U.S. Nuke Agency Buys Internet Backbone Data

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has bought access to netflow data. The tool covers more than 90 percent of the world's internet data and can trace activity through virtual private networks.
Image: Team Cymru. Edit by 404 Media.
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A U.S. government agency tasked with supporting the nation’s nuclear deterrence capability has bought access to a data tool that claims to cover more than 90 percent of the world’s internet traffic, and can in some cases let users trace activity through virtual private networks, according to documents obtained by 404 Media.

The documents provide more insight into the use cases and customers of so-called netflow data, which can show which server communicated with another, information that is ordinarily only available to the server’s owner, or the internet service provider (ISP) handling the traffic. Other agencies that have purchased the data include the U.S. Army, NCIS, FBI, IRS, with some government clients saying it would take too long to get data from the NSA, so they bought this tool instead. In this case, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) says it is using the data to perform vulnerability assessments of U.S. and allied systems.

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