Archive for July, 2009

The FBI and Akamai

July 19, 2009

My friendly sales rep from my ISP reminded me that the FBI is on Akami and showed me a tracert from his office which described a perfectly normal Akamai connection. For those who don’t know, I have discussed this technology before and am very uncomfortable connecting to a services which delivers content to/from? multiple ports and from multiple different IP’s and servers.

I tried to explain to him how this intrastate connection was dramatically different from any I had ever seen or discussed.

I mean the following is a tracert to which you would expect to be well protected and I really don’t want to believe the FBI protects themselves better than they protect our President.

C:\Documents and Settings\Compaq_Owner>tracert

Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms
2 27 ms 36 ms 36 ms []
3 30 ms 28 ms 21 ms []
4 164 ms 50 ms 35 ms
5 90 ms 86 ms 326 ms []
6 84 ms 86 ms 86 ms []
7 101 ms 137 ms 137 ms []
8 94 ms 94 ms 122 ms []
9 109 ms 86 ms 101 ms
10 * * 87 ms
11 168 ms 86 ms 87 ms [
12 94 ms 93 ms 94 ms
13 106 ms 152 ms 93 ms [96

In fact, the tracert he presented to me was extremely similar but then he was a supervisor on the system with the FBI server and perhaps not yet a target.

Now my tracert for was simplicity itself.

C:\Documents and Settings\Compaq_Owner>tracert

Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms
2 32 ms 36 ms 57 ms []
3 24 ms 28 ms 43 ms [

Akamai technology is supposed to maximize the utilization of Internet recourses by having cache memory for popular sites at many locations with many different routes to minimize delivery time. Putting the FBI on every ISP in America as independent system server is a logistic nightmare and with less than 6000 customers for very small ISP’s like mine, this becomes a horribly inept way to accomplish the goal of maximizing resource utilization.
As noted by others in the literature back to 2001, many commercial product updates come from exactly the same IP number as the FBI, including many antivirus products, Java, Macromedia, Adobe and Microsoft. It’s also bothersome to me that while my computer is being updated on parallel paths, some of the connections are from the IP which is owned by the software company, and some are the same IP as used by the FBI. Linux users should not be smug as the same FBI IP’s can be found continuously connected to my Linux machines. It’s also bothersome that when I switch antivirus and antispyware systems the infections discovered which are incompatible with the new product will have the same names as minor files used by Adaware, Trend Micro, Nortan, Micrrosoft, Sun Java and Adobe.

In a dark sort of way, I have come to accept being spied upon because, it seems to keep me free from outside infections. Now when I bother to check, my spyware, adware or antivirus shows that my machine is perfectly clean although a change of products will always bring new discoveries of infected minor files from major vendors.

Searching for the FBI

July 17, 2009

During the course of the trial I lost three computers to shut down Trojans while researching the source of the shutdown Trojan for the contraband computer held in evidence. I also lost another computer when challenged by the prosecution to visit a particular page at Cert. Prior to this, the prosecution had me identified for the record even though my position was a researcher and not a witness. To say the Department of Justice was interacting with my computers during the course of the trial is an understatement.

Over the past two years ago, I discovered my computer constantly interacting with IP numbers which were owned by my ISP. Since Carnivore was known to be stationed at a local ISP, I made the incorrect assumption that I was being monitored by that program. As time passed, I noticed extremely aggressive behavior and if I went to a suspected Federal Honeypot, as many as 60-100 ports would be opened with connections to my ISP. This reproducible behavior occurred with Linux and both current versions of Windows. (XP and Vista). When using a live Linux cd , there were no connections on start-up and the connections occurred only after I went to a suspicious site.

While I assumed that these connections were the FBI, I had no way to prove it until I stumbled on it last week. Since, I assume I am already a person of interest, I run a periodic search for the location of internet spy rooms to find out who is being watched. It should be obvious that if they can monitor my internet traffic, they can also monitor web sites offering seditious material using the same splitter technology. The perfect tool to track my signal is of course Neotrace which unfortunately has security issues so I install a new copy daily and repeat my work and use different ISP connections to verify the results.

One thing I never checked was the path to until last week when I ran Neotrace. I was shocked to find I was only 3 jumps from The FBI which had the same ISP as the constant connections to my machine. I double checked it with the DOS traceroute command and find that this is part of akamai technology, but the loop never leaves the United States Virgin Islands unlike any other akamai served connections I’ve traced.

Moreover, the constant connections are through parallel iexplore.exe connections which are usually spyware and the same block of IP’s have been in use for two years. (The iexplore.exe connection exists even when using Firefox) The supporting experiment of using the DOS command, “netstat –ano” allows you to observe that a browser call for increases the number of connections to my machine but no other new IP numbers connect to deliver content or probe my machine (aside from possibly Google.)

Interestingly enough, since this connection is being made intrastate, it may not be clearly illegal. First, most people would not dwell on the connection or try to block it as it is part of their ISP service so most would never notice or complain. Next, the site is clearly an FBI location and delivers the FBI homepage locally which is not exactly a clandestine operation. Next, Federal laws governing wiretaps, Keystroke loggers, and Trojans regulate interstate traffic and Neotrace finds no link to anything beyond the United States Virgin Islands.

As an aside, I asked a friend to do a tracert to the FBI in New York City and consistent with my suspicions, the IP she got was which Neotrace places in New York City. I would expect that most connections to the FBI are intrastate connections.

If this is the so called Magic Lantern or the euphemism beyond that, it has a lot more power than previously described and is not simply a key stroke logger. It has the power to shut down by altering video settings, by altering the window’s registry settings so windows appear counterfeit, or by destroying the motherboard. It can also interfere with posting on a blog, and sending emails and temporarily freezing the system at an inopportune time.

Check it out yourself.

In DOS use “tracert; or in Linux Counsol use “traceroute; to find the IP of the FBI server which would deliver content to you. (It’s the last IP listed.) Give me the IP you got for in the comment section and I’ll let you know where it is located.