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Re: [coldwarcomms] RE: Israeli compromise of U.S. telecommunications?

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  • albertjlafrance@cs.com
    Ah yes, now I remember. Looking in the list archives, I see our first discussion of the subject was in May 2000. For those who joined since then or want to
    Message 1 of 21 , Dec 31, 2001
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      Ah yes, now I remember. Looking in the list archives, I see our first
      discussion of the subject was in May 2000. For those who joined since then
      or want to refresh their memories, Tim's original message is at:

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/coldwarcomms/message/879

      The Insight Magaine article is still online, but the URL is different:

      http://www.insightmag.com/main.cfm/include/detail/storyid/125356.html

      Albert

      In a message dated 12/31/2001 1:38:14 PM Eastern Standard Time,
      tim.goldsmith@... writes:

      > This is the story about which I was soliciting opinions from you guys in the
      > coldwarcomms group a little while back!
      >
      > While the stories are not currently on the foxnews.com website, you can
      read
      > the full reports and some analysis at John Young's mighty Cryptome at
      > http://cryptome.org/fox-il-spy.htm
      >
      > John Young also linked to some non classified documents cited in Carl's
      > reports.
      >
      > It is a pretty cool story and from the rumblings we have received, law
      > enforcement officials are indeed concerned about these (potential?)
      > compromises.
      >
      > Carl Cameron and myself would be interested in your technical assessments
      of
      > the details we have received so far.
      >
      > Thanks!
      > Tim Goldsmith
    • Albert LaFrance
      A bit of information supporting the Newsmax article ( http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/12/18/224826.shtml ): the Dec. 10 issue of Newsweek
      Message 2 of 21 , Jan 9, 2002
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        A bit of information supporting the Newsmax article (
        http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/12/18/224826.shtml ): the Dec.
        10 issue of Newsweek magazine reported (box on p. 39) that "At least 60
        Israelis have been jailed nationwide...". The story doesn't state the
        grounds for holding them, but cites a group of young Israelis sharing an
        apartment in Ohio who were arrested as suspects "of special interest to the
        government", noting that the phrase is frequently used in reference to
        terrorists. The Ohio detainees have all been released.

        Albert
      • Albert LaFrance
        Looking at the original article on this topic: http://www.insightmag.com/main.cfm/include/detail/storyid/125356.html and the recent articles, it appears that
        Message 3 of 21 , Jan 31, 2002
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          Looking at the original article on this topic:

          http://www.insightmag.com/main.cfm/include/detail/storyid/125356.html

          and the recent articles, it appears that the major detail added is that the
          alleged interception ot conversations was accomplished through unauthorized
          activation of the remote-wiretap technology provided for American
          law-enforcement use.

          Although I'm far from being convinced that the allegations are true, the
          latest assertions do begin to fill in a big gap in the original claims. The
          first report clearly stated that actual *conversations* were being
          monitored, but the technical details on how this might be done referred only
          call-accounting and billing data. It seemed to me that the article confused
          access to that data with access to the actual "talking path" through the
          switching system.

          I can much more readily believe that a foreign intelligence service obtained
          call-accounting/billing data than I can believe that real-time access to
          conversations was achieved. But compromise of the CALEA remote-wiretap
          capability would certainly make the latter possibility more conceivable.

          I mentioned these reports to a couple of acquaintances who have COMSEC
          experience. They had heard the allegations but were very skeptical. They
          noted that rumors of "back doors" in Israeli telecom products have been
          around for a while but no one has ever proven their existence or been able
          to provide details of the alleged compromises.

          Albert
        • Goldsmith, Tim
          We are slowly gaining some technical information on how this works (i.e. voice vs. call data) and to what extent the US government is concerned with the
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 5, 2002
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            We are slowly gaining some technical information on how this works (i.e.
            voice vs. call data) and to what extent the US government is concerned with
            the vulnerabilities. We have learned that in December, in direct response to
            the Fox News stories, FBI and DEA personnel expressed concern over
            vulnerabilities of their T2S2(Transcription/Translation Support) system and
            planned to include it in a briefing for DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson on
            December 19th that was to also include the "Israeli art students" and
            Comverse.

