Weekly Axis Of Easy #17
In this issue:
• Turn off your phone’s bluetooth, then read this
• Illegal but “Classified”? NSA still violating Section 702 of FISA Act.
• China all but bans Bitcoin while India ponders a blockchain currency
Before continuing, please reach for your mobile device and turn off bluetooth. All set? Good let’s continue.
Researchers at Armis have uncovered a critical flaw in bluetooth dubbed “BlueBorne” which exposes all enabled devices to attack, including code execution and interception of network traffic. The exploit can be launched from up to 35 feet away and takes under 10 seconds to execute. Linux and Android devices are particularly vulnerable. Windows and Google have issued respective patches and Apple’s iOS 10.3.3 also fixes it.
The Armis BlueBorne White Paper: http://go.armis.com/hubfs/BlueBorne%20Technical%20White%20Paper.pdf
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court specifically bars the NSA from eavesdropping on US domestic communications. Recall that the previous administration’s James Clapper more or less perjured himself in front of Congress when asked about the extent of NSA surveillance on Americans prompting Edward Snowden to become a whistle blower.
The “new boss” seems a lot like “the old boss” when it comes to Clapper’s successor in the Trump administration. Dan Coats when asked point blank by Senator Ron Wyden whether the NSA is still spying on Americans contrary to Section 702 bobbed, weaved, said “no”, and then subsequently issued a written restatement of his answer, before finally declaring the entire matter as “Classified” and adding a “How dare you?!”
In other words, it sounds to me like the NSA is almost certainly still violating Section 702 of the FISA Act and surveilling US domestic communications.
The big news out of China was the decision close all Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, prompting the crypt-currency to “crash” from its highs near $5,000 USD all the way down to $3,200/USD before paring losses and currency hovering around the $4,000/USD mark. All told the “crash” lasted about a week. Meanwhile, India is considering adopting their own blockchain based crypto-currency as legal tender tentatively billed “Lakshmi” after the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity.