Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has quite forcefully denied the (via Reuters, reportedly written by George Stathakopoulos - Apple’s Vice President for Information Security) existence of surreptitious-command-and-control-chip-insertions on system boards within devices manufactured by Super Micro Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: SMCI) under contract with and deployed/implemented by Apple Inc. within the latter's data centers. Interestingly, there is some evidence of security-related issues two years ago betwixt Apple, Inc. and Super Micro Computer Inc.... And then there's The Grugq, whose typically clear and exacting opinions are trusted hereabouts - his view appears here (you'd do well to listen to his take). Regardless of what path you walk in discerning the truth of this particularly murky debacle, one thing is clear - human nature given what it is, there is certainly an abundance of vile perniciousness floating about this scenario that has yet to be revealed.
"It would be highly unusual for any country to cease intelligence gathering operations in the midst of some of the most important talks in their history," Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence at security firm Dragos, told Ars. Previously, he was a senior threat intelligence analyst at the US National Security Agency. "In fact, we would expect espionage activity to grow during periods of negotiation." - via Dan Goodin reporting at ArsTechnica
News via Reuters Staff details a complaint from the German domestic intelligence agency (the interestingly monikerd Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution - Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz) that Silicon Valley interweb-kingpins (think Facebook, Twitter, et cetera) are anti-democratic...
You be the judge.
via Gizmodo investigative reporter Dell Cameron, comes the astounding news of the systemic incompetence in properly handling secret documents and other artifiacts stored within the cloud (in this case, AWS S3 Buckets) by a well established contractor to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Certainly, a first-rate example of an Expanding Cloud of Lethal Stupidity (ECOLS).
Where does the organization in question fall within the Noel Burch Hierarchy of Competence model?. Should the culprits in this scenario be prosecuted? You be the judge. Truly astounding, indeed.
"A cache of more than 60,000 files was discovered last week on a publicly accessible Amazon server, including passwords to a US government system containing sensitive information, and the security credentials of a lead senior engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the nation’s top intelligence and defense contractors. What’s more, the roughly 28GB of data contained at least a half dozen unencrypted passwords belonging to government contractors with Top Secret Facility Clearance." - via Gizmodo reporter Dell Cameron
In what wraps up to be a superbly crafted screed penned by Glenn Greenwald, laboring at The Intercept; in which, the Good Mr. Greewald details the perceived falsehoods swirling about the alleged Russian Intelligence Services hacks of the Burlington Vermont electrical generation utility. Today's Must Read.
via the inimitable Dan Goodin and writing at Ars Technica, wherein the good Mr. Goodin, in a display of remarkable restraint, tells the tale of the discovery of code (in this case not 'authorized') making itself at home in Juniper network componentry. In this case, firewall network componentry. Ooops