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Feds Have a High-Speed Backdoor Into Wireless Carrier 229

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-snoop-with dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An unnamed U.S. wireless carrier maintains an unfiltered, unmonitored DS-3 line from its internal network to a facility in Quantico, Virginia, according to Babak Pasdar, a computer security consultant who did work for the company in 2003. Customer voice calls, billing records, location information and data traffic are all allegedly exposed. A similar claim was leveled against Verizon Wireless in a 2006 lawsuit."
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Feds Have a High-Speed Backdoor Into Wireless Carrier

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  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:33PM (#22657752) Journal
    If some guy said it, it must be true!
  • CALEA (Score:5, Informative)

    by jaredmauch (633928) <jared@puck.nether.net> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:36PM (#22657770) Homepage
    It's very likely this is to meet the realtime reporting/relay requirements of the CALEA statue which governs lawful intercept of voice and data communications.
    • Re:CALEA (Score:5, Interesting)

      by faedle (114018) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:44PM (#22657846) Homepage Journal
      This is precisely what this is.

      NEWS FLASH: EVERY wireline and wireless carrier has facility like this between their central offices and Quantico, Virginia. I can tell you for an absolute fact that a medium-sized cable company operating in the Rocky Mountain region has similar facilities between their main office and the FBI Academy, because I helped install it.

      Welcome to the world post-CALEA.
      • Re:CALEA (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:56PM (#22657942)
        If you helped install it, then you should learn to shut up on sites like this.
        • by dbIII (701233)
          It is likely that it is perfectly legal to disclose this information. Remember that complete secrecy about large organisations is just an invitation for widespread corruption. You keep the stuff secret that is supposed to be secret but don't obscure everything so subclerk level 19B can be running a mail order stationary warehouse on the side paid for by the taxpayer. The current US executive branch's approach to secrecy is counterproductive.
        • Re:CALEA (Score:4, Funny)

          by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @01:56AM (#22660124)
          I'm not impressed either. *I* helped install the secret surveillance system between DNC headquarters and the FBI Washington Field Office.
      • by sgt_doom (655561)
        Not to mention the rather redundant fact that every IXP (that's IXP, not ISP, kiddies) in North America is also completely bugged by the feds at both the hardware and software levels. That pretty much covers everything, along with TIA, NAO, CIFA, and...oh yeah...the S.A.I.C. control (under authority of some group or other in the Pentagon) of Hart InterCivic, Premier Election Systems, ES&S and Sequoia Voting Systems - which means the next presidential election....

        You can call me crazy, but first do the

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shotgun (30919)
        I've worked in telecom for years now writing code to operate the hardware.

        Every single design for a new piece of telecom equipment includes provisions for lawful intercept. That provision working is more important than any other piece of the system. It can ship even if it is rebooting every 24 hours, but it won't ship if lawful intercept isn't working 100%.

      • EVERY wireline and wireless carrier has facility like this between their central offices and Quantico, Virginia.

        No they don't. We don't. None of our peer ILECs or CLECs do. The only case in which this would ever be the norm is if you are an RBOC, very large CLEC or very large wireless carrier and regularly field CALEA requests from the same law enforcement agency. Read that again just to make sure what I'd said registered. Even then it would have be be in excess of 23 simultaneous calls to justify m

    • Re:CALEA (Score:5, Informative)

      by chill (34294) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:46PM (#22657868) Journal
      CALEA taps are on a per-warrant basis. They are explicitly ONE WAY. The LEA can NOT establish a connection back to the carrier. It must initiate the tap from the carrier side. The LEA can not input requests directly. They must pass them to the carrier to enter.

      While a DS-3 might not be out of the question to the FBI, depending on the volume of traffic, I have yet to see an "unmonitored" line. Everything I've seen (and set up -- I do this for a living) is an IPSec tunnel from the carrier to the LEA with BER encoded ASN.1 for data and packetized native (to the carrier) encoded voice. And the line works one way only. Carrier --> LEA. The only packets flowing back are stateful connection packets.

      In short, I think this story is B.S.

