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Re: Go away CIA

At 07:32 PM 9/22/96 -0500, Shane Brath <[email protected]> wrote:
>On Sat, 21 Sep 1996, Wearen Life wrote:
>> I wont be suprised if they where ALSO watching who was visting your page.

>But how would they go about globaly watching who goes to your URL, unless 
>they hack into your server and look at the log, or have a network sniffer 
>at a access point feeding you?

1) Spooks can do anything :-)

2) Network Solutions Inc., who runs the NIC, is run by spooks.
While they don't run all the root-level domain name servers,
they influence most of the US ones.  It wouldn't be surprising if they
can track DNS requests to the root servers, which would let them find
which ISPs are looking for the addresses of which second-level domains.
This isn't very informative when somebody at aol.com wants an address of
compuserve.com (which will get cached at aol.com's DNS server anyway),
but tells them a lot more when small-isp.com asks for skeeve.net's address,
especially when they know which Usual Suspects are at small-isp.com .

3) Added-paranoia mode, for people who believed 2) :-)
Suppose you've got a vanity domain name, like skeeve.net, and
they really want to track you.  So they hack the data in the .net
nameserver to respond to requests for skeeve.net with, which tells you that www.skeeve.net is,
which runs an http server that fetches the information from that you're asking for and an SMTP relay hack that
forwards the mail while keeping copies for itself.  (Even if you're running 
SSL encrypted, it can probably still play active eavesdropper, knowing who's
talking to, though it can't read the encrypted packets.
If SSL is currently including IP addresses in the encrypted information
to reduce spoofing, it can still at least hose the conversation.)
Your ISP will cache this, so the next time somebody wants to talk to
skeeve.net, it'll take care of that for them.

This really doesn't work well for targets on aol.com, compuserve.com, 
prodigy.com, ix.netcom.com, worldnet.att.net, and uunet.net
that are a bit big to filter all the traffic for, of course,
but it catches most of the interesting people.

4) If they _do_ participate in the Network Access Points
(e.g. fnords.net, on one of the Metropolitan Area Exchange
FDDI rings, is really a CIA plant) they could probably sniff packets
for people they don't have peering arrangements with.
If you don't see the fnords, they won't eat your packets.
If you do see the fnords, they will eat your packets, so you won't see them.
This doesn't work as well for switch-based NAPs such as
Big Hairy Routers or ATM switches, but ATM Virtual Circuits
have fnords all over them anyway; that's why there are _5_ bytes in the header.

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 [email protected]
# <A HREF="http://idiom.com/~wcs"> 	
# You can get PGP software outside the US at ftp.ox.ac.uk/pub/crypto