The FBI and Akamai

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 Whitehouse.gov 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 whitehouse.gov

Tracing route to whitehouse.gov [96.16.226.135]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.0.1
2 27 ms 36 ms 36 ms nn-gw.viaccess.net [66.185.42.1]
3 30 ms 28 ms 21 ms auto-66.185.32.49.choice.vi [66.185.32.49]
4 164 ms 50 ms 35 ms 12.124.80.161
5 90 ms 86 ms 326 ms gbr2.ormfl.ip.att.net [12.123.32.78]
6 84 ms 86 ms 86 ms cr2.ormfl.ip.att.net [12.122.1.62]
7 101 ms 137 ms 137 ms cr1.attga.ip.att.net [12.122.5.142]
8 94 ms 94 ms 122 ms cr2.wswdc.ip.att.net [12.122.1.174]
9 109 ms 86 ms 101 ms 12.122.134.97
10 * * 87 ms 192.205.35.114
11 168 ms 86 ms 87 ms po-3.r04.asbnva01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net [129.250.6.4
5]
12 94 ms 93 ms 94 ms 168.143.97.2
13 106 ms 152 ms 93 ms a96-16-226-135.deploy.akamaitechnologies.com [96
.16.226.135]

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 http://www.fbi.gov was simplicity itself.

C:\Documents and Settings\Compaq_Owner>tracert http://www.fbi.gov

Tracing route to a33.g.akamai.net [66.185.33.88]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.0.1
2 32 ms 36 ms 57 ms nn-gw.viaccess.net [66.185.42.1]
3 24 ms 28 ms 43 ms auto-66.185.33.88.wirelessworld.vi [66.185.33.88
]

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.

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One Response to “The FBI and Akamai”

  1. Karla Schanze Says:

    I found your web site when I was looking for something entirely different, but this page was one of the first sites listed in Google, your blog must be amazingly popular! Keep up the awesome job!

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