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Links for 2021-08-26

  • How Data Brokers Sell Access to the Backbone of the Internet

    Interesting, didn’t realise this data was being resold….

    “I’m concerned that netflow data being offered for commercial purposes is a path to a dark fucking place,” one source familiar with the data told Motherboard. […] At a high level, netflow data creates a picture of traffic flow and volume across a network. It can show which server communicated with another, information that may ordinarily only be available to the server owner or the ISP carrying the traffic. Crucially, this data can be used for, among other things, tracking traffic through virtual private networks, which are used to mask where someone is connecting to a server from, and by extension, their approximate physical location. Team Cymru, one threat intelligence firm, works with ISPs to access that netflow data, three sources said. Keith Chu, communications director for the office of Senator Ron Wyden which has been conducting its own investigations into the sale of sensitive data, added that Team Cymru told the office “it obtains netflow data from third parties in exchange for threat intelligence.” Companies that may source Team Cymru’s data include cybersecurity firms hired to respond to data breaches or proactively hunt out hackers. On its website, Team Cymru says it works with both public and private sector teams to “to help identify, track and stop bad actors both in cyber space and on the ground.” “I’m less worried about a bad guy hacker and more worried about a bad guy government or company or politician,” one source familiar with the data said. A source in the threat intelligence industry added that they “always thought it was kinda bonkers,” referring to Team Cymru’s sale of netflow data.

    (tags: vpns surveillance web privacy team-cymru netflow isps threat-intelligence)