by Nick Beres
MURFEESBORO, Tenn. — Murfreesboro Police are looking for a stalker after the victim found a hidden camera secretly watching her home.
“It effects every facet of my life,” said Gina Wiser.
For months Wiser has been dealing with a stalker making phone calls or following from a distance. This past weekend she discovered a box attached to the light pole on the street outside her home.Suspicious of the device Wiser called police.
They took the box down and discovered a camera inside that had been pointed right at her home. It’s similar to those used by hunters to capture images of game like deer.
“This was probably a first where somebody used a device to monitor wildlife to stalk a human,” said Kyle Evans with the Murfreesboro Police Dept.
Wiser wonders what will happen next.
“It effects everything you do from the moment you wake up till when you toss and turn at night because you never know where he might be,” said Wiser.
Police have not yet made an arrest. They believe the stalker is someone Wiser knows. They do have several leads, especially with the new piece of evidence.
Detectives hope to track the buyer of the high tech camera.
SUDDENLY, Washington is extremely concerned about Chinese espionage.
Last month, the White House blocked a Chinese company from operating a wind farm near a sensitive Navy base in Oregon. Next, the House Intelligence Committee said two Chinese telecommunications firms were manufacturing equipment that could be used to spy on the United States, and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told business leaders that the country faced the risk of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” — an attack that could come from terrorist groups or a country like China. Finally, during Monday’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney warned that the Chinese were “stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our technology, hacking into our computers.”
There’s no question that American companies today are under surveillance: I’ve learned that the F.B.I. has obtained a video taken inside a hotel in China that shows Chinese agents rifling through an American businessman’s room, according to two sources familiar with the tape, which the F.B.I. has been playing as a warning for corporate security experts. But while the Chinese spying push is aggressive, American companies have been tapped, bugged and spied on for more than a hundred years. As often as not, the perpetrators have been other Americans — motivated not by patriotism for a foreign flag, but by simple profit.
In Placerville, Calif., a stockbroker named D. C. Williams took advantage of the latest high-tech telecommunications gear in an insider trading scam. The year was 1864. Mr. Williams, claiming to be in the stagecoach business, rented a room at a hotel called the Sportsman’s Hall, where the State Telegraph Company had offices. Sitting in his room, within earshot of the receiving equipment, Mr. Williams simply decoded the messages about business deals as they clattered in. When he tried to bribe the telegraph agent for exclusive access to news on an important mining lawsuit, the agent turned him in, and Mr. Williams was arrested.
Or take the case of John Broady, an audacious wiretapper who in the mid-1950s set up an eavesdropping nest at an apartment in Midtown Manhattan. Working with a source inside the phone company, he set up equipment capable of tapping and simultaneously recording 10 phone lines in the area. Among Mr. Broady’s clients was the drug company Pfizer, which hired him to tap the phones of its own employees and those of a competitor, Squibb.
Mr. Broady was ultimately undone by an anonymous tipster, most likely someone inside his organization. Bizarrely, at his trial he claimed there was a nefarious Chinese angle to his scam — he said he’d used the equipment to spy on a rogue Chinese Air Force general who’d stolen millions from his government. Mr. Broady said that someone who wanted to stop the investigation had killed one of his own agents in Mexico. “I didn’t want them to knock me off, like they did my man,” he said, breaking down in tears. “I have a wife and kids.” The jury thought it was an act, and Mr. Broady received a two- to four-year prison sentence.
Spying for profit continued in more recent times. In the late 1990s, the candy companies Nestlé and Mars engaged in an epic corporate war that included a confidential source nicknamed “Deep Chocolate.” Former government agents, working through a subcontractor for Nestlé, snatched garbage bags from the Mars headquarters, replacing them with dummy trash bags so the custodial staff wouldn’t catch on. Picking through coffee grounds and stale food, they found shredded documents that they were able to painstakingly reconstruct into readable corporate records.
In London in the fall of 2008, I met with Nick, a former British Special Forces soldier who has gone into the private espionage business — working for companies around the world to dig up dirt on their competitors or their own employees. Nick, who asked that I not use his last name, told me that they often used a simple strategy: they hired subcontractors to rent space in a building across the street from their competitor, and pointed laser microphones at conference rooms across the way. Voices in the rooms made slight vibrations in the windows, and Nick’s microphones could translate those back into sound that he could record.
Technology has changed the volume of information spies can purloin from corporate files, as well as the types of attacks possible from a distance. But the principle remains the same: spying is often easier than conducting one’s own research and development. This is certainly true from China’s perspective.