            The Federation of American Scientists website had this description from an
            Army document of the T2S2 system.
            http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/army/docs/astmp/c7/P7D4.htm
            One of the programs under the Army's purview is the
            Transcription/Translation Support System (T2S2). The T2S2 is an audio
            collection and recording system which supports Drug Enforcement
            Administration (DEA) Title III wire tap operations. T2S2 is a key backbone
            communications system that accelerates the prosecution of drug traffickers.
            The system provides near real-time collection, recording, and forwarding of
            digitized voice intercepts from Title III Wiretap Collection and Recording
            Sites located in New York City, Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles. The voice
            intercepts are forwarded to a Remote Processing Transcription/Translation
            Support Center located in Draper, UT, via dedicated long haul communications
            carriers....

            Pretty wild stuff. Anyone have insight into the nature of these "dedicated
            long haul communications carriers"?

            Tim Goldsmith

            Message: 1
            Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 12:39:17 -0500
            From: "Albert LaFrance" <albertjlafrance@...>
            Subject: RE: Israeli compromise of U.S. telecommunications?

            Looking at the original article on this topic:

            http://www.insightmag.com/main.cfm/include/detail/storyid/125356.html

            and the recent articles, it appears that the major detail added is that the
            alleged interception ot conversations was accomplished through unauthorized
            activation of the remote-wiretap technology provided for American
            law-enforcement use.

            Although I'm far from being convinced that the allegations are true, the
            latest assertions do begin to fill in a big gap in the original claims. The
            first report clearly stated that actual *conversations* were being
            monitored, but the technical details on how this might be done referred only
            call-accounting and billing data. It seemed to me that the article confused
            access to that data with access to the actual "talking path" through the
            switching system.

            I can much more readily believe that a foreign intelligence service obtained
            call-accounting/billing data than I can believe that real-time access to
            conversations was achieved. But compromise of the CALEA remote-wiretap
            capability would certainly make the latter possibility more conceivable.

            I mentioned these reports to a couple of acquaintances who have COMSEC
            experience. They had heard the allegations but were very skeptical. They
            noted that rumors of "back doors" in Israeli telecom products have been
            around for a while but no one has ever proven their existence or been able
            to provide details of the alleged compromises.

            Albert
          • Albert LaFrance
            Tim, Very interesting find! Regarding the dedicated...carriers , if we think of carrier a communications company like AT&T or WorldCom, then my hunch is
            Message 5 of 21 , Feb 5, 2002
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              Tim,

              Very interesting find!

              Regarding the "dedicated...carriers", if we think of "carrier" a
              communications company like AT&T or WorldCom, then my hunch is that it's a
              mistake - that they really meant to say dedicated lines or circuits. I
              can't imagine a need for a separate physical network to carry the
              intercepts, since the material could readily be encrypted and sent over
              leased lines.

              The questions which most intrigue me are: where do the actual interceptions
              take place (every local central office, as would seem necessary if every
              lines is to be accessible, or just long-distance carrier facilities)? How
              is the intercepted traffic transmitted to the four Collection and Recording
              Sites? From where are the remote wiretaps initiated?

              Albert

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Goldsmith, Tim" <tim.goldsmith@...>
              To: <coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 6:05 PM
              Subject: [coldwarcomms] RE: Israeli compromise of U.S. telecommunications?


