Latest posts by Alvin Bryan (see all)
- Millionaire Tyupkin Malware ATM Hackers May Come to US, India After Hitting Europe - October 23, 2014
- BitLicense Will Allow Bitcoin Spying in New York - October 22, 2014
- Australians are Fighting Data Retention Laws - October 22, 2014
A batch of new NSA secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal a new connection between Facebook and the NSA. Facebook VPNs are necessary to protect users from data mining by the social media giant, and data sharing with the spy agency. But Facebook VPNs have become even more vital with this breaking news. The NSA has been pretending to be Facebook so it can access users’ computer systems.
How the NSA Spoofs Facebook Connections
The NSA has control of a number of servers. They have been rerouting certain target users from Facebook to those servers. They pretend to be Facebook in the same way that hackers and thieves and other online criminals spoof connections. It is called a man-on-the-side attack. The leaked documents contain a video with a specific description of how the agency does it. The NSA controls the connection of users to Facebook so that they believe they are in fact communicating with the social media site. The NSA monitors the attempts of their targets to connect to Facebook. Then they send back data that looks like it’s coming from Facebook. But that data is actually a type of virus that scoops up data on the target’s computer. The data is then sent to a NSA controlled server. It is the same technique applied by learned hackers and sophisticated cybercriminal organizations.
This ruse allows the NSA to secretly monitor millions of users through their computers. And this Facebook server spoofing is just one of the secret methods the NSA has been employing to carry out secret mass surveillance. Facebook made a statement regarding this spoof. Their spokesperson claims that the attack is no longer viable because the site has upgraded its security. In a defensive comment, he also mentioned that other sites can fall victim to the same tactics. The documents indicate that this Facebook spoofing was used to target individual Facebook users and not to collect mass data. But it had the potential to collect massive amounts of data on target individuals. The documents also indicate that the agency aims to be able to use this and similar techniques on millions of people.
Facebook VPNs for Data Privacy
The NSA claims that it only used the Facebook server spoof on intelligence targets. They also stated that the operation was carried out legally. But the surveillance of certain individuals always puts other, innocent people at risk. A few days ago, reports of FISA amendments showed us that innocent citizens are no longer protected by FISC. Instead, FISC has altered the original 1978 law so that personal data could be gathered and shared without warrant.
People have been using Facebook VPNs to protect their identities on the social media site. Facebook VPNs hide Internet users’ IP addresses so they can’t be tracked and profiled. But many people are not overly concerned about what data Facebook collects about them. They are not bothered that the site profiles them for advertising. But they might be concerned about being recorded on NSA databases as being in contact with terror suspects. Those who have used Facebook VPNs would have had protection against this. And though Facebook claims that this spoofing tactic no longer works on their site, Facebook VPNs can still protect users from the same attacks executed on other websites.
Facebook VPNs protect users from being caught up in targeted surveillance in three steps. First, they hide the users’ IP addresses so that they cannot be identified. And the IP addresses that they get from the Facebook VPNs’ servers ensure that they cannot be individually connected to any other user. Second, they encrypt user data and traffic. Some encryption methods have been compromised, so you need to choose a VPN provider like ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN, the only known VPN protocol that has no vulnerabilities. It cannot be infiltrated by the NSA because it is Open Source. This means that it is policed by thousands of developers dedicated to keeping it clean and safe. Third, Facebook VPNs route user traffic through private VPN tunnels. Only the VPN provider has the ability to see what site the user is visiting and what he or she is sending. To maintain top privacy and security, however, you need to be able to trust your VPN provider. Again, ExpressVPN is a good choice because they do not keep logs of user activities. This means that there is no data to be had even if a court ordered the provider to turn it over.
Zuckerberg’s reacts angrily to the NSA posing as Facebook to spread malware.
The NSA rebuffs, claiming allegations of Facebook spoofing and malware infection are false
The irony of Zuckerberg’s anti-NSA rant.