Law & Crime
February 17, 2018
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Sunday, February 11, 2018
February 11, 2018
February 11, 2018
The CIA denied reports that US spies paid a Russian $100,000 in an attempt to buy back top secret hacking tools stolen from the National Security Agency, seen here
The CIA denied reports that US spies paid a Russian $100,000 in an attempt to buy back top secret hacking tools stolen from the National Security Agency, seen here (AFP Photo/SAUL LOEB)
Washington (AFP) - The CIA on Saturday categorically denied reports that it was fleeced by a mystery Russian who promised compromising information on US President Donald Trump.
The secretive agency rarely issues any kind of comment, but came out to deny the report in The New York Times and a similar one in The Intercept, an online journal focusing on national security issues.
"The fictional story that CIA was bilked out of $100,000 is patently false," the Central Intelligence Agency said in a statement sent to AFP.
"The people swindled here were James Risen and Matt Rosenberg," the CIA said, referring to Times reporter Rosenberg, who wrote the story, and Risen, a former Times reporter who authored The Intercept's article.
Both reports appeared on Friday.
The president tweeted approvingly that The Times article shows a need to "drain the swamp" in Washington.
In a story worthy of a John le Carre novel that included secret USB-drive handovers in a small Berlin bar and coded messages delivered over the National Security Agency's Twitter account, CIA agents spent much of last year trying to buy back from the Russians hacking programs stolen from the NSA, the Times reported.
The seller, who was not identified but had suspected links to both cyber criminals and Russian intelligence, tantalized the US spies with an offer of the NSA hacking tools that had been advertised for sale online by a group called the Shadow Brokers.
Some of the tools, developed by the NSA to break into the computers of US rivals, were used by other hackers last year to crack or infect computer systems around the world. The Times described the Americans as "desperate" to get the tools back.
Reached through a chain of intermediaries, the seller reportedly wanted $1 million after quickly dropping his opening demand of about $10 million.
The $100,000 was an initial payment by US agents still dubious he really had what he was promising.
In its report, the Times cited US and European intelligence officials, the Russian, and communications the newspaper reviewed.
The seller also repeatedly pressed US agents with offers of compromising materials, or kompromat, on Trump, the Times said.
Monday, February 5, 2018
February 5, 2018
February 5, 2018
Amazon has patented designs for a wristband that can precisely track where warehouse employees are placing their hands and use vibrations to nudge them in a different direction.
The concept, which aims to streamline the fulfilment of orders, adds another layer of surveillance to an already challenging working environment.
When someone orders a product from Amazon, the details are transmitted to the handheld computers that all warehouse staff carry. Upon receiving the order details, the worker must rush to retrieve the product from one of many inventory bins on shelves, pack it into a delivery box and move on to the next assignment.
The proposed wristbands would use ultrasonic tracking to identify the precise location of a worker’s hands as they retrieve items. One of the patents outlines a haptic feedback system that would vibrate against the wearer’s skin to point their hand in the right direction.
The result? Human workers can fulfil more orders – until robots develop the dexterity to replace them altogether.
The wristbands are, according to the patent documents, first spotted by GeekWirFacebook
The proposed wristbands would use ultrasonic tracking to identify the precise location of a e, designed as a labour-saving measure to keep track of products throughout the warehouse.
A less generous interpretation would be that the wristbands provide Amazon management with new workplace surveillance capabilities that can identify the workers wasting time scratching, fidgeting or dilly-dallying.
Amazon already has a reputation for turning low-paid staff into “human robots” – working alongside thousands of proper robots – carrying out repetitive packaging tasks as fast as possible in an attempt to hit goals set by handheld computers.
This month, the 24-year-old warehouse worker Aaron Callaway described having just 15 seconds to scan items and place them into the right cart during his night shifts at an Amazon warehouse in the UK. “My main interaction is with the robots,” he said.
In 2016, a BBC investigation found that agency workers making Amazon deliveries reported defecating in bags, speeding and falling asleep at the wheel as they desperately tried to hit ambitious delivery targets issued by an Amazon logistics app.