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SPYCRAFT: The Secret History of the CIA’s Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda (2008) / The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception (2009)

In Archive, CIA, Espionage, Surveillance on April 16, 2015 at 10:47 PM

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Who’s spying on you? And how are they doing it?

Spycraft offers an unprecedented look at the CIA’s most secretive operations and the devices that made them possible.

In the first book ever written about CIA’s ultrasecretive Office of Technical Service, the former director of OTS Robert Wallace (a real-life Q, straight out of the James Bond films), teams up with internationally renowned intelligence historian H. Keith Melton to give readers an unprecedented look at the devices and operations deemed “inappropriate for public disclosure” by the CIA just two years ago. Spycraft reveals how the CIA carries out its life-and-death missions against a backdrop of geopolitical tensions – including the Cold War, the Cuben Missile Crisis, and the War on Terror.

More relevant than ever given the news about Edward Snowden and the NSA, concerns about privacy rights, and organizations like WikiLeaks, Spycraft is an important and revealing primer on the fundamentals of high-tech espionage.

READ/DOWNLOAD “SPYCRAFT: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE CIA’S SPYTECHS FROM COMMUNISM TO AL-QAEDA” (2008) HERE [PDF]

Wilson Rothman/Gizmodo:

I asked both of the authors how they were allowed to release a book filled with spy secrets, and they admitted it had not been easy. By Wallace’s account, the CIA tied it up for 18 months. Melton says it’s more like two years, and that at one point the CIA deemed the work “the most damaging book on espionage ever to be published,” and “a virtual primer on espionage.” As you can tell, the CIA eventually consented to the book’s publication, more or less intact.

“At one time, all this material would have been classified secret or higher,” Wallace says. “But given the change in technology that has occurred, the time that has passed and the fact that the primary target, the Soviet Union, no longer existed, these stories could be written down to fill a major void in American intelligence literature.”

In truth, the reason it can be declassified is that espionage involves totally different kinds of machines now, mainly laptops and BlackBerrys, and instead of needing microphones and cameras, agents need software to “listen” to chatter in the ether.

I asked Wallace if there was a secret room at CIA headquarters where all the gadgets hung from the wall, his answer was even better: there are multiple rooms, one for each department: the guys who did disguises and forged documents had one, the guys who did secret listening devices had one. “It was like going on a Hollywood tour,” he says, only as OTS director, he was the guy giving the tours, to visiting congressmen and other senior Washington staff.

 

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*LeakSource Exclusive: First time “The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception” has been made freely available online. Enjoy!

At the height of the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency paid $3,000 to renowned magician John Mulholland to write a manual on misdirection, concealment, and stagecraft. All known copies of the document — and a related paper, on conveying hidden signals — were believed to be destroyed in 1973. But the manuals resurfaced in 2009, obtained by former director of the CIA’s Office of Technical Services Robert Wallace and espionage historian H. Keith Melton, and were published as “The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception.”

Mulholland’s writing was part of the secret MKULTRA program, whereby the CIA sought methods and materials “capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behavior.”

READ/DOWNLOAD “THE OFFICIAL CIA MANUAL OF TRICKERY AND DECEPTION” (2009) HERE [PDF]

Related Links:

OpAcousticKitty: CIA’s Secret Experiments to Turn Cats Into Spies

FLASHBACK: CIA Heart Attack Gun (1975)

CIA: A Study of Assassination (1953)

CIA “Family Jewels” Report (1973)

Camp King & Project ARTICHOKE: CIA & Former Nazi Doctors LSD Interrogation/Behavior Modification on Soviet Spies During Cold War

Inside the Company: CIA Diary – Philip Agee (1975)

CIA Travel Advice for Undercover Operatives Re: Airport Screenings & Infiltrating EU

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

In Anonymous, Archive, Scientology, WikiLeaks on April 11, 2015 at 6:19 PM

Air Date: 03/29/2015

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology, whose most prominent adherents include A-list Hollywood celebrities, shining a light on how the church cultivates true believers, detailing their experiences and what they are willing to do in the name of religion.

Directed by Alex Gibney, Going Clear is based closely on Lawrence Wright‘s book (PDF), covering much of the same ground with the aid of archive footage, dramatic reconstructions and interviews with eight former Scientologists: Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning director; Mark Rathbun, the church’s former second-in-command; Mike Rinder, the former head of the church’s Office of Special Affairs; the actor Jason Beghe; Sylvia ‘Spanky’ Taylor, former liaison to John Travolta; and former Scientologists Tom DeVocht, Sara Goldberg and Hana Eltringham Whitfield.

