Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Tim Logan Globe Staff April 03, 2018 When the most powerful man in the world takes your company to the woodshed on Twitter each morning, is it wise to move that company to his front door?That’s a question they’re probably mulling at Amazon this week after a string of early morning tweets by President Trump bashing the retail giant for delivery deals that Trump claims (incorrectly, many experts say) cost the US Postal Service “many billions of dollars.”It’s a charge Trump has repeatedly leveled over the years but one that took on new import after Axios reported last week that the president has “wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust” law. Then came the tweets holding the company responsible for the death of small retailers nationwide and threatening to raise Amazon’s postal rates. The … [Read more...] about Is there room for Amazon in Trump’s Washington?
Tech & Science Surveillance An undisclosed number of surveillance devices known as “Stingrays”—used to track and intercept smartphone communications by posing as legitimate cell towers—are suspected to be in operation across Washington D.C., leading to fears foreign governments are using them to snoop on the capitol. Homeland Security revealed in a March 26 response to Democratic senator Ron Wyden that its National Protection and Programs Directorate [NPPD] had spotted “anomalous activity…that appears to be consistent with International Mobile Subscriber Identity [IMSI] catchers,”—the formal name for the technology. The NPPD acknowledged that the “malicious use of IMSI catchers is a real and growing risk” and said use by foreign spies would be unlawful and has the potential to threaten the security of communications and personal privacy of U.S. citizens. The DHS letter was obtained and first reported … [Read more...] about Who Is Tracking D.C. Cell Phones? Homeland Security Confirms Finding Surveillance Devices in Washington
In a letter obtained by the Associated Press from the Department of Homeland Security to Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), the United States government formally acknowledges they have found unauthorized IMSI catchers in different parts of Washington DC and possibly other areas of the country. IMSI catchers, commonly known as stingrays, are most commonly used by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the country to locate a particular phone by essentially acting as a legitimate cell tower that the targeted phone attaches to. Stingrays also have the capability to intercept text messages and even phone calls. "Overall, [DHS' National Protection and Programs Directorate] believes the malicious use of IMSI catchers is a real and growing risk," wrote acting undersecretary, Christopher Krebs. The news gets worse, however. The DHS is apparently "not aware of any current DHS technical capability to detect IMSI catchers." This is despite the fact that the DHS was able to observe the … [Read more...] about DHS admits rogue stingrays in Washington, DC.
The Department of Homeland Security has found evidence that foreign spies are using fake mobile base stations, commonly known as stingrays, to gather information in Washington, DC.In a letter to US Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), DHS official Christopher Krebs acknowledged that the DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) "has observed anomalous activity in the National Capital Region (NCR) that appears to be consistent with International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers." See the letter below. While the NPPD "has not validated or attributed such activity to specific entities or devices," Krebs also wrote that the Directorate "believes the malicious use of IMSI catchers is a real and growing risk."As the Associated Press reported earlier, this is the first time the US government has acknowledged what appears to be the use of stingrays in the US by foreign actors. Their presence in Washington could put at risk the communications of members of Congress, the … [Read more...] about Evidence of stingrays found in Washington, DC, Homeland Security says
Cell-site simulators work by tricking mobile devices into pinging a signal off of them instead of a cell tower. The device then holds onto that signal and gives users access to where that phone is located. A number of US agencies and law enforcement groups including the FBI, IRS, ICE and police forces are known to use Stingrays and their use has been challenged in court multiple times.Though the DHS acknowledged that cell-site simulators are suspected to be in use in Washington, the agency provided little else in the way of information about who might be using them or why. The agency didn't say exactly what type of devices were found to be in use or how many were detected. Christopher Krebs, who leads the DHS' National Protection and Programs Directorate, said in the letter to Wyden that the agency doesn't have the resources to continuously detect these devices but that it did share its findings with "federal partners."In 2014, security-focused firms performed public sweeps in … [Read more...] about DHS may have found unauthorized Stingray devices in Washington DC