07/15/13

Active Defense Intelligence for the dark web

bitcoin-gollum

good guys and bad guys use Bitcoins too

gAtO - reading about  tools to enable business to have a proactive intelligence of the dark web for an “ Active Defense”. This new model includes not only traditional but unconventional methods using OSINT to gather the intelligence needed.

Companies are getting sick and tired after years of focusing mainly on the defensive postures like malware used in data breaches and financially motivated hacks, some security experts have begun to turn the spotlight on the attacker himself, attempting to profile the bad actors stealing your blueprints or customer credit card numbers, or leaking your usernames and passwords on Pastebin.

The facts are that corporations are spending millions of dollars in defense and defense-in-depth and best practices, and it’s still not helping. With the new active defense we’re making the adversary earn their medals, but they are still getting in. It may take two days now instead of one but we have a fighting chance.

The corporate world have defense and now adding this new model Active Defense (means = offensive) now you need a little dark web intelligence to bind the two together - gAtO OuT

04/5/13

Tor Tells It’s Secrets

gAtO pLaYiNg with words in Tor- We just simply counted the number of times a word appeared in our search engine by pages- this is something every search engine does but what it gave us was a picture of what Tor really is. It’s not all crime and ugly but information is number one in Tor. Exactly what it’s supposed to be. Tor was created to share information from the table below we see lot’s of stuff inside Tor.output

Tor word data points: We put this report together to see what our word count occurrence was, in our crawled data so far. The chart below gives an interesting picture of the Tor data points that it generates.

We are finding that these are the best categories to put our websites into. The words by site occurrence speaks volumes to understand trends in Tor.  For example it shows i2p network in Tor 2 notices above drugs in Tor. Because i2p is fast being intwined with Tor to get better anonymity.

  • These are real data point based on 3/27/2013-4/3/2013 – this is a live report from our crawls.
  • As we crawl and add more data our picture will change as to the landscape of Tor. 
  • Bitcoins is the fourth most popular word – currency in the Dark Web is number 1  

Word Num. Occurrences
blog 1014
wiki 985
anonymous 966
bitcoin 837
sex 530
gun 492
market 458
I2P 400
software 372
drugs 365
child 353
pedo 321
hacking 314
weapon 221
politic 209
books 157
exploit 118
anarchism 105
porno 88
baby 87
CP 83
fraud 76
piracy 69

 

  • Bitcoins are above SEX tell us volumes in that bit coins are the normal exchange currency in Tor.
  • Fraud and piracy are the lowest were we would except it to be much higher, People trust more in Tor.

This map does tell us that crime is everywhere in Tor at a more alarming rate than we though.

We are doing the same in the e-mail we found in Tor. In the email table is a place where we can get a better picture of emails in the Tor network. Not all of them go to tormail.org as we thought. As mentioned more i2p and connections with other anonymous networks seems to be a trend, as the growth rate of Tor users increase so is the technical base and more sophisticated users will come on board.

Hope this gives you a better picture of Tor. -gAtO oUt

03/10/13

Finding the Bad Guy’s in Tor -triangulated irregular network

gAtO ThInKiNg - a car GPS works very simple, It takes the delay time from one geo-positioned satellite and compares is to another geo-positional satellite and estimates the position of the GPS in my CAR – I think they call it satellite triangulation or something cool, it’s been done with radios to guide pilots navigate ever since they developed radios. We do it with satellite and we can use networks too.

triangulated irregular network  -So now apply this to the Tor bad guy’s websites- a hidden service!math_clouadTag

With a simple command you can get the time it takes to crawl a website, so you have one server in the U.S one is South America, one in Europe and one in Asia and we run the same command getting the delays from each location. I bet with a little math and some basic network tools we could figure out the geo-location of any given website in Tor. One of my good mentors told me that in my crawls I was capturing timing information, we all see timing information with a simple ping command in the clear web but in Tor – UDP is unsupported so it does not work -//- we must take into account the Tor network thru-put and utilization bit that’s easy to get from a number of Tor tools.