What has people in Washington really worried is the idea that such passive theft could turn into an active threat — not just snooping, but knocking out elevators or communications at a presidential event, or shutting down software controlling water supplies, electrical grids and nuclear power plants.
But while we deal with this new generation of spies, we shouldn’t forget the lessons learned battling the old. The best way to fight technology is not always with more technology — it’s with human beings. As Mr. Williams and Mr. Broady learned, the most dangerous threat to a high-tech snoop is an inside source who’s willing to come forward and expose the scheme. Law enforcement officials in the 19th and 20th centuries found ways to motivate those whistle-blowers. We must do the same.
LONDON — Vacuum powerhouse Dyson filed legal proceedings Wednesday against Bosch in Britain’s High Court, accusing its German rival of having obtained corporate secrets through a mole within a high-security research and development department.
Dyson, known for its popular bagless vacuum cleaner, claims that a rogue engineer working in its facility in Malmesbury for Dyson digital motors was handing information on “secret motor technology” to Bosch for up to two years.
“Dyson has confronted Bosch with evidence of wrongdoing but it has refused to return the technology. Nor has it promised not to use the technology for its benefit, forcing Dyson to take legal action,” the company said in a statement.
Dyson alleges that Bosch paid the mole through an unincorporated business created solely for that purpose and that Bosch’s vice president, Wolfgang Hirschburger, was aware of the engineer’s work.
Mark Taylor, Dyson Research and Development director, said that Bosch had benefited from Dyson’s know-how and expertise.
“We have spent over 15 years and 100 million pounds ($160.2 million) developing high-speed brushless motors, which power our vacuum cleaners and Airblade hand dryers,” he said in a statement. “We are demanding the immediate return of our intellectual property.”
Bosch disputed some of the facts. It said in a statement that Dyson had employed an individual with a pre-existing consultancy agreement with Bosch Lawn and Garden Ltd. in relation to garden products — “and not vacuum cleaners or hand dryers as Dyson implies.”
The company expressed regret that Dyson has pursued legal action, saying it has been trying to establish what happened and what, if any, confidential information was supposedly passed between the companies.
Courtesy of Washington Post.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A White House-ordered review of security risks posed by suppliers to U.S. telecommunications companies found no clear evidence that Huawei Technologies Ltd had spied for China, two people familiar with the probe told Reuters.
Instead, those leading the 18-month review concluded early this year that relying on Huawei, the world’s second-largest maker of networking gear, was risky for other reasons, such as the presence of vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.
These previously unreported findings support parts of a landmark U.S. congressional report last week that warned against allowing Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE Corp to supply critical telecom infrastructure.
But it may douse speculation that Huawei has been caught spying for China.
Some questions remain unanswered. For example, it is unclear if security vulnerabilities found in Huawei equipment were placed there deliberately. It is also not clear whether any critical new intelligence emerged after the inquiry ended.
Aided by intelligence agencies and other departments, those conducting the largely classified White House inquiry delved into reports of suspicious activity and asked detailed questions of nearly 1,000 telecom equipment buyers, according to the people familiar with the probe.
“We knew certain parts of government really wanted” evidence of active spying, said one of the people, who requested anonymity. “We would have found it if it were there.”
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment on the review. A spokesman for Huawei said the company was not familiar with the review but it was not surprised that no evidence of Huawei espionage was found.
Last week’s report from the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Intelligence Committee noted the potential for spying through Huawei gear installed to manage traffic on wireless networks. The committee also criticized Huawei’s leadership for failing to provide details about its relationships with Chinese government agencies.
Huawei, whose chief executive officer, Ren Zhengfei, founded it 25 years ago after he was laid off by the Chinese army, has rejected the House report as unfair and inaccurate. China’s Commerce Ministry has also called the accusations “groundless.”
“Huawei is a $32 billion independent multinational that would not jeopardize its success or the integrity of its customers’ networks for any government or third party. Ever,” the company’s U.S. spokesman Bill Plummer said on Wednesday.
The House Intelligence Committee’s report did not present concrete evidence that either Huawei or ZTE have stolen U.S. data, although it said a classified annex provided “significantly more information adding to the committee’s concerns” about the risk to the United States.
Speculation has swirled about the contents of the secret annex, and both committee Chairman Mike Rogers and some intelligence officials have hinted at evidence that Huawei has participated in espionage.
Rogers, the report’s lead author, stoked concerns by saying some customers had seen routers sending off “very valuable data” to China.
But in the one case a committee staff member pointed out to Reuters, the victim – Leap Wireless International Inc – said that while some of its computers were infected with viruses earlier this year, an investigation found no evidence that the infection was deliberate or that confidential data had been stolen.
