Just how much are Americans willing to tolerate?
It’s not enough that President Lucifer’s NSA (National Security Agency) intercepts and spies on our every email, phonecall, bank and credit card transaction, and other communications, the NSA actually intercepts, i.e., hijacks, computers before they reach the consumers.
So as to build a “back door” in the computers which enables the NSA to spy on us.
Raphael Satter reports for the AP that a German magazine, Der Spiegel, reported on Dec. 29, 2013, that an elite division of the NSA (1) intercepts computer deliveries; (2) exploits hardware vulnerabilities; and (3) even hijacks Microsoft’s internal reporting system to spy on their targets. The NSA division is known as Tailored Access Operations (TAO), which is a team of super-hackers specializing in stealing data from the toughest of targets.
Citing internal NSA documents, Der Spiegel said TAO’s mission is “Getting the ungettable,” and quoted an unnamed intelligence official as saying that TAO had gathered “some of the most significant intelligence our country has ever seen.” TAO employs a catalog of James Bondish high-tech gadgets for particularly hard-to-crack cases, including:
- Computer monitor cables specially modified to record what is being typed across the screen;
- USB sticks secretly fitted with radio transmitters to broadcast stolen data over the airwaves;
- Fake base stations intended to intercept mobile phone signals on the go.
1. NSA intercepts computer deliveries to build “back doors”
When a target orders a new computer or other electronic accessories, TAO coordinates with the FBI and the CIA to intercept the hardware in transit, and take it to a secret workshop where it could be discretely fitted with espionage software before being sent on its way. An NSA document cited by Der Spiegelboasts that intercepting computer equipment in such a way is among the NSA’s “most productive operations,” and has helped harvest intelligence from around the world.
2. NSA exploits hardware vulnerabilities
Purpose: to deliver malicious software to specific computers. The makers of the hardware and software exploited by the NSA include some of the world’s leading information technology companies, including:
- China’s Huawei Technologies Ltd.; and
- U.S. companies: Cisco Systems, Inc. of San Jose, California; Western Digital Corp. of Irvine, California; Dell Inc. of Round Rock, Texas.
3. NSA spies on Microsoft Corp.’s crash reports
Microsoft’s crash reports are familiar to many users of the Windows operating system as the dialogue box that pops up when a game freezes or a Word document dies. The crash reporting system is intended to help Microsoft engineers improve their products and fix bugs, but unbeknown to Microsoft, the NSA also sifts through the reports to help spies break into machines running Windows.
For its part, Microsoft says the information sent by customers about technical issues in these crash reports is limited. A Microsoft rep said in an email to Der Spiegel: ”Microsoft does not provide any government with direct or unfettered access to our customer’s data. We would have significant concerns if the allegations about government actions are true.”
Microsoft is one of several U.S. firms that have demanded more transparency from the NSA – and worked to bolster their security – in the wake of the revelations of former intelligence worker Edward Snowden, whose disclosures have ignited an international debate over privacy and surveillance.
Der Spiegel did not explicitly say where its cache of NSA documents had come from, although the magazine has previously published a series of stories based on documents leaked by Snowden, and one of Snowden’s key contacts – American documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras – was listed among the article’s six authors.
And now the latest news:
The Washington Post reports, Jan. 2, 2013, that the NSA is racing to build a quantum computer that’s exponentially faster than classical computers, which can break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.
According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build the quantum computer is part of a $79.7 million research program titled “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md.
Read more here.
- “Big Brother’s secret NSA Data Center in Utah,” June 8, 2013.
- “NSA whistleblowers: Govt is spying on every single American,” Aug. 6, 2012.
- “Facebook = Spybook,” Jan. 3, 2013.
- “Made-in-China home appliances contain spy chips,” Nov. 8, 2013.
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.