Reverse triangulation of a network server should be easy to find with a little math, just take a good sample and the longer you wait the more data you collect and the better the chance you can find a geo-location of a website. We do this in the clear web all the time we can see bad areas of the world that are bad spammers, and other like mail from Africa Prince Scams offering you millions if you send them some money to cover the transfer, or Russian and Chinese phishing attacks. So we know geo-location and some IP are more prime to bad actors and we can draw a profile, a geo-location of a place and/or  country or an ISP so not having the IP of a Tor server may not be neededto find them we could use network triangulation. “triangulated irregular network  ” So the same thing can be done with networks and timing delays of data back and forth from a // client <–> Tor OR <–>server.

I got a crazy Idea that may or may-not work, but it sounds good—//  so— Now if I can only find a government grant and a good math major to help out and we have a big business model to find the bad guy’s geo-location even in Tor - gAtO oUt…

03/9/13

Tor Website 36% are Criminals Sites

gAtO iS CrAwLliNg websites-We just completed our new crawl of Tor URL that we found. We started with 2,000 URL’s and we got about 550 positives from this first run. This will change since some sites go up and down for no rhyme or reason. I went back to verify one site that my crawl picked up with all kinds of good information but later when I went back it would not come up. So this is an ongoing thing in order to map out all of Tor’s hidden service websites. From the preliminary data Pedo sites are about 18% of the sites we discovered another 4-6% guns and assassins and another 14-16% of different criminal type’s of sites or scams. So that is over 36% of the sites we found were criminal type, that is not good for anyone.

Crawling Tor Hidden Service - websites

Crawling Tor Hidden Service – websites

Tor is an excellent software for being private and having some level of safety but this new light is not good for the people that want to use Tor and the Dark Web to do good things and positive things. Now we see that the bad guys are all over Tor-Dark Web we hope this list will help it become better.

This list is only available to Law enforcement, governments and selected security companies, you must be verified first before you can get a hold of this list of Onion websites in Tor. This is not a free list (we have to recover our cost of r&d) and this is only the first steps we have gained over 12,000 new URL in Tor from this crawl and will be doing more crawls and adding more information to the list.

What really freaked us out was the undocumented website that are not in any hidden wiki in Tor and the number of them being put out by criminals. Now some of the other information that we collected see list below will give us a baseline like — Last-Modified: — will give us an indication of how active they are. The —Server: & Web Application:— will give us the web app they use and from the looks of things some are vulnerable to all kinds of hacking attacks. Tor websites are the same as any site and if you don’t update your website, well your vulnerable to hacking from anyone and in Tor you don’t have a clue because they are protected just like the site.

This will be an ongoing crawl for the next year or so, so expect the list to grow and as new data is collected more will be revealed about the how, and the use of Tor and who uses Tor will become not just theories but facts that we can verify - gAtO OuT 

Internal URL’s

 [url] 

    [content_type]

    [http_code]

    [header_size]

    [request_size]

    [filetime]

    [ssl_verify_result]

    [redirect_count]

    [total_time]

    [namelookup_time] 

    [connect_time]

    [pretransfer_time]

    [size_upload] => 0

    [size_download] => 124

    [speed_download] => 7

    [speed_upload]

    [download_content_length] 

    [upload_content_length]

    [starttransfer_time]

    [redirect_time]

    [certinfo] 

Cache-Control

Expires: 

Pragma: 

HTTP

Server:

Crawl Date:

Content-Type: 

Content-Length:

Last-Modified:

Connection:

Accept-Ranges:

Proxy-Connection: 

Set-Cookie:

Content-Length: 

Accept-Ranges:

Web Application:

 

02/3/13

Offensive Cyber Capabilities

Companies Need Offensive Cyber Capabilities

gAtO hEaR - about banks seek U.S Help on Iran Cyberattack’s. We hear about cyber attacks in the financial sector, the oil and energy sectors, then Leon Panetta warned perpetrators to cease hacking the US while we have all kinds of sanctions against Iran -/ this is insanity. Your telling unknown hackers (we suspected Iran) to  just stop, or what. What can we do to prevent them from launching cyber attacks against America.

So Iran has only 3 NAT-access points and 1 submarine cable (Al-Faw, Iraq submarine cable)

 

Then you have all these security people putting up defenses without building a firewall so bad-ass that they cannot do business. If we keep building these defenses it will get to a point where it defeats the purpose of the Internet. So what is the logical next move, offensive cyber weapons and capabilities. We can find these attacks and pinpoint the IP of where they are coming from then all we need is offensive tools to find them and do a seal-team 6 extraction of something like that and get the word out that we will find you and hunt you down.

