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TUCoPS :: Spies! :: comint.txt

Covert Government/Military Interception of International Telecommunications

BL4CKM1LK teleph0nics [ ]
Covert Government/Military Interception of
International Telcommunications. (Pure Paranoia)
Written for f41th magazine, October 1999
by hybrid <>

   Part I
1. Introduction
2. Communications Intelligence (COMINT) and the NSA
        a) UKUSA Alliance
3. The Covert Interception of International Telecommunications
        a) International Leased Carrier (ILC) Interception
        b) High Frequency Radio Interception
        c) Interception of Microwave Radio Relays
        d) Interception of Submerged Telecommunications Cables
        e) Covert Communications Satellites
        f) Communications Techniques 
                o  Operation SHAMROCK
                o  More High Frequency Radio Interception
                o  The Space interception of InterCity Networks
                o  SIGNIT Satellites

   Part II
5. Introduction to part II
        a) Submarine Cable Interception
        b) Covert Interception of the Internet Protocol
6. Covert Collection of High Capacity Signals
        a) New Satellite Networks/Systems
        b) ILC Processing Techniques
7. Hardcore Telecommunications Covert Interception 
        a) Broadband (High Capacity Multi-Channel) Communications
        b) Covert Telecommunications Interception Equipment
                o  Extraction of Wideband Signals and Data Analysis
                o  Covert Data Processing, Fax Transmission Analysis
                o  Multi Protocol Traffic Analysis Techniqes
        c) Speech Recognition and Voice Interception
                o  Advanced Speech Recognition, Real CallerID
8. Closing, Summerisation 
        a) My PGP Key ;>

Part I

1. Introduction

Are you paranoid? You damn well should be. I've recently come accross some
very disturbing facts about how international covert governemt organisations
intercept, filter and colate data from international communication protocols
and networks. This article is only the very tip of the iceberg, their is no
way I could possibly cover the wide spectrum of "big brother" activity that
shadows over the communication networks that are deployed at present, to do
so would require a whole database. The fact is big brother IS watching you,
not just you, but also other governments and echonomical bodies. In this
file I will discuss the different, very covert techniques that are deployed
by certain agencys and alliances to efectivly intercept any type of public,
or supposid "classified" data/voice transmission. After reading this article,
you'll probably think twice before placing a phone call.

2. Communications Intelligence (COMINT) and the NSA

COMINT is an abbreviation for Communications Intellegence. The covert
interception of telecommunications has existed for a very long time, and
began around about the same time that public telecommunications became
widely available. It is evident that every single "technologicly advanced"
country in the world participates in the covert interception of foreign
communication mediums. I would define it as an ongoing game of counter-
intellegence, where superpower nations are spying on each other, spying on
each other. The scary thing is, it's not just diplomatic communications that
are being intercepted, in most cases, an entire nations telecommunications
infastructer is being monitored, both from remote locations, and from our
own intellegence organistaions spying on us. The NSA openly admit to such
activity, although would probably deny any "local" communication interception
techniques. COMINT is in the same intelllegence fammily as SIGNIT (Signals
Intellegence) which involves the interception of signal emmisions from
sources such as radar emmisions.

Obvious COMINT communications targets: (interception)

        o  military communications
        o  diplomatic communications
        o  economic intellegence
        o  scientific intellegence
        o  drug trafficking
        o  organisied crime
        o  severe fraud
        o  terrorism

Side note: hacking, phreaking, participation in "underground" hacking
collectives would be defined as organised crime, and in some cases defined
as terrorism. (they have a real nice way of classifying things)

a) UKUSA Alliance

USSS (United States Signit System) is made up of the NSA (National Security
Agency), collective sub-units known as the "CSS" (Central Security Service),
aswell as some parts of the CIA and surrrounding organisations/bodies. After
the second world war in 1947, the US made and aggrement with the UK to
commense international intellegence operations world wide. Other English
speaking countrys where allied into the UKUSA aggrement as second partys,
they include Canada, NewZealand and Austailia. The UKUSA intellegence
alliance was not exposed until earlier this year (March 1999), when the
Austrailian government confirmed its deployment of DSD (Defense Signals
Directorate) and admited to being part of the UKUSA colaboration of
intellegence gathering.

