"There have been rumors for years about the FBI remotely installing spyware via e-mail or by exploiting an operating system vulnerability from afar -- and now there's confirmation. Last month, the FBI obtained a federal court order to remotely install spyware called CIPAV (Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier) to find out who was behind a MySpace account linked to bomb threats sent to a high school near Olympia, Wash. News.com has posted a PDF of the FBI affidavit, which makes for interesting reading, and a summary of the CIPAV results that the FBI submitted to a magistrate judge. It seems as though CIPAV was installed via e-mail, as an article back in 2004 hinted was the case. In addition to reporting the computer's IP address, MAC address, and registry information, it also gave the FBI updates on which IP addresses the user(s) visited. But how did the FBI get the spyware activated and past anti-virus defenses? Two obvious ways are for the Feds to find and exploit their own operating system backdoors, or to compromise security vendors..."
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