Seth Rich

Exploration of Conspiracy Theories from Perspective of Esoteric Traditions

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:54 pm

Why the Family of Murdered DNC Staffer Seth Rich Is Suing Fox News


The parents of Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was killed in 2016, have filed a lawsuit against Fox News.

Rich, a voter-expansion data director for the DNC, was shot and killed in Washington, D.C. in July 2016. The motive for his murder was never uncovered, leading media outlets to promote a string of conspiracy theories, including an allegation that Rich was involved in the leak of thousands of internal DNC documents to WikiLeaks, which later played a role in Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful campaign for the presidency.

Rich’s parents filed a lawsuit in New York Tuesday, seeking compensation for “mental anguish and emotional distress, emotional pain and suffering, and any other physical and mental injuries.” The lawsuit claims that reporter Malia Zimmerman and commentator Ed Butowsky developed a “sham” story about Rich’s death, which Fox News “aided and abetted” by providing the story a national platform on which to be disseminated.

Butowsky, according to the lawsuit, reached out to the family under false pretenses, persuading them to hire Rod Wheeler to investigate their son’s death. Unbeknownst to the family, however, Wheeler was working on an article about Rich’s death with Butowsky and Zimmerman. After reportedly finding that WikiLeaks had been in contact with Rich before his death, the reporters falsely suggested that Rich had been responsible for the massive DNC email leak.

Fox News first published the story in May 2017 and proceeded to reference it on-air several times. Seven days after it was published, the network retracted the story. However, the suit claims that the story fueled an erroneous theory about Rich, causing ongoing emotional suffering for his family. The suit calls the defendants’ actions “so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency.”

“Whether motivated by party politics, ratings, corporate profit, or personal gain, we hope to help prevent this kind of malicious and reckless behavior in the future so that others can be spared the hell the Riches have had to endure,” Leonard Gail, the Rich family’s attorney, explained. ... r-lawsuit/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:17 pm

What’s the X-37 Doing Up There?

The Air Force isn’t saying, so we asked other spaceplane experts.

Kiona Smith-Strickland

It’s been five years since the first launch of the Air Force’s X-37B mini-shuttle, and outside observers—meaning those who lack the proper security clearances—still know little more about this mysterious unmanned vehicle than they did in 2010 (see “Space Shuttle Jr.,” Dec. 2009/Jan. 2010). But after three completed flights and a fourth launch last May (the spaceplane was still in orbit as of mid-December), they’re at least able to make educated guesses.

Despite the project’s general secrecy, the Air Force has been perfectly willing to release photos of the vehicle sitting on top of its Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and on the runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California where it lands, autonomously. The spaceplane’s dimensions are known: It’s small, about 29 feet long, with a cargo bay not much bigger than a pickup truck’s. Project officials have revealed that the X-37B’s maneuvering engine runs on hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, and that it uses a different kind of thermal protection than NASA’s space shuttle did. The durations of the first three missions are a matter of public record (224 days, 469 days, and 674 days), and while the orbital parameters aren’t officially disclosed, amateur astronomers have been able to spot the mini-spaceplane through telescopes and figure out that it’s been orbiting at relatively low altitudes.

At an aerospace meeting in 2011, Arthur Grantz, a chief engineer with Boeing, the company that built the X-37B, said that the program had been evaluating the vehicle’s autonomous navigation and other systems. While he didn’t say what the Air Force wanted with an operational spaceplane, he speculated that the vehicle could be modified in the future to carry passengers.

Before the most recent launch, the Air Force and NASA even revealed two of the payloads for the first time: a NASA materials science experiment and an ionizing thruster being tested for the Air Force. Those clues have led analysts to speculate with a little more confidence about the X-37B’s purpose.

It’s clear that any technologies tested on an Air Force spaceplane will have some military application, but that doesn’t narrow things down much. In space, it could mean communications, navigation, surveillance, or even anti-satellite and counter-anti-satellite operations. The smart money is on advanced surveillance sensors. The Air Force has never mentioned them directly, but everyone seems confident that they’re flying.

“I think that’s probably what they’re not telling you, that there are payloads in there that might be part of the design for future reconnaissance satellites,” says James Andrew Lewis, director and senior fellow in the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The Air Force has great interest in developing small, advanced sensors, he says, because it’s “looking to figure out how to transition from big, expensive satellites to smaller but equally capable satellites.”

The Hall thrusters on the current flight use an electric field to accelerate xenon propellant, producing a small but steady thrust that’s useful for many types of spacecraft, including military communications satellites already in orbit. Brian Weeden, technical adviser for the Secure World Foundation, thinks the Air Force might also be testing the thrusters with an eye toward placing reconnaissance satellites in lower orbits, so that imaging sensors could take higher-resolution pictures of targets on the ground.

“I think the clue is how low an orbit [the X-37B] is in,” says Weeden. The spaceplane is orbiting at an altitude of about 320 kilometers (a little under 200 miles), which is lower than the International Space Station. Low orbits require more maneuvering, and therefore more fuel, to maintain. And fuel adds weight. “One of the reasons that the traditional exquisite imaging satellites are so hard to launch is because they’re big and they’re heavy,” says Weeden. Hall thrusters could enable lighter, cheaper reconnaissance satellites to be orbited.

Right now the Air Force has two X-37B research vehicles. Are we likely to see an operational fleet, without the “X” designation? Weeden doesn’t think so: “My guess would be that [the spaceplane] itself would probably not move into an operational-type role, but that a lot of the technologies that it’s demonstrating, like the Hall effect thrusters, or whatever the sensor payloads are, are going to move into the operational role. That’s how it went with the X-planes of the 1950s and 1960s.”

If the Air Force does go for an operational fleet, “they could add different versions of the vehicle, larger versions in particular,” says Todd Harrison, a defense budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Harrison speculates that a bigger version of today’s X-37B, with a larger cargo bay, could conceivably bring military satellites back to Earth for maintenance or repairs, then return them to orbit.

That is, if a scaled-up vehicle fits inside a conventional rocket. Like most satellites, today’s X-37B is placed inside a protective shroud, then launched on a large Atlas V rocket. “I would guess that it’s going to be really hard to make a bigger version of the X-37B that can still fit inside a fairly standard shroud,” Weeden says.

Another option for the Air Force would be to update the two experimental spaceplanes. For example, to make them more flexible and possibly cheaper to operate, the Air Force could make them compatible with other launch vehicles, such as the SpaceX Falcon 9 or one of Orbital Sciences’ rockets.

Such modifications would depend on the budget the X-37B program receives as it moves out of the experimental phase. And those numbers are likely to remain every bit as secret as the spaceplane’s missions. ... 180957777/

Amateur Satellite Trackers Found the Secret X-37B Space Plane in Orbit


The U.S. Air Force’s supersecret X-37B was launched into orbit for the fourth time last week, and amateur satellite watchers have promptly identified its secret orbit—also for the fourth time. There is, you see, a small army of amateurs who keep track of over 300 spy satellites, often with little more than a pair of binoculars.

The orbit of the X-37B, which resembles a mini space shuttle, was revealed on a hobbyist satellite watcher mailing list today. According to longtime satellite observer Ted Molczan interviewed Spaceflight Now, the plane is flying lower than in previous missions, and it is surveying the same region on the ground every two days—a frequency that could indicate some kind of spy mission. The government has revealed two experiments onboard X-37B but has, as always, kept mum about everything else.

Molczan and other members of an amateur satellite observing group found the secret orbit of the first X-37B back in 2010, too. It took a few weeks and independent observations in North America and South Africa. He later characterized the discovery as “sort of a fluke.” But with three X-37Bs under their belt, the group knew what to expect with the fourth mission. A couple days before the space plane blasted off, Molzcan posted an email to the SeeSat email list with orbit estimates. Today, a week after launch, an email to the group announced the X-37B’s orbit.

More Secret Satellites

Among satellite watchers, Molczan is perhaps best known for identifying USA-193, a secret spy satellite that failed soon after orbit in 2006. The U.S. intentionally destroyed it with a missile 18 months later—prompting all sorts of controversy over the exact purpose of the satellite.

The hobby of these amateur satellite watchers has, not surprisingly, prompted some concern from the intelligence community. “If we had our druthers, we would prefer that these things not end up on the Internet,” says Rick Oborn, an NRO spokesperson told Wired in 2006. “It’s no secret that other countries stop doing what they’re doing when the satellites are overhead.”

But the reality is, tracking even these stealth satellites is not that hard. Here’s how the New York Times described Molzcan’s setup at his Toronto apartment, which uses just a pair of binoculars, star charts, and a stopwatch.

From his 23rd-floor balcony, or the roof of his 32-floor building, Mr. Molzcan will peer through his binoculars at a point in the sky he expects the satellite to cross, which he locates with star charts. When the moving dot appears, he determines its direction and the distance it travels across the patch of sky over time, which he can use to calculate its speed.

If a guy from his balcony can track these satellites, goes the reasoning, so can China—and so can any country with even the most marginal astronomy knowledge. Perhaps that’s what so fascinating of all. The U.S. will go to great lengths to obscure the nature of its spy satellites, but space is empty. Space is transparent. Satellites have nowhere to hide.

© 2018 Gizmodo Media Group ... 1707305408

How to Spot the USAF’s ‘Mini-Shuttle’

By: David Dickinson |

October 20, 2015
By: |

Now is the time to track the secret space plane X-37B on its OTV-4 mission.

Step outside on any clear night at dusk during twilight hours and watch the sky for a few minutes, and you’ll notice swiftly moving “stars,” sentinels of our modern Space Age.

Some are regular satellites. (Folks at public star parties are always amazed to see satellites with their own eyes!) But most of what you’re seeing are actually discarded boosters in low-Earth orbit, and more than a few are clandestine spy satellites.

One of the more intriguing missions to track from your backyard is the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B. The USAF owns two X-37B spacecraft, and the current Orbital Test Vehicle 4 (OTV-4) mission is the fourth overall for the program. Launched from Cape Canaveral on May 20, 2015, OTV-4 orbits Earth once every 91 minutes in a 196-mile (315-km) altitude orbit. Its orbit is inclined 38° from Earth’s equator, ensuring that the craft is visible from latitude 45° north to 45° south.

As with a majority of classified U.S. Department of Defense missions, NORAD doesn’t publicly publish the orbital parameters for the X-37B. (The launch was broadcast live, however.) Once launched, tracking the mini space plane becomes the pursuit of dedicated satellite-watchers worldwide. You can trace this legacy all the way back to the original Project Moonwatch, which first tracked Sputnik 1 after its historic first orbit in 1957.

