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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Detecting FBI (CIPAV) Spyware

There has been a lot of news recently about FBI software being used to install keyloggers on the computers of suspected bad guys. Declan McCullagh and Anne Broache recently interviewed many Anti-Malware companies and asked them if they would cooperate by ignoring so called Fedware.

The software was originally called “Magic Lantern” but has migrated into something called CIPAV(Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier). It’s actually pretty cool software if you want to trace someones activities.

Most companies claim they haven’t been asked by federal authorities to ignore CIPAV. McAfee and Microsoft refused to say if they have been contacted. It’s not really a secret that both US and British officials have had talks with Microsoft about install security backdoors in Windows. McAfee are reported to have contacted the FBI on their own to make sure they wouldn’t detect their software.

I’ve been asked if I have a policy regarding working with law enforcement. I’m all for catching the bad guys but I don’t have simple answer. By design our program will detect any intrusion. Detection in WinPatrol is not based on signature files or known bad guys. I’m pretty sure I would comply with a court order but not-detecting something would take a special new version of WinPatrol. We’re not really big enough to get the attention of the FBI so I doubt I’ll be asked for any special consideration.

Recent News:

Wired 7/18/2007 : FBI's Secret Spyware
NewsFactor 7/19/2007 : FBI Uses Spyware to Track Bomb Hoax
Wired 7/18/2007 : How Does the CIPAV Work?

FBI: How to Protect Your Computer


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