Treasure Map, a “near real-time interactive map of the global internet” that shows details of the public internet has is nearing reality for global intelligence agencies.
A leaked document revealed that the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies of the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand will have access to this capability. According to Spiegel, Treasure Map is the “mandate for a massive raid on the digital world” which aims to map the internet and identify the devices across which our data flows, making every smartphone, tablet and computer visible.
Der Spiegel contacted 11 of the international providers listed in the Treasure Map document. Four answered, all saying they examined their systems and were unable to find any irregularities. “We would be extremely concerned if a foreign government were to seek unauthorised access to our global networks and infrastructure,” said a spokesperson for the Australian telecommunications company Telstra.
The countries in the Five Eyes alliance are able to access data from 30-50 million IP addresses and up to 10 million IPV4 and IPV6 traceroutes a day. One country who has not participated directly is Germany, even though GCHQ documents show that it managed to gain access to the networks of several German mobile, satellite and telecommunication companies like Deutsche Telekom, Netcologne and Stellar PCS.
Stellar PCS handles much of the world’s satellite internet communications to remote parts of the world, while Deutsche Telekom is among the biggest mobile operators in the world, and Deutsche’s T-Mobile brand is currently in 15 countries globally.
Christian Steffen, the CEO of German satellite communications company Stellar PCS, told First Look that “a cyber attack of this nature is a clear criminal offense under German law”.
He said: “I want to know why we were a target and exactly how the attack against us was conducted—if for no other reason than to be able to protect myself and my customers from this happening again.”
Mike Janke, CEO and co-founder of Silent Circle, said: “This is just the tip of the iceberg. The ability to map every device, every router, every cell tower connection on a giant telecom’s network would enable you to know where every single person and device is within a Telecoms system, what they are accessing and even push down targeted malware for surveillance to a specific device at the push of a button.
“It’s total information awareness. If the Five-Eyes intelligence agencies can do this, I guarantee you that Criminal Gangs, Hacker Groups and many of the 70 or so other nation states can do it as well.”