While playing around with the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE) we discovered an amazing number of open embedded devices on the Internet. Many of them are based on Linux and allow login to standard BusyBox with empty or default credentials. We used these devices to build a distributed port scanner to scan all IPv4 addresses. These scans include service probes for the most common ports, ICMP ping, reverse DNS and SYN scans. We analyzed some of the data to get an estimation of the IP address usage.
Super interesting research, though incredibly illegal and borderline ethical (at absolute best, and most charitable).
This is the problem. Against a sufficiently skilled, funded, and motivated adversary, no network is secure. Period. Attack is much easier than defense, and the reason we’ve been doing so well for so long is that most attackers are content to attack the most insecure networks and leave the rest alone.
Bruce Schneier, “Phishing Has Gotten Very Good”
In January, the government filed a declaration [PDF] signed by Mark Bradley, the FOIA director of DOJ’s National Security Division, explaining what records would be responsive to EFF’s request. The descriptions of the documents are extremely basic. For instance, Bradley explains that there are 200 relevant documents dated from May 2006 to Sept. 2011 that were provided to a key House intelligence committee, and that they total 799 pages. It goes on in that fashion.
At today’s hearing in Oakland federal court, US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers suggested that the document wasn’t going to be sufficient.
“Why can’t I have a basic categorization of what the documents are?” asked Gonzalez Rogers.
“That list itself is classified,” responded Mark Bressler, the DOJ attorney present for the hearing.
“Are you suggesting the number of pages of each document is classified?” asked the judge. “What’s been provided is: ‘200 documents consisting of 799 pages.’ That doesn’t tell me anything. It doesn’t tell the public anything. It was never explained to me how something as basic as a list with page numbers could, in any way, shape, or form, be contrary to the interests of the government.”
“Mr. Bradley has sworn, under penalty of perjury, that to say more would tend to reveal classified information,” said Bressler. “A wealth of information is available for in camera review.” Information like page numbers and timing of documents “may be put together by targets of investigation, or adversaries of the United States,” he said.
The heights of absurdity that the American government reaches concerning the non-revelation of government documents, seemingly on a weekly basis, continues to swell.