Friday, 12 February 2016
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$38 Million Is Needed By FBI To Break The Encryption


$38 Million Is Needed By FBI To Break The Encryption


"Whenever we encounter encryption during any of the investigation, that are the hard time for our agents, local as well as state cops too" announced publically by the FBI Director James Comey. So, for buying Encryption-Breaking Technology FBI needs more money.

Last year, for the purpose of getting encrypted data and to unmask the internet users FBI made a request for $31 million. But in next year budget request also, they asked for $38.3 million more for buying encryption technologies by which they can easily track criminal suspects, access the information that they need to solve any crime investigation.

Once it is approved, then it would be going to rise from $31 to directly doubled of it that is $69.3 and might be the FBI's Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request on "Going Dark." 

When Apple announced that they are unable to unlock the new iPhones, so we can easily understand with this situation that encryption is really an issue. So, it's very obvious that FBI needs more resources in order to break the encryption. And by default hacking tools are the natural countermeasure. 

“The days of reliable wiretaps are vanishing. [Hacking] is the next best thing for the FBI.”
“The days of reliable wiretaps are vanishing. [Hacking] is the next best thing for the FBI,” Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, who has studied surveillance technology for years, told in an encrypted chat.

The FBI budget doesn't include or revealed any information about their planning to spend that money. When reporter asked them, they declined to answer any Budget related question.

Most of the investigations of FBI has been relying only on hacking tools (malware or spyware). 
Recently, Amy Hess, the head of the FBI’s high-tech surveillance unit, admitted that 

"the Bureau uses hacking, and particularly zero-days, which are unknown software flaws or bugs that allow hackers to break into a target’s computer."

So, it's quite obvious to spent money on these tools.

Soghoian said that “We can buy lot of zero-day exploits by 38.3 million dollars. $38.3 million is a hefty chunk of change to dole out for a 'problem' the FBI has so steadfastly refused to publicly quantify in any meaningful way,“ he told me. “First let's see some hard numbers about how often encryption is a serious obstacle to investigations and what the alternatives are; then maybe we'll be in a position to know how much it's reasonable to spend addressing the issue."

The list where the FBI used hacking were:

>> One against Freedom Hosting
>> Provider of websites on the Dark Web
>> Against a child pornography site

In all the 3 cases targets use an anonymity software named as Tor, which is able to hide the individual IP address and location. Previously it has to be manually installed, but now it automatically updates and law enforcement can't rely on old flaws to hack targets.

So, Soghoian said that more zero-days are needed by FBI to unmask Tor software users. The market of spyware, zero-days are flourishing now and in future also. So, many companies are there who have been selling these products for years. 

So, David Gomez, said right that "If anyone want state-of-art equipment, that person need the money to pay for it". 

David Gomez is retired FBI agent who’s currently worked as a senior fellow at George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.

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