spooks" and reality.

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Re: dssf SIGINT-Friendly Hotels

Why so punative with the down vote when text would have sufficed? Not as if was intentionally misleading or malicious.

Maybe I should have more thoughfully appended with:

In real life, hotels are bugged, mic'd, and some loaded with cameras -- in advance. Well, if watching shows about dumb criminals and drugs dealers are to be believed.

Besides, as for the episode, of course I know it's just a show. Still, even if scene-sequencing is bad, people still get handed OSA letters, don't they? And, that was an earlier episode. As the show progressed, they got into laser mic's and other stuff, just to try to look realistic. Some police agencies don't even have the best stuff and walk away with no intel, or illegally-obtained intel/evidence, or have to call another agency to help.

Gods, it so easy to incur negative points lately. But, in your case, sincerely, I DO appreciate that you gave an explanation. That softens some of the pain. Much appreciated!

Cheers

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SIGINT-Friendly Hotels

More like SIGINT friendly software if you ask me.

The whole Snowden episode shows that the biggest friends of the "opposing side" (whoever that side may be) are:

1. Sharepoint. It does not bloody matter if you classify something "Top secret, burn before reading". If it is on a sharepoint server the sharepoint PFY can download the whole lot and take it to a neutral or adversary location.

2. Powerpoint. The need to "capture PHB attention" by sticking audious claims in a slide deck so you can get more funding to your project round of departamental reshuffle is as bad in spookland as for us civilians outside the fence

3. LinkedIn. I have long noted that its javascript is designed in a manner which would make it the dream vehicle for attack. You have to give it total permissions in whatever defensive system you have installed for your browser. It simply refuses to work otherwise. Even the most modest attempt to cut down on permissions via NoScript will be futile as far as LinkedIn is concerned.

So your first steps towards security your organization should probably be banning ther first, binning the second and setting the third to equate to 127.0.0.1 on your name server :)

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Re: LinkedIn (etc) and browser security

You could always run your browser in a sandbox. Or have the security services found a way to get out of one?

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WTF?

Re: dssf SIGINT-Friendly Hotels

Does anyone thing this stuff is new? It has been the norm for years. I suggest it is likely that plane seats and other transport options have also been used in this way. In fact anywhere there is an option to book facilities or steer the punter it is likely that some form of set up has been at least tried or used

It does depend on where you go. Some places have their hotels, guest houses and the like pre-wired. The most the host side have to do is connect the patch cords, in many cases that is not even required as everything is fully tested and ready to roll. Guests are steered to the 'prime' suites/rooms/flee pits where the equipment has been pretested. Staff who worked for me/with me overseas saw some of this in action, including the physical honey traps - if they were spurned in the lobby, they came calling at the door. Door wedges in addition to inclined chairs, (not always a reliable option) were a useful item of travel equipment. This was only for commercial contract management. Idle chatter about nice to have items appearing on the menu would be greeted by a new menu sporting the items shortly after. Perhaps it was all done by magic?

The list of such places may be longer than it once was, I guess it will not be shorter.

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Fictional spy shows so ironic they must be a hipster's dream.

Please try to remember that fictional TV programs are not news reports.

You saw it on Spooks. Spooks isn't a new show.

I'm sitting here watching the US TV show "Alias".

When it was made 10 years ago it was a fictional account of an agency called SD-6, sort of a new world order type organization. And its employees thought they were working for the CIA.

Alias portrays all sorts of psychopathic bad guys and dirty tricks by the English, the French and people in turbans.

Most of it still is over-the-top fantasy. But what isn't, the dirty tricks that are no longer fictional, they're what the CIA and NSA have been doing.

And rather than the employees of SD-6 thinking they're working for the CIA but actually working for some fantasy "new world order" it seems the reality is that the CIA is working for SD-6 working for some new world order.

It isn't precise. It is still fiction. But the irony is monumental.

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Re: LinkedIn (etc) and browser security

Sadly yes.