      Yes, the FBI probably has a big line with no firewall. That is because the firewall(s) is/are on the carrier end. The carriers do extensive logging as well, so it doesn't surprise me that the FBI-end of the circuit isn't heavily logged. They log their REQUESTS and the carrier logs the connections.
      • Re:CALEA (Score:5, Informative)

        by faedle (114018) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:51PM (#22657900) Homepage Journal
        While it is true that the connection is "one way", many large carriers do it with a conventional high-cap circuit, like a T-1 or DS-3, because it is easy.

        It may appear to be unfiltered to the person making the connection. However, if it is anything like the T1 I hooked up where I worked, only the calls with active warrants are passed down the T1. That being said, the T1 hooks directly into the switch just like any other T1, and is configured to be a CALEA port in the switch itself. A wire-frame guy who isn't doing the programming/translations wouldn't know any better, so I think that's where this "idea" comes from.
        • Re:CALEA (Score:4, Interesting)

          by statemachine (840641) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @09:13PM (#22658080)
          If you read the article, you'll notice that it isn't some "wire-frame guy" but a security consultant hired to specifically address network security. So he'd have access to all the routers and their ACLs and other firewalling hardware, which would allow him to make such a judgement.
          • by faedle (114018)
            This is also fairly standard.

            Many switches open a data channel between the switch and Quantico. Telcos are required to deliver not only the voice, but details about the call including supervision status, digits dialed and collected, and even if the tapped phone goes on and off hook.

            Typically, this "call detail" information is delivered via TCP/IP from the switch in question. My understanding is you cannot have any stateful packet inspection between your switch and the FBI, because of the potential for thi
        • There is quite the possibility that certain Law Enforcement members
          have direct access to the switch itself. Switch being the Nortel DMS,
          Lucent 5ESS, Eriksons, and whatnot. All that is required is RAS or VPN
          access to the backbone network and they have the keys to the kingdom
          at that point.

          Several flavors of devices sit on the network which convert a telnet
          session into an async connection directly tied to the switch. It's just
          like sitting at the main console. . . .

          ( Cisco comm servers, Datakit and Applied In
      • Re:CALEA (Score:4, Insightful)

        by webb75 (462705) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @09:35PM (#22658240)
        Read the article next time:

        " Because the data center was a clearing house for all Verizon Wireless calls, the transmission line provided the Quantico recipient direct access to all content and all information concerning the origin and termination of telephone calls placed on the Verizon Wireless network as well as the actual content of calls.

                The transmission line was unprotected by any firewall and would have enabled the recipient on the Quantico end to have unfettered access to Verizon Wireless customer records, data and information. Any customer databases, records and information could be downloaded from this center."

          Since the tech was at the telco & not at Quantico, he was referring to security on the telco side. There was no firewall on the telco side.
        • by chill (34294)
          I can't speak directly to Verizon's setup, not having worked on it. I can to a couple of their peers, and this still strikes me as B.S.

          1. None of the other carriers have a "central clearinghouse for all wireless calls". There is just too much traffic to pump it all back to one location, much less start forking stuff off down a single DS-3. The carriers break the country into regions -- about a dozen or so -- where all calls for the region go through a regional hub.

          2. Call processing, accounting and custo
  • Does anyone know what the status of any opportunistic encryption packages for Windows or Linux? Can this stuff be set up easily now?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by whoever57 (658626)

      Does anyone know what the status of any opportunistic encryption packages for Windows or Linux? Can this stuff be set up easily now?
      OpenS/WAN supports opportunistic encryption.
      • OpenS/WAN supports opportunistic encryption.
        Does it work out of the box? Meaning, can you install it and it "just works" ? If so, then it seems like it's time to start including this in distros by default.
  • Talk is Cheap (Score:3, Insightful)

    by susano_otter (123650) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:39PM (#22657802) Homepage
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
    • Re:Talk is Cheap (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:43PM (#22657836) Journal

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      The problem is that, with this administration, any claims of domestic spying are hardly "extraordinary". It's more like "business as usual" - to be assumed unless there's evidence to the contrary.

    • by monoqlith (610041) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:46PM (#22657870)
      Hmmm. How about we try to get some?

