NSA infiltrated more than 100k offline computers using covert devices

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Wed Jan 15 22:37:41 GMT 2014

NSA able to target offline computers using 
radio-waves for surveillance, cyber-attacks

NSA infiltrated more than 100,000 offline computers using covert devices

The NSA's Spy Catalog (Image from spiegel.de)

The intelligence agency reportedly inserted 
radio-transmitters into computers via spies and 
unwitting users to crack disconnected devices

VINCENT  - Wednesday 15 January 2014
America’s National Security Agency (NSA) has been 
using secret technology to “enter and alter data 
in computers” even when they are not connected to 
the internet, according to reports from 
New York Times.
Documents given to the paper by whistleblower and 
ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden say that 
intelligence agency has infiltrated more than 
100,000 computers worldwide by fitting them with covert devices.
These devices can take the form of tiny circuit 
boards or USB sticks and are inserted into 
computers either by spies, manufactures or 
unwitting users. They can then transmit 
information back and forth with nearby brief-case sized relay stations.
The method is significant as it allows the NSA to 
circumvent one of the most effective methods used 
to secure computers against spying and 
cyberattack: simply disconnecting them from the internet.
The New York Times reports that there is “no 
evidence” that the technology has been used 
within the USA, and that these operations act as 
an “active defence” against foreign cyber threats such as the Chinese.
The program – code-named Quantum – has also been 
used against “Russian military networks and 
systems used by the Mexican police and drug 
cartels, trade institutions inside the European 
Union, and sometime partners against terrorism 
like Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan.”
An anonymous senior official from the US Cyber 
Command told the paper that these devices were 
used as an early warning system for cyberattacks, 
comparing the program with submarine warfare and 
saying the US tries “to silently track the 
adversaries while they’re trying to silently track you.”
Meanwhile, President Obama will announce this 
Friday which recommendations he will be accepting 
from an advisory panel investigating the methods of the NSA.
The Times report that restrictions on the 
collection of bulk telephone data will be 
included in the briefing, and that it is also 
being recommended that the exploitation of flaws 
in American software should be banned except in extreme cases. 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://mailman.gn.apc.org/mailman/private/diggers350/attachments/20140115/83d59fb5/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/x-ygp-stripped
Size: 248 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <https://mailman.gn.apc.org/mailman/private/diggers350/attachments/20140115/83d59fb5/attachment.bin>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list