One little hacker can keep a bank tied up for days in the middle of the desert. They could go after our traffic system, our rail system we know that SCADA is so messed up and in some cases open with defaults passwords. So we beat our chest like some mad gorilla and hope to scare these hackers.

My friends we must take initiative and find ways to counter these attacks no more just defense and I don’t mean a Ddos attack that can be circumvented. We need to plant Bot-nets on these people’s machines and monitor them and if we have to go physical and bring them to justice. Forget about Iran and let’s just talk about Chinese hacker attacks of our intellectual property. They just denied it and go about planning the next attack. We seen Skynet were thousands of computers were given a disk wipe and the blue screen of death. Why don’t we do the same to these hackers going after our infrastructure.

We must change our tactics and be a little more aggressive and become real cyber warriors not just defenders but attacking them and destroying their machines, their servers and routers. How about we just monitor the 1 submarine cable and 3 access points in Iran that should lead us to some of these people. The US monitors our own people then we stand by and allow other hostile countries to go and hack us. This is cyber insanity - gAtO OuT

 

01/19/13

Government Spying on everyone -Thanks Microsoft

gAtO lEaRnOn 01-01-213 we hear that Microsoft buys Skype and makes changes to allow Police surveillance. Then on 01-07-2013 we hear that a professor at the Warsaw University of Technology, Wojciech Mazurczyk, found a way to insert secret 70 bits of data and add secret information similar to steganography.spy-spy

Lawful Intercept is what it’s called and we just heard punch – counter-punch from the government. I just posted about corporations and governments using offensive cyber weapons to fight crime, but this looks like just plain old spying on citizens like China, Iraq and Syria does. Skype is owned by Microsoft and we know that Word and other products have back doors for them to snoop and governments to use in criminal cases. I guess they do it the proper way and get a real FISA document to monitor us it’s citizens.

mEoW 12-30-2012 our re-elected President Obama signs FISA Warrantless Wiretapping Program. STOP – SAY WHAT. mEoW – Forget about gun control how about the privacy of citizens, are we becoming like China, Iraq and Syria the more I find out about this the crazier it becomes. I hate Skypes but now finding this out NO WAY DUDE-

I did a little digging and I found a document from the Straford hack from the LutzBoat crew and this has been on the play board for a long time. More and more governments that play nice with the America and Microsoft will have to live with the fact that they are spying on us, the people. I voted for Obama but I’m pretty sure any president would want to be able to justify this abuse of power to monitor it’s citizens, what get’s me is we scream and yell when other countries do it but here we are doing to ourselves and nobody is talking about this- Hay press wake up. I have nothing to hide but if you do you have been warned – enjoy your government spying on you behind your back - gAtO oUt

Lab Notes:

IT security continues to be the greatest challenge facing government CIOs worldwide. Most experts agree that governments require stronger partnerships between the public and private sectors for both better protection of government IT systems from intruders and for greater visibility into operators’ network traffic to fight crime. However, government systems and intelligence activities constitute a very sensitive information environment. Governments must proceed with caution when forming technology partnerships for hardening their IT network security. Melissa E. Hathaway, who in February 2009 was named to be the Obama Administration’s top cyber security official, points out how

Lawful Intercept

Challenge

Criminals, predators and hackers now use chats, blogs, webmail and Internet applications such as online gaming and file-sharing sites to hide their communications.

Solution

Qosmos provides law enforcement agencies with a powerful solution to identify a target using multiple virtual IDs and intercept all related IP- based communications. Any trigger, such as a “user login = target” initiates intercept of all IP traffic related to the “target.”

Example of recognized applications and protocols

VoIP Email (POP, SMTP)

Webmail (Gmail, Hotmail, Live Mail, SquirrelMail, Yahoo mail, etc.)

Instant Messaging (Aim, SNM, Skype, Yahoo, Google Talk, QQ, Maktoob, Paltalk, etc.)

Online games (World of Warcraft)

Online classified ads

Audio/Video (H.323, SIP, MGCP, RTP, RTCP, MMSE, RTSP, SHOUTcast, Yahoo Video,

MSN Video, SCCP, etc.)

Web applications (Dailymotion, Google, eBay, Google Earth, HTTP, MySpace, Wikipedia,

YouTube, etc.)

