Risk
1/23/2011
10:38 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

WikiLeaks Targeting P2P Networks?

That is the allegation in a news report that ran last week. While the outcome from the investigation could have a profound impact on whether the anti-secrecy organization is a media outlet – there is a bigger lesson.

That is the allegation in a news report that ran last week. While the outcome from the investigation could have a profound impact on whether the anti-secrecy organization is a media outlet – there is a bigger lesson.According to this Bloomberg news story, WikiLeaks May Have Exploited Music, Photo Networks to Get Data, there is some circumstantial evidence lending to claims that WikiLeaks is proactively scouring peer-to-peer, or P2P, networks for confidential documents.

The evidence is based on the findings of a security firm, Tiversa Inc., which told Bloomberg that it identified systems based in Sweden searching for private documents on P2P networks and that documents it found later appeared on the WikiLeaks site.

Tenuous evidence? Sure. We'll see what comes of this. At stake for Wikileaks is its claim that it is a media organization. It will have a harder time making that claim if it is shown that it proactively goes out seeking to grab data off of hard drives that were never meant to be made public.

Though I have a hard time agreeing with the argument that snatching data off of hard drives with files and folders that were made publically available is much of a crime.

What is most disturbing is the sensitivity and the quantity of the files found available to anyone on those sharing networks.

Have a look, from Bloomberg's story:

Tiversa researchers said the data-mining operation in Sweden is both systematic and highly successful.

In a 60-minute period on Feb. 7, 2009, using so-called Internet protocol addresses that every computer, server or similar equipment has, Tiversa's monitors detected four Swedish computers engaged in searching and downloading information on peer-to-peer networks. The four computers issued 413 searches, crafted to find Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and other information-rich documents among some of the 18 million users the company estimates are on such file-sharing networks at any given moment.

Those searches led to a computer in Hawaii that held a survey of the Pentagon's Pacific Missile Range Facility in that state. Tiversa captured the download of the PDF file by one of the Swedish computers. The document was renamed and posted on the WikiLeaks website two months later, on April 29, 2009, according to a mirror image of the site.

If there are systems on your corporate network, or you have people who work from home, who have P2P network file sharing software on their systems - I can hardly think of a bigger security risk.

Make sure your security teams are scanning for this type of client software on work endpoints, and looking for network traffic behavior that would be indicative of P2P file sharing traffic.

For my security and technology observations find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-2595
Published: 2014-08-31
The device-initialization functionality in the MSM camera driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, enables MSM_CAM_IOCTL_SET_MEM_MAP_INFO ioctl calls for an unrestricted mmap interface, which all...

CVE-2013-2597
Published: 2014-08-31
Stack-based buffer overflow in the acdb_ioctl function in audio_acdb.c in the acdb audio driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to gain privileges via an application that lever...

CVE-2013-2598
Published: 2014-08-31
app/aboot/aboot.c in the Little Kernel (LK) bootloader, as distributed with Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to overwrite signature-verification code via crafted boot-image load-destination header values that specify memory ...

CVE-2013-2599
Published: 2014-08-31
A certain Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) patch to the NativeDaemonConnector class in services/java/com/android/server/NativeDaemonConnector.java in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.3.x enables debug logging, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive disk-encryption pas...

CVE-2013-6124
Published: 2014-08-31
The Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) init scripts in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.4.x allow local users to modify file metadata via a symlink attack on a file accessed by a (1) chown or (2) chmod command, as demonstrated by changing the permissions of an arbitrary fil...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.