      Go to your Verizon Wireless-serviced cell phone, call a friend in a foreign country, and have a normal conversation, but make sure to throw in a few key "red flag" words and phrases here and there. Examples of "red flags" are:

      "Bomb"
      "Subways"
      "Code Green"
      "Statue of Liberty"
      "Monuments"
      "Airplanes"
      "Buildings"
      "I hate George Bush and think the Justice Department is a corrupt pile of shit"

      Say goodbye to your friend once a few or all of these phrases have been sprinkled into your conversation. Then sit back in your favorite Barca lounger, take out your stopwatch, measure how many minutes it takes for one or more black SUVs to park across from your driveway.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        You forgot to add:

        terrorist
        Same-sex marriages
        Nader for president
      • by AHuxley (892839)
        The big wedding :-)
      • And how, exactly, would that be evidence for the specific claims being made by Mr. Pasdar?

        Since we don't know what wireless carrier Mr. Pasdar is referring to, we don't know that my experience with my carrier is actually evidence for his claim. I could have a different carrier.

        And since your test doesn't actually eliminate all possible technologies but the one Mr. Pasdar describes, the results would be utterly inconclusive even if I happened to be using the same carrier to which Mr. Pasdar refers.

        Finally, i
  • Guess who! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ripit (1001534) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:39PM (#22657808)
    FTA:

    That suit names Verizon Wireless as the culprit.

    "Can you hear me now?"

    "Yes we can, perfectly clear."
    • by megaditto (982598)
      What I am wondering is how they manage to send the many billions of phonecalls down a single DS-3 line?
  • by Holistic Missile (976980) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:41PM (#22657828)
    ....Babak Pasdar, a computer security consultant, has not been seen nor heard from since he left a client site earlier today. His family life was stable and solid - his family suspects foul play. Federal officials suggest that no foul play was involved, and regret that they cannot waste their resources on a missing person who 'probably ran away to start a new life.'

    Full story at eleven....
  • Cool (Score:3, Funny)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:45PM (#22657852) Homepage Journal
    How do i get one to my house?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chill (34294)
      A DS-3? With a really big check. :-) Depending on contract length I've seen them as cheap as $5,000 per month.
  • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:56PM (#22657950)
    If your interested in applying, call your mother and tell her.
  • Make a roaring bluster about this and then fold like wet paper tigers when it comes time to put up or shut up..

    Do you want to know why Bushco thinks it's above the law? Because until you fucking cowards grow a goddamn spine and stand up to their evil, corrosive attitude towards the rule of law THEY ARE.

    Why is it that in 8 years, I have never, EVER heard of a major Democrat standing up and saying outright, without analogy, subtlety or tact, that thanks to Bush the terrorists have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams? That thanks to him, 19 insane religious fanatics have gone from "attacked three buildings and got their organization crushed like a bug for it's trouble" to "shook the rule of law, the foundation of the most powerful country in the world, to it's base?" That thanks to him and the Republican fear machine, bin Laden has changed and hurt American society in ways he never could have dreamed of? That thanks to him, the terrorists have won in every way that matters?
    • there's little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. They're both intent on maintaining and building government power. It's only their _priorities_ which are different. Ultimately, they're for the same end result. That's the great scam - they stay in power by making the plebes think they have some sort of say in their destiny.
      • It's only their _priorities_ which are different.
        Hell, when each party gets 'campaign fund-raising' money from the same corporate 'donors' - even their priorities are the same.
      • Nonsense (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mr2001 (90979) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @11:37PM (#22659220) Homepage Journal

        there's little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. They're both intent on maintaining and building government power. It's only their _priorities_ which are different.
        Oh, and their policies. You know, little things like health care, social security, abortion, welfare, environmental and industry regulations, taxes, teaching religion in schools... those things matter, at least to most of us.

        But I guess if the only thing that matters to you is "government power", then yes, you might think they're the same, because you're ignoring all the substantial differences.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Loopy (41728)
          Sophistry, but I'll give you an "A" for subtlety. Most of us do care about those things but most of us are experienced enough to know that GOVERNMENT is the absolute worst entity to charge with making positive changes therein. I'll grant you that the current US gov't is botching things pretty badly but the white house can't do it without the help of the other two branches, no matter how much people like to vilify GW as the root of all evil. Fortunately, the founding fathers saw how self-serving human nature
          • Re:Nonsense (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Mr2001 (90979) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @01:05AM (#22659840) Homepage Journal

            Most of us do care about those things but most of us are experienced enough to know that GOVERNMENT is the absolute worst entity to charge with making positive changes therein.
            Experienced? No, that's not experience, it's ideology. Look at any country other than the US, and you'll find plenty of people with plenty of experience who believe that the government is quite capable of making positive change.

