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June 16, 2021, 06:11:37 pm
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Author Topic: Tulsa's Role in Cybersecurity, Spying  (Read 2389 times)
T-Town Elder
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These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For

« on: November 14, 2019, 01:12:00 pm »

TU, GKFF announce partnership with international cybersecurity venture capital firm
Team8, an Israeli firm with offices in the U.S., will place a “full-time research director” on campus.


Tulsa’s push to become the cybersecurity hub of the nation, unlikely to succeed

Soldiers with top-secret clearances say they were forced to use an app that could endanger them

Soldiers in an intelligence unit with top-secret clearances were ordered by their commander to download an information app, triggering fear their secretive work could be harnessed and exploited by adversary governments, soldiers in the unit told The Washington Post.

Army Col. Deitra L. Trotter, the commander of Fort Hood’s 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, told her soldiers in late October a new app developed for the unit could provide weather updates, training changes and other logistics. She then told the soldiers to download it onto their personal smartphones, according to the Texas-based soldiers in the unit.

But the soldiers — many of whom have jobs in interrogation, human intelligence and counterintelligence — soon noticed that the app’s terms of service said it could collect substantial amounts of personal data and that the developer has a presence overseas.
That caused widespread concern that a hack could put individuals and missions worldwide at risk, soldiers in the unit said.

“We do top-secret work,” said one noncommissioned officer, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution by their chain of command. “If our personal information is being put out there to a foreign power, what can they get from our brigade?”

The app’s permissions — which suggested it could pull GPS location data, photos, contacts and even rewrite memory cards — frustrated soldiers who have taken extreme precautions they felt were glossed over by Trotter and other senior leaders.

“Just being in intelligence, we are trained to be extremely paranoid of everything,” the soldier said. “This is serious operational security not being considered.”

The worst-case scenario, he said, was “our cover might be blown.” While the app said permissions could be disabled, the soldiers said there was a failure of confidence it was secure. Senior leaders checked the phones of subordinates to ensure they had the app installed, soldiers in the unit said.

Adversarial governments and intelligence agencies prize gateways to people who collect and manage classified information, said David Forscey, the managing director of the Aspen Institute’s Cybersecurity Group.

Sensitive information like loan debts, history of drug use or even a trail of adultery through dating apps are all pieces of information that can be used to blackmail soldiers or coerce them to hand over classified information, he said.

Even if secrets gathered from a soldier aren’t apparent now, they could be useful later if correlated with other data.

For instance, he said, there is belief that a massive Chinese hack of U.S. security clearances may have been paired with theft of medical information in the Anthem hack to find U.S. officials with access to classified information who may also have big hospital bills — making them a prime target for exploitation.

The app developer, Straxis LLC, is based in Tulsa but has a subsidiary in southern India.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 04:40:20 pm by patric » Logged

"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2019, 07:57:24 pm »

That's right up there with Sondland talking to Trump about bribing Ukraine on a plain ole' cell phone!


"So he brandished a gun, never shot anyone or anything right?"  --TeeDub, 17 Feb 2018.

I don’t share my thoughts because I think it will change the minds of people who think differently.  I share my thoughts to show the people who already think like me that they are not alone.
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