The film breaks into three distinct acts. In the first, the former Scientologists describe how they got into Scientology; a second strand recounts the history of Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard. In the final strand, the film airs allegations of the abuse of church members and misconduct by its leadership, particularly David Miscavige, who is accused of intimidating, beating, imprisoning and exploiting subordinates. It highlights the role played by celebrity members such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise through the use of video clips contrasting their statements on Scientology with the experiences of former Scientologists.

To support its thesis, the film utilises footage of ex-Scientologists being harassed and surveilled (as per Hubbard’s dictum that the church’s critics were all criminals whose crimes needed to be exposed), and describes the imprisonment of senior Scientology executives in a facility known as The Hole. One Scientologist was said to have been forced to clean a bathroom with his tongue. According to the film, the actress Nicole Kidman was targeted for wiretapping by Scientology in an effort to break up her marriage with Tom Cruise after she was labeled a “potential trouble source” by the church. It also asserts that John Travolta has been forced to stay in the church out of fear that his personal life would be exposed.

Going Clear also provides research, footage and interviews with former Scientologists that may shed new light on the organization’s billion-dollar nest egg and a shady deal with the IRS wherein after several years of unsuccessfully applying for tax-exempt status, the Church was finally granted the designation in 1993.

According to the film, Church of Scientology Chairman David Miscavige ordered the organization’s members to file individual lawsuits against the IRS for its failure to recognize it as a church. Overwhelmed by 2,400 individual suits and the prospect of defending itself against all of them, the IRS agreed to grant Scientology tax-exempt status in exchange for the withdrawal of the cases.

A 2011 tax filing reveals that the three organizations comprising Scientology claim a combined value of $1.5 billion, a sum that has allegedly been built on the backs of members who pay thousands of dollars to rise within the organization, are paid 40 cents an hour for labor and have been tortured for dissent, combined with the organization’s vast international property portfolio.

Filmmaker Alex Gibney wrote an op-ed published in Los Angeles Times today, in which outlines a pattern of harassment by the Church of Scientology that targeted both him and and writer Lawrence Wright. He also calls for the IRS to revoke the church’s tax-exempt status and suggests the need for a congressional subcommittee.

Two of those interviewed in the film, journalist Tony Ortega, and former Scientologist Marc Headley, reported that investigators from the church had surveiled them at Salt Lake City airport as they made their way to the Sundance Film Festival for Going Clear’s premiere. According to Gibney, the church mounted an “organized” and “brutal” response to the appearance of its former members in the film: “Some of them have had physical threats, people threatening to take their homes away, private investigators following them. That’s the part that’s really heartbreaking.” The film-makers reported receiving “lots of cards and letters” from the church, though in their case it had limited its response to “loads of legal paperwork”. HBO had earlier said that it had put “probably 160 lawyers” onto the task of reviewing the film in anticipation of challenges from the notoriously litigious church.

Ten days before the film’s premiere, the Church of Scientology took out full-page advertisements in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times to denounce Going Clear, comparing it to a discredited story about campus rape published by Rolling Stone magazine. Gibney subsequently said that he was grateful for the church’s advertising, as it had attracted much publicity for the film; he only wished “they’d put in showtimes”. The church also published a “special report” attacking the film on one of its websites, started a new Twitter account which claimed to be “taking a resolute stand against the broadcasting and publishing of false information” and bought numerous Google search results relating to the film in order to direct searchers to its anti-Going Clear pages. The church also posted a series of short films on its website attacking the filmmakers and their interviewees, with titles such as “Alex Gibney Documentary ‘Going Clear’ Propaganda”, “Marty Rathbun: A Violent Psychopath,” “Mike Rinder: The Wife Beater,” and “Sara Goldberg: The Home Wrecker.”

On last weekend’s episode, Saturday Night Live parodied the Scientology music video “We Stand Tall” that was featured in Going Clear. It was commissioned by Scientology leader David Miscavige in 1990 as part of their fight against the IRS, and features several people who later spoke out against the church, including in this documentary.

