Democratic malware?

Is there such a thing?  Specifications thus:

The malware has now been independently verified by Sophos who have confirmed that the malware has the following functionality:

  • The Trojan can eavesdrop on several communication applications – including Skype, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger.
  • The Trojan can log keystrokes in Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer and SeaMonkey.
  • The Trojan can take JPEG screenshots of what appears on users’ screens and record Skype audio calls.
  • The Trojan attempts to communicate with a remote website.

What’s more:

[…] The trojan can, for example, receive uploads of arbitrary programs from the Internet and execute them remotely. This means, an “upgrade path” from Quellen-TKÜ to the full Bundestrojaner’s functionality is built-in right from the start. Activation of the computer’s hardware like microphone or camera can be used for room surveillance.

But what’s really democratic about this piece of allegedly government-sanctioned malware is that:

[It] can, unchecked by a judge, load extensions by remote control, to use the trojan for other functions, including but not limited to eavesdropping. This complete control over the infected PC – owing to the poor craftsmanship that went into this trojan –  is open not just to the agency that put it there, but to everyone. It could even be used to upload falsified “evidence” against the PC’s owner, or to delete files, which puts the whole rationale for this method of investigation into question.

Any comments from yours truly?  Not much to say really.  Not much you can say.  If the Germans are doing it, and we still don’t know if they are, then surely everyone else will be too.  Makes any evidence of wrongdoing found on anyone’s computer kind of a moot and unconvincing point.

How to shoot yourselves in both your procedural feet several times.

Almost as if one day we suddenly all decided to share each other’s DNA.  Or like using antibiotics to make cows grow faster.  Yes.  A brilliant idea.  You can just see how it became a reality.

Or maybe you can’t.


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