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CIA Invests In Anti-Cybercrime Startup

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the silent-partners dept.

Crime 38

wiredmikey writes "Launched by the CIA in 1999, In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and partner with companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve the national security interests of the United States. In-Q-Tel has invested an undisclosed sum in Silver Tail Systems, an emerging online fraud prevention and analytics company, an investment they say enables them to offer powerful technology companies in the US intelligence community and further protect the nation's assets."

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that crown and handcuffs photo (1, Offtopic)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046994)

made me think of some bondage with THE ;) royal family - Prince Charles and Camilla and handcuffs is just a wrong image.

Re:that crown and handcuffs photo (2, Funny)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047018)

A wrong image perhaps...but now I've got something to replace reciting baseball scores with when I next have to uh cross the finish line second.

Re:that crown and handcuffs photo (0, Offtopic)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047350)

A wrong image perhaps...but now I've got something to replace reciting baseball scores with when I next have to uh cross the finish line second.

or maybe third or fourth if you are joing in with the royals.

Re:that crown and handcuffs photo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048190)

A wrong image perhaps...but now I've got something to replace reciting baseball scores with when I next have to uh cross the finish line second.

Must ... Not ... Ask ...

I'm sure I and others will regret this, but WTF is that supposed to mean?

Re:that crown and handcuffs photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34050166)

Delaying his orgasm.

Commercial? (4, Informative)

oakbox (414095) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047004)

This reads more like a commercial than an article for Slashdot.

What's up with that?

Or am I simply not seeing the big picture here?

- oakbox

Re:Commercial? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047582)

It's called a "slashvertisement". You must be new here...

the US doesn't really have assets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047876)

our country's assets were mostly pissed away in the time period from 2000 to 2008.

Silver Tail Systems (3, Insightful)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047038)

If you're wondering what Silver Tail does: TFA provides the following

“Silver Tail Systems solution monitors website traffic and identifies anomalies in real-time. Their unique system creates models of what is normal traffic for a website’s population and uses that to identify threats,” said William Strecker, Executive Vice President of Architecture & Engineering and CTO at IQT. “Our strategic investment in Silver Tail Systems enables us to offer this powerful technology to our customers in the U.S. intelligence Community and further protect our Nation’s assets.”

Silver Tails own website [silvertailsystems.com] adds

New ways of combating fraud: The global threat landscape is rapidly changing and evolving. Sophisticated criminals always find ways around traditional fraud protection solutions. Silver Tail Systems has technology which monitors all web traffic and detects what is normal website behavior and what behavior is looking anomalous according to user statistics constantly updated by the hour. This real-time monitoring helps combating fraud as it emerges. Receiving alerts about suspicious web traffic lets the website administrator quickly identify the type of threat occurring and investigate the attempted attack. Once an attack is identified easy rules will divert the bad actors in real-time, protecting the website from being compromised.

Any of the techy people feel like explaining this to the rest of us? Am I exposing my ignorance by assuming it's basically a giant spreadsheet comparing whats happening now with what happened then?

Re:Silver Tail Systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047156)

Looks like what any run of the mill NIDS (Network Intrusion Detection System) would do

Re:Silver Tail Systems (2, Informative)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047246)

> monitors website traffic and identifies anomalies in real-time.

mod_security.

> creates models of what is normal traffic for a website’s population and uses that to identify threats

Looking for peaks in the bandwith and connection rate graph.

Re:Silver Tail Systems (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048462)

Also Silver Tail will release endless end of the world press release about computer viruses infecting people and destroying the planet, unless of course they get hundreds of millions of dollars in CIA approved funding (which of course will be used in off the books hacks of other nations including and especially allies).

Re:Silver Tail Systems (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047310)

So many things wrong with this.
Bad idea - hmm - maybe they talk in the park, or use paper/ dead drops or sd cards with magnets.

First, they did it with mail and phones and then mobile phonecalls - ignoring the bit that they are not supposed to be bugging Americans domestically. They even demo the software for bookmakers, say before a horse race, big game old old hat. Maybe they do the same think on the futures and stockmarket rooms - who knows? Even the police have this 'technology'

They have had 'Vampire Taps' on the main internet artery for yonks. But educated people reckon it is too big to bug, even for them - so one has to start targeting bits.
heres how:
1) Remove Bittorrent and Game sites
2) Remove Porn and online shopping
3) Sort mail by language - move Arabic and Persian to the top of the list
3.5) Repeat for Skype
4) And Chinese - after removing fast food orders
5) treat IP connections and protocols just like phone numbers
6) Run reports/ Create cubes trends std deviation etc
7) Put in budget submission - you have found 100 million suspicious people
8) This is exactly what Walmart and the marketing companies already do
9) This is what the IRS has failed to do

One thinks silver tail will become gold road , and all they will dig up is the worlds 2nd biggest porn collection , and a lot of their own having affairs.

