Trojans Aren’t What they Use to Be…

One Mans wiretap is another mans virus, who is right?

While in the times of old, the term had been adapted from its wooded horse days of ancient Troy to that of semi-modern day protection scheme dreamed of by adolescent boys and adorned in their wallets as a sign of passage.  However in today’s techno crazy world the term has reverted to that of sneaky malware which invades your computer to tattle on you as well as annoy you with nagging pop up’s which you can never seem to kill.

However they have also grown to be somewhat of a tool for state intelligence agency’s to spy on the purportedly bad folks out aka 1984 where Big Brother is watching.   Yet this might be more a kin to the Minority Report were the idea is to punish now for a future bad.  However the ethos of shall I punish you  today for a crime you might perform next Tuesdays isn’t the purpose of the post as is the political faux paux which Hern Merkel the Chancellor of Germany and seemly the only person in the EU with any money finds herself in today.

As it appears that the German government’s “lawful interception” [LI] application, which was supposedly designed only to monitor IP telephone calls, is let us say just a little more powerful than the police originally let on. Of late, the Berlin-based CCC has released its analysis of Germany’s “Quellen-TKÜ” (German for “source wiretapping”) trojan. As you can guess, the results weren’t that pretty and despite a constitutional court ban on the use of malware such as this to crack PCs, the government sanctioned malware  makers didn’t bother to add any technical barriers to ensure that their mischievous creation would only be used for tapping Internet telephone conversations.

One might say this was even a oops on their part,  as on the contrary, the design even included additional functionality which allowed it to clandestinely add more components over the network right from the start.  This ability allowed it to make for a bridge-head to further infiltrate the computer past that of just VoIP calls.

So who has used this darling of an app you ask, Well it appears that our brew loving friends in the  German state of Bavaria says it has used Quellen-TKÜ.  However only legally (of course), its officials insist.  However what is more interesting is its reported that Bavaria approached the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2007 to learn more about the use of malware techniques in the US.  This fact alone points out our friends on the opposite side of the Atlantic aren’t the only ones with a Big Brother ego as it seems we (Americans) are doing a dandy job at it too.

As technology increasing “invades” our daily life, it’s only natural that the tools used to “watch” this also increase in direct proportion.  As time moves on, it’s clear the gray line will not change color, only grow in width. Yet if another 9/11 could be prevented (which it may have and we “Joe average citizen” don’t know it), would it be worth it…

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About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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