The Search for Infamous Phone Phreaker Susy Thunder

The Verge has a cool story about searching for Susy Thunder, a phone phreaker and social engineer.

Susan found her way into the hacker underground through the phone network. In the late 1970s, Los Angeles was a hotbed of telephone culture: you could dial-a-joke, dial-a-horoscope, even dial-a-prayer. Susan spent most of her days hanging around on 24-hour conference lines, socializing with obsessives with code names like Dan Dual Phase and Regina Watts Towers. Some called themselves phone phreakers and studied the Bell network inside out; like Susan’s groupie friends, they knew how to find all the back doors.

A Crypto Wallet Crack Recovered $2 Million in Tokens

The Verge had a fascinating story out yesterday about a crypto wallet crack that helped two friends get their tokens back. It’s a long-ish read but not overly technical.

Reich gave up and wrote off the money in his mind. He was willing to take the loss — until the price started to rise again. From a low of around $12,000, the value of their tokens started to skyrocket. By the end of 2020, it would be worth more than $400,000, rising briefly to over $3 million. It would be hard to get into the wallet without the PIN — but it wasn’t impossible. And with potentially millions on the line, Reich and his friend vowed to find a way inside.

Saudi Activist With EFF Sues DarkMatter Group for Hacking iPhone

Saudi human rights activist Loujain AlHathloul, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is suing DarkMatter for hacking her iPhone. DarkMatter Group was created and run by former U.S. intelligence operatives.

Reuters broke the news about the hacking program called Project Raven in 2019, reporting that when UAE transferred the surveillance work to Emirati firm DarkMatter, the U.S. operatives, who learned spycraft working for the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies, went along and ran DarkMatter’s hacking program, which targeted human rights activists like AlHathloul, political dissenters, and even Americans residing in the U.S.

Hacking US Diplomats in Uganda May Have Led to NSO Group Downfall

ArsTechnica shares the story of how U.S. diplomats in Uganda were hacked by Pegasus, a spyware tool from NSO Group.

Israeli and US officials declined to confirm that the Ugandan hack directly triggered a decision to blacklist NSO. But one US official who discussed the issue with Israel’s defense ministry said: “Look at the entire sequence of events here—this is careful, not by chance.” He added that putting NSO, one of the jewels of Israel’s tech community, on a US blacklist was designed to “punish and isolate” the company.