“In the time of Moonwatch, the network of amateur observers was a (if not the) most prominent source of tracking information on new objects launched,” says veteran satellite watcher Marco Langbroek. “Moonwatch and our modern network both make available data on objects on which otherwise very little data would be (publicly) available.”

Volunteer satellite hunters have confirmed — and sometimes refuted — launch claims by countries with largely veiled space programs, such as North Korea and Iran. They also recently tracked the maneuverings of the extra mystery payload Russia launched aboard the Cosmos-2496 satellite and which is suspected to be testing either in-orbit refueling or ”satellite-killer” tech.

A Mini Space Shuttle

The orbit the Air Force's X-37B is flying during its fourth uncrewed mission.Orbitron. Used with permission.

The X-37B is a direct descendant of Boeing’s X-40 project. A miniature space plane one-fourth the length of the U.S. Space Shuttle, the X-37B launches atop an Atlas V rocket and lands like an aircraft. Thus far, landings have occurred unannounced at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, though future missions (and perhaps OTV-4) may land like the Space Shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for rapid reprocessing and launch. The X-37B is only the second space plane — after the Russian Buran, which orbited the Earth once on November 15, 1988 — to perform an automated landing. It also holds the duration record for a space plane in orbit, having spent nearly 675 days in space during OTV-3.

OTV-4 is also notable in that, for the first time, the Department of Defense alluded to at least a portion of what the craft is doing during the mission: in addition to testing materials in space for NASA, it’s also demonstrating the use of Hall-effect thrusters as part of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite program, a strategic communications system being built by Lockheed Martin. Hall-effect thrusters will replace the troublesome liquid-apogee engines on AEHF satellites.

Hunting the X-37B

OTV-3 passing near the star cluster IC 2602. Greg Roberts

On a high pass straight overhead, the X-37B can reach around magnitude +3, similar in brightness to the stars that make up the constellation Aries the Ram. But more typically it gleams around magnitude +3.5, and it can drop to as faint as magnitude +5 at bad phase angles, says South African-based, long-time satellite tracker Greg Roberts.

We’ve seen the X-37B flare a few magnitudes in brightness on a zenith pass from here in central Florida, perhaps from sunlight glinting off the deployed solar arrays often depicted in artist’s conceptions.

“The current mission is in an orbit that makes it pass along (almost) the same ground track every two days,” says Langbroek. “That repeating ground track is something normally associated with Earth reconnaissance missions.”

Tracking and sighting opportunities for the X-37B are freely available and published publicly on many websites, including Heavens-Above. Heavens-Above is a great website to use to predict passes of satellites from your location, including the X-37B. Successfully spotting a satellite pass is as simple as knowing when it will occur, how bright it will be, and what direction it will be moving.

I also like to use the Orbitron satellite tracking program, as I can run it on a laptop in the field sans internet connection. Just make sure that the Two-Line Elements (TLEs) are up to date, as satellite orbits do change over time, mostly due to atmospheric drag. The SeeSat-L message board is also a long-standing source of discussion among volunteer satellite trackers.

Catching Satellites on Camera

You can also image satellite passes.

“I use a wide variety of equipment — all video or photographic — and as to what equipment I use, I decide prior to an observing session and select the best suited,” says Roberts. “If I have to do a planar search, then I go for relatively wide-angle fields, but if it’s straight positional work and the current orbit is known, then I use narrower fields of view.”

Roberts typically uses a camera with a 50- to 200-mm focal length for objects in low-Earth orbit, though he also employs a 10-inch aperture telescope to catch objects in medium-Earth and geosynchronous orbits. “My all-round favorite is a 4-inch f/2.6 refractor,” he adds.

Starting out imaging satellites is as simple as doing time-exposure shots of the sky with a tripod-mounted DSLR camera and letting the satellite “burn in” a streak as it slides silently by.

If you want to catch the X-37B, you have several weeks to try. Initial discussion by the USAF during the OTV-4 launch stated the mission would last a minimum of 200 days, which would place a possible landing in the first week of December at the absolute earliest.

Below, watch a video of OTV test flights (no sound). Credit: United States Air Force. ... 010201522/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:33 pm

SeeSat-L is intended to facilitate rapid, reliable communications among visual satellite observers. Visual observations and CLOSELY related subjects are its sole focus; all else are off-topic.
SeeSat-L is intended to be the big tent under which our small but diverse hobby can thrive. We are accepting of all who contribute, regardless of their experience or area of special interest. For example, beginners are welcome to describe their sightings of the ISS, and those who make positional or flash period observations are welcome to post their mostly numerical data.

Keplerian elements

The math is cumbersome; you can program a scientific calculator to solve for the elements.

HORIZONS ... /3380.html
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:58 pm

Seth Rich's brother sues conservative media figures for defamation



Aaron Rich, the brother of a Democratic National Committee staffer who was killed in 2016, is suing conservative media figures and The Washington Times for defamation, alleging in a lawsuit filed Monday that they spread false theories about the unsolved murder of Seth Rich.

The lawsuit alleges that Edward Butowsky, a wealthy financial adviser and guest commentator on the Fox Business Network; Matthew Couch, a conservative online activist; and America First Media, Couch’s organization, “falsely and repeatedly alleged in public statements” that Aaron Rich “is a criminal.” The lawsuit further claims The Washington Times, a conservative newspaper, offered a platform for the unfounded claims.

“The Defendants are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to spread vicious lies about an innocent man,” Michael Gottlieb, Aaron Rich’s lawyer, said in a statement. “Those who defame and harass decent American citizens in an effort to advance their personal financial and partisan gain will be held accountable in court.”

The death of Seth Rich, who was fatally shot in Washington, D.C., in July 2016, has spawned a wave of unproven theories among right-leaning outlets.

Online theorists baselessly speculated that Seth Rich, who began working for the DNC in 2014, had been involved in the leak of internal emails during the 2016 campaign, though there is no evidence to support the claim. A Fox News story in May 2017 claiming that investigators had evidence showing Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails was later retracted. His parents have sued Fox News over the story.

According to Aaron Rich’s legal team, the defendants in the lawsuit floated the possibility that he conspired with his brother to leak the emails and cover up the action.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, seeks financial compensation for the “mental anguish and emotional distress” and “reputational damages” brought about by the individuals’ claims regarding Seth Rich’s death.

“There is no proof that Aaron engaged in any of the alleged conduct — nor could there be, because none of it happened,” Gottlieb said. “But Defendants are not interested in the truth. Instead, Defendants are motivated by personal notoriety, financial gain, and naked partisan aims — namely, a desire to discredit allegations that the Trump Campaign colluded with the Russian Government in the 2016 hack of the DNC and the subsequent dissemination of DNC documents on WikiLeaks.”

© 2018 POLITICO LLC ... dia-487827

Seth Rich's brother sues right-wing activists, Washington Times over conspiracy theories

by Oliver Darcy @oliverdarcy March 27, 2018: 12:56 PM ET

CNNMoney | 2018-03-27 11:28:57

The brother of Seth Rich, the slain Democratic National Committee staffer whose unsolved murder became the basis for conspiracy theories on the far-right, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against individuals and media organizations that he alleges peddled false and unfounded claims about him.

The lawsuit, filed by Aaron Rich in US District Court in the District of Columbia, accuses Ed Butowsky, a wealthy Texas businessman; Matt Couch, a fringe internet activist; America First Media, Couch's media company; and The Washington Times, a conservative newspaper, of acting "with reckless disregard for the truth."

Seth Rich was fatally shot in Washington, DC, in July 2016. Police have said evidence indicates he was the victim of a botched robbery, but in the wake of his death, far-right activists and media organizations suggested something far more sinister. Without real evidence, they peddled a conspiracy theory that said Seth Rich leaked a trove of DNC emails to Wikileaks and was killed in retribution for the supposed leak. The theory was convenient for some on the right as they disputed allegations Russia hacked the DNC, something President Trump had raised doubts about.

Aaron Rich's lawsuit seeks damages for harm to his reputation and emotional distress, among other things, against Butowsky, Couch, America First Media, and The Washington Times for suggesting he played a role in the supposed email theft.

The suit alleges those people and media companies pushed a conspiracy theory about Aaron Rich that used his background as a defense contractor with technical expertise to suggest he worked with his brother to leak DNC documents to Wikileaks, received money for doing so, and then worked to cover-up the crime.

"Not satisfied with the existing conspiracy theory about Seth Rich ... Defendants Ed Butowsky, Matt Couch, and America First Media have spent the past year creating and disseminating a made-up conspiracy theory that Aaron Rich was the technological know-how behind, and financial beneficiary of, Seth's operation," Michael Gottlieb, an attorney for Aaron Rich, told CNN.

Among the body of evidence cited in the lawsuit is an August 15, 2017, Periscope video hosted by Couch. Butowsky, according to the lawsuit, joined the Periscope video as a participant in the chatroom and wrote that "Aaron Rich needs to come out and admit money in his account." Couch, the lawsuit says, replied, "Ed just put it out there—Aaron Rich accepted money. Aaron Rich had money from WikiLeaks go into his personal account. Think about that. Aaron Rich had WikiLeaks money go into his personal account. Ok?"

The lawsuit cited numerous other examples of Couch making similar claims about Aaron Rich.

The lawsuit also cited a March 1, 2018, commentary piece in The Washington Times. The article, which the lawsuit says was published both online and in print, said it was "well known in intelligence circles that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron Rich, downloaded the DNC emails and was paid by Wikileaks for that information." The article cited no evidence to support the assertion. The Washington Times did not remove or retract the article after "receiving notice of the falsity of the statements about Aaron after the publication," the lawsuit says.

"Our constitutional system leaves wide room for debate on issues of public concern, but individuals like Defendants poison that deliberate space when they flood it with fabricated information about private figures like Aaron," the lawsuit says, adding, "Defendants are entitled to their own opinions, but they can and must be held accountable for their lies."

Butowsky told CNN shortly after the lawsuit was filed that he had no idea what Aaron Rich was "talking about" and only had one additional question: "I have nothing else to say, other than how many more family members do the Riches have that want to sue me?"

Couch said in a Periscope video that he learned of the lawsuit from media reports and was "being sued for investigating the truth." He then signaled to his audience that he would not back down.

"You're not going to detour us from investigating this and reporting the truth," he said. "And what you've done now is you've opened yourself up to a discovery phase. A discovery phase. Which means now I can subpoena your phone records, the laptops, your cell phones. And guess what folks? I want it all."

