Last month, WikiLeaks released “Spy Files 3”, a mass exposure of the global surveillance trade and industry. WikiLeaks first released the Spy Files in December 2011, which entail brochures, presentations, marketing videos and technical specifications on the global trade of surveillance technologies. Spy Files 3 supplements this with 294 additional documents from 92 global intelligence contractors.
So what do the latest Spy Files reveal about India?
ISS World Surveillance Trade Shows
The latest Spy Files include a brochure of the ISS World 2013 -the so-called “wiretapper’s ball”- which is the world’s largest surveillance trade show. This years’ ISS World Asia will take place in Malaysia during the first week of December and law enforcement agencies from around the world will have another opportunity to view and purchase the latest surveillance tech. The leaked ISS World 2013 brochure entails a list of last years’ global attendees. According to the brochure, 53% of the attendees included law enforcement agencies and individuals from the defense, public safety and interior security sectors, 41% of the attendees were ISS vendors and technology integrators, while only 6% of the attendees were telecom operators and private enterprises. The brochure boasts that 4,635 individuals from 110 countries attended the ISS World trade shows last year and that the percentage of attendance is increasing.
Based on data from the WikiLeaks’ ISS World 2013 brochure, the majority of Indian attendees at last years’ ISS World were from the law enforcement, defense and interior security sectors. 15 Indian companies exhibited and sold their surveillance technologies to law enforcement agencies from around the world and it is notable that India’s popular ISP provider, Reliance Communications, attended the trade show too.
In addition to the ISS World 2013 brochure, the Spy Files 3 entail a detailed brochure of a major Indian surveillance technology company: ClearTrail Technologies.
ClearTrail Technologies is an Indian company based in Indore. The document titled “Internet Monitoring Suite” from ClearTrail Technologies boasts about the company’s mass monitoring, deep packet inspection, COMINT, SIGINT, tactical Internet monitoring, network recording and lawful interception technologies. ClearTrail’s Internet Monitoring Suite includes the following products:
1. ComTrail: Mass Monitoring of IP and Voice Networks
ComTrail is an integrated product suite for centralized interception and monitoring of voice and data networks. It is equipped with an advanced analysis engine for pro-active analysis of thousands of connections and is integrated with various tools, such as Link Analysis, Voice Recognition and Target Location.
ComTrail is deployed within a service provider network and its monitoring function correlates voice and data intercepts across diverse networks to provide a comprehensive intelligence picture. ComTrail supports the capture, record and replay of a variety of Voice and IP communications in pretty much any type of communication, including but not limited to, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, BlackBerry, ICQ and GSM voice calls.
Additionally, ComTrail intercepts data from any type of network whether wireless, packet data, Wire line or VoIP networks- and can decode hundreds of protocols and P2P applications, including HTTP, Instant Messengers, Web-mails, VoIP Calls and MMS.
2. xTrail: Targeted IP Monitoring
xTrail is a solution for interception, decoding and analysis of high speed data traffic over IP networks and independently monitors ISPs/GPRS and 3G networks. xTrail has been designed in such a way that it can be deployed within minutes and enables law enforcement agencies to intercept and monitor targeted communications without degrading the service quality of the IP network. This product is capable of intercepting all types of networks -including wireline, wireless, cable, VoIP and VSAT networks- and acts as a black box for “record and replay” targeted Internet communications.
Interestingly enough, xTrail can filter based on a “pure keyword”, a URL/Domain with a keyword, an IP address, a mobile number or even with just a user identity, such as an email ID, chat ID or VoIP ID. Furthermore, xTrail can be integrated with link analysis tools and can export data in a digital format which can allegedly be presented in court as evidence.
3. QuickTrail: Tactical Wi-Fi Monitoring
Some of the biggest IP monitoring challenges that law enforcement agencies face include cases when targets operate from public Internet networks and/or use encryption.
QuickTrail is a device which is designed to gather intelligence from public Internet networks, when a target is operating from a cyber cafe, a hotel, a university campus or a free Wi-Fi zone. In particular, QuickTrail is equipped with multiple monitoring tools and techniques that can help intercept almost any wired, Wi-Fi or hybrid Internet network so that a target communication can be monitored. QuickTrail can be deployed within fractions of seconds to intercept, reconstruct, replay and analyze email, chat, VoIP and other Internet activities of a target. This device supports real time monitoring and wiretapping of Ethernet LANs.