            In fact, one might argue that the main reason the US government has been so bad at making positive change is that there are so many people here who believe, as a matter of principle, that government can't do anything well - and when those people are elected, they use their power to prove themselves right.

            Government is really just an alternate way to get things done. Private industry and the free market are excellent at getting things done efficiently, but the other side of that coin is, they don't even try to get anything done that isn't going to be profitable. If you want something done, period, whether or not it's profitable, that's where government is useful. For example, look at phone and electrical service in rural areas: it didn't exist before the government stepped in, because it wasn't profitable to build phone infrastructure where there were only a few potential customers, but We The People decided that infrastructure was important enough that it should be built anyway.

            I'd rather have a gov't stagnated and unable to do much than one that felt it had the mandate of heaven, even when literally killing their own citizens en masse.
            Hey, so would I. No one likes mass murder.

            On the other hand, I'd rather have a government that does good things, like make medical care and education available to people who can't afford to pay for it, than one that's stagnant and unable to do anything.
      • by Shotgun (30919)
        No, their _priorities_ are the same. It's their _tactics_ that differ.

        They both want to rob one constituency or another in order to buy votes (and hence, power) from another.
    • I'll tell you why: it's because the Democrats are no better than Bush.
      • Do you seriously believe that President Gore or President Kerry would have initiated/continued the kind of blatant attacks on the rule of law & accountability that are so characteristic of the Bush administration? Would they have debased our ability to claim any moral high ground by condoning and supporting torture? Would they have used "national security" as a cover to try and build a corporate-sponsored surveillance state? Would they madly cling to policies under the banner of "stay the course," no matter how horribly and obviously wrong those policies were or turned out to be? Name the last Democratic president who said in an interview that this would be a lot easier in a dictatorship if he were the dictator.

        The Democrats are no better than Bush? Then why is it Bush, and the party which routinely condemns "tax-and-spend liberals" and trumpets itself as the bringer of small government and fiscal responsibility, the one which has in 8 years saddled us and our children with more debt than every other president combined, and doubled the size of the federal budget whose cancerous growth he and the Republicans so vehemently denounce?

        Neither party is at all better than the other? Since when have the Democrats proclaimed themselves to be the sole beacon of light, Moral Decency, and the Traditional American Family in the smothering night of evil secularism, only for one Democrat after another to turn out to be those gays or adulterers whom they so ardently and stridently insist are going to be the downfall of America?

        What Democratic or Republican president before Bush has taken that fabled shining city upon a hill, and desecrated it such that his supporter's defense in a debate is no longer "Because we are better than they are," but "We aren't the worst human rights violator on Earth?"

        No, the Democrats have a very long way to go before they are as bad as Bush has been, for both his party and the nation.
        • Yes, I do. I trust all politicians equally: zero trust, until proven otherwise. No exceptions.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            You didn't answer any of my questions, but reiterated that you refuse to admit to the existence of a continuum of gray between black and white.

            To every complex question, there is an answer that is simple, concise, and wrong - paraphrase of H.L. Mencken.
        • by moeinvt (851793)
          I don't know what Gore would have done post-9/11, but I doubt that Kerry would have UN-done anything that the Bush admin has done, especially when it comes to accumulation of power in the executive branch. Recall also that the Democrats overwhelmingly voted to approve The Patriot Act, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the military tribunals legislation. Not to mention the fact that they recently voted in droves to approve the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Protection Act" and the only
    • Why is it that in 8 years, I have never, EVER heard of a major Democrat standing up and saying outright, without analogy, subtlety or tact, that thanks to Bush the terrorists have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams?

      Because thanks to him, the Democrats have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Literally. As in, they were criticizing the prescription drug boondoggle as going to far. When is that supposed to kick in, anyway?

      And they got their education bill: "No Child Left Behind" was co-written by sen

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by tsotha (720379)

      None of the laws in place that force carriers to play ball with the FBI were passed without the support of the Democrats. And I think it's quite reasonable. Whether or not you believe they always do so legitimately, the FBI needs the capability installing wiretaps as part of its mission. If they do so too often, the remedy is legislative, not technical.