Representatives for The Washington Times did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Aaron Rich's lawsuit comes just weeks after the parents of Seth Rich sued Fox News and Butowsky for their role in peddling the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. Butowsky told CNN that lawsuit "doesn't make any sense to me," and a Fox News spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. Previously, Rod Wheeler, a private investigator Butowsky had hired to investigate Seth Rich's death, sued Fox News and Butowsky, claiming the two concocted the conspiracy theory with oversight from the White House. Butowsky called that lawsuit "bulls**t" and Fox News has asked for a court to dismiss it.

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Postby MJK » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:36 am

Aaron Rich is doing a David Wheeler. Because it pays the bills.
Seth is alert and talking upon arrival; a 3rd lobe liver injury is totally treatable and who locked down Seth's side of the hospital until he 'died' ?
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Re: Okay...

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:00 am

MJK wrote:Aaron Rich is doing a David Wheeler. Because it pays the bills.
Seth is alert and talking upon arrival; a 3rd lobe liver injury is totally treatable and who locked down Seth's side of the hospital until he 'died' ?

Yep, and, buried back a few pages is an article that documents.. BOTH, Aaron and Seth being involved the email Docs delivery negotiations with Assange. They were to be paid some amount of money for the DNC files. So Aaron, if that story is accurate, was involved in the operation. He seems a snake (le serpent). Just my gut feeling.

So, take the parents knowledge of Aaron's involvement (when did they find out?), and then look at the 180 they did as per an investigation. At first, they were all for it. Then, against it publicly. Threatening lawsuits, and then acting on the threats.

Wait for Awan's trial to start, they can't postpone it forever.. Maybe, Debbie's missing laptop will materialize?

This story won't die, it seems. Invest in popcorn futures.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:26 am

I read last week that, Millennials are much more likely to fall for social media scams, phishing ploys, and pretty common hacks than their parents are. Millennials view themselves as being really smart, and much more adapt at anything cyber than their elders. Over confident .. easy pickings. kd

Social Engineering is on The Rise: Protect Yourself Now

Jack Laidlaw


As Internet security has evolved it has gotten easier to lock your systems down. Many products come out of the box pre-configured to include decent security practices, and most of the popular online services have wised up about encryption and password storage. That’s not to say that things are perfect, but as the computer systems get tougher to crack, the bad guys will focus more on the unpatchable system in the mix — the human element.

History Repeats Itself

Ever since the days of the ancient Greeks, and probably before that, social engineering has been one option to get around your enemy’s defences. We all know the old tale of Ulysses using a giant wooden horse to trick the Trojans into allowing a small army into the city of Troy. They left the horse outside the city walls after a failed five-year siege, and the Trojans brought it in. Once inside the city walls a small army climbed out in the dead of night and captured the city.

How different is it to leave a USB flash drive loaded with malware around a large company’s car park, waiting for human curiosity to take over and an employee to plug the device into a computer hooked up to the corporate network? Both the wooden horse and the USB drive trick have one thing in common, humans are not perfect and make decisions which can be irrational.

Famous Social Engineers

[Victor Lustig] was one of history’s famous social engineers specializing in scams, and was a self-confessed con man. He is most famous for having sold the Eiffel Tower. After the First World War, money was tight, and France was struggling to pay for the upkeep of Eiffel Tower and it was falling into disrepair. After reading about the tower’s troubles, [Lustig] came up with his scheme: he would trick people into believing that the tower was to be sold off as scrap and that he was the facilitator for any deal. Using forged government stationary, he managed to pull this trick off: twice!

He later went on to scam [Al Capone] out of $5,000 by convincing him to invest $50,000 into a stock market deal. He claimed the deal fell through, although in reality there was no deal. After a few months, he gave Capone his money back, and was rewarded with $5,000 for his “integrity”.

[Charles Ponzi] was so notorious the scheme he used which is alive and well today was named after him. A Ponzi Scheme is a pyramid investment scam using new members money to pay older investors. As long as new recruits keep coming in, the people at the top of the pyramid get paid. When the pool of new suckers dries up, it’s over.

The biggest Ponzi scheme ever was discovered by then-respected high flyer and stock market speculator [Bernard Madoff]. The scheme, valued at around $65 billion, was and still is the biggest in history. Madoff was so prolific he had banks, governments and pension funds invested into his scheme.

[Kevin Mitnick] is probably the most famous computer hacker still alive today, however he was more of a social engineer than you would think. Kevin started young; at thirteen, he convinced a bus driver to tell him where to buy a ticket puncher for a school project, when in fact it would be used with dumpster dived tickets found in the bins of the bus company’s depot.

At sixteen, he hacked Digital Equipment Corporation’s computer systems, copying proprietary software and then going on to hack Pacific Bell’s voice mail computers along with dozens of other systems. He was on the run for a few years and was eventually imprisoned for his crimes. Out of jail, he has turned into a security consultant and does well for himself by staying on the correct side of the law.

[John Draper], AKA Captain Crunch, was a pioneer in the phone phreaking world. He gained his moniker because of free whistles given away in packages of Cap’n Crunch cereal. He realized that these whistles played 2,600 Hz which just happened to be the exact tone that AT&T long distance lines used to indicate that a trunk line was ready and available to route a new call. This inspired [John Draper] to experiment with and successfully build blue boxes. Those days are gone now, as the phone system switched from analog to digital.

Types Of Social Engineering Scams and How To Avoid Them

There are many different type of social engineering attacks — imagine counting up the number of ways that exist to trick people. Still, it’s worth understanding the most popular scams, because you do need to protect yourself.

This type of scam involves telling someone a lie in order to gain access to privileged areas or information. Pretexting is often done in the form of phone scams where a caller will claim to work for some big company and needs to confirm their targets identity. They then go on to gather information like social security numbers, mother’s maiden name, account details and dates of birth. Because the call or the situation is normally initiated by the social engineer, a good way to protect your self from this scam is to call back or confirm who they say they are — using information that you gathered about the company, and not given by them.


Dropping malware-filled USB drives around parking lots, or giant wooden horses near your enemy’s walls, is classic baiting. This is a simple attack with a simple mitigation: remember that if something free and interesting just lying around looks too good to be true, then it probably is.


Phishing is the practice of sending out e-mails, posing as a well-known web service or company, and aiming to get the recipient to open a compromised document, visit a poisoned website, or otherwise break your own security. A few weeks ago, Hackaday’s own [Pedro Umbelino] wrote about how easy it is to exploit even the most security conscious around us (it had me) with an IDN homograph attack.

Most phishing is done at a less sophisticated level — normally a clone of website is made and emails are sent out telling victims to change their password. High value targets may have a fully customized phishing experience, known as “spear phishing”, where the scammer will put more effort into a site clone or email text by including personal information to make it look more authentic. Phishing is normally easy to spot — check the address of any link before clicking on it. And if you’re asked to change a password through an e-mail, close the e-mail and log into the web site through normal means, bypassing the bad links entirely.


A lot of ransomware is delivered by phishing, but since there have been an increasing number of widespread cases, it gets its own topic. However the user is fooled into running the malware on their computer, it encrypts valuable data or locks the user out of their system and demands payment to restore things back to normal. Whether this happens or not, upon payment, is anyone’s guess.

There have been a number of very high profile ransomware attacks lately, including ransomware crippling UK’s NHS and then spreading globally. Will this ever end? The easiest mitigation strategy against ransomware, in addition to no clicking on suspicious links, applications or keeping your system up to date in the first place, is to keep frequent backups of your system so that if you do get ransomed, you won’t have to pay. Keeping backups has other benefits as well, of course.

Quid Pro Quo

The quid pro quo scam is really all “quid” and no “quo”. A service provider calls offering to fix a bug or remove malware (that doesn’t exist) for a fee. A quick search on YouTube will turn up thousands of videos of scammers trying their luck with wise-cracking teenagers. As with many cons, this scam can be avoided by simply not responding to out-of-the-blue offers. On the other hand, this scam seems successful enough that it’s still being run. Knowing about it is the best defense.

One way to get into a restricted area that’s protected by a closed door is to wait for an employee or someone with access and follow them in. These attacks are normally aimed at businesses or apartment buildings, and the solution is to simply not let anyone get in with you.

Dumpster Diving

To impersonate a legitimate contractor, it helps to know the names of the firms involved and even points of contact inside the firm. All of this data and more can be found on receipts in the dumpster behind the firm. Invest in a shredder, and don’t leave anything to chance.

Social Media

People share an amazing amount of personal information on social media, so it’s no surprise that it’s a new tool for social engineers. Looking through someone’s account is like looking at a snapshot of someones life. Why would you announce your home is going to be empty to for the next two weeks to literally the whole world? Your home is just asking to be burgled. Or think of the ammunition that you’re giving to a would-be spear phisher. Think about the trade-offs of sharing personal information about yourself publicly.

Notable Social engineering Case Studies

Now, let’s see a couple examples of these social engineering tricks in the wild.

News International Phone Hacking Scandal
Here in the UK, there was a huge public storm when News International, owned by media mogul [Rupert Murdoch], was found to be using social engineering to “hack” into the voicemail services of prominent celebrities, politicians, royals, and journalists. The phone hacking list is extremely long. They often hacked into the voicemail by spoofing the caller ID that granted access to the phone’s voicemail inbox. Some voicemails were password protected with four-digit codes that were easily guessed. On other occasions, they simply called the phone provider’s service hotline and said they forgot their pass code — plain-vanilla pretexting.

Celebgate iCloud Nude Pictures “Hack”

[Ryan Collins] used phishing techniques to gain access to the iCloud accounts of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Kim Kardashian. He created fake notifications from Google and Apple and sent them on to his targets’ email addresses. At the time, there was speculation that Apple’s iCloud had hacked into on a massive scale. Instead, Collins admitted in an interview that he used phishing techniques to gain access to his victims personal data.

Where do We Go From Here

If breaking the computer system is too difficult, you can be sure that criminals will try to break the human system. Whether you call this “social engineering”, “cons”, or “scams”, they’re likely to be on the rise. The best way to protect yourself is to teach anyone with access to your data or details about how the attacks work, and how to avoid them.

There are plenty of resources online that you would be useful for helping protect yourself from these attack vectors. Protect yourself from eight social engineering attacks is quite a good starting point, and the US Department of Homeland Security also provides great information on preventing social engineering hacks that you can point people to.