3. The Covert Interception of International Telecommunications

a) International Leased Carrier (ILC) Interception

A knowledgable phreak will know how easy it is to intercept supposid private
telecommunications, we all know that the US PSTN (Public Switched Telephone
Network) is made up of RBOCs (Regional Bell Operating Companys) which all
deploy multiple levels of switching architecture and signal protocols. For
over 80 years, incomming and outgoing international telecommunications
traffic passing through International eXchange Bounderys have been
intercepted and filtered for an initative known as "National Security". All
US RBOCS have strong links with COMINT, and IXCs (Inter eXchange Carriers)
such as AT&T have ties with goverment communication collectives. COMINT
organistaions refere to such carrier providers as ILCs (International
Leased Carriers), and would obviously have to work closly with such providers
where telecommunications interception is involved. 

b) High Frequency Radio Interception

The majourity of the worlds international contempory telecommunications
networks are made up of optical transmission protocols, but before this,
most international telecommunications where conducted via HF transmission
(Higher Freqency) and was used both for public communication aswell as
diplomatic and military communications.

                /   \                   /   \                   /
              /       \               /       \               /
            /           \           /           \           /
          /               \       /               \       /
        /                   \   /                   \   /
      x)                      y)                       z)

In the above diagram, (x) is transmitting to (z). The HF signal is bouncing
from the Earths ionosphere back down to (y), then back to the ionosphere,
down to (z). Incididently, in this scenario, (y) is the dude in the middle,
incercepting the transmission before it reaches (z).

Here, the interception of transmission was reletivly straight forward because
HF radio transmissions are bounced from the Earths ionosphere and back down
to the Earths surface, forming a zigzag type path around the world. This
provided ample space for a primitive "man in the middle" interception of the
reception of such data.

c) Interception of Microwave Radio Relays

Microwave radio was deployed in the 1950s as a means to provide higher-
cappacity inter-city communications, implementing telephony and televison.
Microwave parabolic dishes are placed around 50km apart from each other, as
a means of communicaion relay stations. Later I will discuss how such a
communications medium can be intercepted.

d) Interception of Submerged Telecommunications Cables

Early international telecommunications where very primitive compared to what
we have today, and only allowed a maximum capacity of 100 telephone calls
on similtanious channels. Today Optical Fibre transmission systems are
deployed as part of the world wide PSTN, and can handle 5Gbps of similtanious
data transmission, which is 60,000 phone calls occuring similtaniously, which
is why we no longer require operators to place international calls.

e) Covert Communications Satellites

Because of the nature of microwave emmisions, they do not reflect off of
the Earths ionosphere like HF radio transmissions. Instead, they penetrate
the Earths atmosphere and are emited off into space. This is where the covert
satelites come into the picture.

                              x  salelite
                            /   \
                          /       \
                        /           \
                      /               \
                    /                   \
      ------------x-----------------------x------------ ionosphere
                /                           \                   
              /                               \              
            /                                   \           
          /                                       \       
        /                                           \   
      x-----------------------------------------------x- earths surface
      x)                                              z)

The most popular satelite setup are those that operate in geo-stationary
orbit, or (the clark belt) and are provided for broadcasting purposes. The
largest collection of communications satelites in orbit are the COMSATs and
are operated by the International Telecommunications Satelite organisation
(Intelsat). The latest addition of telecommunications satelites can handle
over 90 thousand similtanious calls each. 

