By Alana Cook
It is untraceable, unrelenting and unforgiving. It can hide without giving a hint of its presence. It is strong. It is fierce. It comes and goes without being detected. It is not a ghost. It is D.E.A.F.
The Defense Enabling and Assisting Framework, or D.E.A.F., a new cyber security tool, is creating a buzz in defense technology arenas and its owners are ready to transition the technology to the commercial market.
Just as Windows 95 revolutionized the way people played, lived, worked and conducted financial business, western intelligence sources. say that D.E.A.F. could change the way countries conduct their domestic and foreign affairs and as a result, change the mechanics of warfare. A whole country, not just its assets, could go dark. Information warfare could continue for years without one country knowing what the other is doing.
President-elect Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in a recent email said that D.E.A.F. would be a viable option to protect assetsand military personnel from cyber attacks.
“It is an excellent technology, and the type of niche security capabilities we need going forward, especially for our high-value people and for other assets who we are trying to protect,” Flynn said in an email to U.S.Army, Ret Gen. Paul Vallely.
Computer scientists with backgrounds in physics, optoelectronics, encryption, compression and cryptography spent five years developing D.E.A.F., which is a complete hard- and software system that can be loaded on electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, Wi-Fi routers and tablets. Its owners say it can protect a person’s private communications without using typical cryptography methods and it cannot be hacked.
The latest headlines are flooded with reports of new cyber attacks; often, no one can pinpoint the cause or source of a given attack, and no one seems to be able to stop them.
That, western intelligence sources say, is because all encryption systems on the market can be hacked. The current cyber security systems are based on encryption cryptography or algorithmic equations which require a key to decipher. Though they are effective in protecting a person’s privacy, they do not protect communications from professional hackers.
In the last few months, stories about hackers gaining access to, and leaking emails of, John Podesta and Hillary Clinton have plastered the pages of major media outlets. Public officials have expressed well-founded concerns regarding potential cyber attacks on critical infrastructures such as power, water, communications and transportation. In December 2015, a cyber attack perpetrated against Ukrainian power plants effectively shut down electricity to over 80,000 customers. These are just a few examples where cyber warfare is replacing boots-on-the-ground warfare tactics.
D.E.A.F. and the 2016 elections
If a cyber technology such as D.E.A.F. could have prevented all of these systems from being hacked, would people have used it?
The security staff for Donald Trump’s campaign was given D.E.A.F. to protect the president-elect’s communications in the weeks leading up to the election. D.E.A.F. is reportedly the reason why the Republican National Convention’s communications did not fall prey to hackers.
How it works
“It’s not based on cryptology or algorithms,” Mark Littrell, owner of Intecomco Global Security, who is in charge of the security component of D.E.A.F., said.
“It’s a totally different, unique and proprietary hard- and software system that serves more as a highly evolved cloaking device than it does an encryption system. I like to use the analogy of hiding a drop of water in the ocean,” Littrell said.
D.E.A.F. obfuscates data and voice transmissions and though Littrell said he cannot tell exactly how or why it works, he does gives some clues.
“If you can envision a transmission of information, everything is comprised of ones and zeros. D.E.A.F. conceals information within information,” he said. “It also works at quantum speed levels, which makes information virtually impossible to capture, and even if someone was able to capture it, it would be virtually impossible to decipher.”
According to Littrell, D.E.A.F.’s owners hired top-level hackers to test the system, but none have been able to penetrate it.
“We have had it thoroughly tested by some top Web security firms out there and some top people in the world and they have been unable to breach or capture transmissions,” he said. “There are several well-placed people that have this hardware software system on their phones and computers.”
D.E.A.F. and the First Amendment
Western intelligence sources say D.E.A.F. could save Americans from what many are calling an Orwellian nightmare because the technology uses quantum-based computing to hide communications from their government’s prying eyes.
While Americans were busy celebrating Christmas, many did not hear the click of President Obama’s notorious pen signing the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes the Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016.