According to ClearTrail’s brochure, QuickTrail is a “all-in-one” device which can intercept secured communications, know passwords with c-Jack attack, alert on activities of a target, support active and passive interception of Wi-Fi and wired LAN and capture, reconstruct and replay. It is noteworthy that QuickTrail can identify a target machine on the basis of an IP address, MAC ID, machine name, activity status and several other parameters. In addition, QuickTrail supports protocol decoding, including HTTP, SMTP, POP3 and HTTPS. This device also enables the remote and central management of field operations at geographically different locations.
4. mTrail: Off-The-Air Interception
mTrail offers active and passive ‘off-the-air’ interception of GSM 900/1800/1900 Mhz phone calls and data to meet law enforcement surveillance and investigation requirements. The mTrail passive interception system works in the stealth mode so that there is no dependence on the network operator and so that the target is unaware of the interception of its communications.
The mTrail system has the capability to scale from interception of 2 channels (carrier frequencies) to 32 channels. mTrail can be deployed either in a mobile or fixed mode: in the mobile mode the system is able to fit into a briefcase, while in the fixed mode the system fits in a rack-mount industrial grade chassis.
Target location identification is supported by using signal strength, target numbers, such as IMSI, TIMSI, IMEI or MSI SDN, which makes it possible to listen to the conversation on so-called “lawfully intercepted” calls in near real-time, as well as to store all calls. Additionally, mTrail supports the interception of targeted calls from pre-defined suspect lists and the monitoring of SMS and protocol information.
5. Astra: Remote Monitoring and Infection framework
“Astra” is a remote monitoring and infection framework which incorporates both conventional and proprietary infection methods to ensure bot delivery to the targeted devices. It also offers a varied choice in handling the behavior of bots and ensuring non-traceable payload delivery to the controller.
The conventional methods of infection include physical access to a targeted device by using exposed interfaces, such as a CD-ROM, DVD and USB ports, as well as the use of social media engineering techniques. However, Astra also supports bot deployment without requiring any physical access to the target device.
In particular, Astra can push bot to any targeted machine sharing the same LAN (wired, wi-fi or hybrid). The SEED is a generic bot which can identify a target’s location, log keystrokes, capture screen-shots, capture Mic, listen to Skype calls, capture webcams and search the target’s browsing history. Additionally, the SEED bot can also be remotely activated, deactivated or terminated, as and when required. Astra allegedly provides an un-traceable reporting mechanism that operates without using any proxies, which overrules the possibility of getting traced by the target.
ClearTrail Technologies argue that they meet lawful interception regulatory requirements across the globe. In particular, they claim that their products are compliant with ETSI and CALEA regulations and that they are efficient to cater to region specific requirements as well.
The latest Spy Files also include data on foreign surveillance technology companies operating in India, such as TelesoftTechnologies, AGT International and Verint Systems. In particular, Verint Systems has its headquarters in New York and offices all around the world, including Bangalore in India. Founded in 1994 and run by Dan Bodner, Verint Systems produces a wide range of surveillance technologies, including the following:
– Impact 360 Speech Analytics
– Impact 360 Text Analytics
– Nextiva Video Management Software (VMS)
– Nextiva Physical Security Information Management (PSIM)
– Nextiva Network Video Recorders (NVRs)
– Nextiva Video Business Intelligence (VBI)
– Nextiva Surveillance Analytics
– Nextiva IP cameras
– CYBERVISION Network Security
– ENGAGE suite
– FOCAL-INFO (FOCAL-COLLECT & FOCAL-ANALYTICS)
While Verint Systems claims to be in compliance with ETSI, CALEA and other worldwide lawful interception and standards and regulations, it remains unclear whether such products successfully help law enforcement agencies in tackling crime and terrorism, without violating individuals’ right to privacy and other human rights. After all, Verint Systems has participated in ISS World Tradeshows which exhibit some of the most controversial spyware in the world, used to target individuals and for mass surveillance.
A version of this post was published on Centre for Internet & Society, India website
(c) Centre for Internet and Society 2013
The Centre for Internet and Society is a non-profit research organization that works on policy issues relating to freedom of expression, privacy, accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge and IPR reform, and openness (including open government, FOSS, open standards, etc.), and engages in academic research on digital natives and digital humanities.