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Re: dssf SIGINT-Friendly Hotels @ Matt Bryant

Down vote for failing to realise the yawning gap between "Spooks" and reality.... Matt Bryant

Quite so, Matt, I concur. In "Spooks" the non-state actors know what they are doing and are pretty effective, in reality is it completely different.

And the JTRIG slideshow tells everyone that sad rad fact.

Presenting and drivering a viable and vibrant alternative reality program, and/or virtually sustainable pogrom, is not something/anything which can be done by anyone without a sublime and supreme and superior command of control intelligence, media and communications ..... which morph and expand to exploit and exercise Online Covert Action with Virtual Clandestine Programs and Projects in Significantly Smarter SMARTR Operations with Right Royal Renegade Rogue Recruits. :-) ...... which is, I suppose and propose, what GCHQ and British Intelligence Services are missing and need to purchase, at whatever price it be offered and although it would certainly not be cheap, it will be punishingly expensive to have it exercised by others elsewhere.

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Happy

Re: dssf SIGINT-Friendly Hotels

".....he's congenitally incapable of posting a response without downvoting the post to which he is responding...." All of which just goes to show the limited bandwidth this crying, whining sheeple actually dedicates to this site - there are many threads where I have upvoted comments and added a response, it's just they were largely in technical threads, not political ones, which is obviously why the poor sheeple would be unaware of them.

"....He deludes himself that he knows a lot more than all other commentards ...." Nope, I just like poitning out the errors you frothing sheeple post, and I back them up with links to prove your incorrectness. But what obviously really gets you is you just can't stand to hear any form of dissent, right, comrade?

".... I'm not going to read your response." What a surprise, you prefer living in denial. It must make it so much easier with your inability to cope with the rebuttals, simply to deny them so you can carry on baaaah-lieving. Enjoy!

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Re: dssf SIGINT-Friendly Hotels

I heard there's this great big ring under Cheyenne Mountain which takes people to other planets.

I suspect most of this technology comes from offworld exploration. It was a on TV show I watched.

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And I thought it was all about terrorists.

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There was an incident a few years ago when a newlywed couple in China had their nuptials videoed and later sold to them as porn ... there is a profit motive to espionage, and we all trust that the GCHQ has imbibed enough of the Thatcher spirit to monetarize their snooping ... The Chinese couple? they sued the hotel to the ground, IIRC. They showed more understanding of the value of privacy than most in the West these days.

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"And I thought it was all about terrorists",

Silly man, it's about control, of everyone.

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Insider Knowledge to Violate Fair Tradingi Laws

"... there is a profit motive to espionage, and we all trust that the GCHQ has imbibed enough of the Thatcher spirit to monetarize their snooping ... "

It isn't just selling porn.

I don't imagine anyone at the SEC or Serious Fraud Office, Financial Services Authority or Office of Fair Trading is checking to see if NSA or GCHQ employees are using insider knowledge to violate fair trading laws.

Look at Russia. If you want to be rich, if you want to succeed in business, join the FSB or be ex-KGB. This is where we are headed if we don't change course.

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Linux

Ufortunately, it's all about control, or to exercise power. I like to think of it as basic insucurity.

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Anonymous Coward

You know it makes sense

#define "terrorist" "anyone who opposes the government"

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Nope

Its about targeting the Enemy of the State ergo whomever the "state" deems a valid target, be they @home or abroad

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When booking a hotel...

Ask, "Have you had to sign a national security letter regarding but bugging or monitoring of your hotl or any rooms?"

If the response is "I am not at liberty to confirm or deny...."

Hang up and keep looking for another accomodation.

IIUC, people will not reply in such a manner unless presented such a letter. Well, assuming the OSAs/NSLs commit the signator/subject to also lie, and to report that s/he has been tested or asked trigger event questions. Would that be legal? To commit an ordinary, non-sworn civilian to until death report back to NatSec when asked such questions?