f) Communications Techniques 

Before 1970, the majourity of communications systems where of anolouge nature
and utilised continuous wave technique. Now, in all majour communication
systems are digitaly derived, and provide a much higher capacity. The highest
capacity systems are for use of internet backbone usage (STM-1/OC-3) and can
operate at data rates of 155Mbs (Million bits per second) which is the
equivalent to the transmission of 1 thousand books a minute. I'll cover these
transmission techniques in more detail in the technical part of this file.
Where this type of digital communication is deployed COMINT organisations
cannot intercept data unless they have diect access to the communications
channels that the data travels over. The data is usually encrypted, but no
big deal for such an collective as COMINT, so they obtain access to these
communications channels with (or without) the prior co-operation of the
carrier provider.

o  Operation SHAMROCK

The NSA are well known for systematically gathering telecommunications
traffic from offices of majour cable companys. The interception of cable
traffic in the US is refered to as "operation shamrock", and until recently
remained un-exposed for over 30 years. In 1975 an NSA director admitted to
the US house of representatives that such operations do exist within the NSA.

"..The NSA systematically intercepts international communications, both voice
and cable" "messages to and from American citizens have been picked up in the
course of gathering foreign intelligence". "...was obtained incidentally in
the course of NSA's interception of aural and non-aural (e.g., telex)
international communications and the receipt of GCHQ-acquired telex and ILC
(International Leased Carrier) cable traffic (SHAMROCK)..."

o  More High Frequency Radio Interception

HF radio transmissions are easy to intercept, in the sense that all you
need is the appropraite equipment, and an area which is located in a quiet
radio location. Up until 1980 the NSA and the UK's GCHQ used HF radio
interception equipment to capture European HF communication on a base in
Scotland. The equipment used then was a 400 meter in dialmeter antenna, and
was designed to be omnidirectional (capture emitions from every possible
angle). Their is a secret base in the UK at Chicksands which is operated by
the NSA and DODJOCC, It's purpose is to collect and intercept Soviet and
Warsaw Pact air force communications, and also to collect ILC and "NDC"
(Non-US Diplomatic Communications).

o  The Space interception of InterCity Networks

Long distance microwave involves the implementation of many transmitters
and relay stations. When a microwave transmission takes place, the recieving
end only absorbs a small fraction of the orional signal strength, the parts
of the microwave transmission that the reciever didn't pick up pass through
the Earths atmosphere into space as discussed before. Therefore, contempory
microwave communications are intercepted by covert intellegence gathering
satelites that are mounted 80 degrees longditude of the horizon. At present,
their are many secret satelites operating both in geo-syncronous orbit aswell
as satelites following mission paths that gather as much microwave
communication traffic as possible and relay back to secret installations on

o  SIGNIT Satellites

The CIA first launched the SIGINT satelite program back in 1967 which lasted
until 1985. The satelites where operated from remote ground installations in
Austrailia and implemented parabolic antenna which where able to unfold once
in orbit, initially the satelites intercepted transmisisons from the VHF
radio band. To this date, similar satelites are in use, codenamed MAGNUM and
ORION, they are designed to intercept and filter multiple communications
methods on Earth such as VHF radio, cellular and mobile phones, pagers,
and also mobile data links, packet radio etc. The idea of this is fairly
daunting, basically if you page your girlfriend, chances are the pager radio
signal will be intercepted but probably filtered as it would be of no
relevance to "national security". This is not some paranoia/conspiracy
theory, this is fact. The IOSA system (Intergrated Overhead Signet
Architecrure) is very much at large to this date, and is controled from
ground level at the following locations accross the world:

        o Buckley Field, Denver, Colorado
        o Pine Gap, Australia
        o Menwith Hill, England
        o Bad Aibling, Germany

Each "secret" installation is rumoured to cost alot of money to run, somthing
in the line of 1 billion dollars each. In 1998, the US National
Reconnaissance Office (NRO) said it would combine the three separate classes
of Sigint satellites into an Integrated Overhead Sigint Architecture (IOSA)
in order to " improve Sigint performance and avoid costs by consolidating
systems, utilising ... new satellite and data processing technologies".
Because of this new spy satelite setup in earth orbit, the US can now use
its newly aquired technology to intercept ANY mobile communications source,
including city to city traffic accross the globe. The main intension of these
satelites is however to concentrate on foreign military and diplomatic
"hotspots". GCHQ in the UK are now part of project MERCURY and use the system
for similar purposes.