SNL skewers the creepily cheerful atmosphere of the Scientology video, advertising “Neurotology” with lyrics like, “Religion and science intertwined/aliens live inside of our minds.” They’ve already got the cheesy ’90s music video aesthetic down, but then things get dark when the video points out what happened to various Neurotology followers after the video was made.


h/t HBO/Wikipedia/TheWrap/DailyDot

Related Links:

Church of Scientology’s ‘Operating Thetan’ Documents Leaked Online

WikiLeaks’ Scientology Archive

Leaked Tom Cruise Scientology Video

Scientology: Jason Beghe Interview

Inside Scientology – St. Petersburg Times Special Report

“Scientology and Me” & “Secrets of Scientology” – Panorama

CSE’s Cyberwarfare Toolbox: False Flag Ops/Deception Techniques/Destroying Infrastructure Among 32 Tactics Revealed

In Archive, Canada, CSEC, False Flag, Hacking, NSA, NSA Files, PSYOP, Surveillance on April 2, 2015 at 11:07 AM

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03/23/2015

CBC/Ryan Gallagher/TheIntercept:

Top-secret documents obtained by the CBC show Canada’s electronic spy agency Communication Security Establishment (CSE) has developed a vast arsenal of cyberwarfare tools alongside its U.S. and British counterparts to hack into computers and phones in many parts of the world, including in friendly trade countries like Mexico and hotspots like the Middle East.

Details of the CSE’s capabilities are revealed in several top-secret documents analyzed by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept.

The latest top-secret documents illustrate the development of a large stockpile of Canadian cyber-spy capabilities that go beyond hacking for intelligence, including:

  • destroying infrastructure, which could include electricity, transportation or banking systems
  •  “false flag” operations to “create unrest” — ie. carrying out an attack, but making it look like it was performed by another group — in this case, likely another government or hacker
  • “effects” operations to “alter adversary perception” – ie. sending out propaganda across social media or disrupting communications services with such techniques as deleting emails, freezing internet connections, blocking websites and redirecting wire money transfers
  • “honeypots” – ie. some sort of bait posted online that lures in targets so that they can be hacked or monitored

It’s unclear which of the 32 cyber tactics listed in the 2011 document are actively used or in development. CSE wanted to become more aggressive by 2015, the documents also said.

Document: CSEC Cyber Threat Capabilities – SIGINT and ITS: An End-to-End Approach (2011)

Previous Snowden leaks have disclosed that the CSE uses the highly sophisticated WARRIORPRIDE malware to target cellphones, and maintains a network of infected private computers — what’s called a botnet ​— that it uses to disguise itself when hacking targets.

Other leaked documents revealed back in 2013 that the CSE spied on computers or smartphones connected to Brazil’s mining and energy ministry to get economic intelligence.

Canada’s electronic spy agency and the U.S. National Security Agency “cooperate closely” in “computer network access and exploitation” of certain targets, according to an April 2013 briefing note for the NSA.

Document: NSA Intelligence Relationship with CSEC (April 2013)

Their targets are located in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Mexico, plus other unnamed countries connected to the two agencies’ counterterrorism goals, the documents say. Specific techniques used against the targets are not revealed.

Some of the capabilities mirror what CSE’s U.S. counterpart, the NSA, can do under a powerful hacking program called QUANTUM, which was created by the NSA’s elite cyberwarfare unit, Tailored Access Operations.

The apparent involvement of CSE in using the deception tactics suggests it is operating in the same area as a secretive British unit known as JTRIG, a division of the country’s eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. Last year, documents from Snowden revealed that JTRIG uses a range of effects operations to manipulate information online, such as by rigging the outcome of online polls, sending out fake messages on Facebook across entire countries, and posting negative information about targets online to damage their reputations.

According to the documents, the CSE wanted more aggressive powers for use both at home and abroad.

In 2011, the Canadian agency presented its vision for 2015 to the Five Eyes allies at a conference.

“We will seek the authority to conduct a wide spectrum of Effects operations in support of our mandates,” the top-secret presentation says.

Document: CASCADE: Joint Cyber Sensor Architecture (2011)

Effects operations refer to manipulating and disrupting computers or devices.

In an increasingly hostile cyberspace, Canada has also turned its attention to figuring out ways to better protect itself against such attacks.

Documents: CSEC Cyber Threat Detection (November 2009)
                          CSEC SIGINT Cyber Discovery (November 2010)

See Also: EONBLUE: CSE’s Cyber Threat Detection Platform; Access Internet Core Infrastructure with 200 Sensors Across Globe

Back in 2011, CSE envisioned creating a “perimeter around Canada” to better defend the country’s interests from potential threats from other countries and criminals, raising the prospect the agency was preparing a broad surveillance program to target Canadians’ online traffic.

At the time, “full visibility of our national infrastructure” was among its goals, according to a planning document for 2015. Security analysts wanted the means to detect an attack before it hit a target like a government website.

“If we wish to enable defence, we must have intelligence to know when attacks enter our national infrastructure,” the 2011 top-secret CSE presentation says.

The agency would not answer how far it got with the 2015 plan.