Example of information extracted

Caller, phone number, called party, duration of call

Webmail login, email address, sender, receiver, subject matter, attached documents

Instant messaging sender, receiver, contact lists and status

Forum login, IP address, MAC address, mobile ID (IMSI, IMEI)

Protocols identified even for unidirectional traffic (e.g. email by satellite).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/30/obama-fisa-warrantless-wiretapping_n_2385690.html

http://enterprise-call-recording.tmcnet.com/topics/enterprise-call-recording/articles/321789-sounds-silence-skype-hold-more-than-expected-thanks.htm

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?399961-Microsoft-Buys-Skype-Makes-Changes-to-Allow-Police-Surveillance

11/14/12

What Are ToR Hidden Service?

gAtO tHiNkInG - anonymity serves different interest for different user groups; To a private citizen it’s privacy, to a business it’s a network security issue. A business needs to keep trade secrets or have IP (knowledge base data-centers), communicate with vendors securely and we all know that business need to keep an eye on there competition – the competition can check your stats

update -11-14-2012 -uscyberlabs.com Tor Hidden Servicehttp://otwxbdvje5ttplpv.onion gAtO built this as a test sandbox / honeypot — cool logs stats -DOWN 4 upgrade – 06-11-2013

(http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/uscyberlabs.com) and check on how your business is doing, what keywords your using, demographics of users hitting your site—— by the way in the Tor-.onion network a web site/service cannot be monitored unless you want it…

How would a government use a ToR-network I’m asked all the time —

// if I was an (agent/business-person)state actor doing business in China (and other countries too) well I would use a ToR-.onion connection to keep my

business private from a government that is know to snoop a bit on travelers to their country. The fact is governments need anonymity for their security -think about it “What does the CIA Google for?” Maybe they us ToR??? But this is about Hidden services right.

 

What is a hidden service in ToR-.onion network?

SImply put it’s a web site/service, a place in the ToR network were we have a service like:

  • Search Engine
  • Directories
  • web / pop3 email
  • PM Private Messages
  • Drop Box’s
  • Re-mailers
  • Bulletin Boards BBS
  • Image Boards
  • Currency exchange
  • Blog
  • E-Commercce
  • Social Networks
  • Micro-Blog -

Hidden Services are called hidden, because your website’s IP in ToR is hidden- they cannot see the IP of your server — they can’t track you- if they can’t find you how are they gonna hack you???? Sorry I had to say that -((more about that later)). Now how do I keep this secret (my IP) and let you the user use my services. In the normal web if your in uscyberlabs.com your on my site,— my server -you can do a whois and get my IP and geo-location— then you can attack my website with dDoS and other IP attack vectors, you also get my location so you can physically find me- my server/my website – maybe go dumpster diving in the trash and get my company secrets— mAyBe sI – nO,

Well in the ToR-.onion network you the client ask the business website if they can use the websites service / then decide and start a handshake to a rendezvous POINT to meet  —we meet at an OR ((onion relay))-a rendezvous POINT) not at my server/ my IP — so your never ever on the business site/server when your in onionLand, you can’t do a whois and get my IP because we meet at an OR, you cannot find my geo-location…..

We have heard of the killings of Iranians and Syrian rebels being killed in todays news, when an Iranian rebel is fighting for his and his families life if they(the government) finds his IP or the IP of the website he visited // they will hunt that person down and the Iranian police/government will kill the whole family sometimes. So keeping an IP from someone is not an evil act it is an act of privacy for safety on both sides the client and the business.

you need to look at Figure 2 to explains this better:

Now let’s focus on R2 OR the yellow key. That’s the spot were you(your company’s hidden website) and your client meet — I know it’s a sneaky way of doing business but once again if they can’t get to your IP at least that is one attack vector that can’t be used to hack you or ddos you. OK they can still hack you but it’s software then. How it’s all done – the magic —the technical thingy to this is below —/this is just an outline of events of the client /hidden web/service protocol:














I goes something like this –

  • ESTABLISH RENDEZVOUS cell
  • INTRODUCE1
  • INTRODUCE2 cell
  • INTRODUCE ACK cell.
  • INTRODUCE2 cell
  • RENDEZVOUS1 cell
  • sends a RENDEZVOUS2 cell Chat
  • sends a RENDEZVOUS2 cell Blog
  • RENDEZVOUS ESTABLISHED cell