Part II

Introduction to part II

Summerising part I, we now know about covert satelites, the basess, and the
general layout of microwave interception. Now I'm going to discuss the
slighlty more scary stuff, the parts that affect me and you, ranging from
the interception of phone traffic, to the mass intellegence gathering on the
internet. Hopefully you've read all of part I so you can understand the
folowing better, if you just paged<down> you suck.

Submarine cable interception

Submarine cables are widley used in international telecommunications, and
are therfore a target for anyone wishing to intercept international
telecommunications traffic. Juring the 1970s, a secret submerged cable
taping operation nammed "IVY BELLS" was executed by US submarines near the
USSR. The mass line tap operation of USSR communication ended in 1992 when
the geographic locations of the submerged line taps where sold to KGB by a
former NSA employlee. To this date, the US still plant submerged line taps on
various communications links, rumoured to be the Middle East, the med,
eastern asia, and south america. The United States is the only naval power
known to have deployed deep-sea technology for this purpose.

Where fibre Optic cables are concerned, it is impossible to simply place a
radio sensitve inductive tap on them, because obviously fibre Optics don't
leak radio freqency signals. However, the NSA spend alot of time and money
into the research of Optical fibre tapping, and are rumoured to be
successful in such research using optoelectronic "repeaters" which boost
signal levels over long distances.

Covert Interception of the Internet Protocol

The NSA and GCHQ all operate a private network which is concidered to be just
as large as the public net. This private network is known as project
EMBROIDERY and is said to span the globe via a massive WAN network. It is
this network which is said to serve such purposes as project ECHELON and
other intellegence projects. The whole system is based on the IP protocol.

The majority of internet traffic origionates or is passed through the US,
and major routers. Sinse early 1990, the COMINT project have developed
systems which intercept and filter all packet, or digital data traveling via
the US net backbones. The targets of such interceptions are communications
between Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and South America.

When a packet is sent, depending on the time stamping of the origin and
destination, it is likely it will pass through a major network exchange
somewhere in the US. For example, routers in USwest are most idle when
European packet traffic is at its peak beacuse of the time zone differences.
Because of this, hig capicity network traffic will pass through the 
routers which are situated in USwest, which subseqentialy the NSA have
access to (for COMINT purposess), it is then that the NSA can intercept data
traveling to and from European countrys.

Where COMINT and the internet are concerned, COMINT interception takes
advantage of the way in which internet packets are routed, in the sense that
datagrams contain the numerical routing instructions which are used by
COMINT to filter irrelevant traffic. Any packet with a military or
diplomatic datagram origin, is likely to be intercepted at a major US
network backbone to be filtered or analyised.

alt.Usenet discussion groups are well known to be intercepted and analyised
by government agencys, such usnet traffic accumulates about 15 gigs of
transmitted data per day. Intellegence agencies have open access to all
usenet discussion groups, and most store the information in massive data-
bases. For example, in the UK, the DERA (Defense Evaluation and Research
Agency) maintain a 1 terrabyte databasse which contains 90 days worth of all
usnet messages. DERA also operate web-robots which scan the net for certain
keywords and then mirror entire sites on this database. Subseqentialy my
own site has been visited by DERA, and sinse then is visited 2 per month by, - - [18/Jul/1999:16:10:05 -0500] "GET /files/hybrid-files/x

Recently an NSA employee informed the public that certain major backbone
net exchanges are being monitored for ALL data traveling through them in the
US. The NSA either have direct access to them, or have mass sniffer programs
running to collect as much data as possible traveling through the follwowing
major internet exchanges in the US: (NSA Internet Comint access at IXP sites)