              <SNIP)>
              > The Federation of American Scientists website had this description from an
              > Army document of the T2S2 system.
              > http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/army/docs/astmp/c7/P7D4.htm
              > One of the programs under the Army's purview is the
              > Transcription/Translation Support System (T2S2).
              <SNIP>
              > Pretty wild stuff. Anyone have insight into the nature of these "dedicated
              > long haul communications carriers"?
            • Albert LaFrance
              Here s a possible lead... http://www.fbodaily.com/cbd/archive/2001/09(September)/13-Sep-2001/70sol004. htm Albert
              Message 6 of 21 , Feb 5, 2002
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                Here's a possible lead...

                http://www.fbodaily.com/cbd/archive/2001/09(September)/13-Sep-2001/70sol004.
                htm

                Albert
              • Daryl R. Gibson
                Here are the URLs for a couple of MSWord documents pertaining to the Utah National Guard translation installation up the road from me in Draper, courtesy of
                Message 7 of 21 , Feb 5, 2002
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                  Here are the URLs for a couple of MSWord documents
                  pertaining to the Utah National Guard translation installation
                  up the road from me in Draper, courtesy of Google:

                  http://www.ut.ngb.army.mil/ig/TextFiles/UTNG_20-10.doc
                  http://www.ut.ngb.army.mil/300mi/Newsletters/Jul%202001%20Newsletter.doc
                • Albert LaFrance
                  JSI Telecom makes products to support CALEA interception - there s quite a bit of information at: http://www.jsitelecom.com/ Albert
                  Message 8 of 21 , Feb 5, 2002
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                    JSI Telecom makes products to support CALEA interception - there's quite a
                    bit of information at:

                    http://www.jsitelecom.com/

                    Albert
                  • Jim Burks
                    ... quite a ... I guess I don t get out much. I didn t realize there was that much law enforcement wiretapping going on, that a company would exist solely to
                    Message 9 of 21 , Feb 6, 2002
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                      > JSI Telecom makes products to support CALEA interception - there's
                      quite a
                      > bit of information at:

                      > http://www.jsitelecom.com/

                      I guess I don't get out much.

                      I didn't realize there was that much law enforcement wiretapping going
                      on, that a company would exist solely to serve that market - except,
                      perhaps, for NSA.

                      Jim Burks
                    • Albert LaFrance
                      Some random info... (1) TV alert for DC-area viewers: I just caught the end of a teaser for tonight s WJLA (Ch. 7, ABC) local news. Reporter Dale Solly (sp?)
                      Message 10 of 21 , Mar 6, 2002
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                        Some random info...

                        (1) TV alert for DC-area viewers: I just caught the end of a teaser for
                        tonight's WJLA (Ch. 7, ABC) local news. Reporter Dale Solly (sp?) was
                        saying something about "Israeli agents" and "...biggest spy case...".

                        (2) The FCC's CALEA web page is at:
                        http://wireless.fcc.gov/csinfo/calea.html

                        (3) The FBI's CALEA web page is at:
                        http://www.askcalea.com/

                        (4) The Jan. 19, 2002 Washington Post (p. A12) listed the numbers and
                        countries of origin of the people being held by the INS in relation to the
                        terrorism investigation, as of Jan. 4. The number of Israelis was 20.

                        Albert

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Goldsmith, Tim" <tim.goldsmith@...>
                        To: <coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 6:05 PM
                        Subject: [coldwarcomms] RE: Israeli compromise of U.S. telecommunications?


