Microsoft Selling User Data to FBI, Syrian Electronic Army Released Invoices - BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

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Microsoft Selling User Data to FBI, Syrian Electronic Army Released Invoices

The SEA, a hacker group loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is best known for hijacking Western media companies' social media accounts. 

According to documents allegedly hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, Microsoft often charges the FBI's most secretive division hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to legally view customer information.

The Syrian Electronic Army says it hacked into the FBI's super-secret Digital Intercept Technology Unit (DITU), where they found the actual invoices from Microsoft detailing how much each request for data cost.

An invoice from December 2012 totals $145,100 which boils down to $100 per request. The rate had doubled by August 2013 when Microsoft charged the FBI $200 per request for a total of $352,200. 

The most recent invoice from November 2013 is $281,000. All of those six-figure sums  are for one month's worth of user data requests. That adds up to millions of dollars a year.

The Microsoft invoices provided by the SEA, dated May 10, 2012, breaks down requests by type of legal request, and it shows them to all explicitly come legally, though nothing in the documents indicates the later invoices refer to illegal surveillance.
User information by a subpoena costs $50, a court order $75, and a search warrant $100. The requests come from FBI offices all around the U.S.

This is all assuming that the documents are real. While we know that the Syrian Electronic Army has hacked Microsoft before, it's always hard to tell if hacked documents are authentic or just another excuse for attention. 

However, Microsoft did announce a breach on its blog earlier this year. "It appears that documents associated with law enforcement inquiries were stolen," reads the post.

The invoices don't make explicit the exact type of information Microsoft charges DITU to provide, which may account for the price changes.



Author Venkatesh Yalagandula Follow us Google + and Facebook and Twitter


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