Saturday, November 25, 2023

Weirdest Spy Story of 2023?

NY Attorney Accuses Ben Affleck & Matt Damon of Stalking and Bugging Her Home

A New York attorney is suing actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, accusing the besties of stalking her and bugging her home to use private details of her life in their movies.

The attorney is hiding her identity as she moves forward with the bizarre case. The Daily Mail got a hold of court documents that claim the actors also hacked her devices and left the attorney in fear of being kidnapped and raped... She found a bug, saw an owl-shaped camera pointed at her home, woke to find a man in her bedroom and saw a man pointing a telescope at her after an alert that her emails had been hacked, according to the suit.

Also named in the suit are Affleck’s brother, Casey Affleck, his wife, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, actor Kevin Smith, and disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The suit is also targeting Dimension Films, Disney, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., and Paramount Pictures, who she is accusing of negligence for allowing harassment and plagiarism to take place. more

Court Clerk's Son Charged with Wiretapping

SC - The son of the Colleton County court clerk involved in the Alex Murdaugh case has been charged with wiretapping, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced this week. Former Colleton County information technology director Jeffrey Colton Hill, 34, was charged Tuesday and then booked at the detention center, SLED officials said... Hill is the son of Colleton County Court Clerk Rebecca Hill, who was recently accused of jury tampering by convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh’s lawyers. Murdaugh officially filed a motion for a new trial in the murders of his wife and son last month. more

Corporate Espionage: Nvidia Senior Employee Accidentally Reveals Confidential Files

Nvidia sued after senior employee accidentally showed off confidential files taken from previous employer during a video meeting...
 Nvidia is in hot water after one of its software engineers accidentally let a rival company—and his former employer—in on a secret: that he stole its top-secret research and took it to the trillion-dollar tech giant. more

Recent Spy News

Two Palestinians were murdered in the city of Tulkarm and another was murdered in Jenin in the West Bank on Friday under suspicion of spying for Israel... A Palestinian mob can be seen in the videos abusing the bodies and hanging them on an electric pole as crowds surrounded the area, screaming "You traitors!" N12 reported. more

Ukrainian Man Sentenced to 12 Years for Spying for Russia... was found guilty of providing information to the Russian military and sentenced to 12 years in prison, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said in a Telegram post. An investigation found the man had sent voice messages to Russian forces in the area with information about the location of Ukrainian military units, equipment, weapons storehouses, military bases and headquarters. more

India... right before he was arrested by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for allegedly spying for Pakistan, Tarapur-based shopkeeper Labhshankar Maheshwari was in conversation with his neighbours. He was telling them that he would be getting his phone back that day, after a nearly three-month investigation, when an ATS vehicle pulled up... Maheshwari was then arrested for “waging war against the Indian state”. more

India... Two former army officers were convicted and sentenced for jail terms over their collaboration with RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) and other anti-Pakistan actions, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Saturday. According to details, the sentencing came under the Official Secrets Act 1923 and the Army Act 1952 on charges of sedition, working against the interests of national institutions and spying for a foreign agency, as Adil Farooq Raja – who served as major – and Haider Raza Mehdi – a former captain – faced court martial. more

A U.S. court held an extraordinary hearing on November 16th, where a judge carefully considered a lawsuit against the CIA and former CIA director Mike Pompeo for their alleged role in spying on American attorneys and journalists who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. more

South Korea says Russian support likely enabled North Korea to successfully launch a spy satellite. more

Poland said Wednesday it had charged 16 foreign individuals with spying for Russia, for allegedly preparing acts of sabotage and gathering information on military equipment deliveries to Ukraine. more

Two suspects have been detained in Istanbul on suspicion of “military and political espionage” for Israeli intelligence. The suspects contacted Palestinian software engineer Omar A. on the pretext of doing business in Turkiye, it was reported on Thursday. more

A man detained in Latvia on suspicion of spying for Russia has died in detention after developing sudden health problems, prison authorities said. more

WIMBLEDON finalist David Nalbandian is being sued by his model ex-girlfriend for sexual harassment and stalking after allegedly installing hidden cameras in the air conditioning. Araceli Torrado, 29, made the complaint against her former partner Nalbandian, 41, accompanying it with a video in which she discovers a camera allegedly set up by the Argentinian... The installation of the camera - which a judge ruled was placed there by Nalbandian - is not a crime as the apartment was shared by the couple. more

North Korea Spy Rocket Explodes

North Korea rocket explodes during spy satellite launch, and meteor hunters caught it on camera... The first stage of a North Korean rocket apparently exploded Tuesday (Nov. 21) during a purported spy satellite launch, a new video suggests. A camera at South Korea's Yonsei University, usually used for tracking meteorsor shooting stars, showed the first stage of the North Korean Chollima-1 rocket appearing to erupt and spread debris, Reuters reported Friday (Nov. 24). more
Previously on the Security Scrapbook.