In the end, most of it boils down to recognizing the patterns and being skeptical when you see them. Verify information through other channels, don’t blindly click links, and be wary of what personal details you give out to solicitors.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:55 am

The U.S. government has acknowledged the existence in Washington D.C. of what appear to be devices that could be used by foreign spies and criminals to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

In a March 26 letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the Department of Homeland Security admitted that it "has observed anomalous activity in the [Washington D.C. area] that appears to be consistent with International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers." DHS added that it had not determined the type of devices in use or who might have been operating them, nor did it say how many it detected or where.

However, a DHS official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agency's reply to Wyden has not been publicly released told AP that the devices were detected in a 90-day trial that began in January 2017 with equipment from a Las Vegas-based DHS contractor, ESD America. The CEO of ESD America, Les Goldsmith, said his company has a relationship with DHS but would not comment further.

The use of what are known as cellphone-site simulators by foreign powers has long been a concern, but American intelligence and law enforcement agencies — which use such eavesdropping equipment themselves — have been silent on the issue until now.
The agency's response, obtained by the AP from Wyden's office, suggests little has been done about such equipment, known popularly as Stingrays after a brand common among U.S. police departments. The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the nation's airwaves, formed a task force on the subject four years ago, but it never produced a report and no longer meets regularly.

The devices work by tricking mobile devices into locking onto them instead of legitimate cell towers, revealing the exact location of a particular cellphone. More sophisticated versions can eavesdrop on calls by forcing phones to step down to older, unencrypted 2G wireless technology. Some attempt to plant malware.

They can cost anywhere from $1,000 to about $200,000. They are commonly the size of a briefcase; some are as small as a cellphone. They can be placed in a car next to a government building. The most powerful can be deployed in low-flying aircraft.

Thousands of members of the military, the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and the rest of the national-security apparatus live and work in the Washington area. The surveillance-savvy among them encrypt their phone and data communications and employ electronic countermeasures. But unsuspecting citizens could fall prey.

Wyden wrote DHS in November requesting information about unauthorized use of the cell-site simulators.

Christopher Krebs, the top official in the department's National Protection and Programs Directorate, noted in the letter that DHS lacks the equipment and funding to detect Stingrays even though their use by foreign governments "may threaten U.S. national and economic security." The department did report its findings to "federal partners" Krebs did not name. That presumably includes the FBI.

Legislators have been raising alarms about the use of Stingrays in the capital since at least 2014, when Goldsmith and other security-company researchers conducted public sweeps that located suspected unauthorized devices near the White House, the Supreme Court, the Commerce Department and the Pentagon, among other locations.

The executive branch, however, has shied away from even discussing the subject.

Aaron Turner, president of the mobile security consultancy Integricell, was among the experts who conducted the 2014 sweeps, in part to try to drum up business. Little has changed since, he said.

Like other major world capitals, he said, Washington is awash in unauthorized interception devices. Foreign embassies have free rein because they are on sovereign soil.

Every embassy "worth their salt" has a cell tower simulator installed, Turner said. They use them "to track interesting people that come toward their embassies." The Russians' equipment is so powerful it can track targets a mile away, he said.

Shutting down rogue Stingrays is an expensive proposition that would require wireless network upgrades the industry has been loath to pay for, security experts say. It could also lead to conflict with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement.

In addition to federal agencies, police departments use them in at least 25 states and the District of Columbia, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Wyden said in a statement Tuesday that "leaving security to the phone companies has proven to be disastrous." He added that the FCC has refused to hold the industry accountable "despite repeated warnings and clear evidence that our phone networks are being exploited by foreign governments and hackers."

After the 2014 news reports about Stingrays in Washington, Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla, wrote the FCC in alarm. In a reply, then-FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said the agency had created a task force to combat illicit and unauthorized use of the devices. In that letter, the FCC did not say it had identified such use itself, but cited media reports of the security sweeps.

That task force appears to have accomplished little. A former adviser to Wheeler, Gigi Sohn, said there was no political will to tackle the issue against opposition from the intelligence community and local police forces that were using the devices "willy-nilly."

"To the extent that there is a major problem here, it's largely due to the FCC not doing its job," said Laura Moy of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University. The agency, she said, should be requiring wireless carriers to protect their networks from such security threats and "ensuring that anyone transmitting over licensed spectrum actually has a license to do it."

FCC spokesman Neil Grace, however, said the agency's only role is "certifying" such devices to ensure they don't interfere with other wireless communications, much the way it does with phones and Wi-Fi routers
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:06 am

Long-Secret Stingray Manuals Detail How Police Can Spy on Phones

Sam Biddle

The Intercept

Harris Corp.’s Stingray surveillance device has been one of the most closely guarded secrets in law enforcement for more than 15 years. The company and its police clients across the United States have fought to keep information about the mobile phone-monitoring boxes from the public against which they are used. The Intercept has obtained several Harris instruction manuals spanning roughly 200 pages and meticulously detailing how to create a cellular surveillance dragnet.

Harris has fought to keep its surveillance equipment, which carries price tags in the low six figures, hidden from both privacy activists and the general public, arguing that information about the gear could help criminals. Accordingly, an older Stingray manual released under the Freedom of Information Act to news website last year was almost completely redacted. So too have law enforcement agencies at every level, across the country, evaded almost all attempts to learn how and why these extremely powerful tools are being used — though court battles have made it clear Stingrays are often deployed without any warrant. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department alone has snooped via Stingray, sans warrant, over 300 times.

Richard Tynan, a technologist with Privacy International, told The Intercept that the “manuals released today offer the most up-to-date view on the operation of” Stingrays and similar cellular surveillance devices, with powerful capabilities that threaten civil liberties, communications infrastructure, and potentially national security. He noted that the documents show the “Stingray II” device can impersonate four cellular communications towers at once, monitoring up to four cellular provider networks simultaneously, and with an add-on can operate on so-called 2G, 3G, and 4G networks simultaneously.

“There really isn’t any place for innocent people to hide from a device such as this,” Tynan wrote in an email.

“As more of our infrastructure, homes, environment, and transportation are connected wirelessly to the internet, such technologies really do pose a massive risk to public safety and security.”
And the Harris software isn’t just extremely powerful, Tynan added, but relatively simple, providing any law enforcement agent with a modicum of computer literacy the ability to spy on large groups of people:

The ease with which the StingRay II can be used is quite striking and there do not seem to be any technical safeguards against misuse. … It also allows the operator to configure virtually every aspect of the operation of the fake cell tower. … The Gemini platform also allows for the logging and analysis of data to and from the network and “Once a message to/from any active subscriber in the Subscriber list is detected, Gemini will notify the user.” How many innocent communications of the public are analyzed during this process?

Tynan also raised questions about the extent to which Stingrays may be disrupting the communications infrastructure, including existing cellular towers.

Harris declined to comment. In a 2014 letter to the Federal Communications Commission, the company argued that if the owner’s manuals were released under the Freedom of Information Act, this would “harm Harris’s competitive interests” and “criminals and terrorist[s] would have access to information that would allow them to build countermeasures.” But Stingrays are known for spying on low-level marijuana dealers and other domestic targets, not al Qaeda; as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jennifer Lynch said in December, “I am not aware of any case in which a police agency has used a cell-site simulator to find a terrorist.” Meanwhile, it is already publicly known that the NSA uses Stingray-like devices to locate suspected terrorists as part of a system known as Gilgamesh. Nathan Wessler, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Intercept that “when the most likely ‘countermeasure’ is someone turning their phone off or leaving it at home, it is hard to understand how public release of a manual like this could cause harm.” And furthermore, said Wessler, “It is in the public interest to understand the general capabilities of this technology, so that lawmakers and judges can exercise appropriate oversight and protect people’s privacy rights.”

The documents described and linked below, instruction manuals for the software used by Stingray operators, were provided to The Intercept as part of a larger cache believed to have originated with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Two of them contain a “distribution warning” saying they contain “Proprietary Information and the release of this document and the information contained herein is prohibited to the fullest extent allowable by law.”

Although “Stingray” has become a catch-all name for devices of its kind, often referred to as “IMSI catchers,” the manuals include instructions for a range of other Harris surveillance boxes, including the Hailstorm, ArrowHead, AmberJack, and KingFish. They make clear the capability of those devices and the Stingray II to spy on cellphones by, at minimum, tracking their connection to the simulated tower, information about their location, and certain “over the air” electronic messages sent to and from them. Wessler added that parts of the manuals make specific reference to permanently storing this data, something that American law enforcement has denied doing in the past.
One piece of Windows software used to control Harris’s spy boxes, software that appears to be sold under the name “Gemini,” allows police to track phones across 2G, 3G, and LTE networks. Another Harris app, “iDen Controller,” provides a litany of fine-grained options for tracking phones. A law enforcement agent using these pieces of software along with Harris hardware could not only track a large number of phones as they moved throughout a city but could also apply nicknames to certain phones to keep track of them in the future. The manual describing how to operate iDEN, the lengthiest document of the four at 156 pages, uses an example of a target (called a “subscriber”) tagged alternately as Green Boy and Green Ben:
documents also make clear just how easy it is to execute a bulk surveillance regime from the trunk of a car: A Gemini “Quick Start Guide,” which runs to 54 pages, contains an entire chapter on logging, which “enables the user to listen and log over the air messages that are being transmitted between the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) and the Mobile Subscriber (MS).” It’s not clear exactly what sort of metadata or content would be captured in such logging. The “user” here, of course, is a police officer.
In order to maintain an uninterrupted connection to a target’s phone, the Harris software also offers the option of intentionally degrading (or “redirecting”) someone’s phone onto an inferior network, for example, knocking a connection from LTE to 2G:
A video of the Gemini software installed on a personal computer, obtained by The Intercept and embedded below, provides not only an extensive demonstration of the app but also underlines how accessible the mass surveillance code can be: Installing a complete warrantless surveillance suite is no more complicated than installing Skype. Indeed, software such as Photoshop or Microsoft Office, which require a registration key or some other proof of ownership, are more strictly controlled by their makers than software designed for cellular interception.

“While this device is being discussed in the context of U.S. law enforcement,” said Tynan, “this could be used by foreign agents against the U.S. public and administration. It is no longer acceptable for our phones and mobile networks to be exploited in such an invasive and indiscriminate way.”

Documents published with this article:

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:21 am

Cell-Site Simulators/IMSI Catchers

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Cell-site simulators, also known as Stingrays or IMSI catchers, are devices that masquerade as legitimate cell-phone towers, tricking phones within a certain radius into connecting to the device rather than a tower.

Cell-site simulators operate by conducting a general search of all cell phones within the device’s radius, in violation of basic constitutional protections. Law enforcement use cell-site simulators to pinpoint the location of phones with greater accuracy than phone companies. Cell-site simulators can also log IMSI numbers (unique identifying numbers) of all of the mobile devices within a given area. Some cell-site simulators may have advanced features allowing law enforcement to intercept communications or even alter the content of communications.