1. Whenever the rendezvous point receives a RELAY_COMMAND_RENDEZVOUS1  with the same cookie as the OR sent in the RELAY_COMMAND_INTRODUCTION1 cell it logs the reception and the IP address of the immediate transmitter of the cell. At the same time, the OR middle node monitors the circuits passing through it. Whenever it receives a DESTROY  cell over a circuit it checks:

1) whether the cell was received just after the rendezvous point received the RELAY_COMMAND_RENDEZVOUS1 cell;

2) if the next node of the circuit at the middle node coincides with the previous node of the circuit at the rendezvous point;

3) whether the number of forwarded cells is exactly 2 cells up the circuit and 52 cells down the circuit.

More Geek network kinda stuff::

1. Jun 03 20:50:02.100 [notice] Tor 0.2.1.0-alpha-dev (r14739) opening new log file.

2. Jun 03 20:50:11.151 [notice] We now have enough directory information to build circuits.

3. Jun 03 20:50:12.697 [info] rend_services_introduce(): Giving up on sabotage as intro point for stuptdu2qait65zm.

4. Jun 03 20:50:18.633 [info] rend_service_intro_established(): Received INTRO_ESTABLISHED cell on circuit 1560 for service stuptdu2qait65zm

5. Jun 03 20:51:18.997 [info] upload_service_descriptor(): Sending publish request for hidden service stuptdu2qait65zm

6. Jun 03 20:51:22.878 [info] connection_dir_client_reached_eof(): Uploaded rendezvous descriptor (status 200 (“Service descriptor stored”))

People ask me how can these hidden services be attacked???

It’s all the same as in the surface web you find the software the hidden service is using /// let’s say Worpress (or flatPress) if they use an old version with vulnerabilities then, that site can be hacked by traditional hacking attack vectors— gAtO can’t wait till USCyberLabs.com will have a sandbox in the .onion were we can have a honeypot for people to hack and learn from.  (we need Funding for these project donate please – we will share) gAtO has not tried Backtrack 5 on ToR-.onion network – mAyBe sI -nO – uscyberlabs.com has been hacked a few times already and is consistently fighting bot’s and spammer, it goes on and on.everywhere-.-.-.-

Here are some technologies used in the ToR-.onion network:

update -11-14-2012 -uscyberlabs.com Tor Hidden Service = http://otwxbdvje5ttplpv.onion gAtO built this as a test sandbox and it turned into a honeypot — cool logs stats

TorStatusNet – http://lotjbov3gzzf23hc.onion/   is a microblogging service. It runs the StatusNet microblogging software, version 0.9.9, available under the GNU Affero General Public License.

FlatPress is a blogging engine like -Wordpress blog http://flatpress.org/home/   – http://utup22qsb6ebeejs.onion/ -

Snapp BBS works fine in OnionLand - http://4eiruntyxxbgfv7o.onion/ -

PHP BBS – http://65bgvta7yos3sce5.onion/

Nginx is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server and reverse proxy, as well as an IMAP/POP3 proxy server.  – http://ay5kwknh6znfmcbb.onion/torbook/

Anyway I hope this open up the mystery of a hidden service in ToR – it’s just a website, you go to a rendezvous point and do your business — your IP and the business IP are totally secure. No digital breadcrumbs. Now a word to the wise in the ToR-.onion network you have some very tech savvy people and some are very stupid be a critical-cyber user always -gAtO oUt.

11/13/12

Protocol-Level Hidden Server Discovery -WRONG

sOrRy – AROGANT gAtO - Open letter to:zhenling - jluo -wkui - xinwenfu – at seu.edu.cn cs.uvic.ca cs.uml.edu  - I wrote to you and gave you a chace to reply so her it goes for everyone to see that you rigged your lab in real life it does not work like you claim – gATO OuT – may be wrong mAyBe Si -nO 

zhenling@seu.edu.cn
jluo@seu.edu.cn
wkui@cs.uvic.ca
xinwenfu@cs.uml.edu

Protocol-Level Hidden Server Discovery

Since entry onion router is the only node that may know the real IP address of the hidden service— -note [3] The assumption was made in virtually all attacks towards the Tor network. This is reasonable because onion networks routers are set up by volunteers.