Document: CSE Response to CBC Re: Cyberwarfare Revelations

Experts say the Anti-Terrorism Act, Bill C-51, currently being debated, could legalize use of some of the capabilities outlined in these classified documents.

Though the act would give CSIS, Canada’s domestic intelligence agency, the power to disrupt threats to the security of Canada both at home and abroad, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service relies on its sister service, the CSE, for technical help with surveillance and infiltration of cellphones and computers.

NSA Mapping Networks of Major Telecom/Finance/Oil/Manufacturing Companies, Including From US & Five Eyes Countries

In Archive, Canada, Five Eyes, NSA, NSA Files, Surveillance, UK, USA on March 22, 2015 at 6:32 PM

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03/17/2015

Colin Freeze/Christine Dobby/Globe&Mail (1)(2)(3):

The U.S. National Security Agency has been trying to map the communications traffic of corporations around the world, and a classified document reveals that at least two of Canada’s largest companies are included.

A 2012 presentation by a U.S. intelligence analyst, a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail, includes a list of corporate networks that names Royal Bank of Canada and Rogers Communications Inc.

The presentation, titled “Private Networks: Analysis, Contextualization and Setting the Vision,” is among the NSA documents taken by former contractor Edward Snowden. It was obtained by The Globe from a confidential source, and has not previously been disseminated or analyzed publicly.

Canada’s biggest bank and its largest wireless carrier are on a list of 15 entities that are visible in a drop-down menu on one of the presentation’s 40 pages. It shows part of an alphabetical list of entries beginning with the letter “R” that also includes two U.K.-headquartered companies – Rolls Royce Marine and Rio Tinto – and U.S.-based RigNet, among other global firms involved in telecom, finance, oil and manufacturing.

The name of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. appears in the presentation as well, and the NSA appears to have had a keen interest in isolating the corporation’s data channels. “These links are likely to carry Huawei traffic,” reads one slide.

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The document does not say what data the NSA has collected about these firms, or spell out the agency’s objective, but it states that “private networks are important.”

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It notes that high-level NSA “targets,” such as foreign countries’ armed forces and diplomats, use private networks. But it also mentions the Brazilian energy firm Petrobras, the Belgium-based SWIFT network of global electronic payments, and even global “Google infrastructure” controlled by the California technology giant.

The presentation obtained by The Globe describes SigDev techniques for finding targets – one is an NSA software program called “ROYALNET”, that can help analysts “identify communicants of private networks” or determine the best “access points for a target’s communications.”

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Another technique featured in the presentation involves sorting captured telecommunications traffic into “realms,” which the document says are “a label assigned by the intelligence community.”

A realm appears to be a continually updated list of everything the NSA can gather about how a specific corporation routes communications on the Internet, and any known device on its private networks. One slide in the presentation titled “Realms in Analyst Tools,” shows the drop-down menu listing 15 firms, which is where “RoyalBankOfCanada” and “RogersWireless.ca” are listed.

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The list is not visible beyond the letter R entities shown on a screen shot in the presentation, and it is not known whether other Canadian corporations are listed.

Previous leaks show the NSA and its allies indiscriminately capture telecommunications data from Internet routes. In this presentation, the agency appears to be using that “bulk” collected data to map out specific networks. The NSA is not trying at this stage to get at any data inside individual computers, such as specific transactions or customer records.

A comparison of this document with previous Snowden leaks suggests it may be a preliminary step in broad efforts to identify, study and, if deemed necessary, “exploit” organizations’ internal communication networks.

Christopher Parsons, a researcher at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, who reviewed the leaked document with The Globe, said the activity described could help determine useful access points in the future: “This is preparing the battlefield so it could later be used. This is … watching communications come in and out of a network and saying, ‘Okay, these are the places we need to go in.’”

Markings on the document, which is labelled “top secret,” indicate it was shared with the NSA’s Canadian counterpart, the Communications Security Establishment.

“While CSE cannot comment on intelligence capabilities or operations – our own or our allies – there is no evidence in the document in question that intelligence activities have been directed at any Canadian entity, company or individual,” spokesman Ryan Foreman said in an e-mailed statement.

(The Globe did not provide a copy of the document to CSE.)

The Canadian companies named in the document say they have no reason to believe their computer systems or customer records were compromised and insist their networks are secure.

“If such surveillance is taking place, we would find that very troubling,” Rogers spokeswoman Patricia Trott said.

“We have not provided the NSA access to our network,” RBC spokesman Don Blair said.

A spokesman for Huawei Canada declined to comment on Tuesday, as did representatives for Britain-based Rolls Royce Marine and Rio Tinto. U.S.-based RigNet, which was also named, did not respond to requests seeking comment.

