Titanpointe: The NSA’s Spy Hub in New York, Hidden in Plain Sight

 

THEY CALLED IT Project X. It was an unusually audacious, highly sensitive assignment: to build a massive skyscraper, capable of withstanding an atomic blast, in the middle of New York City. It would have no windows, 29 floors with three basement levels, and enough food to last 1,500 people two weeks in the event of a catastrophe.

But the building’s primary purpose would not be to protect humans from toxic radiation amid nuclear war. Rather, the fortified skyscraper would safeguard powerful computers, cables, and switchboards. It would house one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the United States — the world’s largest center for processing long-distance phone calls, operated by the New York Telephone Company, a subsidiary of AT&T.

The building was designed by the architectural firm John Carl Warnecke & Associates, whose grand vision was to create a communication nerve center like a “20th century fortress, with spears and arrows replaced by protons and neutrons laying quiet siege to an army of machines within.” Continue reading

Muslim hackers infiltrate water utility’s control system, change levels of chemicals used to treat tap water

For more information on SCADAs and how vulnerable they are to attack, see the SCADA/SCADAs tags. It’s been frequently warned about on this site since 2011.

 

The location of the utility has not been revealed and its name has been changed in Verizon’s report, but given the fact of Verizon’s involvement, this likely happened in the U.S. — all the other incidents discussed in the report linked in The Register’s article took place in America. And we know that jihadis have long wanted to poison the water supply. As far back as 2002, the feds arrested two jihadis who were carrying plans about how to poison water supplies. In 2003, al-Qaeda threatened to poison water supplies in Western countries. In 2011, a jihadi in Spain likewise planned to poison water supplies.

And in May 2013, seven Muslim “chemical engineers” were caught trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir, a key supply of water for Boston, after midnight. Only months later and indirectly did we hear that it was a “criminal matter.” A month later, locks were cut at the aqueduct that supplies water to Greater Boston. Continue reading

Barack Obama’s war on cyber espionage has not stopped theft of trade secrets

Washington: Two years ago, the Obama administration announced a new strategy to curb online espionage.

The White House said it would increase public awareness of the threat, encourage the private sector to increase its defences, focus diplomacy on protecting trade secrets overseas, improve trade secret theft legislation and make investigations and prosecutions of corporate and state-sponsored trade secret theft a top priority.

Since then, public awareness is up and so is spending. But the hacking continues. Continue reading

Germans Are Paranoid that the US Is Spying on Their Data

The idea of personal data privacy is deeply ingrained in German culture. Germans even have a word for it: Datensparsamkeit, the principle of only collecting the bare minimum of data necessary.

In June 2014, the German Bundestag, or national parliament, canceled its internet-service contract with US telecom Verizon, opting to entrust its data to German company Deutsche Telekom, instead. The alleged tapping of Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone in Dec. 2013, has led the German chancellor to compare the NSA to the East German secret police, and German citizens remain outraged at the NSA’s actions in their country—just yesterday, Apr. 23, national news magazine Der Spiegel revealed (link in German) that the agency had monitored Western European businesses for more than a year. Continue reading

Guns, vandals and thieves: Data shows U.S. networks under attack

Early one morning in April last year, someone accessed an underground vault just south of San Jose, California, and cut through fiber-optic cables there. The incident blacked out phone, Internet and 911 service for thousands of people in Silicon Valley.

Such incidents, often caused by vandals, seem fairly common, but exactly how often do they occur? Since 2007, the U.S. telecom infrastructure has been targeted by more than a thousand malicious acts that resulted in severe outages, according to data obtained by IDG from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Freedom of Information Act.

The reports themselves are confidential for national security and commercial reasons, but aggregate data provided by the FCC shows there were 1,248 incidents resulting in major outages over the last seven years. Continue reading