Nov. 5, 2011
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experimentation and abuse
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In This Issue:
U.N. Chief Meets With Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate
Bavarian Cyber Spyware:
German Minister Wants Investigatoin of State Authorities' Use of Spyware
By Kim Zetter October 11, 2011
Germany’s justice minister has called for an investigation after authorities in at least four German states acknowledged using computer spyware to conduct surveillance on citizens.
Authorities in the state of Bavaria admitted on Monday that a piece of spyware discovered on a citizen’s computer by the local Chaos Computer Club hacker group was designed for use by authorities to spy on suspects.
The so-called R2D2 keylogging Trojan CCC examined, however, does much more than this. In addition to monitoring Skype calls and recording keystrokes to monitor e-mail and instant messaging communications, the Trojan can take screenshots and activate a computer’s microphone and webcam to allow someone to remotely spy on activities in a room. Furthermore, the program includes a backdoor that would allow authorities to remotely update the program with additional functionality. . . .
Authorities in the U.S. have also been using spyware for years to conduct surveillance . . . The U.S. software, called a “computer and internet protocol address
verifier,” or CIPAV, is designed to collect a wide range of information and deliver it to an FBI server in eastern Virginia. The FBI’s use of the spyware surfaced in 2007 . . . Documents obtained by Threat Level under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the FBI had deployed the CIPAV in a wide variety of cases — from major hacker investigations. . .
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