When The Globe asked the NSA for comment, agency spokeswoman Vanee Vines urged the newspaper not to publish names of intelligence employees. Asked about the interest in Rogers and RBC, she said the NSA “will not comment on specific, alleged foreign intelligence activities.” Vines added that the spy agency never collects intelligence “to provide a competitive advantage to U.S. companies.”

However, some documents show the U.S. intelligence community has not ruled out such activities in the future. One previously leaked strategy document envisions a future, in 2025, when U.S. companies are falling behind and policy makers push government spies to conduct aggressive economic-espionage campaigns.

Today, under the terms of a 66-year old reciprocal accord, Washington and Ottawa are supposed to refrain from spying on the communications of each other’s citizens and entities.

For decades the NSA and CSE have spied in co-operation with agencies from Britain, Australia and New Zealand, and are together known as the “Five Eyes.” The powerful alliance relies on near complete trust and sharing, as well as general agreements not to spy on each other.

Because of this, any revelations about member nations directly targeting their own or each other’s citizens or corporations are explosive. A previously leaked U.S. guide for keeping intelligence documents under wraps suggests that the NSA would strive to keep any such spying quiet for decades.

Five Eyes partners “are among NSA/CSS’s strongest,” that document says. “Revealing the fact that the NSA/CSS targeted their communications at any time … could cause irreparable damage.” (CSS refers to the NSA’s military adjunct, the Central Security Service.)

The original source document was not published in this article. All screenshots are from a previous video report via Fantástico and Glenn Greenwald‘s book “No Place to Hide“. More below:

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Related Links:

(NSA Programs) Treasure Map: Near Real-Time Interactive Map of Internet, Any Device, Anywhere, All the Time; Packaged Goods: Tracks Traceroutes, Accessed 13 Servers in Unwitting Data Centers

NSA/GCHQ TREASUREMAP Docs: “Map the Entire Internet” for “Computer Attack/Exploit Planning”

HACIENDA: Five Eyes Program Port Scanning Entire Countries for IT Vulnerabilities

MORECOWBELL: NSA’s Covert DNS Monitoring System

Cisco Using Dead Drops for Sensitive Customers to Avoid NSA Interdiction

In Archive, Cisco, Hacking, NSA, Surveillance, TAO on March 22, 2015 at 6:12 PM

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03/18/2015

Jeremy Kirk/PCWorld/Darren Pauli/TheRegister:

One of the most successful U.S. National Security Agency spying programs involved intercepting IT equipment en route to customers and modifying it.

At secret workshops, backdoor surveillance tools were inserted into routers, servers and networking equipment before the equipment was repackaged and sent to customers outside the U.S.

The program, run by the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group, was revealed by documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and reported by Der Spiegel and Glenn Greenwald.

One of the leaked Snowden documents, dated June 2010, has two photos of an NSA interdiction operation, with a box that said Cisco on the side.

The document, labeled top secret, goes on to say that supply-chain interdiction operations “are some of the most productive operations in TAO, because they pre-position access points into hard target networks around the world.”

During a panel session at the Cisco Live conference in Melbourne last week, Cisco’s chief security and trust officer John Stewart disclosed that the company had started shipping equipment to alternative addresses with fake information for its most sensitive customers.

“We ship [boxes] to an address that’s has nothing to do with the customer, and then you have no idea who ultimately it is going to,” Stewart said. “When customers are truly worried … it causes other issues to make [interception] more difficult in that [agencies] don’t quite know where that router is going so its very hard to target – you’d have to target all of them.”

In theory, that makes it harder for the NSA to target an individual company and scoop up their package. But supply chains are tough to secure, Stewart said, and once a piece of equipment is handed from Cisco to DHL or FedEx, it’s gone.

“If a truly dedicated team is coming after you, and they’re coming after you for a very long period of time, then the probability of them succeeding at least once does go up,” Stewart said. “And its because they’ve got patience, they’ve got capacity and more often than not, they’ve got capability.”

Stewart said some customers had also begun driving up to distributors to pick up their hardware at the door.

Stewart was asked if Cisco ever identified any strange hardware put inside any of its products. “No, we couldn’t, because the only people who would know that for sure is the NSA,” Stewart responded.

In May 2014, Cisco CEO John Chambers sent a letter (PDF) to President Barack Obama, arguing that the NSA’s alleged actions undermine trust with its customers and more broadly hurt the U.S. technology industry. Cisco also asserted that it does not work with any government to intentionally weaken its products.

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