How Cell-Site Simulators Work
Cellular devices connect to cell sites with the strongest signals. To exploit this, cell-site simulators broadcast signals that are either stronger than the legitimate cell sites around them, or are made to appear stronger. This forces devices to disconnect from their service providers’ cell sites and to instead establish a new connection with the cell-site simulator. Cell-site simulators also have passive capabilities, such as identifying legitimate cell sites and mapping out their coverage areas.

It is difficult for a layperson to know whether or not their phone has been accessed by a cell-site simulator. Apps for identifying the use of cell-site simulators, such as SnoopSnitch, may not be verifiably accurate. Security researchers at the University of Washington have designed a system to measure the use of cell-site simulators across Seattle. There are other researchers, including those at EFF, looking into this further.

What Kinds of Data Cell-Site Simulators Collect

Data collected by cell-site simulators can reveal intensely personal information about anyone who carries a phone, whether or not they have ever been suspected of a crime.
Once cellular devices have connected with a cell-site simulator, it can determine your location and access identifying data such as IMSI or ESN numbers directly from your mobile device. It can also intercept metadata (such as information about calls made and the amount of time on each call), the content of unencrypted phone calls and text messages and data usage (such as websites visited). Additionally, marketing material indicates that they can be configured to divert calls and text messages, edit messages, and even spoof the identity of a caller in text messages and calls.

How Law Enforcement Uses Cell-Site Simulators

Police can use cell-site simulators to try to find a suspect when they already know their phone’s identifying information, or to scoop up data on anyone in a specific area. Some cell-site simulators are small enough to fit in a police cruiser, allowing law enforcement officers to drive to multiple locations, capturing from every mobile device in a given area—in some cases up to 10,000 phones at a time. These indiscriminate, dragnet searches include phones located in traditionally protected private spaces, such as homes and doctors’ offices.

Law enforcement officers have used information from cell-site simulators to investigate major and minor crimes and civil offenses. Baltimore Police, for example, have used their devices for a wide variety of purposes, ranging from tracking a kidnapper to trying to locate a man who took his wife’s phone during an argument (and later returned it to her). In one case, Annapolis Police used a cell-site simulator to investigate a robbery involving $56 worth of submarine sandwiches and chicken wings. In Detroit, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement used a cell-site simulator to locate and arrest an undocumented immigrant.

Cell-site simulators are used by the FBI, DEA, NSA, Secret Service, and ICE, as well as the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and National Guard. U.S. Marshals and the FBI have attached cell-site simulators to airplanes to track suspects, gathering massive amounts of data about many innocent people in the process. The Texas Observer also uncovered airborne cell-site simulators in use by the Texas National Guard.

A recent Congressional Oversight Committee report called on Congress to pass laws requiring a warrant before using cell-site simulators. Some states, such as California, already require a warrant, except in emergency situations.

Who Sells Cell-site Simulators

Harris Corporation is the most prevalent company providing cell-site simulators to law enforcement. Their Stingray product has become the catchphrase for these devices, but they have subsequently introduced other models, such as Hailstorm, ArrowHead, AmberJack, and KingFish. Digital Receiver Technology, a division of Boeing, is also a common supplier of the technology, often referred to as “dirtboxes.”

Other sellers of cell-site simulators include Atos, Rayzone, Martone Radio Technology, Septier Communication, PKI Electronic Intelligence, Datong (Seven Technologies Group), Ability Computers and Software Industries, Gamma Group, Rohde & Schwarz, Meganet Corporation. Manufacturers Septier and Gamma GSM both provide information on what the devices can capture. The Intercept published a secret, internal U.S. government catalogue of various cellphone surveillance devices, as well as an older cell-site simulator manual made available through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Threats Posed by Cell-Site Simulators

Cell-site simulators invade the privacy of everyone who happens to be in a given area, regardless of the fact that the vast majority have not been accused of committing a crime.

The use of cell-site simulators have been shrouded in government secrecy. Police have used cell-site simulators to track location data without a warrant, by deceptively obtaining “pen register” orders from courts without explaining the true nature of the surveillance. In Baltimore, a judge concluded that law enforcement had intentionally withheld the information from the defense, in violation of their legal disclosure obligations. For a while, police departments tried to keep the use of cell-site simulators secret from not just the public but also the court system, withholding information from defense attorneys and judges—likely due to non-disclosure agreements with Harris Corporation. Prosecutors haveaccepted plea deals to hide their use of cell-site simulators and have evendropped cases rather than revealing information about their use of the technology. U.S. Marshalls havedriven files hundreds of miles to thwart public records requests. Police have tried to keep information secret in Sarasota, Florida, Tacoma, Washington, Baltimore, Maryland, and St. Louis, Missouri.

In light of this secrecy, the FBI told police officers to recreate evidence from the devices, according to a document obtained by the nonprofit investigative journalism outlet Oklahoma Watch.

Cell-site simulators often disrupt cell phone communications within as much as a500-meter radius of the device, interrupting important communications and even emergency phone calls. Cell-site simulators have been shown to disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. In Baltimore, the use of cell-site simulators disproportionately impacted African-American communities, according to a map included in an FCC complaint that overlaid where Baltimore Police were using stingrays over census data on the city’s black population.

Cell-site simulators rely on a vulnerability in our communications system that the government should help fix rather than exploit.

EFF’s Work on Cell-Site Simulators

For the reasons above, EFF opposes police use of cell site simulators. Insofar as law enforcement agencies are using cell-site simulators in criminal investigations, EFF argues that use should be limited in the following ways:
1.Law enforcement should obtain individualized warrants based on probable cause;
2.Cell-site simulators should only be used for serious, violent crimes;
3.Cell-site simulators should only be used for identifying location;
4.Law enforcement must minimize the collection of data from people who are not the targets of the investigation.


We filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to expose and shine light on the U.S. Marshals Service’s use of cell-site simulators on planes.

Along with the ACLU and ACLU of Maryland, we filed an amicus brief in the first case in the country where a judge threw out evidence obtained as a result of using a cell-site simulator without a warrant.

We filed an amicus brief, along with the ACLU, pointing a court to facts indicating that the Milwaukee Police Department secretly used a cell-site simulator to locate a defendant through his cell phone without a warrant in U.S. vs. Damian Patrick. (The government then admitted to having used it.)


We were original co-sponsors of the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA), along with the ACLU and the California Newspaper Publisher Association. This bill requires California police to get a warrant before using a cell-site simulator. Any evidence obtained from a cell-site simulator without a warrant is inadmissible in court.

EFF supported S.B. 741, which requires transparency measures regarding the use of cell-site simulators. We are in the process of collecting these policies.

Further Research

EFF has been investigating the use of cell-site simulators against Water Protectors and their allies at the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. We are currently doing further research on the technical aspects of cell-site simulators.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:22 pm

Luke Rosiak Wrecks Democrats For Covering Up Imran Awan Scandal

The Daily Caller | 9:00 AM 04/04/2018

Daily Caller News Foundation investigative reporter Luke Rosiak said Congress was hacked during the Imran Awan IT scandal and thinks Democrats are responsible, Tuesday on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“The House policy says if you’re going to give someone super user permissions on the House network, meaning they can read all of the members emails, you’ve got to do a background check,” Rosiak said. “But they hired this guy Imran Awan and his brother, and soon they brought other relatives, too. And these guys had criminal records, they had a dozen lawsuits, they had ties to foreign officials, and they never even checked their backgrounds.”

“In other words, Congress was hacked,” Rosiak continued. “You never heard about this. This is a shocking revelation.”


“These are the Democrats that are constantly lecturing us about cyber security,” he added. “They basically brought the fox into the hen house and the worst happened. Congress was hacked.”

Rosiak accused Democrats of trying to sweep the story under the rug and claimed they knowingly withheld information from the public.

“This is something that the Democrats basically covered up,” Rosiak said. “They actually let them stay on the network for four months after the inspector general informed them of unauthorized access being made. So you have to think that it comes back to the narrative for Democrats. They don’t actually care about hacking. They have this Russia thing. They want it to keep going.”

“It was an inconvenient truth that Congress was hacked by Pakistanis at the same time. And so they withheld it from the public and there was a lot of cover-ups in the 2016 election, but this is the most successful one.”

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DeSantis: Oversight Committee Should Investigate Debbie Wasserman Schultz, IT/Awan Brothers Scandal

Posted By Tim HainsOn Date April 3, 2018

Rep. Ron DeSantis speaks with FBN's Maria Bartiromo and FOX News analyst Jason Chaffetz about Imran Awan, a Pakistani IT technician who worked for more than 40 House Democrats. He is accused of committing severe cyber breaches and drawing unusually high salaries for his relatives.

About the accusations, DeSantis said: "As you know, Jason, guys like me and even you as the chairman, we don't just investigate what we want to. I mean, this goes through the leadership. It needs to be approved. And I think the House leadership has not wanted any of us to get involved with investigating this. But the number of issues that are outstanding from this are really, really troubling."

"Some of the Awan family were getting paid a six-figure salary and not even showing up. One of the guys was working at McDonald's," he said.

"They had this kind of fake car rental outfit. They're going back and forth to Pakistan. Imran Awan had associations with a Hezbollah-linked figure in Iraq. They're sending money overseas," he added.

"And yet this is all just going on, and no one was asking questions."

He concluded: "You also have to look at the conduct of these Democratic members of the Congress. Why did they let this happen? Was there some underlying reason why the Awans were basically given free rein to run a scheme inside the Congress where they're getting paid for no-show jobs and they have basically, unadulterated access to these members' servers?"

CHAFFETZ: Hey, it's Jason Chaffetz. Ron Desantis and I served on two committees together. And it's good to see you and chat with you.

Earlier we spoke with a "Daily Caller" reporter about the scandal on the IT side there in the house of 44 Democrats bypassing a background check, and consequently a major breach of data. Is the oversight committee, is anything happening in Congress to hold Debbie Wasserman Schultz accountable on this?

DESANTIS: Oh, I wish the oversight committee were looking at it. This is something that I think needs to be dealt with. I've requested the ability to do that.

As you know, Jason, guys like me and even you as the chairman, we don't just investigate what we want to. I mean, this goes through the leadership. It needs to be approved. And I think the House leadership has not wanted any of us to get involved with investigating this.

But the number of issues that are outstanding from this are really, really troubling. I mean the background checks -- these guys had huge red flags. You had some of the Awan family were getting paid six-figure salary and not even showing up. One of the guys was working at McDonald's.