According to a recent article in the financial blog Zero Hedge, the act “further chips away at press liberties in the U.S. and sets the stage for future witch hunts and website shutdowns, purely as the result of an accusation that any one media outlet or site is considered as a source of ‘disinformation and propaganda’ and is then shut down by the government.”
D.E.A.F. cloaks all communications transmissions, is undetectable and is so powerful and stealthy that foreign governments and their surrogates have gone to extremes, including murder, to procure D.EA.F., western intelligence sources say.
Cyber security to die for
While Dr. Shane Todd was living in Singapore and working for the Institute of Microelectronics, he was working on a cooling component for high-speed semiconductors. The component was later incorporated into D.E.A.F.
His lifeless body was found in his Singapore apartment June 23, 2012. He was just 32. His cousin Dr. Christina Villegas, who recalls fond memories of spending time with Shane during the holidays, said that in the months leading up to his death, Shane had expressed concern about the work his employer, IME, was asking him to do with Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company. Huawei has a strong lobbying presence in D.C. and has the ear of well-known, powerful players on K Street.
“I didn’t see Shane during his last Christmas home because the Todds were in Montana by then and my family was in California. This was when he first expressed concern about the work he was doing work for IME,” she said.
Both Villegas and Shane’s mother, Mary, wrote a book called Hard Drive, chronicling the family’s fight against the United States, China and Singapore, for justice. Sen. Ted Gaines (R-CA), sent a copy of the book to FBI Director James Comey requesting the investigation into Shane’s death be re-opened. Villegas said that the family has not been apprised of any new developments in the case.
In an opinion piece for TheHill.com, Villegas lamented on what she called the “failure of the rule of law.”
“Little attention has been given to the U.S. State and Justice Department’s role in stymieing justice for this loyal American and his family,” she said in the piece. She adds a bombshell saying that the issue should concern all Americans because “the case not only involved the alleged murder of an American citizen, but also the probable illegal transfer of military grade technologyto China.”
If Dr. Todd had completed his work on the security component of D.E.A.F., he could have lived, according to Western intelligence sources. He planned on blowing the whistle on this subterfuge when he returned to the U.S., and relayed his concerns to his mother in a Skype call shortly before his death ― a call which was not secure from hackers because it wasn’t protected by D.E.A.F.
Ironically, the very thing that could have saved Dr. Todd by protecting his privacy while on the fateful phone call with his mother, cost him his life.
The first rule of power: Stay in power
When it comes to cyber warfare, east Asian countries and their cohorts will stop at nothing to win. Governments who want to remain in control will go to any lengths, including murder, to stay in power.
“What the government knows is if you remove a link in the chain of breakthrough, it may be years before someone stumbles upon it again or discovers it directly,” Jeffrey C. Borneman, owner of Rampart Portfolio Partners, LLC, said.
Borneman said that until recently, quantum computing lacked the capacity to be fully operational because computers running at full speed doing complex operations were limited by their inability to stay cool.
Dr.Todd’s work on Gallium Nitride, a cooling component that is used in D.E.A.F., changed the high-speed computing game.
“I spent years as an energy trader. The bottleneck in solar power is storage and the bottleneck in computing power is heat,” he said. “In quantum computing excessive heat was the bottleneck. That’s what Shane apparently solved. Now he’s dead,” he said.
The Chinese offered D.E.A.F.’s owner $350 million to buy it but the owner, who asked to remain anonymous citing safety concerns, said he is in talks with buyers willing to pay over $2 billion because D.E.A.F., he said, is unhackable.
“There is real evil in the world,” Borneman said as he paused. Almost in the same breath, he said that to understand Shane’s story, one has to understand there are thousands of technologies being denied to people because those in power want to stay in power.”
“That’s the real world,” he said.
There is an unintended downside to D.E.A.F. For as much good as D.E.A.F. can do to protect the privacy of Americans, it could also deepen the divide between a government fighting to watch every move of its citizens and citizens fighting for freedom against their watchers.
D.E.A.F. will give people the ability to cloak their communications but what happens when domestic watchers like the National Security Agency lose their ability to monitor citizens?
The answer to that question could come in the very near future when D.E.A.F. is unleashed to the public.