Internet site   Location                  Operator        Designation
FIX East        College Park, Maryland    US government   Federal Information
FIX West        Mountain View, California US government   Federal Information
MAE East        Washington, DC            MCI             Metropolitan Area
New York NAP    Pennsauken, New Jersey    Sprintlink      Network Access Point
SWAB            Washington, DC            PSInet/BellAtl  SMDS Washington
                                                          Area Bypass
Chicago NAP     Chicago, Illinois         Ameritech       Network Access Point
SanFran NAP     SanFrancisco, California  Pacific Bell    Network Access Point
MAE West        San Jose, California      MCI             Metropolitan Area
CIX             Santa Clara California    CIX             Commercial Internet

It is rumoured, and almost certanly true, that a leading US
telecommunications and internet provider company are contracted with the NSA
to develop specialised mass data gathering software for installation on
such internet exchanges, other software manufactures such as microsoft and
netscape etc are said to aid in the production of specialised network
traffic interception equipment. (see enclosed .jpg files for screenshots)

6. Covert Collection of High Capacity Signals

Where very sensitive data is concerned, diplomatic agencies are usually very
wise to the fact that someone out their may be interested in intercepting it.
Therefore, when the more obvious interception methods/procedures are
inpracticle, COMINT agencies develope special devices that can be installed
on the target premisiss or base. The NSA manufactures specialised equipment
for use in covert activitys, one such device is called the "ORATORY" -a
computer that fits into a brief case, which is programed to behave on
dictionary selection for use in sigint data interception.

a) New Satellite Networks/Systems

A popular means of communication for government employees are private
dedicated mobile communications. Their are satelites orbiting very fast
around the earth, each in its own orbit pattern which provide global coverage
for diplomatic usage. These systems are sometimes called Satelite Personal
Communications Systems or SPCS. At present, their is a satelite network
called the IRIDIUM network, which was launched in 1998. The IRIDIUM satelite
network implements 66 satelites each relaying mobile data back to the ground.
IRIDIUM is considered to be fairly secure, in the sense that anyone trying
to intercept network data would have great trouble as the satelites are fast
moving and only beam information back down to earth in a concentrated beam.

b) ILC Processing Techniques

Covert agencies employ a vast array of multi-protocol data interception
systems and devices. Such devices are capable of intercepting selectable,
or randomly chosen communications channels implementing a new concept called
"topic analysis". It has been a rumour for a long time that covert agencies
use equipment that is capable of reacting to certain keywords when
intercepting voice or modem traffic. It is rumoured that if you say somthing
like "kill_the_presedent" over the telephone, you'll have a gathering of
feds outside your front door. This rumour however, is probably not true when
refering to a residential line, unless a line has been "tapped" beforehand.
However, such systems DO exist, and all operate on topic analysis techniques.
For example: Such systems are based on dictionary computers with built in
(pre-programmed) key words. These systems are designed to be placed in the
paths of communications channels, such as standard voice traffic, or modem
links. The properties of such systems are as follows:

        o  A topic analysis COMINT system would be "attracted" to certain
           levels of communications traffic, such as international calls to
           and from "hotspot" areas, above normal calling freqency (scanning,
           or suspicious overusage of a given communications protocol).

        o  ability to "pick-up" on certain keywords, or signitures.

        o  voicetracking capabilitys, ie: voice recognition, freqency
           analysis of voice patterns.

It is therefore presumarable that such monitornig devices may be attracted to
any given voice/data channel if such patterns are emited, ie: heavy call
usage. However, such interception techniques can be impaired to a certain
extent, when the channels being monitored implement voice or data encryption,
hense the international export laws on cryptographic engines and alghorithms.
Comint interception devices are individualy designed to intercept differnt
arrays of communications protocols, for example, some devices are designed
soly to intercept internet traffic (packet analysis, headers etc) others are
designed to intercept pager signals, and voice traffic (topic analysis). Any
type of publically known communications medium is subject to interception by
a foreign source (if their is motive).

