Snowden exposes NSA’s plan to map the entire Internet. It’s called ‘Treasure Map’

Newly exposed Snowden documents reveal the NSA’s in-depth plan to “map the entire Internet — any device, anywhere, all the time.”

US and UK both have intelligence services which have mysterious access points for the German telecom companies and their internal networks as well. The new scandal orbits around the US NSA as well as the British GCHQ and these both seem to be eavesdropping on the German giants as well. These German giants include Stellar, Cetal and IABG network operators. ALSO SEE: ‘NSA in da house’: German artist Defaces US Embassy Building in Germany (Video). The Der Spiegel report speaks of the following facts which were based on the various materials which were revealed by Edward Snowden. The Treasure Map program is known to allow the various agencies to expose the information about the network structure and also map the various individual routers along with computers of subscribers.

Image Credit: Scott Howard

The German telecom is also known to have access points for the technical supervision which is present inside the networks. These are marked as mere red dots on a huge map which is demonstrated on one of the many leaked slides which are undated. Spigel warned that it could be used for the preparation of cyber-attacks. ALSO SEE: Germany May Use Old Fashioned Typewriters to avoid NSA.

The New York Times was the first one to point out that the Treasure map provides “a near real time, interactive map of the global Internet”. It is also known to offer “300,000 foot view of the Internet” as it collects Wi-fi network and also the geolocation data. This will around up to 50 million unique and distinctive internet provider addresses.

Stellar is a huge company and it expressed anger over US as well as British spying in the following words, “A cyber attack of this kind clearly violates German law.” Netcologne along with Deutsche claimed that they did not identify any breaches of data but the security chief went ahead and said that “access of foreign secret services to our network would be totally unacceptable.” He also stated that, “We are looking into any indication of a possible manipulation. We have also alerted the authorities”. GCHQ also said that, “All its work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework, which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight”. The NSA however still has not commented on any of the latest activities. The US as well as Germany have also been at odds and this is due to a spying row which got worse since Snowden revealed about NSA in the year 2013. The NSA has been to be spying on the German Chancellor Angela Markel’s calls since the year 2002. Holdings have been held on the NSA spying issue since then and berlin has also announced that it found an American spy inside the defense Ministry of the country. US faces most the criticism, the Germans have been criticized too and merkel’s opponents have also attacked her and called her weak in relation to reacting to the surveillance revelations. Many scandals have also surrounded Germany and in August it was heavily reported that the German foreign intelligence that tapped Turkey for about four years or so. Follow @HackRead

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September 15, 2014 at 11:37PM via \hack\ Waqas
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How to reveal the hidden password on the login page.  There’s almost always a way around.

PHY Covert Channels: Can you see the Idles?

Hakim Weatherspoon from Cornell University gave a talk at the security seminar on his work at NSDI 2014 called Chupja, PHY Covert Channels: Can you see the idles? I will give a brief summary of his talk. If you want more details about his work, I would consider reading his paper (http://fireless.cs.cornell.edu/publications/chupja_nsdi2014.pdf).

The important question he asks is whether an underground spy ring can exist and thrive within the Internet. Traditionally, covert channels are used to hide information through communication not intended for data transfer. Network covert channels hide information using legitimate packets (overt channel). Storage channels use packet headers, and timing channels use arrival times of packets. Their work focuses on timing channels.

The overall goals of covert channels to have high bandwidth, be robust, and be undetectable. Currently network covert channels are implemented in the TCP/IP layers and are extremely slow. Their Chupja system has a bandwidth of 10-100 kilobits per second, a bit error rate of less than 10 percent, and is invisible to detection software. One of the biggest tricks is to implement the covert channel in the physical layer.

The idea behind Chupja is that with a shared interpacket gap size (G) between a sender and receiver, a ‘1’ is encoded as G_i = G + eps, and a ‘0’ is encoded as G_i = G - eps. The idea is that the receiver will check the time between packets and if it is less than G, it will record a ‘0’ bit, and if it is more than G, it will record the ‘1’ bit. They implemented this in their SoNIC system, which allows control and access of every bit of PHY. 

Their evaluation shows that the covert bandwidth is equal to the packet rate of the overt channel. For robustness, they tested on a small network, and on the national lambda rail. The reason Chupja is so robust is that switches do not add significant perturbations to interpacket delays and switches treat ‘1’s and ‘0’s as uncorrelated. Using kernel timestamping, they could not detect Chupja. This is a brief overview of the results. For more details, I refer you to the paper.

This was an interesting talk that had a cool trick for effective covert channels.

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