Solving "Gauss"
Code for the gauss virus, a new cyberweapon that attacks bank accounts
August 16th, 2012
11:16 PM ET

Solving "Gauss"

By Suzanne Kelly

Researchers at the same cybersecurity lab that announced the discovery of the Flame virus this past May believe they have discovered a related set of code that serves as a Trojan horse, and they're asking the wider cryptographic community to help them crack it.

The newly found code dubbed "Gauss" appears to be a cyber-espionage toolkit that has the ability to intercept passwords, steal computer system configuration information and access credential information for banks located in the Middle East. But researchers at Kaspersky Lab in Russia say things don't seem to be only as they appear.

"We're talking about a complex package," says senior security researcher Kurt Baumgartner, who says the code appears to be created by a nation-state. "It's unique and different in a few ways; it maintains code and has similar functionality to Flame and Stuxnet."

Flame and Stuxnet are computer viruses that have the ability to rewrite code. Stuxnet targeted Iran's nuclear program. It rewrote code that caused enrichment centrifuges to spin out of control, rendering them useless. The U.S. and Israel are widely believed to be behind the creation of the virus.

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Army sees highest suicide rate in July
A soldier on patrol in Afghanistan. Photo by ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images
August 16th, 2012
05:38 PM ET

Army sees highest suicide rate in July

By Jamie Crawford

Soldiers killed themselves at a higher monthly rate in July than any other since detailed statistics have been kept on the issue, the U.S. Army said Thursday.

A total of 38 confirmed or suspected suicides were counted by the Army last month in a tally that took into account both active and non-active duty soldiers who serve in the Army National Guard or Reserve. Three of those active duty soldiers were deployed at the time of their death.

Prior to the announcement, the highest monthly level suicide rate for soldiers was 33 in the months of June 2010 and July 2011 according to statistics released by the Army.
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Filed under: Army
7 Americans killed in Afghan helicopter crash
A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flies near the Spozhmai Hotel in Qargha lake in the outskirts of Kabul on June 22, 2012.
August 16th, 2012
10:36 AM ET

7 Americans killed in Afghan helicopter crash

Seven American service members were among the 11 people killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

Three members of the Afghan National Security Forces and an Afghan civilian interpreter also died in the crash of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, the ISAF said.

The helicopter had been on patrol when it went down in the Chinarto area of Shah Wali Kut district in Kandahar province, the Kandahar governor's office said in a news release.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military
Former special forces officers slam Obama over leaks on bin Laden killing
A video from a group of ex-Navy SEALs and special forces officers accuses President Obama of leaking classified information.
August 16th, 2012
06:08 AM ET

Former special forces officers slam Obama over leaks on bin Laden killing

By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd

A web video featuring former special forces officers accuses President Barack Obama of taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden and allowing classified information about the raid to become public.

The ad also includes former Navy SEALs.

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Filed under: Military • Navy SEALs • Obama • Osama bin Laden
Comic imagines world of top secret military unit
August 16th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Comic imagines world of top secret military unit

By Henry Hanks

Early this year, comic book writer Nathan Edmondson set out to tell fictional stories based on the super-secret U.S. government paramilitary organization once named the Intelligence Support Activity (or ISA).

But it turns out what Edmonson created from his wildest imaginations hues pretty close to reality about the little known, seldom discussed agency.

His stories focused on a specialized subset of the organization that was a "technologically advanced, mixed-gender team of first responders with backgrounds in a variety of military and spy disciplines."

In reality, the ISA has been around since the 1970s. Originally hidden from the Pentagon and Congress, its existence has never publicly or officially been acknowledged.

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Filed under: Military • Pop Culture