Re:Silver Tail Systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048044)

How long does it take Silver Tail software to recognize that a site's getting Slashdotted, I wonder?

Re:Silver Tail Systems (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048886)

If you're wondering what Silver Tail does: TFA provides the following

“Silver Tail Systems solution monitors website traffic and identifies anomalies in real-time. Their unique system creates models of what is normal traffic for a website’s population and uses that to identify threats,” said William Strecker, Executive Vice President of Architecture & Engineering and CTO at IQT. “Our strategic investment in Silver Tail Systems enables us to offer this powerful technology to our customers in the U.S. intelligence Community and further protect our Nation’s assets.”

Silver Tails own website [silvertailsystems.com] adds

New ways of combating fraud: The global threat landscape is rapidly changing and evolving. Sophisticated criminals always find ways around traditional fraud protection solutions. Silver Tail Systems has technology which monitors all web traffic and detects what is normal website behavior and what behavior is looking anomalous according to user statistics constantly updated by the hour. This real-time monitoring helps combating fraud as it emerges. Receiving alerts about suspicious web traffic lets the website administrator quickly identify the type of threat occurring and investigate the attempted attack. Once an attack is identified easy rules will divert the bad actors in real-time, protecting the website from being compromised.

Any of the techy people feel like explaining this to the rest of us? Am I exposing my ignorance by assuming it's basically a giant spreadsheet comparing whats happening now with what happened then?

Sure, what they are saying is, they monitor all the web traffic a site does, then analyse that data to make a "standard" web pattern for that website. Then they compare their "standard" to what's coming in, and if something doesn't match normal traffic patterns, they will check it out.

They will alert whomever the attack is upon.

So basicly, lets say your a banking web site, and during normal off hours, there is suddenly a lot of traffic hitting their servers. They would know from their "standard" that something is different, and they would do whatever from there. Which would probably be getting a hold of the IT of that website and letting them know somethings going on.

But ya, your right about the big spreadsheet, because that's basicly what they are doing.

Now, of course, let me list the problems here.

CIA is funding a "security" website that does it's security by monitoring all your traffic, keeping data about it, and comparing that with traffic coming in and out.

Yes, i only listed 1 problem, and I clearly said problems. It wasn't a mistake. That one problem is plural.

Suspicious? (3, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047094)

In future, better not do anything suspicious like clicking on the wrong links or visit a website in an unusual order! Because that might get you killed by an unmanned aerial vehicle... However, no need to worry about the government. As long as you do exactly the same as everybody else, you're completely safe.

Re:Suspicious? (1)

Buggz (1187173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047158)

It looks like a lot of lawyers might get a decent payday when the first slashdot effect hits.

Re:Suspicious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048466)

Just have a script that constantly looks for goatse, tubgirl and horse porn and visits those sites. If they are going to kill you anyway, take a few of the watchmen's eyes with you.

Re:Suspicious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34052310)

That's... just... mean!!!!

That's why it sounds like a good idea.

Not just fraud (2, Insightful)

nomad-9 (1423689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047290)

Apart from that specific article, the more important point IMO is that IQT's mission is not just "fraud", but whatever is supposed to serve "national security". The latter being increasingly used as an excuse to monitor as many people as possible.

In 2009 for example, IQT invested in a company called "Visible Technologies" which specialized in social media monitoring & tracking, such as the monitoring of blog posts or tweets. Another company IQT invested in, "Recorded Future" , extracted "time and event information from the Web". Another one would be "Attensity, with its own web 2.0-monitoring service.etc...

Nothing really new here: extensive Web monitoring & electronic surveillance by Big Brother in the name of cybersecurity. Dubious overall efficiency but enormous potential for privacy violations.

Re:Not just fraud (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048152)

If I hadn't read it here I wouldn't have believed it! Imagine doing something like that. That's terrible. I'm shocked to the core. Just going to lie down for a bit!

Very interesting! (1)

AaronAdamic (1923796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047368)

Worth reading.