Pressed about why the White House review and unclassified version of the House Intelligence Committee report had not turned up a “smoking gun,” two officials familiar with intelligence assessments said U.S. agencies were most concerned about the capability for future spying or sabotage.
Similarly, Chris Johnson, a former CIA analyst on China, said he had been told that the White House review had come up empty on past malicious acts. Nonetheless, officials emerged from the review with “a general sense of foreboding” about what would happen if China asked Huawei for assistance in gathering intelligence from U.S. customers, he said.
“If the Chinese government approached them, why would they say no, given their system?” Johnson said.
Preventing state spying through technology is a high priority for U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, which is lobbying for legislation to raise private-sector security standards and readying a more limited executive order along those lines.
Reuters interviews with more than a dozen current and former U.S. government officials and contractors found nearly unanimous agreement that Huawei’s equipment poses risks: The company could send software updates that siphon off vast amounts of communications data or shut them down in times of conflict.
More than anything else, cyber experts complained about what they said was poor programming that left Huawei equipment more open than that of rivals to hacking by government agents or third parties.
“We found it riddled with holes,” said one of the people familiar with the White House review.
At a conference in Kuala Lumpur last week, Felix Lindner, a leading expert in network equipment security, said he had discovered multiple vulnerabilities in Huawei’s routers.
“I’d say it was five times easier to find one in a Huawei router than in a Cisco one,” Lindner said.
Lindner, who spent months investigating Huawei code, said the vulnerabilities appeared to be the result of sloppy coding and poor procedures, rather than any deliberate attempt at espionage. Huawei is looking into his findings, he said.
Some in the U.S. government, however, have said the alleged poor security practices at Huawei could be a deliberate cover for future attacks.
One computer scientist, who helped conduct classified U.S. government research on Huawei routers and switches four to six years ago, told Reuters that he had found “back doors” that his team believed were inserted with care.
He said these back doors could enable attackers to install malicious software that would make critical government networks inoperable, allow hackers to gain entry into highly classified systems and enable them to spy on all traffic. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the research.
Huawei has denied the existence of these back doors. Plummer also noted that any vendor’s gear could be targeted by hackers, and the company would address any vulnerabilities it finds.
The United States’ closest allies have rendered a split verdict on Huawei. Earlier this year, Australia barred Huawei from becoming a contractor on the country’s National Broadband Network, and Canada said last week that Huawei could not bid to help build a secure national network. In Britain, however, a spokesman for the Cabinet Office said Huawei’s products were fully vetted and did not represent a security concern.
Dutch Ruppersberger, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and co-author of the report, told Reuters that the burden of proof had been on Huawei and ZTE, which cited Chinese government restrictions in limiting their responses.
“China has the means, opportunity, and motive to use telecommunications companies for malicious purposes,” Ruppersberger said.
Republican Rogers’ staff did not respond to questions about the contents of the classified annex or the White House review.
(Reporting by Joseph Menn in San Franciso, Jim Finkle in Boston, and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Additional reporting by Paul Eckert and Jim Wolf in Washington and Jeremy Wagstaff in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Lisa Von Ahn)
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. – Maryland police say two women were videotaped inside of their own home.
The peeping Tom in this case was crafty enough to break into the home and install a camera, but not smart enough to keep that camera from capturing video of himself, which is now in the hands of the Howard County Police Department.
The videos show the suspect walking through the women’s home and eventually installing the camera inside of a closet.
He apparently kept it running, and went back into the condominium unit several times to retrieve the videos of the two women who live there, and move the camera to different locations.
Both of the victims are in their 20s.
“I’m surprised, but I guess I’m not completely shocked because I hear things like that. But it’s surprising that it’s here,” said Trish Kirsch, who has lived in The Villages of Montgomery Run condominium complex for 10 years.
Other residents say they’d heard about the high-tech peeping Tom from a community watch email.
“Some stranger had entered an apartment with two girls living there, and he videotaped their bedrooms,” said Tayseer Elbeshir.
Police say it started in June — and the man kept coming back until recently, when one of the women found the camera, and called police.
“There doesn’t appear to have been forced entry so we’re not sure how he gained access to the apartment, and he apparently did it multiple times,” said Sherry Llewellyn, a spokeswoman for the Howard County Police Department.
Each condominium in the complex is individually owned, and many of them are rented out; police have already checked maintenance people and contractors working in the area.
The locks on the women’s door have been changed — but police have not been able to identify the man who managed to video-tape himself committing a crime, yet.
“It’s a beautiful area; it’s a beautiful quiet neighborhood,” Elbeshir said. “So something like this to happen is weird. It’s different.”
In some of those videos the man is wearing what might be a work uniform.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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