Update On Surveillance Methods

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by ESQ_ERRANT, Nov 19, 2011.

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    ESQ_ERRANT Registered Member

    Jul 13, 2006

    This article appeared in today's [November 19-20 (Saturday/Sunday) 2011] "Wall Street Journal": "Document Trove Exposes Surveillance Methods." Consider my entry here to be, in part, an update to Daveski17's March 8, 2011 post on "FinFisher."

    I quote in passim, various paragraphs of this fairly lengthy article for Wilders users review, consideration and comment:

    "Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal open a rare window into a new global market for the off-the-shelf surveillance technology that has arisen in the decade since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2011. The techniques described in the trove of 200-plus marketing documents, spanning 36 companies, include hacking tools that enable governments to break into people's computers and cell-phones, and 'massive intercept' gear that can gather all Internet communications in a country. The paper were obtained from attendees of a secretive surveillance conference held near Washington, D.C. last month."

    "Critics say the market represents a new sort of arms trade supplying Western governments and repressive nations alike. 'The Arab Spring countries all had more sophisticated surveillance capabilities than I would have guessed,' said Andrew McLaughlin, who recently left his post as deputy chief technology officer in the White House, referring to the Middle eastern and African nations wracked by violent crackdowns on dissent."

    "Many of the technologies at the Washington-area show related to 'massive intercept' monitoring, which can capture vast amounts of data."

    "The documents show that at least three companies--Vupen Security SA of France, HackingTeam SRL of Italy and Gamma's FinFisher--marketed their skill at the kinds of techniques often used in 'malware,' the software used by criminals trying to steal people's financial or personal details. The goal is to overcome the fact that most surveillance techniques are 'useless against encryption and can't reach information that never leaves the device,' Marco Valleri, offensive security manager at HackingTeam, said in an interview [adding], 'We can defeat that.' "

    "The documents for FinFisher, a Gamma product, say [FinFisher] works by 'sending fake software updates for popular software.' In one example, FinFisher [developers] say intelligence agents deployed its products 'within the main Internet service provider of their country' and infected people's computers by 'covertly injecting' FinFisher code on websites that people then visited. The Company also claims to have allowed an intelligence agency to trick users into downloading its software onto Black-Berry mobile phones 'to monitor all communications. . . .' Its marketing documents say its programs enable spying using devices and software from Apple, Microsoft, and Google Inc., among others. A Google spokesman declined to comment on FinFisher specificially, adding that Google doesn't 'tolerate abuse of our services.' An Apple spokewoman said the company works 'to find and fix any issues that could compromise [users'] systems.' Microsoft and Research in Motion Ltd., which makes Black-Berry devices, declined to comment."

    In interviews in Dubai, executives at several companies said they were aware their products could be abused by authoritarian regimes but they can't control their use after a sale. 'This is the dilemma,' said Klaus Mochalski, co-founder of ipoque, a German company specializing in deep-packet inspection, a powerful technology that analyzes Internet traffic. 'It's like a knife. You can always cut vegetables but you can also kill your neighbor.' "

    Boy, I'm sure glad the U.S. is a non-authoritarian democratic republic. So, these surveillance utilities would unlikely never be used against U.S. citizens, especially not against "OWS" demonstrators.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  2. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
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