Saturday, June 13, 2009

Phone hacks financed terrorism

Authorities in the US and Italy arrested a group of hackers and others who allegedly stole phone service (about 12 million minutes, valued at $55 million), resold it via call centers and phone cards, and used the profit to fund terrorist activities.

Three suspects living in the Philipines allegedly provided Pakistani nationals living in Italy with access to stolen phone lines. According to Philippines authorities, one of the suspects has ties to al Qaeda.

The hackers received about $100 a hack, in payments made by the Madina Trading Co., which provided wire transfers via U.S.-based money-transfer services. The company, owned by one of the call center operators, also paid for the Internet-based phone accounts used by the 11-26 Mumbai attackers to make calls to their handlers.

See, "Alleged Hacking-Terror Effort Thwarted," Wall St. Journal, June 13, 2009, at

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

US accidentally posts nuclear secrets

The US federal government mistakenly posted on the Internet a 266-page report -- with pages marked “highly confidential” -- setting out details on hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons.

After inquiries from The New York Times, the document was withdrawn from the Government Printing Office Web site.

See, "U.S. Releases Secret List of Nuclear Sites Accidentally," New York Times, June 2, 2009, at