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Current issue : #69 | Release date : 2016-05-06 | Editor : The Phrack Staff
IntroductionThe Phrack Staff
Phrack Prophile on Solar DesignerThe Phrack Staff
Phrack World NewsThe Phrack Staff
Linenoisevarious
LoopbackThe Phrack Staff
The Fall of Hacker GroupsStrauss
Revisiting Mac OS X Kernel RootkitsfG!
Adobe Shockwave - A case study on memory disclosureaaron portnoy
Modern Objective-C Exploitation Techniquesnemo
Self-patching Microsoft XML with misalignments and factorialsAlisa Esage
Internet Voting: A Requiem for the Dreamkerrnel
Attacking Ruby on Rails Applicationsjoernchen
Obituary for an Adobe Flash Player bughuku
OR'LYEH? The Shadow over Firefoxargp
How to hide a hook: A hypervisor for rootkitsuty & saman
International scenesvarious
Title : Phrack World News
Author : The Phrack Staff
                              ==Phrack Inc.==

                Volume 0x0f, Issue 0x45, Phile #0x03 of 0x10

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|=------------------------=[ Phrack World News ]=------------------------=|
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|=-----------------------=[ by the Phrack staff ]=-----------------------=|
|=-------------------------=[ staff@phrack.org ]=------------------------=|
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Wow, 4 years have passed! One of the possible positive outcomes of slow-
paced releases of Phrack is that Phrack World News gives us the opportunity
to look back on a few years worth of happenings and ponder about the bigger
picture for a moment. First of all: Snowden. It feels like ages ago now,
but, for anyone living under a rock, in 2013 Edward Snowden [1] leveraged 
his position working at the United States National Security Agency to copy 
and later leak [2] classified documents on NSA's global surveillance 
operations. If the very previous issue of PWN [3] prophetically warned 
about the massification of surveillance as a threat to our civil 
liberties, the Snowden leaks only proved what hackers and conspiracy 
theorists had believed and proclaimed for a long time: the US government 
unlawfully spies on its own citizens as well as everyone else's.

While it is probably futile to believe that the social and political
reactions to the Snowden leaks have had any meaningful impact on the NSA's
operations, the disclosed information is an invaluable resource to validate
that governments will go a long way to collect intelligence as broadly and
deeply as they can. The leaks have shown that the tactics employed by NSA
ranged from the widespread tapping of phone (e.g. voice, SMS) and network
traffic to more punctilious methods such as the intercept and tampering of
export computer and network equipment to insert spying implants. This does
not mean, of course, that we have global surveillance "figured out". In
fact, quite to the contrary, it should be expected that many of these
techniques have been revamped by now, and that many more are to follow, as
a natural step in the continuous endeavor for stealthiness. As such, any
effort, technical or otherwise, to safeguard your privacy is more valid
than ever.

But indeed, it seems that some of the efforts on designing and implementing
better crypto systems paid off and governments are starting to have their
monitoring and investigative capabilities limited by evolving security. One
indication of that is the growing insistence of various nations on the mind
-boggling hopelessly insane push for crypto backdoors [4]. The sad and
unfortunate wave of terrorism the world has been dealing with is repeatedly
and shamelessly used to support the lobbying for less information security.
Another (at the moment) ongoing instance of this is the significant dispute
between the FBI and Apple [5], which refuses to provide the FBI with a way
to bypass the lock screen of a terrorist's (and everyone else's) iPhone.

And sure enough the controversies involving governments and information
security do not stop there. In the past few years we have seen some nations
being more frank about their offensive capabilities [6] or sometimes
industry-sourced intelligence [7] combined with publicity on more impactful
attacks [8] helped demonstrate that hacking is increasingly a bigger deal
for nation-states. All of this action is (or has been posed as) a driving
force behind moves such as adding "cyber weapons" to the terms of the
Wassenaar agreement [9], an initiative that, if not carefully formulated,
will turn out to be not only utterly ineffective but also extremely harmful
for the practice of security research and, in consequence, to the
progressive development of information security in general. Plus, other
recent breaches, such as Gamma [10] and Hacking Team [11], tell us that
even government-affiliated organizations are freely operating without
respecting UN embargoes and international regulations anyway - ironically,
it was hackers and the security community that exposed them, and not law
enforcement. So, who is the law working for?

Lastly, and with a heart heavier than any of the topics above could ever
cause us, Phrack would like to say goodbye to a few illustrious members of
our community that have sadly passed away. Since it's been 4 years we
are not going to attempt to list out every instance, however we can
easily say that as a community we have lost some incredibly talented,
charismatic and fantastic people, and we feel the loss greatly.


Live free,

- The Phrack Staff


[1]  - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden
[2]  - http://www.businessinsider.com/snowden-leaks-timeline-2014-6
[3]  - http://phrack.org/issues/68/3.html
[4]  - http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/18/
       us-europe-reignite-debate-back-door-encryption-paris-attacks
[5]  - http://www.wired.com/2016/02/apple-brief-fbi-response-iphone/
[6]  - http://www.wired.com/2016/01/
       nsa-hacker-chief-explains-how-to-keep-him-out-of-your-system/
[7]  - http://www.wired.com/2013/02/chinese-army-linked-to-hacks/
[8]  - http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/06/
       why-the-biggest-government-hack-ever-got-past-opm-dhs-and-nsa/
[9]  - http://blog.erratasec.com/2015/05/some-notes-about-wassenaar.html
[10] - http://www.zdnet.com/article/
       top-govt-spyware-company-hacked-gammas-finfisher-leaked/
[11] - http://www.wired.com/2015/07/
       hacking-team-breach-shows-global-spying-firm-run-amok/

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