                        > We are slowly gaining some technical information on how this works (i.e.
                        > voice vs. call data) and to what extent the US government is concerned
                        with
                        > the vulnerabilities. We have learned that in December, in direct response
                        to
                        > the Fox News stories, FBI and DEA personnel expressed concern over
                        > vulnerabilities of their T2S2(Transcription/Translation Support) system
                        and
                        > planned to include it in a briefing for DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson
                        on
                        > December 19th that was to also include the "Israeli art students" and
                        > Comverse.
                        >
                        > The Federation of American Scientists website had this description from an
                        > Army document of the T2S2 system.
                        > http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/army/docs/astmp/c7/P7D4.htm
                        > One of the programs under the Army's purview is the
                        > Transcription/Translation Support System (T2S2). The T2S2 is an audio
                        > collection and recording system which supports Drug Enforcement
                        > Administration (DEA) Title III wire tap operations. T2S2 is a key backbone
                        > communications system that accelerates the prosecution of drug
                        traffickers.
                        > The system provides near real-time collection, recording, and forwarding
                        of
                        > digitized voice intercepts from Title III Wiretap Collection and Recording
                        > Sites located in New York City, Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles. The voice
                        > intercepts are forwarded to a Remote Processing Transcription/Translation
                        > Support Center located in Draper, UT, via dedicated long haul
                        communications
                        > carriers....
                        >
                        > Pretty wild stuff. Anyone have insight into the nature of these "dedicated
                        > long haul communications carriers"?
                        >
                        > Tim Goldsmith
                        >
                        > Message: 1
                        > Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 12:39:17 -0500
                        > From: "Albert LaFrance" <albertjlafrance@...>
                        > Subject: RE: Israeli compromise of U.S. telecommunications?
                        >
                        > Looking at the original article on this topic:
                        >
                        > http://www.insightmag.com/main.cfm/include/detail/storyid/125356.html
                        >
                        > and the recent articles, it appears that the major detail added is that
                        the
                        > alleged interception ot conversations was accomplished through
                        unauthorized
                        > activation of the remote-wiretap technology provided for American
                        > law-enforcement use.
                        >
                        > Although I'm far from being convinced that the allegations are true, the
                        > latest assertions do begin to fill in a big gap in the original claims.
                        The
                        > first report clearly stated that actual *conversations* were being
                        > monitored, but the technical details on how this might be done referred
                        only
                        > call-accounting and billing data. It seemed to me that the article
                        confused
                        > access to that data with access to the actual "talking path" through the
                        > switching system.
                        >
                        > I can much more readily believe that a foreign intelligence service
                        obtained
                        > call-accounting/billing data than I can believe that real-time access to
                        > conversations was achieved. But compromise of the CALEA remote-wiretap
                        > capability would certainly make the latter possibility more conceivable.
                        >
                        > I mentioned these reports to a couple of acquaintances who have COMSEC
                        > experience. They had heard the allegations but were very skeptical. They
                        > noted that rumors of "back doors" in Israeli telecom products have been
                        > around for a while but no one has ever proven their existence or been able
                        > to provide details of the alleged compromises.
                        >
                        > Albert
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Albert LaFrance
                        From today s Washington Post, a story titled Reports of Israeli Spy Ring Dismised : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45802-2002Mar6.html Albert
                        Message 11 of 21 , Mar 6, 2002
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                          From today's Washington Post, a story titled "Reports of Israeli Spy Ring
                          Dismised":

                          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45802-2002Mar6.html

                          Albert
                        • Goldsmith, Tim
                          The Washington Post dismissal of the so called Israeli Art Students story is interesting... Someone has a spin they want to get out. The memo they described
                          Message 12 of 21 , Mar 6, 2002
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                            The Washington Post dismissal of the so called "Israeli Art Students" story
                            is interesting...
                            Someone has a spin they want to get out.
                            The memo they described is more like a counterintelligence activity report,
                            in that it is a summary of inquiries and follow ups from dozens of DEA field
                            offices and other US Government facilities reporting dates and times of
                            literally hundreds of encounters with the students. Rarely are they ever
                            arrested, but they were interviewed on many occasions. It appears to my
                            naive eyes as a serious report that took some time and resources to
                            assemble. I also saw slides and notes from an FBI/DEA briefing on the IAS
                            investigation. As the Post asserts, it may all be written by the same guy
                            who leaked it. I don't know the origins of the copy I saw.

                            There is only one line in the document that describes it as a possible
                            counter intelligence activity. Certainly an alternate hypothesis is hard to
                            come up with given the patterns of behavior. But the post article seeks to
                            dissuade people from the espionage hypothesis.
                            We have learned that it has been linked by some people in the government to
                            the AMDOCS story and as I understand it, one of the "students" was bailed
                            out of jail by someone who works for AMDOCS. Not proof of any relation
                            between the two stories but it is intriguing to say the least!

                            Whether it is espionage or something more byzantine it is hard to say.

                            Tim

                            Message: 7
                            Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 08:59:41 -0500
                            From: "Albert LaFrance" <albertjlafrance@...>
                            Subject: Re: RE: Israeli compromise of U.S. telecommunications?