7. Hardcore Telecommunications Covert Interception 

a) Broadband (High Capacity Multi-Channel) Communications

taken from a 9x file by me (FDM):
To maximise the frequency spectrum available over trunk cables and
international links, the subscribers base band voice signals covering from
300 to 3400 Hz are translated usinga sideband (SSB) modulation to a higher
frequency range suitable for propagation over coaxial cables and radio links.
12 basic channels are modulated on to carriers in the range 64 to 108 KHz
and speed 4 kHz apart. When the lower sideband (LSB) is selected, these  form
a 'group' with a bandwidth of 48 kHz, extending from 60 to 108 kHz. Five
groups are then modulated in a similar manner onto carriers spaced at 48 kHz
intervals from 420 to 612 kHz to form a 'supergroup'.

16 supergroups are then LSB-SSB modulated onto carriers spaced by 248 kHz
from 1116 kHz upwards. This results in band of freqencies from 564 kHz

To utilise the range bellow 564 kHz, a supergroup is modulated on to a 612
kHz carrier which after selection of LSB is reduced to a band between 60 and
300 kHz. The band between 300 and 564 kHz is filled with another supergroup
in basic form (312 to 552 kHz).

This hierarchy, referred to as 'master' or 'hypergroup', provides a muliplex
(including freqency gaps or guardbands to cater for the characteristics of
practical filters), with an upper frequncy of close to 4 MHz which is easyily
carried over a coax cable. 

Analouge communications are now more or less obsoleet as literaly all
international telecommunications protocols and developments turn digital.
Digital telecoms are based on a method called TDM (Time Division
Multiplexing), this alows multi-channel communications to take place. The
individual conversational channels are first digitised. Information
concerning each channel is then transmitted sequentially rather than
similtaneously, with each link occupying successive time slots. Bell
implement t1 links as part of the majour routng backbones on the US PSTN
which handle 24 phone channels at 1.544 Mbps.

European countrys, such as the UK, operate on slightly higher transmission
speeds as part of the backbone. Instead of T-1 technology, European telco
providers have implemented a different protocol called E-1, which carrys
30 phone channels at 2 Mbps. Most COMINT telecommunications interception
equipment is designed to intercept the European transmission protocols.

New digital telephony techniques are emerging all the time, so Comint
agencies spend alot of time and money investigating each new transmission
technique. One of the latest developments, is the implementation of the
SONET network, which uses synchronised signals which are carried by high
capacity optical fibres, and are supposidly easily extractable by Comint
agencies when high capacity links are involved.

b) Covert Telecommunications Interception Equipment

The NSA contract many organisations to devlop and produce Comint and Sigint
sophisticated interception equipment. Such entitys include Space Systems,
Lockheed, TRW, Raytheon and Bendix. The two majour contracted NSA developers
include AST (Applied Signal Technology) and IDEAS corp, where the directors
are ex NSA employees. Out of all these NSA contracted developers, AST seems
to be the most conspicuous, and describes its equipment as "TEMPEST screened"
Such an organisation was described as "the one stop ECHELON shop".

Extraction of Wideband Signals and Data Analysis

Where wideband/broadband siganl interception is concerned, they are usually
intercepted from satelite relays and tapped digital multiplexed cables.
One such method used by COMINT agencies is called "wideband extraction",
and involves utilising specialsed Sigint equipment manufactured by the NSA
contracted companies. Interception applications available to COMINT agencies
is as followed: (transponder survey equipment)

        o  satellite downlink inception
        o  demodulators
        o  decoders
        o  demultiplexers
        o  microwave radio link analysers
        o  link survey units
        o  carrier analysis systems

Satelite data link interception is analysised with AST equipment (AST model
196 transponder charactorisation system) where the basic structure of the
siganl is broken down and analyised. The AST model 195 "the SNAPPER" is a
wideband snapshot analyiser and capture data from extensivly high capicity
systems for extraction. A newly developed system is the AST model 990,
"Flexible Data Acquisition Unit", which is designed to record and analyise
data from 2.488 Gbps SONET OC-48 telecommunications backbones, this device is
fitted with 48 Gigs of memory and is capable of intercepting every packet
of data from multiple internet exchanges. The data that is intercepted is
then stored on RAID HD networks and then later analyised by an AST SONET
257E analyiser.

