Couple indicted for trying to sell Nuclear secrets to foreign country

A couple from Maryland charged with trying to sell information about nuclear-powered warships to a foreign country was indicted following their arrest earlier this month, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Jonathan, 42, and Diane Toebbe, 45, of Annapolis, each faces a single count of conspiracy to communicate restrictive data and two counts of communication of restricted data. The couple was arrested in West Virginia on October 9 by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and charged with violating the Atomic Energy Act, a federal law that assures the proper management of nuclear materials and their byproducts. Jonathan Toebbe worked … Continue reading Couple indicted for trying to sell Nuclear secrets to foreign country

Russia detains cyber-security tycoon Ilya Sachkov in treason case

The head of one of Russia’s top cyber-security firms has been detained on suspicion of state treason. A court in Moscow said it had ordered that 35-year-old Ilya Sachkov be held in custody for two months, but did not provide further details on the charges. An unnamed security source told state news agency Tass that Mr Sachkov had denied passing on secret information to foreign intelligence services. Mr Sachkov has previously been awarded by the Russian president for his work. His company, Group-IB, specialises in detecting and preventing cyber-attacks and has a global client base that includes the international police … Continue reading Russia detains cyber-security tycoon Ilya Sachkov in treason case

Family who sheltered Snowden in Hong Kong granted protection in Canada

A Sri Lankan couple who briefly sheltered ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden in Hong Kong eight years ago arrived with their two children Tuesday in Canada, where authorities granted them protection.A Sri Lankan couple who sheltered former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in Hong Kong eight years ago arrived in Canada with their two children Tuesday. Supun Thilina Kellapatha and Nadeeka Dilrukshi Nonis had been living in limbo in Hong Kong after authorities there rejected their asylum claims in 2017. The couple took Snowden in at the behest of Canadian human rights lawyer, Robert Tibbo, soon after he leaked documents detailing top-secret U.S. … Continue reading Family who sheltered Snowden in Hong Kong granted protection in Canada

CIA removes Vienna station chief over handling of Havana syndrome cases: report

The CIA removed its Vienna, Austria station chief recently amid criticism the person did not take seriously a surge in mysterious “Havana syndrome” cases, the Washington Post reported Thursday.The US government, including the CIA and Pentagon, has ramped up staff to investigate and provide treatment for cases of “Havana syndrome” Dozens of cases affecting embassy staff and Central Intelligence Agency officers and family members have been reported in Vienna recently, but the unnamed station chief expressed skepticism and showed insensitivity, the Post said, citing intelligence sources. A CIA spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the report, but said the agency … Continue reading CIA removes Vienna station chief over handling of Havana syndrome cases: report

MI5 boss warns of Afghanistan ‘morale boost’ for extremists

The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is likely to have “emboldened” so-called lone wolf terrorists in the UK, the director general of MI5 has warned. Ken McCallum told the BBC that while the terror threat would not change overnight, there could be a “morale boost” for extremists. “We need to be vigilant for an increase in inspired terrorism,” he said. A total of 31 late-stage attack plots have been foiled in the UK in the past four years, said Mr McCallum. That includes six during the pandemic period alone, he added. While they were largely Islamic extremist plots, there … Continue reading MI5 boss warns of Afghanistan ‘morale boost’ for extremists

China media says Spavor sent Kovrig photos of military equipment

China’s Global Times tabloid says Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, who was convicted of espionage in August, sent photographs of military equipment to fellow Canadian Michael Kovrig, who is also being held in Beijing. The state-run newspaper, citing an unidentified source, said on Thursday that the photos and videos Spavor took of the equipment were state secrets. It said Spavor took the images on “multiple occasions and illegally provided some of those photos to people outside China”. “The photos and videos have been identified as second-tier state secrets.” Spavor was also a “key informant” for Kovrig, it added, “and provided him with information … Continue reading China media says Spavor sent Kovrig photos of military equipment

Briton suspected of spying for Russia arrested in Germany

A British man has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of spying for Russia. German federal prosecutors said the man – named only as David S – worked at the British embassy in Berlin. He allegedly passed documents to Russian intelligence “at least once” in exchange for an “unknown amount” of money. He was arrested in Potsdam outside Berlin on Tuesday and his home and workplace have been searched. The German Foreign Ministry said it is taking the case “very seriously”. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters: “Spying on a close ally on German soil is absolutely unacceptable and we … Continue reading Briton suspected of spying for Russia arrested in Germany

Ex-contractor jailed for leaking US drone attack secrets

A former intelligence analyst was sentenced Tuesday to 45 months in prison for leaking secrets about the US military’s drone attacks that were the basis of a powerful 2015 news expose.A US Reaper drone of the type used by the military and intelligence in targeted assassinations exposed in a 2015 series by The Intercept Daniel Everette Hale, 33, worked as an Air Force intelligence officer developing targets for drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2011-2012, an experience he said left him emotionally scarred. After leaving military service, in 2014 he worked for a defense contractor for eight months which gave him access … Continue reading Ex-contractor jailed for leaking US drone attack secrets

#NSOGATE: French President Macron changes phone after hack reports

French President Emmanuel Macon has changed his phone and number after reports that he was targeted with Israeli-made spyware called Pegasus. The president’s office said Mr Macron had also ordered an overhaul of security protocols. This week, Le Monde reported that he and 14 French ministers were flagged for potential surveillance by Morocco. Moroccan authorities have denied using Pegasus, and said the allegations were “unfounded and false”. The spyware infects iPhones and Android devices, allowing users to extract messages, photos and emails. Calls can be recorded, while microphones and cameras can be activated covertly. It is not clear if the … Continue reading #NSOGATE: French President Macron changes phone after hack reports

#NSOGATE: French President Macron identified as spyware target

French President Emmanuel Macron is one of several world leaders believed to have been targeted for phone hacking using spyware, media reports say. The software, known as Pegasus, infects phones and allows operators to spy on their targets. The leaders are on a list of some 50,000 phone numbers of people believed to be of interest to clients of Israeli-based firm NSO Group. The list was leaked to major news outlets. NSO denies any wrongdoing. It says the software is intended for use against criminals and terrorists. It says it is made available only to military, law enforcement and intelligence … Continue reading #NSOGATE: French President Macron identified as spyware target

Update: Indian parliament opens amid Pegasus spyware row

India’s parliament has begun a new session on Monday amid allegations that spyware from an Israeli firm was used to hack phones of MPs, businessmen and journalists. The targets’ phone numbers were on a database believed to be of interest to clients of Israeli firm NSO. The list was leaked to major news outlets. It is unclear where the list came from or how many phones were hacked, the Indian government has denied any unauthorised surveillance. The allegations about the use of the malware, known as Pegasus, were published on Sunday as part of a global investigation by the Washington … Continue reading Update: Indian parliament opens amid Pegasus spyware row

Israeli spyware maker is in spotlight amid reports of wide abuses

A major Israeli cyber-surveillance company, NSO Group, came under heightened scrutiny Sunday after an international alliance of news outlets reported that governments used its software to target journalists, dissidents and opposition politicians.Hatice Cengiz, Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, was reportedly targeted using Pegasus software. The Israeli government also faced renewed international pressure for allowing the company to do business with authoritarian regimes that use the spyware for purposes that go far afield of the company’s stated aim: targeting terrorists and criminals. NSO strongly denied the claims. NSO has attracted scrutiny since 2016, when the company’s software was said to be used against a … Continue reading Israeli spyware maker is in spotlight amid reports of wide abuses