                            From today's Washington Post, a story titled "Reports of Israeli Spy Ring
                            Dismised":

                            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45802-2002Mar6.html

                            Albert










                            ________________________________________________________________________
                            ________________________________________________________________________



                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          • Goldsmith, Tim
                            The Washington Post dismissal of the so called Israeli Art Students story is interesting... Someone has a spin they want to get out. The memo they described
                            Message 13 of 21 , Mar 6, 2002
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                              The Washington Post dismissal of the so called "Israeli Art Students" story
                              is interesting...
                              Someone has a spin they want to get out.
                              The memo they described is more like a counterintelligence activity report,
                              in that it is a summary of inquiries and follow ups from dozens of DEA field
                              offices and other US Government facilities reporting dates and times of
                              literally hundreds of encounters with the students. Rarely are they ever
                              arrested, but they were interviewed on many occasions. It appears to my
                              naive eyes as a serious report that took some time and resources to
                              assemble. I also saw slides and notes from an FBI/DEA briefing on the IAS
                              investigation. As the Post asserts, it may all be written by the same guy
                              who leaked it. I don't know the origins of the copy I saw.

                              There is only one line in the document that describes it as a possible
                              counter intelligence activity. Certainly an alternate hypothesis is hard to
                              come up with given the patterns of behavior. But the post article seeks to
                              dissuade people from the espionage hypothesis.
                              We have learned that it has been linked by some people in the government to
                              the AMDOCS story and as I understand it, one of the "students" was bailed
                              out of jail by someone who works for AMDOCS. Not proof of any relation
                              between the two stories but it is intriguing to say the least!

                              Whether it is espionage or something more byzantine it is hard to say.

                              Tim

                              Message: 7
                              Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 08:59:41 -0500
                              From: "Albert LaFrance" <albertjlafrance@...>
                              Subject: Re: RE: Israeli compromise of U.S. telecommunications?

                              From today's Washington Post, a story titled "Reports of Israeli Spy Ring
                              Dismised":

                              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45802-2002Mar6.html

                              Albert










                              ________________________________________________________________________
                              ________________________________________________________________________



                              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            • David Lesher
                              ... Well, YMMV. It so happens I ve read the DEA report in question. It fell off the truck into the hands of a journalist friend who wrote about it. He asked
                              Message 14 of 21 , Mar 6, 2002
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                                Unnamed Administration sources reported that Goldsmith, Tim said:
                                >
                                > The Washington Post dismissal of the so called "Israeli Art Students" story
                                > is interesting...
                                > Someone has a spin they want to get out.

                                Well, YMMV.

                                It so happens I've read the DEA report in question. It 'fell off
                                the truck' into the hands of a journalist friend who wrote about
                                it. He asked me about it a week ago Thursday?Friday.

                                I read it and also asked a friend, someone retired from a
                                midlevel military CI investigator position. While there are lots
                                if interesting tidbits; there were several factors that convinced
                                both of us that it was not a IDFI operation. First was the fact
                                that there was such a lousy job on the legends; second was another
                                factor I'll withhold.

                                But it's true it's a major scam, and highly profitable. When you
                                buy the equivalent of velvet Elvis's for $3 each and peddle them
                                for $50-100; that's good margins.

                                BTW, the best part of the report was this. Each field office had
                                been asked to report any such activity. 90% came back with some
                                description, some highly detailed. Two or three, ones outside
                                CONUS, said "not here"..

                                But one domestic office, clearly not wanting to be left out,
                                reported snatching up an WM AMCIT with a errr ...colorful
                                record. He had zippo ties to .il; but dammit, he WAS selling
                                cheesy art. Book 'em, Danno.

                                As if to reinforce how common a scam the art deal is; that same
                                Friday, a blue hair, blue eye'ed Midwestern accent kid showed
                                up at my office, and guess what he was selling. Maybe I should
                                have interrogated him in Hebrew, but mine is not even at the
                                "hello" level...


                                --
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                                & no one will talk to a host that's close........[v].(301) 56-LINUX
                                Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433
                                is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433
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