Their are many steps and procedures that Comint agencies follow when
intercepting such data. First, obviously the data is intercepted at links,
channels and exchanges, then the captured data is broken down into parts so
that multi channel processors can extract then filter the contained messages
such as voice channels, fax communication, and modem data.

" The AST Model 120 multi-channel processor - used by NSA in different
configurations known as STARQUAKE, COBRA and COPPERHEAD - can handle 1,000
simultaneous voice channels and automatically extract fax, data and voice
traffic. Model 128, larger still, can process 16 European E-3 channels (a
data rate of 500 Mbps) and extract 480 channels of interest. The 1999 giant
of AST's range, the Model 132 "Voice Channel Demultiplexer", can scan up to
56,700 communications channels, extracting more than 3,000 voice channels of
interest. AST also provides Sigint equipment to intercept low capacity
VSAT satellite services used by smaller businesses and domestic users.
These systems can be intercepted by the AST Model 285 SCPS processor, which
identifies and extracts up to 48 channels of interest, distinguished between
voice, fax and data. "

Covert Data Processing, Fax Transmission Analysis

After the actual transmission interception has taken place, the extracted
data is then analyised by sophistaicated AST developed software with "user
friendly" equipment. AST have developed specialised covert operations data
filtering and extraction software called ELVIRA which opertates on given
specifications such as STRUM. THe software analysises the data and informs
the user of phone call destinations and other signal related information.
The information is then sent back to a remote NSA location in the form of
CSDF (Collected Signals Data Format).

Included in this file is a screenshot of a special software platform designed
by AST called TRAILMAPPER which can operate upto speeds of 2.5 Gbps, and is
designed to be very versatile, in the sense that it can intercept any type
of telecommunications medium (especialy optitical protocols). The trailmapper
software is especialy suited to extracting and analysising data from the new
ATM (Asychronous Transfer Mode) networks which are becoming increasing
popular from implementation from IXCs such as AT&T. AT&T operate a special
ATM network which spans the US, aswell as another ATM network which is
backboned via European locations. COMINT agencies are esspecialy interested
in ATM networks because telco providers offer ATM networking for VPNs, LANS
and international WANS.

AST also offer very specialised equipment and software which is designed to
intercept data from devices used to connect to networks and the internet.
When a telecommunications link is intercepted, a transmission from an
individual using a modem to connect to a network or the internet is easily
extracted and then later anlayised. Aswell as modem interception, FAX
transmissions are also of intellegence interest. A fax transmission can be
intercepted at any point juring its journy over a PSTN, and then later
analysied (or analyised in real time) by AST software such as the Fax Image
Workstation which implements OCR (Optical Charcter Recognition). And if you
think that's scary.. AST also produce a system called "Pager Identification
and Message Extraction" system which automatically collects and processes
data from commercial paging systems. The NSA contracted collective "IDEAS"
also produce specialised covert equipment like the VTP (Video
Teleconferencing Processor) which has the ability to intercept and record
multiple similtanious video, and/or teleconference calls.

