Chaos Computer Club

2011-10-10 Trojan analyzed by the CCC was deployed by Bavarian authorities [Update 3]

According to Spiegel, the Bavarian minister of interior affairs Joachim Herrmann (CSU) has now confirmed that software recently analyzed by the Chaos Computer Club indeed originated from the police in the Southern German state. He was, however unable to confirm whether this exact model had been used. A spokesperson for Bavarian state police confirmed that online surveillance software had been used, but added that all potentially illegal system components had been removed beforehand. She was, however, unable to confirm that the exact specimen obtained by the CCC was used by her agency.

A lawyer acting for Digitask, a small company based in rural Hesse, stated that the software had "most likely" been produced by his client. He also added that the company had been in negotiations with Bavaria since 2007.

On its website, the company confirms to work for the authorities:

"Wir sind ein führendes Unternehmen für die systemintegrierte Realisierung von Datenerhebungs- und Bewertungssystemen im Bereich der Telekommunikation. Firmen und Sicherheitsbehörden aus dem In- und Ausland zählen zu unseren Kunden."

"We are a leading company for system integrated realization of data collection and (data) assessment in the field of telecommunications. Companies and security agencies, on a national and international level, are amongst our customers."

German federal police stated that they did not use this software, adding that the software was freely available on an international basis. Most state police agencies declined to comment; North Rhine Westphalia said they did not use this software; Lower Saxony stated they used a different type of software twice; Rhineland Palatinate said they used surveillance software in one instance, which had been supplied by another agency.

2011-08-18 Daniel Domscheit-Berg and the missing WikiLeaks documents [Update]

The recent clash between Daniel Domscheit-Berg and the Chaos Computer Club brought an important matter back into the focus of the mainstream press, a larger number of leaked documents, which Domscheit-Berg took with him after he left Wikileaks almost one year ago.

Andy Müller Maguhn, a board member of the CCC had been trying to mediate between Domscheit-Berg and Wikileaks ever since. In a recent Spiegel interview, he says that Domscheit-Berg recently told him he would have to survey the documents one by one before returning them to Wikileaks, which implies he has these documents in his possession.

This is very much in accordance with what Domscheit-Berg said in his own book. When an excerpt of the English translation of his work was leaked to Cryptome, he insisted that they contained translation errors. He later posted the passage in question on a German news site in the original language.

This is the crucial sentence:

"Wir warten bis heute darauf, dass Julian die Sicherheit wiederherstellt, damit wir ihm auch das Material zurückgeben können, das auf der Submission-Plattform lag."

It translates to:

"To this day, we are waiting for Julian to restore security, so that we can return the material to him, which was on the submission platform." [Translated by icon]

Recently, however, and a few days before the launch of his own submission platform, he said exactly the opposite in an interview with Der Freitag:

"Q: Sie sind ja bei Wikileaks im Streit ausgestiegen. Haben Sie damals unveröffentlichte Dokumente mitgenommen, von denen Openleaks jetzt profitieren kann?

2011-08-15 Chaos Computer Club expels Daniel Domscheit-Berg [UPDATE]

Openleaks founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg has been expelled from the Chaos Computer Club on grounds of damaging the reputation of the club. Following a meeting of the board members, he was handed a written notice at the Chaos Communication Camp in Finowfurt. According § 5 of the club statutes, this decision is not final, as he can now request to be heard by the board of the club; its members can also ask for the topic to be discussed in a plenary meeting.

The reason given for this decision was that Domscheit-Berg had used the reputation of the CCC to promote his new online submission platform. During his talk, he asked the attendees to test Openleaks, but refused to release the full source code. The club states explicitly on its homepage that it does not perform such tests. Board member Andy Müller Maguhn subsequently described his conduct as "impertinent" (Spiegel interview, Nr. 33, page 81). Openleaks spokesperson Jan Michael Ihl later denied Domscheit-Berg had asked the CCC to test its submission platform. Insofar, only one review of Openleaks by CCCamp11 delegate Hanno Böck has been made public. It lists several SSL vulnerabilities.

The decision caused substantial controversy amongst the members of the club. One board member has reportedly resigned.

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