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telecommunications and defense.
In 2011, Packet Forensics and Saulino, its spokesman, were featured in a Wired story because the company was selling an appliance to government agencies and law enforcement that let them spy on people’s web browsing using forged security certificates.
The company continues to sell ‘lawful intercept’ equipment, according to its website.
One of its current contracts with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is for ‘harnessing autonomy for countering cyber-adversary systems.’
A contract description says it is investigating ‘technologies for conducting safe, nondisruptive, and effective active defense operations in cyberspace.’
Contract language from 2019 says the program would ‘investigate the feasibility of creating safe and reliable autonomous software agencies that can effectively counter malicious botnet implants and similar large-scale malware.’
Deepening the mystery is Global Resource Systems’ name. It is identical to that of a firm that independent internet fraud researcher Ron Guilmette says was sending out email spam using the very same internet routing identifier.
It shut down more than a decade ago. All that differs is the type of company. This one´s a limited liability corporation. The other was a corporation. Both used the same street address in Plantation, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.
‘It´s deeply suspicious,’ said Guilmette, who unsuccessfully sued the previous incarnation of Global Resource Systems in 2006 for unfair business practices.
Guilmette considers such masquerading, known as slip-streaming, a ham-handed tactic in this situation. ‘If they wanted to be more serious about hiding this they could have not used Ray Saulino and this suspicious name.’
Guilmette and Madory were alerted to the mystery when network operators began inquiring about it on an email list in mid-March. But almost everyone involved didn´t want to talk about it.
Mike Leber, who owns Hurricane Electric, the internet backbone company handing the address blocks´ traffic, didn´t return emails or phone messages.