Multi Protocol Traffic Analysis Techniqes

Covert agencies participate in the art of traffic analysis, where information
from telephone calls is processed and then later studied, depending on the
area of "interest". For example, in such activities, information about the
subjects line is always tranmitted when placing a call, such as the CLID and
the origin of the call via SS7 protocols. Even if voice encryption is used,
the intercepted voice channel still reveals important, and potentialy
sensitive data about the call type:

        o  CLID
        o  duration of call
        o  OPC codes
        o  destination of call
        o  freqency of call setups

Text locators: Applications have been built that are designed to intercept
and sift through large arrays and quantitys of data and information. Such
applications are essential to the effective operation of systems such as
ECHELON, as the ECHELON system uses dictionary based applications to filter
important or un-inportant data. Such systems can be ported to act as robots
on most communication protocols, such as IP or voice traffic. Data that has
been intercepted is stored on massive databases for later retreavel, so a
covert agency could implement topic analysis technology to search an
internal database for keywords, ie: "counter attack" or "kill the president".
The NSA currently use a filtering method known as "N-gram" which is designed
to sort through a textual database for any topic, regardless of language.

"To use N-gram analysis, the operator ignores keywords and defines the
enquiry by providing the system with selected written documents concerning
the topic of interest. The system determines what the topic is from the seed
group of documents, and then calculates the probability that other documents
cover the same topic. In 1994, NSA made its N-gram system available for
commercial exploitation. NSA's research group claimed that it could be used
on "very large data sets (millions of documents)", could be quickly
implemented on any computer system and that it could operate effectively "in
text containing a great many errors (typically 10-15% of all characters)".

The "Data Workstation" Comint software system analyses up to 10,000 recorded
messages, identifying Internet traffic, e-mail messages and attachments

Speech Recognition and Voice Interception

The UK's GCHQ combined with the US's NSA all conduct research into speech
recognition techniques. Rumours that such technology is used to "pick up" on
certain keywords in telephone speech cannot be classified as concrete fact,
because obviously such organisations would deny this type of communications
monitoring. However, if such a system is deployed by these agencies, they
would be able to gather a higher degree of intellegence information, rather
than picking on areas of suspition. If software is available to the public
that allows a pc user to talk to a computer, then have the computer dictate
what the person is saying into text format, just imagine what the COMINT
agencies have..

Advanced Speech Recognition, Real CallerID

GCHQ and the NSA currently have TE464375-1 VADA (Voice Activity Detector and
Analyser) equipment installed inside a GCHQ base in Cheltenham England.
Advanced specch recognition systems can be produced to operate on a mass
scale basis, whereas a subjects voice patterns can be programmed into such
a device, which will then hunt that particular voice patter down on a given
set of telephone channels. System descriptions must be classified "secret" if
NSA "determines that they represent major advances over techniques known in
the research community".

8. Closing, Summerisation 

This article only covers a very limited set of covert communications
interception techniques, their are many more out their. The COMINT and
SIGINT organisations are very resourcfull, in the sense that they have vast
funds to back up research into covert communications devices. The idea that
technology exists that can distinguish voice patterns over telephone channels
it particulary scary, and in a sense, a complete infringment of the "private"
service that the telco providers offer. The fact is, such technologys do
exist, and can (or have) been implemented. Telecommunications equipment is
intended for the interception of "hotspot" information such as military and
diplomatic communications, it is however strange that such systems are
designed to be attached to majour telecommunications backbones (Opticaly
Derived) to "filter" the imporatant information. Its a case of whether or
not you "trust" the NSA or GCHQ or whatever to only intercept real
intellegence information, or whether they'll adopt the "big brother" approach
and monitor ALL communications. Either way, they are unlikely to admit to
any such activitys, the fact is, they have the technology and the ability to
monitor all majour communications protocols.. Do you trust them? Do they
trust you? Its all in the name of "National Security"...

Well, thats it for this file, I hope you enjoyed it. Werd/Shouts to:

D4RKCYDE, 9x, b4b0, kelticphr0st, jasun, zomba, bodie, gr1p, shadowx, lowtek,
psyclone, shylock, digiphreq, downtime, elaich, oxidation, substance, tip,
pbxphreak, lusta & nou, force, microwire, oclet, knight, siezer, devious.


                              B L 4 C K M 1 L K

                            FUCKIN HARDCORE, BABY



Type Bits/KeyID    Date       User ID
pub  2048/86298E99 1999/09/18 hybrid <>

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