Feeds

Tor embassy 'hacker' raided by Swedish Feds

Don't want no more of the spyin' game

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A security researcher who revealed how the email accounts of embassies were exposed through the misuse of the Tor anonymiser network has been taken in for questioning by Swedish intelligence agencies.

Dan Egerstad used Tor to obtain the login credentials of about 1,000 email addresses, including at least 100 accounts belonging to foreign embassies, as well as those of large corporations and human rights organisations. Egerstad posted the login details of embassies belonging to Iran, India, Japan, and Russia, among others, in late August. The information, posted on derangedsecurity.com, has since been taken offline. Egerstad disclosed details of how he pulled off the hack in September.

Tor provides a distributed, anonymous network when used properly. Egerstad discovered that by setting up exit nodes he could sniff traffic that wasn't properly encrypted, contrary to Tor's recommendations.

It seems more likely that Egerstad had stumbled on a means by which unknown intelligence agencies were disguising their surveillance activities on hacked accounts rather than widespread misuse of Tor in diplomatic circles. Egerstad's action may have exposed a security problem that would otherwise have lain undiscovered. Nonetheless, his decision to publish login credentials was widely criticised.

On Monday, Egerstad was leaving his Malmo apartment when he was arrested by four plainclothes agents of the Swedish National Police (a domestic intelligence agency) and an agent of the Swedish Security Police (Sweden's CIA). He was taken to the local police station for questioning while two of the agents seized computers, CDs and papers from his house. "It was like out of a bad movie," Egerstad told the Sydney Morning Herald.

During questioning at the station, the police "played every trick in the book, good cop, bad cop, and crazy mysterious guy in the corner not wanting to tell his name and just staring at me."

The discovery of eight PlayStation 2 consoles in his apartment led to accusations of theft against Egerstad.

Egerstad was released without charge but remains under suspicion for computer hacking offences, which he denies. He maintains he simply observed traffic flowing across the internet before drawing attention to an obvious security breach.

Egerstad told Wired that his arrest was sparked by complaints to Sweden by foreign countries. Investigators reportedly confirmed to him that China was one of two countries that complained. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.