Wait, you probably cannot confirm or deny that, but you MIGHT be required to report this post. Worry not... I presume ALL my posts, emails, social sites, and more are being monitored -- JUST in case I am more important (as a target, not as a gft) than I ever dreamt.....

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Big Brother

Re: When booking a hotel...

There's a downside to asking that question... it could put you on a watch list. The reason being, if you ask, you must have something to hide.

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Joke

Re: When booking a hotel...

There is another downside to that I've found, the response is invariably "Mate, this is a Holiday Inn, you want the bloody room or what?"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: When booking a hotel...

Do you think the person at reception would know the answer, or just presume it's a prank phone call? As pointed out by someone above "Spooks" is not reality.

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Re: When booking a hotel...

The desk clerk is unlikely to know unless it is a tiny owner operated hotel.

In the UK and USA it would be a violation of the law to spread knowledge of security letters beyond the bare minimum people needed to carry out the request and the company's lawyers.

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Sack The Editor!

Seriously! There is so much rubbish posted by "writers" on here. Sack 'em, sack 'em all! They can't spell for shit, and only half the time seemingly know what they're writing about!

I only come here now to be a troll.

I only come here now to read about Snowden. No, I don't know what the fuck I'm doing here!

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Big Brother

Stop me if you've heard this before...

"All of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework," said the agency in a statement, "which ensure[s] that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate can be easily changed, twisted, fudged and/or twiddled as we see fit, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee to make sure we don't get caught with out mitts in the cookie jar. All of our operational processes rigorously support this position."

There, fixed it for ya.

Blackguards...

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There's no 'report a problem' button, so...

It's Der Spiegel, not De Spiegel. As in "the mirror" but at a completely different end of the market from The Mirror.

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As you'd expect

The gullible sheeple believe every Snowjob they hear.

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Re: As you'd expect

Yes. I fully expect that in a few weeks time Snowden will reveal that NSA achieved complete control over space and time, which will be greeted with anger among the commentators here, who will fear that they will be first in line to have every second of their life checked by millions of evil NSA employees.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As you'd expect

The gullible sheeple believe every Snowjob they hear.

Hi Matt,

Why the AC post? Are you bosses spying on you?

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FAIL

Re: ObnoxiousLiar Re: As you'd expect

"....Why the AC post?....." Unlike you paranoid sheeple I do not AC my posts. Does it pain you that much to have to face the fact others do not share your paranoid and myopic view of the World? I bet you really wanted to pretend there was only one person that might disagree, it makes your dullard acquiescence to what your flock have told you is "cool" and "right think" so much easier, right?

And that is the core of the problem - you sheeple are so desperate to fit in, to think as told by your celebutard "leaders", that you will happily swallow anything they tell you to think. I bet you're the type that swore off measles vaccinations for kids because that well-known medical expert, Jenny McCarthy, told you on Oprah "they are bad, just there to make money for Big Pharma". LOL!

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Yeah sure...

""All of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework,"

This is getting very, very tired, and I don't think the endless repetition is making it any more believable than it was the first 273 times - it surely ranks only slightly behind the Israeli army's fatuous "most moral army in the world" in terms of truthiness.

Legal is easy; wiring suspects testicles to the national grid was doubtless perfectly legal in Saddam's Iraq, owning black people was legal in the US in the 1850s. "Legal" didn't equal to "right" any more then than it does to the smug crap GCHQ and the NSA are up to now. A shame they won't get any mains delivered payback, just the opprobrium of future history books alongside the Stasi.

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Holmes

Re: Yeah sure...

Quote; "owning black people was legal in the US in the 1850s"

Sadly it still is a large parts of the world and even where it is not fully legal it is surprisingly well tolerated. The world is not the lovely, fluffy, cuddly place outside of the usual suspects that some people think it to be.

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Re: Yeah sure...

GCHQ's boss just got the sack.

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Re: Yeah sure...

