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A mysterious company from Florida took over managing a large portion of the internet owned by the Pentagon mere minutes before Joe Biden was sworn into office.
The company, which was identified as Global Resource Systems LLC, now oversees nearly 175 million IP addresses — managing more cyberspace than some of the world’s largest internet providers, including Comcast and AT&T.
The mysterious startup’s new role spawned several questions regarding the internet space and the Pentagon’s plans for it. Here are some of the biggest unanswered questions about the unknown company that is now managing nearly 6% of usable internet space.
What exactly is the Pentagon looking for?
The Pentagon made its first statement regarding its decision on Friday. Brett Goldstein, the chief of the Pentagon’s defense digital service, said federal officials are working to “assess, evaluate and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space” and hopes to “identify potential vulnerabilities” in its fight to curb cyberattacks of US networks.
Despite its response, the Pentagon left more questions regarding its intentions than answers.
Mike Hamilton, former chief information security officer of Seattle and CISO of cybersecurity firm CI Security, told Insider one of the biggest questions people should be asking is, “Are they looking for something specific?” He said it seems unlikely that the pentagon would initiate a contract of that size without a probable cause or inciting incident.
“If they’re going to the extent of 175 million IP addresses, chances are they’re not just looking for “vulnerabilities,” Hamilton said. “The kind of computing power a company would need to be able to analyze 175 million IP addresses and the technology they would have to deploy, likely means this decision had to have been planned a long time ago.”
The government could be motivated by any number of reasons. Cybersecurity experts told Insider the Pentagon could be working to lure hackers or build up their defense by analyzing threats online, as well as planning to launch infrastructure for surveillance or even its own targeted cyber attacks against other countries.
Why did the Pentagon choose an unknown startup?
Global Resource Systems LLC was created in September and has no prior government contracts. The company also does not have an online presence or a business license where it is registered in Plantation, Florida, though the company filed paperwork in October, for incorporation in Delaware, as shown by Florida state records.
Cybersecurity experts told Insider the company’s anonymity puts an extra layer of protection over the government and makes it even easier to hide what the Pentagon is doing with the IP addresses.
“I can only speculate that ‘Global Resource Systems LLC’ is a DBA / Delaware Fictitious Name,” Scott Schober, CEO of cybersecurity firm Berkeley Varitronics Systems, told Insider. “They can then operate under an alias company name so they can stay off the radar and avoid scrutiny. Global Resource Systems can function as an extension of the government without direct connection allowing them to monitor activities without the overwhelming presence of the Pentagon nor the scrutiny of public opinion.”
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Source:: Businessinsider – Politics
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