[SpamCop-List] Re: [OT?] Spam and terrorism
nobody at spamcop.net
Mon Apr 19 18:57:12 EDT 2004
I can't specifically say what it is "today", butI can tell
you that I feel pretty danged positive they are not only
aware of it, but that they are doing a lot of tracking in
In a past life, I worked with the technical telecom side
of interception and recording of messages, and voice
recordings were only a small portion of the issues. There
was considerable consternation and plain old bit_hing about
what capabilities they were "allowed" to ask us for based on
the law and how they could or couldn't record things.
It's the low techie bad boys that used email & similar
messaging though; the ones with no money and big risks that
would put them on easy streets to more greed. A bigger
risk, and target, for those agencies, however, is "illegal"
encryption. It's very easy for a programmer in many, many
software languages, to create encryption techniques that
only sheer luck or several years of work could break.
They've even been into encrypting their encryptions in up to
4196 bytes (not bits) just in case someone gets a handle on
something. And when you can change the encryption keys at
will, it's very easy to send safe, encrypted messages,
especially when the value of that data will be zilch within
a few months. That's exactly why the US and many other
countries forbid the export of encryption algorithms and
limit who can even use it. They can't stop you and I
though, from communicating with,say a 1024 bit encryption
key, but if "they" should ever notice or become aware of it,
you can plan on having some blue suits at your doorstep.
I'm not really trying to over-dramatize here, though I
know it sounds like it; I'm more or less mentally retracing
some of the frustrations when I was in that business. No,
not an agent, nothing like that - only related to them via
engineering work. "Them" isn't specifically the FBI - there
are many engin eering divisions for the "good guys". It
was fascinating work but also frustrating at times because
there were so many "features" we could provide but "the law"
said they couldn't have that ability, and sometimes
guaranteeing the limitations was harder than the actual
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
"eddie" <eddie at eddie.web> wrote in message
news:pan.2004.04.19.21.27.32.8000 at eddie.web...
> What better hiding place for a few terrorist messages than
in a piece of
> spam sent over a hijacked zombie and one of a million or
> messages in which only one or two recipients are the real
> With all the code words and random words now used in spam
to defeat the
> parsers and other anti-spam software, it seems to me to be
a natural way
> to send messages without any chance of being caught. I
never read the
> stuff - I simply report it. But if you are looking for
something, there it
> Like Poe's Purloined Letter, or better, like hiding a pin
in a pin
> cushion or a piece of straw in a haystack, sending
> in spam is a gimmee, in my opinion.
> I hope the FBI and other orgs are aware of this
possibility, but I doubt
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