They had this kind of fake car rental outfit. They're going back and forth to Pakistan. Imran Awan had associations with a Hezbollah-linked figure in Iraq. They're sending money overseas.

And yet this is all just going on, and no one was asking questions. And so, yes, I think that you obviously need to figure out what damage was done by the Awans. We know there was a massive data breach. What extent did that happen? Was it tied in with any nefarious influences overseas?

You also have to look at the conduct of these Democratic members of the Congress. Why did they let this happen? Was there some underlying reason why the Awans were basically given free rein to run a scheme inside the Congress where they're getting paid for no-show jobs and they have basically, unadulterated access to these members' servers?

BARTIROMO: Right. One of the guys was 20 years old, and his starting salary was $165,000. Who makes that? I mean -- and now it happened, the "Daily Caller" investigative reporter Luke Rosiak was just with us and he said maybe these guys have something on the congressional Democrats.

Here's what he said about these new developments this morning. Watch this.

LUKE ROSIAK, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, "THE DAILY CALLER": Why are the members ignoring this? I mean this is the biggest story that you never hear about. It's a hack on the Congress by foreigners, and the Democrats didn't care about it, they didn't stop it.

These are the same people who are talking constantly about cyber breaches in Russia, and if you care about one, you've got to care about the other. Are members concerned are they being blackmailed? Are members concerned that if they speak out about this guy they testify against these guys and then lock them up.

These guys have something on them.

BARTIROMO: what do you think about this -- Congressman? Why? Do you have any idea why these guys are given all this leeway?

DESANTIS: There is no good explanation or at least no obviously innocent explanation for this. This just should not have happened, and the amount of information that was accessed is really, really troubling. Incidentally too, I mean, you know, we talk about some of the issues that Congress is dealing with about, you know, sexual harassment, treatment of women. Well, Imran Awan, he was involved with all kinds of stuff that was really, really bad in his personal life. These are things that would have been discovered had they done the proper background investigation.

And so this thing really, really stinks. There is an ongoing criminal probe, and Awan's been indicted. We've gotten a couple of briefings from the Justice Department, but we haven't gotten enough information to really know whether they're really significantly following through on all the different angles.

I mean you could just hit Awan on some minor charge and then move on. Or you can say how does this play in to this broader issue in the Congress, which members may have been culpable, and are you really going to do a serious investigation?

I can't tell you that that investigation is going on. I think it should, I wish it were. But I don't know for a fact that it is.

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‘We Should Vet Everybody’ — Donna Brazile Speaks Out On The Imran Awan Scandal And Debbie Wasserman Schultz Will NOT Like It

The Daily Caller | 9:21 AM 04/04/2018

Former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile said Democrats should have worked harder to vet former congressional aide Imran Awan before he was granted access to the House information technology network.

“The House investigation — I haven’t read the full report but I believe everyone should be vetted,” Brazile said Wednesday on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria.” “No, I don’t believe those individuals had anything to do with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.”

“I would I hope that before director [Robert] Mueller finishes his investigation we get to the bottom of it. We know that there was Russian interference in our election system. I want to figure out who committed this crime and they should be brought to justice,” Brazile added.


Host Maria Bartiromo clarified special counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation is a separate case from the Awan brothers and asked Brazile if she ever worked directly with Iwan.

“No,” Brazile replied. “They worked I believe in the House of Representatives. I haven’t worked on the hill since 1999. So 2000 when I left, so no, I don’t know anything about that — that series of what I call in many ways, it was a management failure. It was bad. We should vet everybody not just Democratic staffers. Every staffer who works for the House of Representatives or the United States Senate. Anybody should be vetted.”

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:27 am

Congress And Wasserman Schultz Negligent For Allowing Hacking Suspects Continued Access, Expert Says

The Daily Caller | 12:27 AM 04/04/2018

A publication for IT security professionals says House leaders of both parties were negligent and in violation of basic IT protocol by allowing Imran Awan and his family to continue in their roles as server administrators for four months despite knowing they were suspected of serious misconduct by the House Inspector General.

“The lack of concern and perspective on the potential risks posed by Imran Awan is alarming,” an article in SearchSecurity says. “This case is an example of negligence trumping security and, worse yet, common sense. Awan’s alleged activities and the way many handled themselves, from the hiring to the response in the wake of the investigation, should concern us all.”

Forty-four House Democrats employed the Pakistani-born Imran Awan and his family in a position where they could read all the emails and files of one in five Democratic congressmen.

The author, cybersecurity expert Kevin McDonald of Alvaka Networks, especially faults the judgement of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who kept Imran on her payroll for an additional six months after House leadership banned him from the network. He also questions her claim the IT aide was somehow providing tech services without ever connecting to the House network.

“When challenged about why she allowed a person under criminal investigation to continue to access the building — where computers are stored and used — to assist with IT issues, Wasserman Schultz defended her actions by telling reporters that IT admins could assist with issues without having network access, and that IT support included other elements besides the network, such as phones, printers and software,” the article reads.

Imran did, in fact, use his continued access to the building to apparently purchased by Wasserman Schultz’s office, which he left in a phone booth April 6, 2017, according to a Capitol Police report.

Committee on House Administration leaders Republican Gregg Harper and Democrat Bob Brady learned the Awan family was suspected of equipment-theft in April 2016 but did not suspend their network access, instead tasking the House Office of Inspector General (IG) with an investigation, according to an IG presentation.

The misconduct extended beyond potential theft of equipment to cybersecurity issues, according to the IG. It presented a briefing in September 2016 that alleged Imran and family members were logging into servers of offices they did not work for thousands of times and warned of indications a “server is being used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removing information.” The briefing went to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Harper and Brady.

“Despite an ongoing investigation into potential misconduct, these members of the House IT staff were allowed to continue working as administrators for nearly a year,” McDonald wrote.

The aides should have immediately been placed on a paid suspension, he continued. “If issues or questions arise about their conduct, they should have their access immediately revoked until an investigation can be completed. There is no room for leniency or error until the concerns are alleviated.”

McDonald pointed out the dangers rogue IT aides pose. “They can add programs designed to spy on users, damage systems or data, redirect data flows and communications, or fully reproduce every bit of data contained on the systems they control. They can pretend to be a user and take action as if they are that user.”

The Awans were allegedly logging in, using members of Congress’s personal usernames, according to the IG.

The security professional wrote: “I have been involved in investigations where data was deleted, information was exfiltrated, money was stolen and clients were locked out of their own systems, and even extorted by staffers with information they gained from systems access. This means that the utmost care must be taken in selecting these technology professionals, determining their access and monitoring their behaviors.”

“In particular, sensitive systems in government, defense and finance should be accessed and supported only by those with impeccable work history, experience, knowledge and character,” he continued.

The Administration Committee requires background checks for IT aides, but its policy includes a loophole that allows other members to vouch for them in lieu of the recommended practice of a Capitol Police background check.The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Monday the IG report says the aides “have not been vetted (e.g. background checks),” meaning every member waived background checks for the Awans.

House officials finally banned the Awans from the House network on Feb. 2, 2017. Wasserman Schultz still kept him on staff, claiming the IT aide was somehow providing tech assistance without touching the network.

“Imran Awan was allowed to continue working as an IT admin for several months with restricted network access despite obvious red flags,” McDonald lamented.

“Let’s break it down from an IT security perspective. First, Wasserman Schultz implies that allowing someone under criminal investigation to remain in proximity to sensitive computers and the network equipment connected to it is no big deal. Second, she goes on to say that, basically, phones, printers, the website and software are nothing to worry about, despite the fact that malware placed on any of the above can lead to systems’ access. Even without gaining system access, key loggers and other data capture malware can, in fact, steal copies of everything a House member or staffer is doing.”

Though the IG report says server logs show “unauthorized access,” the Awans have not been charged with hacking. Democrats, as the victims of the alleged wrongdoing, have been reticent to press charges against the Awans, a House source told TheDNCF. Democrats have, in turn, cited the lack of cybersecurity charges to dismiss the issue.

“Regardless of whether Awan is found guilty, the response from members of Congress should be concerning,” McDonald wrote. “Even if it does not rise to the level of espionage, it should be a massive wakeup call about who is being allowed to access congressional IT systems and other sensitive government computers.”

Imran and his wife were charged in July with felonies for allegedly cashing out their congressional retirement account under false pretenses before attempting to leave the country.

The Administration Committee hasn’t changed the policy surrounding House information security nor answered basic questions about the unauthorized access.

“There should be a top-down investigation into the hiring, monitoring and termination practices of Congressional members’ IT staff, and new protocols need to be instituted,” McDonald wrote.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:49 am

ISRO loses contact with new communications satellite

Ground controllers have lost contact with an Indian communications satellite launched last week, and Indian news reports suggest engineers believe the spacecraft’s power system is at fault.

The GSAT 6A communications satellite completed two orbital adjustment maneuvers following its launch Thursday aboard India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, but engineers at the mission control center in Hassan, India, suddenly lost contact with the spacecraft Saturday.

The Indian Space Research Organization confirmed Sunday that GSAT 6A ran into trouble shortly after a second major orbit-raising burn by the satellite’s main engine.

“Efforts are underway to establish the link with the satellite,” ISRO said in a statement.

The GSLV Mk.2 rocket successfully placed the GSAT 6A spacecraft into a preliminary elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit that took the satellite as close as 92 miles (149 kilometers) from Earth to as far as around 22,685 miles (36,508 kilometers).

ISRO managers said after Thursday’s launch that GSAT 6A extended its solar panels and started generating its own electricity.
GSAT 6A’s final operating orbit was planned to be at an altitude of nearly 22,300 miles (35,800 kilometers) over the equator, where the laws of astrodynamics allow a satellite to move in its orbit at the same speed of Earth’s rotation. Such geosynchronous orbits are ideal for most large data relay and television broadcast satellites.

The satellite’s flight plan called for three burns of its on-board engine to circularize its orbit at geosynchronous altitude, and shift GSAT 6A’s orbital track from one that oscillated between 20.7 degrees north and south latitude, to a position directly over the equator.

ISRO officials said the first two burns went according to plan, but controllers lost communications with GSAT 6A after the second maneuver.

K. Sivan, ISRO’s chairman, told the Time of India newspaper that the satellite should have reset and entered a “safe mode” if it encountered a problem. Controllers should have been able to establish communications with GSAT 6A if it was in safe mode.

The Times of India reported the problem could be related to GSAT 6A’s power system, and engineers were still trying to contact the satellite Tuesday.

