After our representatives from government discussed the possibility of using blacklists in order to fight child pornography – anyone sees similar development than in ..say 1996 in the US with the Communication Decency Act – and afterwards trying to force the Internet Service Providers to store all the connections generated with their networks for quite some time in order to protect us German citizens against the threat of terrorism, a new – more decisive – coup has been discovered: state-owned malware.
Letting my eyes wander over my bookshelves there is no doubt that a certain book catches my attention this morning. Written by no other than George Orwell himself. 1984. In that spirit I should really reconsider how I just called the trojan horse – actually it appears more to be a rootkit than a trojan horse – which was coded in order to help the German law enforcement to be more efficient. I think that this time it is both: terrorists and child abusers. Maybe also spies. What the h***, it is for world peace and to make all of us Germans better persons. The conclusion is, that I shall call it ‘assistware’. That is because it does not do any damage or harm but just assists the state to help the honest and hard-working people of our wonderful country in using a safe cyberspace and protecting them from evil threats such as terrorism and child abuse. ‘worldpeaceandbetterlifeware’ was ruled out because it is so difficult to read. What does the assist-ware?
It contains basic features of a trojan horse and rootkit. Through social engineering or the nice people at the airport who offer to carry your laptop and check it for you, the assist-ware is planted on the laptops of the evildoers of our society. The law enforcement already knows who are those and that is why the assist-ware would never ever be found on the computer of an ordinary, hard-working German. You may ask then why it is planted on these computer if we already know that they are evildoers? Well, sometimes the thought-police needs to gather some more evidence in order to convince the not-so-nice-and-fair courts that the criminals are indeed criminals.
The assist-ware can therefore capture screenshots, record from the webcam, record from the microphone, copy voice-over-IP sessions and send all of that to the police station where friendly and happy people compile all of that data and bring justice to all of us – that means, of course, only the evildoers. We should, at this point, take note that the true enemy of justice is the German Supreme Court which actually limited the usage and functions of the assist-ware. However, brave coders and law enforcement representatives overcame all these obstacles by simply ignoring the restrictions put by the Supreme Court. A round of applause for them! No one understand why courts and especially the highest court of the country always tries to limit our law enforcement to do their job. Some political science bulls*** about checks and balances. Useless anyway. Another round of applause!
I kept the best for last. The true beauty of the assist-ware lies deep down in its technical description. It can not only record-and-deliver but also plant evidence. It has a function which enables the assist-ware to download more files to the computer it is planted on. So the thought police can easily bring the bad guys down. 1. Install the assist-ware 2. Copy forged evidence (because they know already that he is a bad guy) 3. delete the assist-ware and all logs and traces of it 4. bring the bad guy to court 5. celebrate justice.
You might now argue that checks and balances are important. You want to stress on planted evidence as not being very just. You might even say ‘guys, the attack vector is not well encrypted, so every person in the Internet can use an active assist-ware and put things on his computer or record webcam footage’. Seriously. Never doubt the thought police. Never doubt the ministry for peace.
*Sarcasm and irony are intended. Great thanks and appreciation to the German Chaos Computer Club who discovered and reverse engineered this malware.