Morning Security Brief: Cell Phone Tracking, New Hacker Collective Appears Online, Sensitive Record Breach, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) wants to know the role the country’s biggest cell phone service providers play in helping local police departments conduct surveillance and track suspects during investigations. In a letter to eight carriers, Markey asks them to explain the process of providing the information to law enforcement and to provide the number of times information was requested.

►A new hacking collective called the Unknowns made its online debut by posting a list of passwords and documents it says belong to NASA, the European Space Agency, and the U.S. Air Force. The information was posted on Pastebin Tuesday, but some of the hacks date back to March. “Victims, we have released some of your documents and data, we probably harmed you a bit but that's not really our goal because if it was then all of your websites would be completely defaced but we know that within a week or two, the vulnerabilities we found will be patched and that's what we're actually looking for,” the hackers wrote in the post. The group says it is willing to provide the organizations full information on how it was able to penetrate their networks.

►A Kansas City abortion clinic thinks an anti-abortion group, which says it has obtained dozens of records from the clinic, may be bluffing. The group, Operation Rescue, says it has obtained the medical records for 86 women who visited the facility. The records contain patient names, addresses, and details on their pregnancies, it says. President of Operation Rescue Troy Newman says the records show proof of violations and failure to report child abuse. Newman insists he obtained the records legally. The clinic’s attorney says the only way the records could have made it to Operation Rescue is if someone broke into the clinic, and that Newman most likely has sign-in sheets, if anything at all. 

►In other news, a secret audit by an intelligence agency found that terrorists in Indian prisons continue to use mobile phones to participate in planning. ♦ Cramming, putting secret or unauthorized charges on a person’s cell phone bill, is on the rise. ♦ And the Coast Guard explains how it spots drug subs from the air.





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