GSAT 6A is currently flying in an elongated orbit ranging between around 16,150 miles (26,000 miles) and approximately 22,600 miles (36,370 kilometers), with its track tilted 3.3 degrees to the equator.

A third engine burn was planned to finish circularizing GSAT 6A’s orbit.

Once GSAT 6A arrived in its final orbit, officials planned to park the satellite along the equator at 83 degrees east longitude, unfurl a 20-foot (6-meter) S-band antenna, and complete post-launch checkouts before entering operational service.

Valued at more than $41 million, GSAT 6A was designed for a 10-year mission providing communications services for remote users, including Indian government agencies and the Indian military. Its sister satellite, GSAT 6, launched in August 2015.

“These two satellites combined are going to provide a platform for development of advanced technologies, such as unfurlable antennas, hand-held devices and ground networks for two-way point-to-point satellite communications,” Sivan said in remarks following Thursday’s launch.

India is planning a busy year of launches, a pace that is set to continue as soon as April 12 with the liftoff of a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle with an Indian navigation satellite.

A broadband communications satellite — India’s most powerful telecom spacecraft — is set for launch in May on a European Ariane 5 rocket. India’s Chandrayaan 2 lunar rover is also scheduled for liftoff on a GSLV Mk.2 rocket before the end of the year.

Although GSAT 6A’s fate remains unknown, it is the second Indian space mission in less than a year to suffer a major problem.

India lost the IRNSS 1H navigation satellite during a failed PSLV flight in August 2017. The spacecraft was stranded on its launcher when the PSLV’s payload shroud failed to jettison a few minutes after liftoff.

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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I don't have any idea what's going on with this bird (satellite). Maybe, it's truly screwed up. But, it reminds me of a satellite that was "lost" in the c 1990s.

I don't remember who was said to have owned the bird, I think it was said to be a very expensive commercial broadcast satellite at the time. This was for the media; In reality it was owned by the NSA or the NRO.

The launch went as planned. It made several orbits and shut down. This was all over the media because, it was said to have been a very expensive project and would cost the insurance co. many millions and, pre-sold media contracts were involved. The media orchestration was amazing.

So, news flash... a few days later, the owners woke the bird up and were testing it. Everything looked good. The owners were saved, the insurance co. was relieved. So now, they were prepared to fire the positioning engines to put the bird in it's home orbit. They fire the engines and move it into orbit, but.. something goes wrong, and it is out of control, with one or more engines running. The bird was on it's way into deep space and out of control. All was again lost. This was covered by the national media for several days.

Well, the story was a complete falsehood. A huge whopper.

In reality, the mission was going as planned. The satellite, was actually a deep space relay bird. It was positioned in a deep space orbit.

Some background: We have birds that can look into various countries/areas of interest. When these birds are collecting information, it is often sent to earth, real time. If the bird is over a territory where another country has a listening station, that station can look at the signal and see what we found that's so interesting. If we were looking at a bunch of Russian tanks, that the Russians thought couldn't be seen, the Russians would see from our imagery, that we know about them. So, they move them and hide them better.

Back to the deep space relay bird. So, our bird that's looking at the tanks, sends its signal to the deep space relay bird. The relay bird waits until it's over our station in Pine Gap Australia, where the Russians can't capture the signal, and sends it down. All stealth.

This operation was run from the Blue Cube at Onizuka AF Station in California. I had a friend who was a cryptographer on that project, working in the Cube. The whole thing was going really well, until, I think it was Walker, a spy in the US Navy, sold it out to the Russians. I don't remember the date.

This Indian satellite story reminds me of the relay sat story. Just a guess. I have no way to know.
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:57 am