While I am skeptical of statements like this from GCHQ and our NSA, I do wonder why they should be thought less "truthy" than those of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, etc. Certainly there is no significant evidence in what has been published to warrant equating either agency with the Stasi or similar. The closest I have noticed in the US are local police departments and on-the-make prosecutors, hardly any of whom need or rely on SIGINT agencies.

As an aside, in the US before 1861 (a) slavery was illegal in many places, (b) not all slaves were black, and (c) not all slave owners were white. Slavery was not permitted in much of US territory from about 1820 forward. I'm not aware of white slaves, but some number were native American, and some number of slave owners were black; small numbers, to be sure.

Let the downvoting start.

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surely I can be the only one

who feels a bit of pride that good ol' Blighty can mix it with the best of them?

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Black Helicopters

Official Secrets Act

Think you will find all UK citizens are bound by the OSA, signing it just ups the jail time you get if you are found guilty of an offence covered by it.

Long ago I have had to sign it on three different occasions for completely mundane and ordinary civil service posts; shows that they were not too good at keeping records of who has and who hasn't.

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Pint

Great new word - SIGNIT

which, I presume is the name given SIGINT operators.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Great new word - SIGNIT

... or perhaps for young CIA trained Swans trained in aerial recon and surveillance.

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Trollface

Re: Great new word - SIGNIT

Nah, methinks that's what they yell when showing one of 'em super-sekrit pinkie-swear-won't-tell-anyone letters in your face...

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Posting negative information about a firm on online firms or actively ...

trying to ruin business relationships.

Sort of describes Edward Snowden's valiant work.

How many people have riled up so many governments, using peaceful means, as our hero? And made the main protagonists look so stupid.

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Re: Posting negative information about a firm on online firms or actively ...

1. Snowden did not fabricate the information. So that is one difference.

2. Snowden did this to aid the US public.

Snowden is a patriot to his nation working to defend it as a democracy run by its citizens.

Who are the NSA and GCHQ doing it for when they do it?

Their employees are patriots to their agency, not their country.

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Re: Posting negative information about a firm on online firms or actively ...

Snowden has not been just talking about scope of the surveillance programs, but also revealing technical means (and exaggerating here) and details of foreign operations. This is helping American, and generally western, enemies. He is a traitor to the agency, USA, and Western civilization.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Posting negative information about a firm on online firms or actively ...

Gave it a barely warranted upvote; "traitor" may be a slight overstatement. Nonetheless, the "revelations" some time ago, and ever since, went well beyond anything necessary to a discussion of internal surveillance and its management. Information about the FISA 702 and PATRIOT Act 215 metadata programs covered nearly everything of real concern to US citizens and residents.

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Re: Posting negative information about a firm on online firms or actively ...

Who are the NSA and GCHQ doing it for when they do it?

A: Their corporate masters in the (to use Eisenhower's term) 'military-industrial complex'.

The same ones that have 'bought and paid for' gubmint lakkeys doing their bidding.

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Re: Slawek Re: Posting negative information about a firm on online firms or actively ...

More interestingly, his supposed sheltering from US extradition was supposed to be on the condition that Snowdope's stopped making attacks on the US. At some point Putin is going to have to come out and admit Snowdope has been a Russian operative all along.

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Happy

Re: Fatman Re: Posting negative information about a firm on online firms or actively ...

".....'military-industrial complex'.....' gubmint lakkeys....." Do you mean 'Imperialist running dog lackeys', comrade? Were you clutching your little red book or Socialist Weekly whilst you triped (sic) that and daydreaming about the class war?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Posting negative information about a firm on online firms or actively ...

@Slawek

If your version of "Western Civilisation" has GCHQ and the NSA as the good guys, rooting through our private lives on the off-chance we're plotting its downfall, you can frankly shove it. The sooner the swivel-eyed paranoid nutter tendency are hived off to a suitably barren island somewhere to get on with doing their thing away from the rest of us, the better. Civilisation will probably do OK without them, and I'd personally rather take the chance.

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