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Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2013 12:25:35 -0500
From: peter_toyota <>
To: Justin Elze <>,
Subject: Re: XKeyscore sees 'nearly EVERYTHING you do

It was CALEA, The way they told us to connect the system back then was via a separate management network. The tap data was not sent back via Snmp. Smnp was used only to activate the tap. The routers and switches had a dedicated port to siphon back the tapped data to the pc used to collect it. You could not see anything on a tcp dump with live traffic because all these commands and the resulting data  happen out of band.
 And I am not saying this is as a theory to bullshit the list and appear like I know shit. I mention this because I saw it installed back then. Who knows if in 10 years time they changed the way of tapping? Maybe now it is easier to tap a fiber like you all say, and introduce a couple tenths of db loss in the signal that a test instrument could pick up (possibly defeating the stealth nature of the tap)... ? or pull the fiber from the bottom of the seafloor and break into the cable and be able to id which fibers you want to tap, cut into that huge cable without mesing the fiber and install the tap?
I do not know, and look forward to reading about the miriad of theories in this list. At least I saw how it was done 10 years ago.

-------- Original message --------
From: Justin Elze <> 
Date: 08/11/2013  9:13 AM  (GMT-06:00) 
Cc: Pedro Luis Karrasquillo <>, 
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] XKeyscore sees 'nearly EVERYTHING you do 
The SNMP theory is a pretty horrible one.

Firewalls and ACLs both block SNMP at ISPs

Even if you it did suddenly allow the NSA/whoever to SPAN a port the amount of traffic would be extremely obvious. 

If you were going to do this passive optical taps would be easy, cost effective, and non intrusive(once installed) 

On Sun, Aug 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM, <> wrote:
On Sat, 10 Aug 2013 22:16:15 -0400, Pedro Luis Karrasquillo said:

> NSA picks this up remotely via a very secret SNMP command.

So has anybody ever spotted this SNMP command in a tcpdump?
Found the code that handles it in net-snmp?  Cisco IOS? JunOS?
Nobody's ever caught their supervisor CPU get pegged due to SNMP
management?  Nobody spotted it a few years ago when everybody and
their pet llama was fuszzing SNMP implementations? Not one "Hey,
that command didn't get rejected, wonder what it does"?  If it isn't
on a device installed on the local net, how does the SNMP packet get
through firewalls and/or airgaps to the management network?  And
more importantly, how does the return traffic get exfiltrated without
being noticed?

Occam's Razor suggests it's much more likely to be very similar in
form and function to a CALEA box on steroids.

Not saying the NSA isn't sucking up data - but I've seen no plausible
evidence that it's done via SNMP.

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