NewsBits, IEEE Cipher E123, November, 2014

The head of the US Cyber Command makes an astonishing claim about the vulnerability of the nation's power grid.

  • Govt: China could take down U.S. power grid
  • Jamie Crawford
    November 20, 2014  

    This report is about an apparent attack using code developed in Russia to steal documents from computers in the Ukraine. The attack was launched from a "malware laced Powerpoint attachment," inspiring Microsoft to issue a patch.

  • Russian hackers exploit Windows to spy on West
    Jose Pagliery
    October 14, 2014


    The FBI has warned some companies that a Chinese group "Axiom" is applying sophsiticated resources to spying on US firms. Its hallmark is its "patient" approach to infiltrating and exfiltrating.

  • FBI warns industry of Chinese cyber campaign
  • Ellen Nakashima and Ashkan Soltani
    The Washington Post
    October 15, 2014

    Another report on "Axiom" says that their activities include hacking personal management agencies for the purpose of identifying individuals for more intense targeting. Their tookit, "Hikit", has an "advanced playbook".

  • Researchers identify sophisticated Chinese cyberespionage group
  • Ellen Nakashima
    The Washington Post
    October 28, 2014

    It seems that some wireless carriers are adding extra identifying information to their customer's web requests. The information can be used to tie the web request to the identity of the customer.

  • Verizon, AT&T tracking their users with "supercookies"
  • Craig Timberg
    The Washington Post
    November 3, 2014

    Can you escape supercookies? This article says "maybe".

  • How to Block Supercookies: Verizon, AT&T Mobile Tracking
    Eric Hal Schwartz
    November 4, 2014

    AT&T nixes supercookies

  • AT&T Quietly Backs Away From Its Use of Sneaky Super Cookies


    It was a black day for 400 black market Internet sites when law enforcement agencies shut them down. Though shielded by the anonymous network Tor, the Dark Web found itself transparent to officials. Did government agencies infiltrate Tor?

  • Authorities worldwide strike Internet's black market
  • Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima
    The Washington Post
    November 7, 2014  

    Can trust be restored to the Internet? The IAB has overseen development of Internet protocols for decades, and they now are moved to recommend that all traffic be encrypted.

  • Internet Architecture Board statement on Internet confidentiality
  • November 14, 2014

    An elaboration on the dangers of traffic surveillance in this "Best Current Practice" document from the IETF:

  • Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack
    May 2014  

    The repository for all the data that NSA collects from the Internet might well be hidden in plain sight in Bluffdale, Utah. The cooling systems for the myriad of storage devices might be shut off if some Utah lawmakers have their way.

  • Shutting off NSA's water gains support in Utah Legislature
  • Nate Carlisle
    The Salt Lake Tribune
    November 19, 2014