According to new revelations of the popular whistleblower Edward Snowden the powerful spying machine XKEYSCORE runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
In August 2013, Edward Snowden revealed the existence if a tool named DNI Presenter that allows the Agency to read the content of stored emails, and it also enables the intelligence analysts to tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’ by using the XKeyscore platform.
As The Intercept reports, besides sniffing web traffic from the fiber-optic cables worldwide the system is able to collect router data, emails, Skype conversations, people’s internet searches, documents, credentials, emails, and it also syphon data belonging 700,000 voice, fax and video files every day.
“[The XKeyscore system’s] servers collect all of this data for up to five days, and store the metadata of this traffic for up to 45 days.” states the Intercept.
The news of the day is that according to Edward Snowden the XKEYSCORE runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The popular journalist Glenn Greenwald, who supports Snowden in the divulgation of the NSA documents, described the XKEYSCORE with the following eloquent statement:
“… is a piece of Linux software that is typically deployed on Red Hat servers.” wrote Greenwald. “It uses the Apache web server and stores collected data in MySQL databases. File systems in a cluster are handled by the NFS distributed file system and the autofs service, and scheduled tasks are handled by the cron scheduling service.”
It’s not a mystery that the US Intelligence Agency has always sustained also open source projects, the Xen Project project is an example as reported by The Register.
It we consider the enormous power of the XKEYSCORE and its scalability, this revelation provides a very important customer reference for Linux environments.
The Lesson learned is that it could be enough a Linux, an Apache server, and a MySQL DBMS to control the world 😉 .
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.