Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to build a UHF SATCOM antenna for under $20 FINAL PART

I received many e-mails about my UHF SATCOM antenna article, some of them asking nicely and some downright obscene. I have many reason whey I didn't finish the article, which run the gamut from starting a new career to getting divorced, but looking back I should have not left you hanging.

That said, if you follow the directions in the post on Radio Reference you'll find out how to build the phase harness for the radiating elements.  It's fairly simple to do and will take you less than a day to build if you have the proper tools and patience.

Use my dimensions but use the phasing instructions on THIS THREAD and you'll succeed. I built a version using a large magnet and made me a mobile SATCOM antenna and it works amazingly well, even without amplification.

I also replaced the reflector at the rear of the first antenna I built with an old parabolic dish from a discarded DISH network antenna and turned it into a permanent UHF SATCOM base antenna and can now listen to UHF SATCOM from anywhere.

Currently I am working on a small handheld version. I will post a how-to article on it as soon as I get it done.

To the many who followed this series of articles and were patiently waiting for the other shoe to drop, thanks for your missives and overwhelming patience. To the other guy who just told me to go fuck myself, fuck you too.

-Steve Douglass


NSA in bed with Yahoo - allowed spy software on mail servers.

REUTERS: Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events.

Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.

It is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment, said the sources, who did not want to be identified.

Reuters was unable to determine what data Yahoo may have handed over, if any, and if intelligence officials had approached other email providers besides Yahoo with this kind of request.

According to the two former employees, Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's decision to obey the directive roiled some senior executives and led to the June 2015 departure of Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos, who now holds the top security job at Facebook Inc."Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States," the company said in a brief statement in response to Reuters questions about the demand. Yahoo declined any further comment.

Through a Facebook spokesman, Stamos declined a request for an interview.

The NSA referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which declined to comment.

The demand to search Yahoo Mail accounts came in the form of a classified directive sent to the company's legal team, according to the three people familiar with the matter.

U.S. phone and Internet companies are known to have handed over bulk customer data to intelligence agencies. But some former government officials and private surveillance experts said they had not previously seen either such a broad directive for real-time Web collection or one that required the creation of a new computer program.

"I've never seen that, a wiretap in real time on a 'selector,'" said Albert Gidari, a lawyer who represented phone and Internet companies on surveillance issues for 20 years before moving to Stanford University this year. A selector refers to a type of search term used to zero in on specific information.

"It would be really difficult for a provider to do that," he added.

Experts said it was likely that the NSA or FBI had approached other Internet companies with the same demand, since they evidently did not know what email accounts were being used by the target. The NSA usually makes requests for domestic surveillance through the FBI, so it is hard to know which agency is seeking the information.

Reuters was unable to confirm whether the 2015 demand went to other companies, or if any complied.
Alphabet Inc's Google and Microsoft Corp, two major U.S. email service providers, did not respond to requests for comment.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Shadow Brokers have no takers for stolen cyber tools...


Foreign hackers responsible for the theft of top secret cyber weapons from the National Security Agency are ranting that no one is interested in buying the stolen cyber tools.

A group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which claimed responsibility in mid-August for penetrating the NSA and seizing prized malware, said in a profane Borat-like postingover the weekend that it has found “no interest” for its online auction of the pilfered cyber weapons.

The group originally released some teaser cyber tools for free, and analysts confirmed that they appeared to be state-of-the-art malware from the NSA’s secret hacking division.

“TheShadowBrokers is realizing peoples is not thinking auction is being real?” the hackers said in the message, in broken English, adding that the online auction for the stolen tools “is sounding crazy but is being real.”

The hackers initially demanded one million Bitcoin for the stolen malware, a pile of crypto currency worth about $611 million today. In their latest message, the group acknowledged that that price was “a ridiculous sum” and indicated it would accept far less.

The stolen malware allows perpetrators to break through security firewalls and lurk unseen, monitoring network traffic or launching a devastating cyber attack.

The Shadow Brokers’ message is vulgar and hard to read, sounding as if it is written by angry poor speakers of English. Whether it is all show is not clear as the identity of the hackers is unknown

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/nation-world/national/article105708446.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, September 12, 2016

Snowden releases Top Secret spy satellite PAN details ...

