Fighting back

Sherr, M.; Shah, G.; Cronin, E.; Clark, S. and Blaze, M.: Can They Hear Me Now? A Security Analysis of Law Enforcement Wiretaps. CCS’09.

Abstract:

»Although modern communications services are susceptible to third-party eavesdropping via a wide range of possible techniques, law enforcement agencies in the US and other countries generally use one of two technologies when they conduct legally-authorized interception of telephones and other communications traffic. The most common of these, designed to comply with the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), use a standard interface provided in network switches. This paper analyzes the security properties of these inter- faces. We demonstrate that the standard CALEA interfaces are vulnerable to a range of unilateral attacks by the intercept target. In particular, because of poor design choices in the interception architecture and protocols, our experiments show it is practical for a CALEA-tapped target to over- whelm the link to law enforcement with spurious signaling messages without degrading her own traffic, e ectively preventing call records as well as content from being monitored or recorded. (…)«

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