Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

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Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby Mikethehack » Thu May 03, 2012 5:41 pm

Last fall, “Kardokh,” a 25-year-old dissident and computer expert in the Syrian capital of Damascus, met with British journalist and filmmaker Sean McAllister. (Kardokh is his online pseudonym, used at his request.) McAllister, who’s made award-winning films in conflict zones like Yemen and Iraq, explained that he was shooting a documentary for Britain’s Channel 4 about underground activists in Syria, and asked if Kardokh would help him.

At the time, the situation in Syria was deteriorating rapidly, as protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s repressive regime turned violent following a vicious crackdown by security forces. The Syrian government had drastically curtailed visits by foreign journalists, but McAllister had managed to get in undercover. Kardokh was grateful for a chance to tell his story. “Any journalist who was making the effort to show the world what was happening, that was a very important thing for us,” he told me in February.

At the time, Kardokh was providing computer expertise and secure communications to the resistance. He agreed to be interviewed about his work on camera by McAllister, who filmed his face, telling Kardokh that he would blur it out before publishing the footage. McAllister also asked Kardokh to put him in touch with other activists.

But some of McAllister’s practices made him uneasy, Kardokh said. He worried that the filmmaker didn’t realize how aggressive and pervasive the regime’s surveillance was. Kardokh and his fellow activists took elaborate measures with their digital security, encrypting their communications and using special software to hide their identities online. “I started to feel that Sean was careless,” Kardokh told me. He said he had urged McAllister to take more precautions in his communications and to encrypt his footage. “He was using his mobile and SMS, without any protections.”

More here: http://www.cjr.org/feature/the_spy_who_ ... p?page=all
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby nowonmai » Fri May 04, 2012 12:23 am

and your point is?
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby coldharvest » Fri May 04, 2012 5:57 am

Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

...not hacked to death then?
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby Mikethehack » Fri May 04, 2012 2:21 pm

nowonmai wrote:and your point is?


Point?
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby nowonmai » Fri May 04, 2012 4:46 pm

Mikethehack wrote:
nowonmai wrote:and your point is?


Point?


What at?

What were we talking about? Fuck it let's have a cup of tea.
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby kilroy » Fri May 04, 2012 8:46 pm

store as little as possible locally. encrypt everything. use burn phones. simple. if people in the projects can figure out how to do this in order to not get arrested then journalists should be able to, too.
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby Mikethehack » Fri May 04, 2012 9:04 pm

kilroy wrote:store as little as possible locally. encrypt everything. use burn phones. simple. if people in the projects can figure out how to do this in order to not get arrested then journalists should be able to, too.


I.E. Watch The Wire and learn how to be a DP journo?
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby gnaruki » Sat May 05, 2012 12:03 am

kilroy wrote:store as little as possible locally. encrypt everything. use burn phones. simple. if people in the projects can figure out how to do this in order to not get arrested then journalists should be able to, too.


Then everyone thinks you're a drug dealer.
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby thewalrus » Sat May 05, 2012 7:40 am

As an IT professional, I've rarely seen journalists with much technical computer knowledge, or real interest in keeping their systems up to date and secure. Many know how to use their DSLRs very well but their laptops are all kinds of fucked-up software wise.
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby gnaruki » Sat May 05, 2012 7:25 pm

thewalrus wrote:As an IT professional, I've rarely seen journalists with much technical computer knowledge, or real interest in keeping their systems up to date and secure. Many know how to use their DSLRs very well but their laptops are all kinds of fucked-up software wise.


Not many techno-journalists? I think I'm going to start contributing to some trade magazines. I'm kind of a jack-of-all trades pragmatist.

Currently I'm covering the real estate market, its time I buy a home complete with a shop and moat filled with koi sharks.

Somehow I'm getting payed to tell truck drivers and mechanics what to do while teaching the office how to use the internet.
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby Kurt » Sat May 05, 2012 7:52 pm

gnaruki wrote:
kilroy wrote:store as little as possible locally. encrypt everything. use burn phones. simple. if people in the projects can figure out how to do this in order to not get arrested then journalists should be able to, too.


Then everyone thinks you're a drug dealer.


Naw, drug dealers rarely hide their drug dealing, but that is because they are not smart at all.

One block away from my apartment I encountered this a few months ago:

"Yo, yo check it out...I got crack and smack and two girls just for you Mr. Businessman" (there is a rumor in my neighborhood that I work for the New York Yankees..this was spread by Morris the Schizophrenic Crackhead ...formerly known as Mike the Crackhead but he changed his name for some reason)

Then a day later the drug dealing pimp was being frisked on the sidewalk while a policeman was stepping on his head.

Three days after that, same time, same place, same location:

"Yo, yo check it out...I got crack and smack and two girls just for you Mr. Businessman"

He would also have very loud phone coversations on the street detailing his meetings and what would be sold. He is very likely outside the same old place right now doing the same old stuff except he no longer pimps because his cousins got deported.
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby gnaruki » Sat May 05, 2012 9:06 pm

I just moved but a few blocks from my old place it was always crack and heroine offers. Apparently coders and accountants are their biggest professional clientele.

The dealers hop around on the buses to dodge the cops. One time my friend tried to buy pot off of one of them and ended up punching the crack in the face that charged him twenty bucks for a bag full of catnip.

Back on topic:

I'm surprised these journalists are so scattered. Are these the people that are only concerned about chasing the next big scoop or what?
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby kilroy » Mon May 07, 2012 2:40 am

The last comment was meant to be tongue in cheek, but if this journalist actually recognized the danger his sources faced and he actually valued their lives, you would think he could put at least a little effort into protecting them. It's not like this stuff is all that hard to learn if they can teach a schmo like me to be able to do it.
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Re: Western Journalists hacked in Syria and Libya

Postby JITW » Mon May 07, 2012 5:33 pm

Reporters, NGO Workers, businessmen and hell even spy's are careless about their data

Considering how easy it is to secure your laptop with encryption and set up basic infosec policies for an organization (I could teach a company/group how to in a one day class) it is silly this even happens


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