Baby Monitor or Bug? You decide...

In a recent post on the popular subreddit "Am I the A**hole?" (AITA), one distraught user, u/dumblonde7, sought the community's judgment on a delicate family situation.

The post, titled "AITA for 'snooping' on my baby camera?" details a troubling incident involving the user's mother-in-law and a revelation that unfolded through the lens of a baby monitor.

The author recounts receiving a notification on the baby camera in their child's crib and deciding to check in.

The unexpected discovery was a conversation between the mother-in-law and her husband, during which the mother-in-law was allegedly spreading falsehoods about a previous conversation she had with the author.

The user confronted her mother-in-law about the incident, leading to a heated disagreement with the mother-in-law expressing discontent over the perceived invasion of privacy.

The Redditor wrote: "When I opened [the baby camera], my mother-in-law was talking about me to my husband (he was standing up for me of course). She was lying, to my husband, about a conversation she and I had. I confronted her about what she said, and she is mad I was 'snooping.' AITA?" more

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Ford's Anti-Eavesdropping Tech Is Straight Out Of A Spy Movie

As in-car Zoom meetings become a reality, Ford wants to protect occupants from eavesdroppers.

Ford has filed a patent for a new motor vehicle workspace with enhanced privacy, effectively preventing eavesdroppers from listening to calls you take in your car. CarBuzz discovered the patent, filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and while it may sound like some James Bond-like technology, it's simply a way to ensure that your conversations aren't being listened to by passersby and other occupants in the vehicle.

As we move closer to higher levels of autonomous driving, the occupants of a car will need something to pass the time. That's why several new vehicles are equipped with teleconferencing facilities. It may sound silly, but don't forget we now live in a world where a Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes standard with TikTok and a selfie camera. more

Employee Exposed Himself to Espionage by Seeking Sex Parlours

A Canada Border Service Agency employee opened himself up to the threat of exploitation by "hostile intelligence services" after visiting massage parlours
in China, Japan and Canada, documents obtained by CBC News reveal.

The case is just one of more than 500 allegations the CBSA deemed "founded" last year and released as part of an access to information request.

According to the redacted file, the employee — who is not named in the document — allegedly engaged in illegal activities "by purchasing sexual services from massage parlours in Japan, China and Canada." more

Update: Court Grants Exec Bail in Industrial Espionage Case

A South Korean court has granted bail to a former executive of Samsung Electronics accused of stealing sensitive information developed by the technology giant, court records showed on Tuesday.

In a case that underscores the country's efforts to crack down on industrial espionage, prosecutors have alleged that the former executive Choi Jinseog, a South Korean chip expert, stole information formulated by the world's top memory chipmaker to help his client set up a chip factory in China. more

BlackBerry - The Best Movie Of 2023?

The True Story Thriller That’s Being Called The Best Movie Of The Year... 
Matt Johnson’s BlackBerry, managed to make a small but noticeable splash at the box office, resulting in a stunning 98 percent certified fresh critic score from Rotten Tomatoes...

Though the film’s premise may not immediately strike you as rife with thrilling storytelling potential, BlackBerry manages to take the high-intensity world of tech development, corporate espionage, and the true tale of one corporation’s rise and incredible fall to its absolute limits.

Those who lived through the era of BlackBerry phones being the must-have product on the market will look back at the moment in history with a newfound sense of awe after seeing the film, while those too young to recall the ubiquity of the full-keyboard phone will be shocked and appalled by the underhanded business practices which brought mobile internet to the next level. more

ChatGPT Is Apparently a Great Surveillance Tool

This week, Forbes reported that a Russian spyware company called Social Links had begun using ChatGPT to conduct sentiment analysis.
The creepy field by which cops and spies collect and analyze social media data to understand how web users feel about stuff, sentiment analysis is one of the sketchier use-cases for the little chatbot to yet emerge.