WRONG folks — So criminals work in these sterile structured surrounding – following rules and making assumptions that I’m stupid enough to not know how to control ENTRY and EXIT nodes into my Tor Website— COme on Dudes this is not school it’s the real world… otwxbdvje5ttplpv.onion here is my site now find my IP —

WHo am I – Richard Amores – @gAtOmAlO2 – I run http://uscyberlabs.com – I just finished a boot -“ The Deep Dark Web” Amazon New eBook -The Deep Dark Web – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009VN40DU   Print Book – http://www.amazon.com/The-Deep-Dark-Web-hidden/dp/1480177598 :- I do a we bit of real life research and I disagree — I go thru a proxie and a VPN in EU… before I go into Tor so the chances that you will find my IP just went up a notch or too. But I’m a legit – Security Researcher – imagine if I run Silk Road — making a bunch of Bitcoins a DAY— how many layers do they have—

how about a basic BRIDGE RELAY — and there it goes – u can’t touch this — how about a simple modification of the torrc file with these
HiddenServiceAuthorizeClient AND – HidServAuth
with these few modification the Tor site is hidden unless you have the key (HiddenServiceAuthorizeClient) in your browser/- that was generated to match the HidServAuth)-of the server– I think that your chances of finding my mean ass hidden service ip address —are ZERO…

I like what you’ll did cool analyst and you explained it great – but this puts fear into people – dissidents will maybe not use Tor because of what you guy’s say and maybe they may get caught and killed… It’s not only CRIMINALS — I know that gets grants money — but Tor is used to communicate and it allows – Freedom of Speech in Cyberspace- I’m gonna write something about this and I want to be nice so please explain why — you can say from an educational place of knowledge and allow this – “in the box” thinking that is being hacked everyday because they say— we did everything they told us to do— this is wrong and not true —

If you could get the IP of Silk Road — or better yet – PEDO BEAR the largest PEDO directory in TOR — tell me the IP and I will take it down myself— but don’t come at me saying we are right and every hacker is wrong  — learn please our world is depending on your great minds —

later,
RickA- @gAtOmAlO2 http://uscyberlabs.com

Here is the original paper —http://www.cs.uml.edu/~xinwenfu/paper/HiddenServer.pdf
A recent paper entitled Protocol Level Hidden Server Discovery, by Zhen Ling, Kui Wu, Xinwen Fu and Junzhou Luo.  Paper is starting to be discussed in the Tor community.  From my perspective, it is a nice attack to reveal the IP address of a hidden service.  It would require resources to actually implement effectively, but for Law enforcement trying to shutdown and arrest owners of illegal websites selling drugs, weapons, or child pornography and are hiding behind Tor, it is an option.  Of course that also means the capability to find anyone that might be doing something a government or large entity does not agree with. The paper is here.
This stuff reminds me of a statement a professor said to a class I was in once:  “Guns are not good or bad.  It depends on who is holding the gun and which end is pointed at you.”

11/13/12

CYber Investigation over General Patraeus

CYber Investigation over General Patraeus

gAtO rEaD – NO CRIME committed- that the investigation for the top CIA general was because someone sent an eMail that said” I saw you touching the Generals leg at Dinner -Stop It” Yeah so one lady said to another lady – STOP MESSING WITH MY MAN – Pow – ZAP they get a court order to go thru someones eMail.

So if we take this premise that Judges will sign -COURT ORDERS to search your emails and any other emails that link it because of a jealous lover. It looks to gAtO that they have to much POWER – or the FBI is gonna search everyones emails now – legally. Court Ordered

This should send shock waves thru our industry – everyone is now warned that anyone’s email can be open to LE anytime and just about for any reason. I trusted the system, I trusted the Judges but lack of a crime should of not happened. There was NO CRIME committed the investigation turned out. But it has now taken down the reputation of 2 generals. NO CRIME

Now these are 2 famous generals what chance do mere mortals have that our eMails are going to be court order to investigate why simply because they can now. This shows to me the lack of justice or the erosion of justice that is coming down the cyber pipelines. If this is now a wake up call for security professionals to wake up and smell the coffee. Your email will be next unless we support less government control of our digital rights.

Freedom of Speech in cyberspace is a right not a privilege -gAtO oUt

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57548694/fbi-role-in-petraeus-investigation-questioned/

mEoW

11/6/12

Dutch government to give law enforcement authorities the power to hack into computers. This also means hidden servers on tor

gAtO ThInK - It’s time to fight back and tighten the security!