Documents obtained by the online publication ‘The Intercept‘ from NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden have lifted the veil on one of America’s most enigmatic satellite missions of recent years, roaming high above Earth to intercept the communications of commercial satellites otherwise not accessible in the NSA’s information-gathering efforts.

Only known by the name of PAN, the satellite was sent into orbit on September 8, 2009 atop an Atlas V rocket under contract with an undisclosed U.S. Government Agency. No agency claimed ownership of the satellite – a highly unusual move as even the National Reconnaissance Office, operator of U.S. spy satellites, publicly acknowledges the launches of its intelligence-gathering birds.
Although no government agency would step forward, spacecraft builder Lockheed Martin was happy to announce the company had built the spacecraft based on the A2100 commercial satellite platform and even released a photo of it in its factory. Normally, photos of U.S. spy assets are kept under wraps until declassification decades after the fact, adding more mystery to PAN’s case.

According to Lockheed Martin, PAN was ordered by its hush-hush operator in 2006 and construction and testing on the satellite finished within three years, suggesting some urgency in getting the satellite into orbit.

The mission’s elusive three-letter designation apparently stood for ‘Palladium at Night.’ In addition to being the name of a rare silver-white metal, Palladium can also stand for a safeguard, “especially one viewed as a guarantee of the integrity of social institutions.” After its successful arrival in orbit, PAN changed its enigmatic name for the numeric designation USA-207 in America’s fleet of classified satellites.

Whenever a classified U.S. intelligence satellite sets sail for its top secret destination in space, a worldwide network of satellite trackers mobilizes to scan the sky for the newly launched bird, also employing radio equipment to help characterize its activity to reveal clues on the craft’s tasks.

In case of PAN, radio observations performed while the satellite was still riding atop its Atlas V booster revealed it was transmitting on a beacon frequency previously employed by Ultra High Frequency Follow-On satellites providing secure communications to mobile military users. However, the lone image of the satellite released by Lockheed showed it was not carrying any large helix antennas required for UHF communications, adding to the mystery of PAN’s actual identity.
PAN parked in close proximity to PakSat-1, operated by the government of Pakistan since 2002.

Eventually, satellite spotters found USA-207 in a position over Africa, having entered its high-altitude perch in Geostationary Orbit where the craft’s speed matches that of Earth’s rotation so it can remain in the same position relative to the ground.

The Snowden document is the first to tie the PAN satellite to a series of satellites codenamed NEMESIS – a designation first uncovered in a leaked U.S. government budget breakdown. Part of the High-Altitude Signals Intelligence branch, NEMESIS received a $500-million budget for Fiscal Year 2011 for what is now known to be the second satellite in the constellation, referred to as CLIO.

While no explanation for the acronym CLIO was offered, its mission was quickly connected to PAN given many parallels between the two including the Lockheed satellite platform and similar levels of secrecy surrounding its September 2014 liftoff from Florida’s Space Coast.

According to the MHS document, the inauguration of the NEMESIS satellites was expected to “open up new opportunities for discovery and will enhance collection efforts for the intelligence community into areas not previously explored.

Monday, August 29, 2016

SETI researchers hopeful about radio spike.

SETI researchers are buzzing about a strong spike in radio signals that seemed to come from the direction of a sunlike star in the constellation Hercules, known as HD 164595.

The signal conceivably fits the profile for an intentional transmission from an extraterrestrial source – but it could also be a case of earthly radio interference, or a microlensing event in which the star’s gravitational field focused stray signals coming from much farther away.

In any case, the blip is interesting enough to merit discussion by those who specialize in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI – including Centauri Dreams’ Paul Gilster, who brought the case into the public eye this weekend.

At least two SETI research groups are aiming to track HD 164595 tonight. The SETI Institute is using the Allen Telescope Array in northern California, while METI International is looking to the Boquete Optical SETI Observatory in Panama.

Gilster reports that the signal spike was detected more than a year ago, on May 15, 2015, by the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya. That facility is in the Russian republic of Karachay-Cherkessia, not far from the Georgian border.

The apparent source of the signal, HD 164595, is interesting for a couple of reasons: It’s a sunlike star, about 95 light-years away from Earth, and it’s already known to have at least one “warm Neptune” planet called HD 164595 b. “There could, of course, be other planets still undetected in this system,” Gilster says.


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