Linux, Apache, MySQL is all that evil XKeyscore needs to control the world

Pierluigi Paganini July 08, 2015

According to new revelations of the popular whistleblower Edward Snowden the powerful spying machine XKEYSCORE runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

In August 2013, Edward Snowden revealed the existence if a tool named DNI Presenter that allows the Agency to read the content of stored emails, and it also enables the intelligence analysts to tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’ by using the XKeyscore platform.

XKeyscore Slide1
XKeyscore map

As The Intercept reports, besides sniffing web traffic from the fiber-optic cables worldwide the system is able to collect router data, emails, Skype conversations, people’s internet searches, documents, credentials, emails, and it also syphon data belonging 700,000 voice, fax and video files every day.

“[The XKeyscore system’s] servers collect all of this data for up to five days, and store the metadata of this traffic for up to 45 days.” states the Intercept.

The news of the day is that according to Edward Snowden the XKEYSCORE runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The popular journalist Glenn Greenwald, who supports Snowden in the divulgation of the NSA documents, described the XKEYSCORE with the following eloquent statement:

“… is a piece of Linux software that is typically deployed on Red Hat servers.” wrote Greenwald. “It uses the Apache web server and stores collected data in MySQL databases. File systems in a cluster are handled by the NFS distributed file system and the autofs service, and scheduled tasks are handled by the cron scheduling service.”

It’s not a mystery that the US Intelligence Agency has always sustained also open source projects, the Xen Project project is an example as reported by The Register.

It we consider the enormous power of the XKEYSCORE and its scalability, this revelation provides a very important customer reference for Linux environments.

The Lesson learned is that it could be enough a Linux, an Apache server, and a MySQL DBMS to control the world 😉 .

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – XKEYSCORE , surveillance)

you might also like

leave a comment