Whether or not you think that governments should spy, the amount of hype here seems staggering.
They don't just nmap the internet, they systematically compromise vulnerable targets as per the article and the slides. And unlike common criminals, there's no hope of them being stopped by any law enforcement agency.
If they're really going after every non 5-Eyes machine they can compromise, people living outside of the 5-Eyes need to protect themselves.
This is why you should resist government spying, because once you come to their attention, they could mistakenly or rightly decide that you need to be fucked with in some way, which could range from a brief arrest to murder. Merely coming to a government's attention puts you at risk, so we should minimize the chance that anyone can come to the government's attention.
I wonder what would happen if they started using Monstermind-like software?
"Oh, so you give all that information to Facebook, but you don't want the goverment to have it?"
Well yes, smartypants, that's because the government has the monopoly on violence. Full stop.
If you don't think that you government should spy, that's fine, a lot of very respectable people have had this opinion over the course of human history. I just don't buy the remediation story, at all.
You seem to conveniently ignore the fact they are doing this with the intent to exploit.
Its cute and all but honestly, anyone who is going to do that then seek to compromise a box is a problem. Its the intent of compromising the box that is the issue, not simply scanning.
Did you not RTFA?
"The covert infrastructure includes so-called Operational Relay Boxes (ORBs), which are used to hide the location of the attacker when the Five Eyes launch exploits against targets or steal data (Figure 18). Several times a year, the spy club tries to take control of as many machines as possible, as long as they are abroad. For example, in February 2010 twentyfour spies located over 3000 potential ORBs in a single work day (Figure 19). However, going over the port scan results provided by HACIENDA was considered too laborous (Figure 20), so they programmed their OLYMPIA system to automate the process (Figure 21). As a result, the spies brag that they can now locate vulnerable devices in a subnet in less than five minutes (Figure 22)."
Quickly people. Build a better Internet.
The simple fact of the matter is, the people making these decisions are members of a privileged class of people that see any other class of people as "those people".
Building a better technical solution is only a partial solution. All technical solutions will have flaws that can be exploited given sufficient financial resources being expended at the task.
We need to replace our government.
History has demonstrated that this is true of social/political solutions, as well (unsurprising, as these are really "technical" solutions in a different domain of technology.)
> We need to replace our government.
This is occasionally a good solution for existing problems, but quite often -- even when the government in question is far worse than our current one -- the cure ends up at least as bad as the disease. So, with any such call, one must demand a detailed accounting of "with what do you wish to replace it" that stands up to scrutiny not just of its theoretical attractiveness but its ability to be established and operate as intended in the world that actually exists and the people that are actually in it.
Now what? Vote for the next guy who says he's going to rein this in?
Technical solutions can be implemented now.
Formal methods can be used to prove correctness. The number of flaws could be cut by a factor 1000 I'd imagine when thinking of the current state of code running on devices connected to the internet.
They're litterally running nmap for the reconnaissance part but I believe the "heinous" qualifier apply to the rest of the plan, which according to figure 18 consists in acquiring "as many new ORBs as possible in as many non 5-Eyes countries as possible". Unless I'm reading it wrong, they describe how they try to pwn as many machines as possible outside of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
I agree with you though, The existence of nmap, Nessus etc. isn't the problem. These tools help the state of security over time. The fact that the governments of the world are so paranoid that they feel they need to try to automatically compromise the majority of internet facing devices in the world is a problem.
Improving the internet so that it is less susceptible to surveillance is an important effort, but one that does not address the underlying problems of current income inequality or future climate change, both which can (and more than likely will) become vessels for disorder.
They are targeting civilian networks, not military ones. That is a huge problem. Its one thing if they were trying to break into foreign, legitimate targets of interest [military, defense industry, foreign intelligence, foreign governments].
That isn't what they are doing. They are just trying to get access to everything they can get their hands on. Civilian and military alike.
I'm not saying they are attacking any machine they can. They are, however, attacking some machines.
You don't develop the capability to build target lists, to attack targets, and state you do attack targets...unless y'know, you actually do.
You might use it on a limited scale at specific targets but you do use it. The problem is, I don't have faith they actually engage in selective targeting.
Mass-scale isn't really the issue. They have plenty of hosts to work with, so masscan wouldn't help. They're doing more than just open port detection, so nmap's many other features are helpful, as is the fact that nmap's scanning signatures aren't as suspicious as a custom scanning service that just so happened to be deployed worldwide.
Performance isn't a concern because they are using lots of other peoples infrastructure.
1. using my bandwidth, electricity etc is theft.
2. framing me for for their crimes is criminal conspiracy.
3. fucking with somebody else's network is terrorism.
Either all these people (not just the scape goats) go to jail, or they just declared the internet as law less zone.
Effectively legalizing piracy spam blackhat-hacking etc.
Because proving guilt is now impossible, every plaintive can just point to dark government circles having control over their computer. In case proving guilt is no longer the guiding principle for justice they just lost the bases for governmental monopoly of violence, the right to collect taxes etc.
Also it's only going to be a matter of time, until some other criminal(s) gets access to their ORBs & start ddosing or blackmailing everybody with impunity.
Governments should stay out of the internet, because now we have cyberwar. They just create MORE chaos & disorder. Give the internet back to the geeks & maybe we'll get some semblance of decency back.
It's insane the such operations are going forward without the victim-states raising extremely serious concerns.
I wonder how the future's internet will become if this insanity doesn't stop.
It would be like a social contract with a venomous snake.
It is in fact a grossly dishonest chunk of wishful thinking wrapped in Soccer Mom-friendly platitudes.
The NSA could save face by not actively making itself look bad.