Mossad - The World's Most
Efficient Killing Machine
By Gordon Thomas

Standing on a canteen table in down-town Tel Aviv, Israel's spymaster studied the men and women of Mossad. In the few weeks since taking over Mossad, Meir Dagan knew he already commanded something his recent predecessors never managed. Respect. Barely raising his voice he spoke. "When I was fighting in Lebanon, I witnessed the aftermath of a family feud. The patriarch's head had been split open, his brain on the floor. Around him lay his wife and some of his children. All dead. Before I could do anything, one of the murderers scooped up a handful of brain and swallowed it. This is how you will all now operate. Otherwise someone will eat your brain." His every word held them in thrall - even if they sent a shudder through some of his listeners, hardened as they were. In the canteen were those who had killed many times already. Killing enemies who could not be brought to trial because they were hidden deep inside Israel's Arab neighbours. Only Mossad could find and kill them. Rafi Eitan, the legendary former Operations Chief of Mossad told me when we sat together in his living room in a north Tel Aviv suburb: "I always tried to kill when I could see the whites of a person's eyes. So I could see the fear. Smell it on his breath. Sometimes I used my hands. A knife, or a silenced gun. I never felt a moment's regret over a killing." Meir Amit, when he had been director of Mossad, later insisted "we are like the official hangman or the doctor on Death Row who administers the lethal injection. Our actions are all endorsed by the State of Israel. When Mossad kills it is not breaking the law. It is fulfilling a sentence sanctioned by the prime minister of the day". We spoke as he walked me through Mossad's own unique memorial in Tel Aviv to the dead - a concrete maze shaped in the form of a brain. Each name engraved on the concrete was of an agent who had been killed while trying to destroy Israel's enemies. Some of those agents had one thing in common. Amit had sent them to their deaths. "We did all we could to protect them. We trained them better than any other secret service. Sometimes, out on a mission, the dice is against you. But there will always be brave men ready to roll the dice," he said. Dagan, his listeners in the canteen knew, was cast in the same mould. He would protect them with every means he knew - legal or illegal. He would allow them to use proscribed nerve toxins. Dum-dum bullets. Ways of killing that not even the Mafia, the former KGB or China's secret service use. But he would not hesitate to expose them to death - if it was for the greater good of Israel. That was the deal those in the canteen had accepted when they were recruited. They, too, were ready to roll the dice. Dagan, only the tenth man to head Mossad and bear the title of memune - "first among equals in Hebrew" - reminded his listeners sat on their plastic-form chairs what Meir Amit had once said. Then Dagan added: "I am here to tell you those days are back. The dice is ready to roll." Dagan jumped down from the table and walked out of the canteen in total silence. Only then did the applause start. Shortly afterwards came the Mombasa massacre of eleven days ago. An explosive-laden land-cruiser drove into the reception area of the island's Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel. Fifteen people died and 80 were seriously injured. Two shoulder-fired missiles nearly downed an Israeli passenger plane bringing tourists back to Tel Aviv from Kenya. Two hundred and seventy-five barely missed a Lockerbie-style death. Meir Dagan immediately suspected it was the work of Osama bin-Laden's al-Quaeda and that the missiles had come from Iraq's arsenal. But to suspect and prove would be the greatest challenge Mossad had faced since the War on Terrorism was launched by President Bush. "Mossad would not be operating in its own backyard against suicide bombers. It would be working 1,500 miles away in a hostile environment. There would only be lip-service support from the authorities on the ground. Other intelligence services would be trawling through the evidence looking for clues that would fit their agendas. The CIA for a fix on bin-Laden. MI6 for a lead back to a threat to Britain. The same for the Germans," a senior intelligence man in Tel Aviv told me. But for Meir Dagan it was time to roll the dice. Every person with proven field experience was on a plane to Kenya within an hour of the massacre. They would sift and search the wreckage, using sophisticated equipment to do so. Detectors that could detect a sliver of metal deep inside a corpse - metal that would show where the explosives came from. And much else. The team who would "roll the dice" travelled separately - as they always did. They had their own aircraft, their own pilots. They were the men and women of kidon, Mossad's ultra-secret assassination unit. Their sole job in Mombasa was to find and kill the perpetrators of the massacre: those behind the three bombers who had gone to their deaths laughing. The kidon would kill the planners of the massacre after they had traced them to their lair - wherever it was. It might take months - as it had with avenging the murder of the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. But the kidon would find the men behind the Mombasa outrage and kill them. They would use a small laboratory of poisons, sealed in vials until the moment came to strike. They had long and short-blade knives. Piano wire to strangle. Explosives no bigger than a throat lozenge capable fo blowing off a person's head. An arsenal of guns: short-barrel pistols, sniper rifles with a mile killing range. The team chosen to go to Mombasa had local language skills. They could pass for Arabs or for Indian traders. Between them, they spoke Swahili and other dialects. They dressed the part; they looked the part. They also understood the closed language of their world. They had learned how to memorise fibres - precise physical descriptions of people. Neviof , how to break into an office, a bedroom, or any other given target and plant listening bugs - or a bomb. Masluh, the skill of shaking off a tail. The women had learned how to use their sex. To be ever ready to sleep with someone to obtain vital information. The link between intelligence work and sexual entrapment is as old as spying itself. Meir Amit had said when he was Mossad's chief: "Sex is a woman's weapon. Pillow talk is not a problem for her. But it takes a special kind of courage. It is not just sleeping with an enemy. It is to obtain information." The kidon team had passed the two years course at the Mossad training school at Henzelia, near Tel Aviv. They had been sent to a special camp in the Negev desert. There they had learned to kill. "They are taught how to use the weapon appropriate for the target. Strangulation with a cheese-cutter if the victim is to be killed at night. A handgun fitted with a silencer. A nerve agent delivered by an aerosol or injection," explained Victor Ostrovsky, a former member of kidon. Ostrovsky, who today lives in Arizona, will not say who he has killed. But he quit Mossad - saying he could not "stomach the way they did things". My sources in Mossad say he is "long past his sell-by date. We do things differently now". And, by all accounts, more ruthlessly. The man known to Mossad as "The Engineer" was a top Hamas bomb-maker. He lived on the West Bank, protected by gunmen. One day he received a visitor - a distant cousin from Gaza. The young man spoke like so many from that hotbed of Islamic fanaticism. Over mint tea, the two men spoke far into the evening. Finally, The Engineer invited his guest to stay over. The offer was accepted. The youth asked if he could use The Engineer's mobile phone to call his own family to say they should not worry. He asked if he could make the call from outside the house to improve reception. The Engineer nodded. The call over, the two men fell asleep on the floor. Next day, the youth left to return to Gaza. That morning, The Engineer received a call on the mobile. As he put the phone to his mouth and started to speak, his head was blown off. The youth had been recruited by Mossad to plant a powerful explosive inside the phone. The detonation signal had come from a kidon half a mile away. No one had seen him arrive. No one saw him go. Over the past years, Mossad have killed scores of Israel's enemies by such methods. "We try to never use the same method twice. Our technicians spend all their time devising new ways to kill," a Mossad source told me last week. Their roll-call of Mission Successful includes; Fathi Shkaki, the leader of Islamic Jihad, and Gerald Bull, the rogue Canadian investor of Saddam's supergun. The usual composition of a hit team is four. One is the "target locator". His task is to keep tabs on the victim's movements. Another is the "transporter", to get the team safely away from the killing area. The remaining two men perform the execution. In the case of Gerald Bull they knocked on his front door late in the evening. The ballistic expert had just moved in. He had been assured he was safe by his Iraqi minders. But they had been lured away by some of the kidon back-up team. These are known as sayanim - the Hebrew word for helpers. Throughout the world there are tens of thousands. Each has been carefully recruited to provide the kind of help that the kidon unit required to kill Bull. The assassination was simple. Both kidon wore FedEx courier uniforms. One carried a package. The other knocked on the door. When Bull opened it, the package was thrust at him. As he stepped back he was shot - once in the forehead and once in the throat. He flew backwards into the hall. The package was retrieved, the door closed behind the dead Bull. Both men calmly walked away to where the "transporter" was waiting. In hours, the team was back in Tel Aviv. Preparation for an assassination can take weeks, even months. The hit team, once selected, is moved to a Mossad safe house, one of many in Israel. Eli Cohen, a former Mossad agent, told me that "a safe house looks like it was furnished from a car boot sale". It was in one such safe house that the plan to assassinate Saddam Hussein was prepared. It was elaborate even by Mossad standards. It revolved around killing Saddam during a visit to one of his mistresses. Mossad agents in Baghdad had discovered that the woman, the widow of a serving Iraqi officer who had died mysteriously, would be driven from the palace to keep a tryst with Saddam in a desert villa outside the city. Heavily guarded, the villa would be a hard target to hit. But Mossad believed there was a window of opportunity between the time Saddam would land in his helicopter near the villa and enter its well-protected compound. The plan to kill Saddam has long been on Mossad's agenda. But previous attempts had failed due to Saddam's obsession with changing his movements at the last moment. Mossad believed he would not do so this time. "The woman is irresistible," said a report from one of its Baghdad undercover agents. Mossad had scouted an air corridor through which it believed a kidon could be flown in below Iraqi radar. A final rehearsal was held in the Negev desert. Israeli commandos doubled as Saddam and his bodyguards - a party of five. As they landed close to a replica of the villa, the kidon were in position. They were equipped with specially adapted shoulder-firing missiles. But their weapons were to only fire blanks for the rehearsal. In a tragic mistake, one of the missiles had been replaced with a live one. It killed the make-believe Saddam and his bodyguards. The operation was cancelled. But last week Meir Dagan was said to be considering adapting it to once more try and kill Saddam. After eleven days investigation, his teams in Mombasa confirmed the massacre had all the hallmarks of being an Iraqi-sponsored act carried out by al-Quaeda. How and when Mossad will strike against Saddam is, understandably, a closely guarded secret. But an intelligence sources suggested to me that a successful assassination of Saddam could see the looming threat of war recede. "With Saddam out of the way there is no reason to invade Iraq. The people themselves will rise," said the source. Dagan, the Mossad chief who could possible achieve that was born on a train between Russia and Poland. He speaks several languages. He is an action man, working 18 hour days. His private life is simple: he eschews the trappings of power that goes with the job of running MI6 or the CIA. His salary is a fraction of what their directors get. Three months into the job, he is adored by his staff. In the past years, Mossad has experienced many publicised failures, a loss of morale and, worst of all, growing public criticism among its own people. All that Meir Dagan is determined to change. In his open neck shirt and chain store pants and sneakers, Dagan is no James Bond. The only spy fiction he is known to read is John Le Carre - because, he has told friends, he can at least empathise with its hero, Smiley. Meir Dagan is also an avid reader of history of other intelligence services. It is said he knows more about the CIA and MI6 than many of its current employees. He constantly reminds his staff that action cannot wait for certainty. That motive and deception are at the centre of their endeavours. That they must create situations which seek to draw fact out of darkness. For him the art of informed conjecture is an essential weapon. Since Mombasa, Dagan has virtually worked and slept in his office. Its windows look eastwards to the Judean Hills. Beyond are the tribal badlands of Pakistan - where Dagan is convinced Osama bin-Laden is hiding - and the desert of Iraq through which Dagan believes Saddam will try and escape if war starts. The Mossad chief will be waiting. Meantime, he is preoccupied with the latest news from Mombasa - and all those points east where his kidon team are tracking the planners of the outrage. Some have gone to the Philippines. Others to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mossad's scientists and pathologists, as well as field agents, katsas, have combed and bagged the clues from the Paradise hotel disaster area. Every day an El Al plane has flown northwards to Israel with the evidence despite behind-the-scene protests by the Kenyan intelligence service. Mossad agents in Nigeria have provided important details on al-Quaeda in that country. Katsas in South Africa have joined colleagues in Mombasa. From Rome, Malta and Cyprus, other Mossad agents sped down through Africa into the country's fierce heat. Dagan's men are polite to the counter-intelligence officers from the CIA, MI6 and European services. "But these are Israelis who are dead or injured. This is Mossad's job. And everybody had better remember that," said one Mossad source. Mossad has made no friends on the ground. They rarely do. That is their style: go it alone. They believe they know more than anyone else in fighting terrorism. And they may be right. In Tel Aviv, having done all he could for the moment, Meir Dagan waits. The 57 years-old, battle-hardened hero of past wars in Lebanon, in all those places in the Middle East where the alleys have no names, has earned his reputation as a no-holds barred leader. In those days, with a handgun in his pocket and his dog at his heel, he had led from the front. Twice he had been wounded, so that nowadays he sometimes uses a walking stick. He dislikes doing so. He detests any sign of weakness in himself or in others. Dagan is a blunt man, proud and imperious and prepared to stand on his record. He crushed the first Intifada in Gaza in 1971. Two years later he fought in the Yom Kippur War. For him, Mossad, and ultimately Israel, the Mombasa massacre is a test - to show that Mossad is back on centre stage with a vengeance. No other intelligence service has a better history of operations in Central Africa. In the 1960s Mossad drove out the vaunted Chinese Secret Intelligence Service. It stopped Cuba's Fidel Castro exporting his revolution into Africa. It beat the KGB at its own plans to turn the Congo into its playground. It was a dirty and deadly war. A terrorist group ambushed a Mossad katsa in the Congo and fed him to the crocodiles. They filmed his last, threshing moments in the water - and sent the footage to the local Mossad station chief. He retaliated by placing a two-pound bomb under the toilet seat of the terrorist leader. It blew the villa apart. Twelve terrorists died. Mossad built up a relationship with BOSS, the security service of the South African apartheid government. It sent a team to Pretoria to teach BOSS the art of sophisticated methods of interrogation. Israeli instructors showed them the black art of sleep deprivation, hooding, forcing a suspect to stand facing a wall for long hours, and mental tortures such as mock tortures. "The one certainty is that if the Mombasa killers are caught Mossad won't bother with mock executions," said a Mossad source. The methods Mossad uses are often outside the law. They have a unit that specialises in burglary - using far more sophisticated means than those employed by the infamous Watergate burglars. Their ineptitude led to the downfall of President Nixon. They have a special team of scientists working at the Institute for Biological Research in Tel Aviv. They prepare the deadly toxins for the kidon. Where other intelligence agencies no longer allow their agents to kill, kidon have no such restraint. They remain fully licensed to assassinate in the name of Israel once they have routinely convinced the incumbent prime minister of the need to do so. Ariel Sharon needs little convincing. Mossad's assassins routinely witness some of Israel's leading forensic pathologists at work so as to better understand how to make an assassination look like an accident. They learn how a pinprick or small blemish left on a victim's skin can be a give away. They are shown how to ensure against this. It makes them probably the most sophisticated lawfully-approved killers in the world. This morning (Sunday) Meir Dagan, as he has done every day since the Mombasa attack, will awaken from a combat veteran's light sleep. This squat, barrel-chested man will take his customary cold water shower and eat his daily breakfast of natural yogurt, toast spread with honey washed down with several cups of strong black coffee. Next he will study the latest reports from not only East Africa - but from all those areas where his team of hunters have now moved. After briefing the prime minister on the scrambler phone that links Dagan to Ariel Sharon, the memune may spend an hour at an easel in the corner of his office - touching up one of the watercolour paintings which are the only known passion in his life. But like everything else about him, they will remain under lock and key. Just as with his plan to assassinate Saddam Hussein, the first the world will know, if Mossad is successful, will be after it has happened. SENSATIONAL NEW EBOOK NOW AVAILABLE FROM GORDON THOMAS MINDFIELD Documents and details illegal mind control and germ warfare experiments carried out by the CIA on US citizens. It is a shattering account of how the dark side of science collaborated with sheer lunacy to create a chilling tour de force of terror. Based upon impeccable research, it shows how our elected governments lied to the people for over fifty years - and continues to obscure the truth. It is a story of murder, inhuman experiments and torture. It is supported by a wealth of never before published evidence; personal interviews with those doctors involved in the work that mocks their oath to do no harm to their patients. It is also the story of a brave man, William Buckley, the longest serving agent in the CIA, until his own terrible death at the hands of a doctor trained in the techniques the CIA pioneered. Buckley was a close personal friend of the author. 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For further information and download instructions visit Become a MINDFIELD affiliate and earn ca$$$h
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:26 am

Watch Fox News Guest Breakdown The Pakistani ‘Mystery Man’ [VIDEO]

The Daily Caller | 2:46 PM 04/22/2018

The Daily Caller News Foundation Editor-In-Chief Christopher Bedford explained Sunday who the “mystery man” from Pakistan the president referenced Friday really is.

Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hired a Pakistani IT worker — Imran Awan — to be her e-mail server administrator while she served in the House of Representatives. Nearly every member of Awan’s family went on to work for Democrat members, until they were on the payroll of 1 in 5 House Democrats.


During their time at the House, the Awan’s had the “keys to the kingdom,” with the ability to access nearly every file on House servers, the chamber’s inspector general said.

The Awan’s were making “unauthorized access” to data, the House inspector general warned leadership in September 2016. The Awan’s behavior mirrored a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization,” the inspector general said.

After the inspector general presented that information, the Caucus’ server physically disappeared. Despite warnings, The Awan’s were left on House servers until Feb. 2, 2017.

Read more about the The Daily Caller News Foundation’s investigation into the Awan’s here.

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