Do Export Controls on “Intrusion Software” Threaten Vulnerability Research? presented at Defcon 2015

by Collin Anderson, Tom ( Decius ) Cross,

Summary : At the end of 2013, an international export control regime known as the Wassenaar Arrangement was updated to include controls on technology related to “Intrusion Software" and “IP Network Surveillance Systems." Earlier this year, the US Government announced a draft interpretation of these new controls, which has kicked off a firestorm of controversy within the information security community. Questions abound regarding what the exact scope of the proposed rules is, and what impact the rules might have on security researchers. Is it now illegal to share exploit code across borders, or to disclose a vulnerability to a software vendor in another country? Can export controls really keep surveillance technology developed in the west out of the hands of repressive regimes? This presentation will provide a deep dive on the text of the new controls and discuss what they are meant to cover, how the US Government has indicated that it may interpret them, and what those interpretations potentially mean for computer security researchers, and for the Internet as a whole.