Social Links, which was previously kicked off Meta’s platforms for alleged surveillance of users, showed off its unconventional use of ChatGPT at a security conference in Paris this week. The company was able to weaponize the chatbot’s ability for text summarization and analysis to troll through large chunks of data, digesting it quickly. 

In a demonstration, the company fed data collected by its own proprietary tool into ChatGPT; the data, which related to online posts about a recent controversy in Spain, was then analyzed by the chatbot, which rated them “as positive, negative or neutral, displaying the results in an interactive graph,” Forbes writes.

Obviously, privacy advocates have found this more than a little disturbing... more

How an Indian Startup Hacked the World

Appin was a leading Indian cyberespionage firm that few people even knew existed. 

A Reuters investigation found that the company grew from an educational startup to a hack-for-hire powerhouse that stole secrets from executives, politicians, military officials and wealthy elites around the globe. 

Appin alumni went on to form other firms that are still active...

Chuck Randall was on the verge of unveiling an ambitious real estate deal he hoped would give his small Native American tribe a bigger cut of a potentially lucrative casino project.

A well-timed leak derailed it all.

In July of 2012, printed excerpts from Randall’s private emails were hand-distributed across the Shinnecock Nation’s square-mile reservation, a wooded peninsula hanging off the South Fork of Long Island...  more

Smart Toys Spying on Children

Smart toys are becoming more common
, and an increase in concerns about them spying on children has coincided with that, according to a new report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

In its Trouble in Toyland" report released Thursday, the organization explained that smart toys "can incorporate various technologies, like cameras, microphones and sensors, as well as artificial intelligence capabilities and connectivity through the internet or Bluetooth." It specifically flagged some risks that it said parents and their children could see arise. more
How We Got This Way - The effect of kids being influenced by their spy toys.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Why You Really Need a Technical Information Security Consultant

The non-existence of a trade secret asset: ‘confidential’ information
by R. Mark Halligan 
FisherBroyles LLP

For years, there has been a debate whether “confidential” information is analogous to a “trade secret.” It is not.
Information is either protected as a “trade secret” or not protected as a “trade secret.” Any other characterization of “confidential” information undermines the protection of trade secret assets and interferes with lawful and fair business competition.

There is no such thing as non-trade secret “confidential” information.

There is no such thing as “confidential” information that does not rise to the level of a trade secret.

There is no middle ground: Either the information is a “trade secret” (and protectable) or not a trade secret (and not protectable).

A “trade secret” is an intellectual property asset that requires reasonable measures to protect the information as a “trade secret” and proof that such information derives an actual or potential economic advantage from the secrecy of the information. more

Your business is based on information and conversations considered confidential, sensitive, or intellectual property. These create your competitive advantage. No less important than trade secrets, and yet, not protected under trade secret law. 

So, what protection do you have? 

Start by adding a Technical Information Security Consultant to your team. Their proactive surveys can spot espionage issues like electronic eavesdropping, information security risks, and employee compliance with information security policies—before they become losses.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Professor Accused of Wiretapping Other Professors

LA - Officers of the University of Louisiana Monroe Police Department initiated an investigation due to a wiretapping complaint on campus. During the investigation, authorities learned that a professor for the University of Louisiana Monroe, along with his graduate assistant, located two small recording devices around their office doors.

According to the affidavit, the devices were being held in place by a substance. The ULM professor was in his office when one of the devices fell on the floor. The second device was found after the graduate assistant searched the door area of the office.

ULM Police then stationed themselves and conducted surveillance, identifying the suspect as Chad Allen Lewing, who is also a professor at the university. On November 8, 2023, at 5:30 AM, Lewing was detained by authorities while allegedly attempting to remove the devices.

Police learned that Lewing arrived at work two hours early and he was the only person in the building, besides two ULM police officers. Lewing was transported to the university’s police station and refused to talk with authorities...

Officers went on to find two more devices in the office spaces of two other ULM professors. more

This find was based on luck. Surveillance devices rarely just fall on the floor in front of you. Smart businesses and educational institutions hire technical information security consultants to periodically conduct searches for electronic surveillance devices. Learn more about that at