      And demonizing Bush is wrong and counterproductive. He isn't "evil", and he's not stupid. The guy is focused on preventing the next 9/11. Legitimate a

      • You are kidding. (Score:2, Interesting)

        by professorguy (1108737)
        OK, let's see, we've got a secret bugging system that no one is allowed to discuss, that is run by unknown people and has unknown capabilities. This situation is ripe for abuse since no one is allowed to provide oversight.

        So if a bunch of sleazoids in Virginia want to listen to your daughter talk dirty to her boyfriend, there's no way to know and even if you did, nothing you can do about it.

        And yet the remedy is legislative? Really? Yeah, if we pass a law to forbid casual spying on domestic citizens

    • ... that thanks to Bush the terrorists have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams? That thanks to him, 19 insane religious fanatics have gone from "attacked three buildings and got their organization crushed like a bug for it's trouble" to "shook the rule of law, the foundation of the most powerful country in the world, to it's base?" That thanks to him and the Republican fear machine, bin Laden has changed and hurt American society in ways he never could have dreamed of? That thanks to him, the terrorists

  • by slashname3 (739398) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @09:26PM (#22658164)
    I don't understand why people in general, and specifically the /. crowd, are surprised to learn about such accommodations? Anyone that knows even a little bit about networking should realize that unless they are encrypting their connections they are open to anyone along the line. What would be more interesting would be if there was a claim that they were breaking AES encryption in real time. That would be of interest. But since that is not the case there is nothing of real interest here. Nothing to see. Move along folks.
  • who's in trouble (Score:2, Interesting)

    Has anyone here had an experience where they were busted by federal wire-tapping? Does anyone personally know anyone who has been busted by federal wire tapping?
  • Just give me a rebate. At least don't make me pay so much for being raped. Thanks.
  • It doesn't add up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Derling Whirvish (636322) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @11:18PM (#22659092) Journal
    My BS detector is pinging.

    the transmission line provided the Quantico recipient direct access to all content and all information concerning the origin and termination of telephone calls placed on the Verizon Wireless network as well as the actual content of calls.
    The contents of my cell phone calls made locally intracity west of the Mississippi DO NOT get routed through a single line on the east coast that terminates at Quantico. It's absurd to think that all of Verizon's cell calls are routed to that link. Occam's razor.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by danielsfca2 (696792)
      I thought about that myself, but think about this: Since it's just one-way (it's not like Big Brother is going to cut in and start talking on your calls), the excessive delay that would be caused by routing your call itself across the country and back again isn't a problem. So perhaps when the FBI decides to, they can, on demand, cause your call audio to be -reflected- to the east coast facility and from there, out to the FBI.

      That wouldn't require anything more than an additional data stream just like a thr
  • Which means in all likelihood it's carried on optical fiber. Someone should chop that fiber into a million little pieces. And then lets litigate the current incumbents into non-existence and have companies that understand the rule of law take over.
  • Do the math (Score:4, Informative)

    by thegameiam (671961) <thegameiam@ya h o o . com> on Thursday March 06, 2008 @12:27AM (#22659590) Homepage
    A GSM half-rate channel is 5.6Kbps (a fullrate channel is twice that, but let's look at the most extreme case). A DS3 = 45 Mbps. 45Mbps = 45000Kbps

    45000Kbps / 5.6Kbps = 8037 simultaneous calls supported on a DS3, assuming 0% overhead, protocol, encryption, and that all calls are half-rate.

    VZW and ATTW have subscriber counts in the millions.

    Whatever the legality or circumstance of this, a single DS3 is hardly wholesale snooping.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by neowolf (173735)
      I thought the same thing...

      With overhead- throughput on a DS3 is only about 43Mbps. All things considered- that's not a very large pipe (tube?) at all, especially considering the amount of traffic it would have to carry for wholesale surveillance. There are a lot of small to mid-sized companies that have OC3s, including mine. You can get one for only around $3k/month with the right carrier/contract. If anything- an OC-3 would be slightly more impressive, but considering the millions of customers and transac
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by thegameiam (671961)
        For reference purposes, the AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon network backbones use NxOC-192 (10Gbps) and NxOC-768 (40Gbps) SONET circuits. Of course, that includes both voice AND data, but it should show the general irrelevance of a single DS3.

