NSA Denies Using Facebook to Hack Into Your Computer

An agency statement rebuffs a recent report that it has masqueraded as the social network.

Activists protest the surveillance of U.S. citizens by the NSA outside the Justice Department where President Barack Obama gave a major speech on reforming the NSA January 17, 2014.
National Journal
Dustin Volz
March 13, 2014, 2:07 p.m.

The Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency on Thursday denied us­ing a dop­pel­gang­er ver­sion of Face­book, say­ing it lacks the abil­ity to do so and only con­ducts for­eign in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tions that are “law­ful and ap­pro­pri­ate.”

“NSA does not use its tech­nic­al cap­ab­il­it­ies to im­per­son­ate U.S. com­pany web­sites,” the agency said in a state­ment. “Nor does NSA tar­get any user of glob­al In­ter­net ser­vices without ap­pro­pri­ate leg­al au­thor­ity. Re­ports of in­dis­crim­in­ate com­puter ex­ploit­a­tion op­er­a­tions are simply false.”

The ma­ligned fed­er­al agency was hit with a re­newed wave of flog­ging Wed­nes­day after a re­port by First Look Me­dia said the NSA had at times “mas­quer­aded as a fake Face­book serv­er” in or­der to in­fect tar­geted com­puters with mal­ware. Doc­u­ments from 2009 provided by former NSA con­tract­or Ed­ward Snowden pub­lished in the re­port de­tailed a secret pro­gram called “Tur­bine” that was de­signed to hack in­to com­puters and gath­er data from for­eign net­works.

Nowhere in the NSA’s state­ment, however, does it defin­it­ively state that the agency has nev­er pre­vi­ously posed as an­oth­er web­site for sur­veil­lance pur­poses. The agency is known for its care­fully worded state­ments couched in qual­i­fy­ing lan­guage.

In re­sponse to the story, a Face­book spokes­man told Na­tion­al Journ­al that the NSA could not cur­rently spoof its site in the man­ner de­scribed in the First Look re­port be­cause the site fin­ished in­teg­rat­ing se­cure com­mu­nic­a­tions pro­tocol last year. But Face­book didn’t rule out that such ex­ploit­a­tion could have oc­curred in the past, when stand­ard com­mu­nic­a­tions pro­tocol was used.

The com­pany ad­di­tion­ally denied ever hav­ing evid­ence or know­ledge of the spy pro­gram.

Earli­er on Thursday, Face­book founder Mark Zuck­er­berg pos­ted a pub­lic note on his page that cri­ti­cized Pres­id­ent Obama and his ad­min­is­tra­tion for its sur­veil­lance pro­grams.

What We're Following See More »
DESPITE CONSERVATIVE OBJECTIONS
Omnibus Spending Bill Likely Getting a Lame-Duck Vote
0 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

"GOP leaders and House Democrats are already laying the groundwork for a short-term continuing resolution" on the budget this fall "that will set up a vote on a catch-all spending bill right before the holidays." As usual, however, the House Freedom Caucus may throw a wrench in Speaker Paul Ryan's gears. The conservative bloc doesn't appear willing to accept any CR that doesn't fund the government into 2017.

Source:
DESPITE CONSERVATIVE OBJECTIONS
Omnibus Spending Bill Likely Getting a Lame-Duck Vote
0 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

"GOP leaders and House Democrats are already laying the groundwork for a short-term continuing resolution" on the budget this fall "that will set up a vote on a catch-all spending bill right before the holidays." As usual, however, the House Freedom Caucus may throw a wrench in Speaker Paul Ryan's gears. The conservative bloc doesn't appear willing to accept any CR that doesn't fund the government into 2017.

Source:
FBI WARNS STATES
Foreign Agents Have Hacked State Voting Databases
45 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems." Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson earlier this month conferred with state election officials, offering his department's assistance in scanning for vulnerabilities."

Source:
THE AIRTIME GAP
Clinton Ad Spending Still Outpacing Trump by $29 Million
49 minutes ago
THE DETAILS
FIRST TIME ENDORSING FOR PRESIDENT
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Endorses Clinton
56 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), which serves as "the business voice of the LGBT community," endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on Friday. "The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has never endorsed a candidate in its nearly fifteen year history, but the stakes have never been so high for the future of the LGBT business community. Hillary Clinton is the progressive champion our businesses and our families need to thrive," the organization said in a press release.

Source:
×