The Dutch government wants to give law enforcement authorities the power to hack into computers, including those located in other countries, for the purpose of discovering and gathering evidence during cybercrime investigations.

The Dutch government wants to give law enforcement authorities the power to hack into computers, including those located in other countries, for the purpose of discovering and gathering evidence during cybercrime investigations.

In a letter that was sent to the lower house of the Dutch parliament on Monday, the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten outlined the government’s plan to draft a bill in upcoming months that would provide law enforcement authorities with new investigative powers on the Internet.

According to the letter, the new legislation would allow cybercrime investigators to remotely infiltrate computers in order to install monitoring software or to search them for evidence. Investigators would also be allowed to destroy illegal content, like child pornography, found during such searches.

These investigative powers would not only cover computers located in the Netherlands, but also computers located in other countries, if the location of those computers cannot be determined.

However, if the investigators can establish that a computer of interest is located in a foreign country, they will have to ask for assistance from the authorities in that country.

In his proposal, Opstelten used a case in which investigators from the Dutch National Police infiltrated “hidden” Tor websites that hosted child pornography, as an example of a situation in which the geographical location of the computers couldn’t be determined.

The Tor network allows its users to set up so-called “hidden services” that are only accessible from within the network using special addresses. When accessing such a service, a user’s connection is routed through several random Tor nodes, which prevents him from determining the real Internet Protocol (IP) address of the server hosting the service.

The Dutch police investigation referenced by Opstelten in his letter took place in August 2011 and two of the infiltrated Tor websites were hosted on servers located in the U.S.

The new legislation will provide strict safeguards for the proposed investigative powers, Opstelten said. Law enforcement authorities will only be able to exercise such powers when investigating offenses that carry a maximum prison sentence of four years or more and only after obtaining authorization from a judge, he said. Furthermore, all such actions will be automatically logged and the logs will be accessible for later review.

Cybercrime is a serious problem that needs to be tackled, but the proposed measures are not the right ones and they pose a serious risk to cybersecurity, Ot van Daalen, the director of Dutch digital rights organization Bits of Freedom, said Friday.

First of all, allowing police investigators to hack computers in other countries might encourage other governments to introduce similar legislation, but not necessarily with the same limitations, van Daalen said. “This could escalate into a digital arms race.”

The proposed legislation would create an incentive for governments to keep software vulnerabilities secret because they would need to exploit those vulnerabilities to attack systems used by cybercriminals, van Daalen said.

There are already security companies and independent researchers that sell zero-day exploits — exploits for unpatched vulnerabilities — to governments instead of reporting the vulnerabilities to vendors. In addition, some governments have openly admitted to developing military cyberoffensive capabilities.

Van Daalen believes that expanding the potential use of such exploits by law enforcement agencies will help the zero-day exploit market grow, which in turn will result in fewer vulnerabilities being reported and patched.

Governments could also pressure vendors to delay fixing vulnerabilities, van Daalen said. An example of this was when the Dutch government convinced Microsoft to delay the blacklisting of the DigiNotar digital certificates on Windows computers in the Netherlands for a few days in order to allow the government to take measures, despite the fact that the issue represented a security risk for all Windows users in the country, he said.

“There’s no doubt that there’s already a growing (and disquieting) market in the for-fee disclosure and exploitation of vulnerabilities, and this proposal could certainly further legitimize it: the possible advantages in terms of action against criminals (leaving aside ethical objections) have to be balanced against the likely, deleterious effects on the community of Internet users as a whole,” said David Harley, a senior research fellow at antivirus vendor ESET, via email on Friday.

Harley agrees with van Daalen that the proposed legislation could have a global impact. “It’s not possible to guarantee that the effects of these measures will be restricted to criminal elements: if the proposal succeeds in its present form, collateral damage in terms of the application of monitoring and attack technologies could be worldwide,” he said.

“Is it really feasible to take this approach effectively without breaching the sovereignty of other states? Even if agreement could be reached with other states on international legislation, does this proposal take into account the quid pro quo of giving foreign agencies such sweeping rights of access to the systems of its own citizens?,” Harley asked. “It seems to me that there’s a parallel here with the fact that many in the U.S. seem quite happy with alleged cyberespionage and sabotage against Iran yet show surprise and discontent that those claims have been used as justification for similar action by other nations.” - gATO OuT