        I've never seen an OC-24: the more common value in the US is an OC-48 (2.4Gbps). A good rule of thumb for getting the relative size of these pipes is that the number after the OC- represents roughly the number of DS3s which can be carried on the optical path. Of cours
  • That plan is probably $1 billion a day, not including supplimental spending packages.

  • by phirst (683939)
    A whopping 45Mbit/s... Sure, that wouldn't be bad for a home internet connection, but in the grand scheme of the FBI connecting to comms companies, surely this counts as comparable to wet string?
  • How is this guy saying these things and not already on his way to prison? I have a TS clearance and agreed to not disclose anything I know or worked on while in a TS position. If this guys statements are even mildly true, he should be on his way to prison for breaking his end of the deal. Whether you think it is right or not, he signed on to a job that had requirements, and he broke those requirements by talking about it.
       
    • by DragonTHC (208439)
      he's not going to prison because US law protects whistle blowers. That kind of unfettered access is illegal. And the FBI knows it. Is it time for the director to make a graceful exit?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by freedom_india (780002)

        US law protects whistle blowers

        What law? The one passed in 1970s? That was repealed by Bush last year.
        Today no law protects Federal Whistleblowers.
        If they squeak, the KGB, sorry FBI, descends on them like rocks.
        Either that, or your husband is exposed as a spy, or your son is arrested for dealing in drugs.
        Get real man!
        We have a president who says we should thank companies for breaking the law!
        And who treats the contitution as toilet paper to wipe cheney's a$$.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by freedom_india (780002)

      he should be on his way to prison for breaking his end of the deal

      Exactly! That is what the British said about Paul Revere...
      Now wait a second! whose side am i on....is this the Empire or USA?

      he signed on to a job that had requirements, and he broke those requirements

      Wasn't the president asked to mumble something during the oath taking about keeping the constitution sacred and to obey it???
      Oh yeah, right, such oaths mean nothing, since its the President.

    • He was a private consultant working for Verizon, and may not hold a security clearance. This would explain why Verizon was getting all squirrelly about him asking about the link, he didn't have the proper clearance and need-to-know. He was given access to Verizon's network, to do work for Verizon, and found a Verizon link that lead "somewhere", which happened to be labeled "Quantico Link". That was a big gaff on Verizon's part.

      That means he never had a deal with the US Government not to disclose any de

  • network vcr's (Score:3, Informative)

    by vic-traill (1038742) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @04:31AM (#22660776)

    Okay, so the DS3 is a Very Bad Thing for a tonne of reasons.

    BUT ... The linked .doc says that

    The scope of uncontrolled "Quantico Circuit" access allowed the third party to obtain significant information about any mobile phone subscribers, including -- listening in and recording all conversations en-mass; { ... ]

    Note the focus on 'phone' and 'conversations'. Aside from demonstrating ignorance on the difference between 'mass' and masse', this statement *directly contradicts* the linked .pdf, which states that the exposed 'Data network' transports all mobile data service traffic and related business app traffic but *not* the raw traffic of the 'Cell network', which was not examined in the audit.

    Anyone else read this similarly?

    Which is it? This, plus the lack of detail around the location of the 'network vcrs', which presumably are traffic copy mechanisms, the location of which will determine exactly what data is exposed by this mechanism, gives me less of a warm-and-fuzzy feeling with respect to the allegation's supporting documentation.

    I am in no way supporting the existence of this no-ACL, no-logging circuit into what is allegedly a major carrier's mobile support network. The devil is in the details in this dialogue, however, and there is no excuse for direct contradictions and lack of important detail.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @06:46AM (#22661298)
    Sure, their backdoor is "high-speed*", but they'll find out it's just burst speed, and their favorite spying protocols get throttled by forged packets saying the party ended the phone call even though they really didn't. They should have listened to us about network neutrality!
    • get throttled by forged packets saying the party ended the phone call

      If that happens, the following will happen:

      In other news, the FBI busted a racket by Comcast executives that raked up billions for the syndicate by threatening to cutt of 911 access to customers mid-speech if they did not call a 1-900 number before.
      Speaking to reporters, the regional FBI director of Quantico said: "We have received numerous complaints that comcast was delibrately cutting off 911 access to victims by forcing them to agree to route their calls through a 1-900-xxxxx number located in the east

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