Feeds

FBI refuses to open source for Linux DDOS detector

But wants to make it widely available...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

The FBI has released updated Distributed Denial of Service detection tools for Linux and Solaris, and is urging people to use them - but the Feds are declining to make the source available. This is obviously a bit of a no-no for the open source audience you'd expect for Linux tools, and the stance looks even odder when you learn that the FBI's developer, Dave Dittrich of the University of Washington, has released his own software, with source. The FBI is making the tools, designed to detect TRINOO and Tribal Flood Network (TFN) attacks, available via the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC). It does however seem to be refusing to release source as a matter of policy. Contacted by a Register reader the NIPC responded (corporately, apparently, as no spokesperson name was attached): "The NIPC has determined that it is important not to release the source code publicly. We do, however, have measures in place to help ensure that the executable on our website is not compromised. Thank you for contacting us." Our informant had pointed out that: "Many internet sites will *not* install binaries provided by the US government, and specifically the FBI, lacking source. I would strongly recommend that you provide source for these tools, preferably under an OSI compliant license (GPL, BSD, MozPL, etc.), at the very least simply publishing source whether or not you allow modifications of it, though copyright in government works is not, AFAIK, applicable in this case." This seems to be a mindset too far for the NIPC. But never mind, although the FBI version isn't likely to be that popular, Dittrich's version comes with source. We're told that the FBI version runs on the target systems and searches files for traces of the DDOS tools, whereas version with source attempts to remotely identify the DDOS tools by eliciting certain responses to network probes. According to our informant (thanks, reader): "This method is much less reliable as it typically relies on the tools having the original passwords. However, running programs on the target systems is much harder to automate." So there you go. Pays your money (not exactly), takes your choice. ® Your DDOS downloads tonight: FBI version Dittrich implementation

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.