Cyber Crime Security (1)

dontgetshocked (1073678) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047532)

If it's so good,why are we finding out about it? Shouldn't this be kept secret?

probably a good move, just look at facebook (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047614)

in-q-tel knows what they are doing, just look how much personal information & profit they've gotten out of that facebook thing.. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jan/14/facebook [guardian.co.uk]

*DRUMROLL* (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047690)

This is the "big story" about what the CIA is investing in!:

http://www.silvertailsystems.com/images/forensics_a.jpg [silvertailsystems.com]

CUTTING EDGE!
/downsrim

Re:*DRUMROLL* (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34052654)

This is the "big story" about what the CIA is investing in!: http://www.silvertailsystems.com/images/forensics_a.jpg [silvertailsystems.com] CUTTING EDGE! /downsrim

A bigger story would be...Why did CIA agents die in Afghanistan? The biggest producer of opium and hashish. A drug deal gone wrong? When's the last time that happened?

CIA operating in the U.S.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047712)

Can this article be abbreviated to:
"CIA illegally operating inside the United States"

(Wondering if anyone will ever figure out that gigantic, secretive, oppressive, paternalistic nations are the opposite of what we need in the "post-modern" age. Small, distributed, interest-based governance communities are the promise [metagovernment.org] of the future.)

Re:CIA operating in the U.S.? (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048068)

The internet isn't limited to the U.S.

Re:CIA operating in the U.S.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34049056)

But a large chunk of it is here.
The FBI is allowed to operate outside of the US, the CIA is not allowed to operate inside the US.
So how does this, which clearly involves a great deal of US-internal work, fall under the CIA's jurisdiction instead of the FBI's (etc.)?
Sounds patently illegal.
Not that anyone in the US government cares about that anymore, especially not since the reign of Dick Cheney.

Re:CIA operating in the U.S.? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34052574)

The internet isn't limited to the U.S.

But it started here, just ask Al Gore.

Re:CIA operating in the U.S.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34050822)

In totalitarian United States, CIA operates you.

Re:CIA operating in the U.S.? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34052328)

Since when does the CIA care what is legal or illegal?

Was it legal when they sprayed a small town in France with LSD? Was it legal when they dosed men in NYC without their knowledge? Was it legal when they worked out deals to sell arms in contravention of congressional decisions? Maybe when they were helping import cocaine as part of those same deals? Oh wait... maybe they cared about the legality of torturing prisoners or kidnapping people?

The CIA is about doing what the CIA wants to do. Legal or not. If they cared about the law, you might become deluded into thinking that they work for us. You would be wrong.

-Steve

Re:CIA operating in the U.S.? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34052436)

Since when does the CIA care what is legal or illegal?

Was it legal when they sprayed a small town in France with LSD? Was it legal when they dosed men in NYC without their knowledge? Was it legal when they worked out deals to sell arms in contravention of congressional decisions? Maybe when they were helping import cocaine as part of those same deals? Oh wait... maybe they cared about the legality of torturing prisoners or kidnapping people?

The CIA is about doing what the CIA wants to do. Legal or not. If they cared about the law, you might become deluded into thinking that they work for us. You would be wrong.

-Steve

To paraphrase...I have a bad feeling about this Obi-Wan, that's no website, it's a trap!

Re:CIA operating in the U.S.? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34052644)

Its ok, they are throwing a party to celebrate going legitimate. It is a little strange that they are only inviting people who criticized them in the past, and that they are covering the floors in plastic but... hey why worry? They are going legit right?

Re:CIA operating in the U.S.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34056650)

Small, distributed, interest-based governance communities are the promise of the future.

Are you seriously advocating the demise of the spy genre? It's big totalitarian governments that keep brilliant programming like "24" or (wtf-ever) on the air.

Here's an idea (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048426)

How about the CIA/NSA/FBI invest in a company that further protects the interests of the *U.S. Constitution*?

Re:Here's an idea (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34052548)

How about the CIA/NSA/FBI invest in a company that further protects the interests of the *U.S. Constitution*?

How about the CIA/NSA/FBI/KBR/DHS/KFC/TGIF/ABC/DO-RE-ME/1-2-3 invest in themselves that further protects themselves and damn the constitution.
The DEA is the strong-arm of the drug-dealing CIA, which is the supplying agency of the DEA. How black does a black project have to be?

you insensi7ive clod! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34049130)

be '7ery poorly
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