[Oberlist] DE* pirate bay disclose german gov't spying Skype and SSL with troyans

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---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Radical-europe Digest, Vol 12, Issue 4
From:    radical-europe-request la listes.agora.eu.org
Date:    Sun, February 3, 2008 13:00
To:      radical-europe la listes.agora.eu.org

Message: 1
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2008 12:26:15 +0100
From: "Alex Foti" <alex.foti la gmail.com>
Subject: [Radical-europe] from mazzetta: pirate bay disclose german gov't
spying Skype and SSL with troyans

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: mazzetta <goedel la fastwebnet.it>
Date: Feb 1, 2008 9:10 PM
Subject: Re: [Radical-europe]  pirate bay disclose german gov't spying
Skype and  SSL with troyans
To: Alex Foti <alex.foti la gmail.com>

Leaked Documents Show German Police Attempting to Hack Skype Posted:
 From: Source

 Documents released by WikiLeaks last week appear to support earlier
reports that Germany's federal police plan to use Trojan horse malware
to conduct surreptitious searches of targeted computers, including
Skype communication and encrypted SSL traffic.

 According to one of the documents, which are unverified and were
first published by the German political party PiratenPartei (Pirate
Party), the Bavarian police appear to have commissioned a German
security company to create a Trojan horse for capturing Skype
communications and SSL traffic from surveilled computers that would be
directly installed on targeted systems or delivered to unsuspecting
suspects via an e-mail with a rogue attachment (much as the FBI
delivered a Trojan horse to a Washington high school student last

One of the two documents appears to be a letter from the Bavarian
Ministry of Justice to prosecutors. It discloses that a company named
DigiTask was contracted to provide the Trojan horse, or Skype Capture
Unit. The document discusses who is responsible - the Bavarian police
or prosecutors -- for the cost of surveilling VoIP traffic used in
criminal proceedings.

According to this document and the second one dated September 4 of
last year -- which appears to be a letter from DigiTask to government
authorities outlining how the program would work and its costs -- the
police would be required to rent the software at a cost of EURO 3,500
a month, for a minimum of three months. In addition to the rental fee,
the letter describes a one-time installation and de-installation fee
of EURO 2,500 (the software de-installs itself after a set timeframe
but can also be de-installed manually at any time), plus the cost of
renting two proxy servers used to route the collected data to police.
The document also mentions an additional EURO 2,500 required to rent

Of course Skype traffic is encrypted so just collecting the
communication as it's in transit isn't enough. Authorities would need
a key to decrypt it. German authorities spoke publicly last year about
being thwarted by Skype's encryption. The two leaked documents, which
have been somewhat poorly translated into English, address the
encryption issue:
Encryption of communication via Skype poses a problem for surveillance
of telecommunications. All traffic generated by Skype can be captured
when surveilling a Dialin- or DSL-link, but it cannot be decrypted.
The encryption of Skype works via AES wih a 256-Bit key. The symmetric
AES keys are negotiated via RSA keys (1536 to 2048 Bit). The public
keys of the users are confirmed by the Skype-Login-Server when logging
in. To surveil Skype-communication it thus becomes necessary to
realize other approaches than standard telecommunications

The concept of DigiTask intends to install a so called
Skype-Capture-Unit on the PC of the surveilled person. This
Capture-Unit allows recording of the Skype communication, such as
Voice and Chat, as well as diverting the data to an anonymous
Recoridng-Proxy. The Recording-Proxy (not part of this offer) forwards
the data to the final Recording-Server. The data can then be accessed
via mobile Evaluation Stations.

The mobile Evaluation Units can, making use of a streaming-capable
multimedia player, playback the recorded Skype communication, such as
Voice and Chat, also live. To minimize bandwidth usage special codecs
for strong compressions are used. The transmission of data to the
recording unit is encrypted using the AES algorithm. Germany's Supreme
Court ruled last year that evidence gained from surreptitious searches
of a suspect's computers were inadmissible in the absence of
surveillance laws regulating police hacking activity. Legislators
began drafting such a bill late last year, but as the leaked documents
show, police didn't wait for legislators to make their move before
they began talking with DigiTask about creating made-to-order Skype

Around the same time that the police were negotiating with DigiTask,
Germany passed another hacking bill that now makes it illegal for
anyone (other than police presumably) to create, spread or purchase
tools that are designed for hacking.

The DigiTask letter leaked online and dated after the new hacking law
was passed includes a disclaimer saying that DigiTask will not be held
responsible for usage of the software or any damages caused by it --
such as could happen if the rogue software wreaked havoc on a target's
machine or if a lucky hacker stumbled across it on a target's machine
and commandeered it for his own surveillance purposes. Noticeably, the
letter doesn't appear to mention any guarantee by DigiTask that its
secret software can bypass standard firewall and anti-virus

Photo: AP


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