Google, Salesforce were allegedly offered 'TrapWire' spy tool

Google, Salesforce were allegedly offered 'TrapWire' spy tool

Summary: Stratfor emails placed in the wild by WikiLeaks have revealed that a video-surveillance program developed by ex-CIA members may be in place in US government organisations and multinational corporations.


Now approaching its 10th day of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, WikiLeaks has released information about a video-surveillance program that is possibly being used by the US government and large organisations, such as Salesforce and Google.

The program, called TrapWire, was developed by US-based Abraxas Corporation, which is alleged to be staffed by many former US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents. TrapWire is meant to identify terrorists who approach a facility multiple times as they conduct their surveillance. According to Abraxas' documentation on TrapWire, it is able to correlate video surveillance with other data, such as watch lists. It can, for example, identify suspected terrorists using facial recognition or stolen vehicles by reading number plates, and then correlate this information with other event data that it already has.

In internal Stratfor emails leaked by WikiLeaks, it was revealed that TrapWire may have already been implemented in several locations around the world. The leak indicates that Stratfor is in the process of setting up an agreement with Abraxas in order to gain intelligence that it could provide to its own customers.

In an email, Stratfor president Don Kuykendall wrote: "Their clients include Scotland Yard, #10 Downing, the White House and many [multinational corporations]".

"Our consideration is introducing them to companies like Walmart, Dell and other[s]," he wrote.

In a separate email, vice president Fred Burton wrote: "Salesforce HQs in San Fran is interested in TrapWire after I briefed them on their wonderful capabilities". He also wrote that "the timing is right to revisit our relationship with Google and sense growing frustration (and chaos) on their part in light of the Chinese penetrations and intellectual property theft".

"I've been playing constant phone tag with their security director."

Google declined to comment on whether it has been contacted by Stratfor, and whether it has implemented TrapWire. Salesforce has been unable to respond to ZDNet's inquiries at the time of writing.

Burton also wrote that TrapWire is "in place at every [high-value target] in NYC, DC, Vegas, London, Ottawa and LA".

The system may be working for its intended purpose. In leaked emails, Burton revealed that the system may have foiled a terrorist attack on three Los Angeles buildings.

"According to a very good source responsible for domestic surveillance operations, an extremely serious al Qaeda terror plot has been uncovered targeting a financial institution, an entertainment centre and a government office building in Los Angeles. The same terrorist-surveillance team conducted pre-operational surveillance of all three sites. The group is currently under watch," he wrote.

Topics: Security, Google,

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • Google, Salesforce..

    Our consideration is introducing them to companies like Walmart, Dell and other
  • Id bet it's being offered to almost everyone in the world.

    Valuable functionality.
    Johnny Vegas
  • It was "Offered" to them?

    So what?!? Abraxas sells software, they'd probably try to sell it to any company that can potentially afford it. Companies like this are the target of every software company trying to pimp their wares. What in the world would Salesforce want with this?
    • Cloud terrorists

      What if a suicide bomber blew him/herself in the cloud? Of course, every one needs this software and a camera mounted on their heads asap.
  • Abraxas and TrapWire

    According to the 1st published source on this, it is also all over Texas.

    I do want to remind folks that this system can be used and is probably being used to identify high risk targets of under NDAA, meaning that ordinary US Citizens are being profiled and targeted by the Administration for detention without cause and possible elimination should events unfold that force the Current Administration to declare Martial Law in this country.

    Another interesting thing is that if you do a google search on the meaning of the word ABRAXAS, this is what it says :

    TrapWire by Abraxas

    Abraxas in Greek means:

    Abraxas (also Abrasax or Abracax) was a mystical word engraved on gems among the ancients, called on that account Abraxas stones, which were used as amulets or charms. The name is found in the Greek Magical Papyrii, and the word may be related to the word abracadabra, although other explanations exist. The letters of Abraxas, in the Greek system of alphabetic numerology, sum to the number 365. The name is also found in Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of the Egyptians. Abraxas has also been variously claimed throughout the centuries to be an Egyptian god, a demon, or a being associated with the dual nature of Satan/Lucifer.