A division of the NSA specializes in stealing data more difficult targets.
Reveal the existence of an elite unit in the NSA
American spies intercepted shipments of computers, hardware vulnerabilities exploited and even used the internal system error reporting Microsoft to spy on their targets, says an article in a German magazine that reveals details of a program of the National Security Agency (NSA ).
“Der Spiegel’s revelations relating to a division of the NSA known as Operation”
Der Spiegel’s revelations relating to a division of the NSA known as Tailored Access Operations (TAO, pos its acronym in English), described as an elite unit of hackers stealing data specializing in the most difficult goals.
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Citing internal documents from the NSA, the magazine reported on Sunday that the mission of the TAO was “getting what inconseguible” and quoted an intelligence official who is not named, said that TAO had gotten “some of the intelligence more significant than our country has seen. ”
Der Spiegel reported that TAO has a catalog of high-tech gadgets for particularly difficult cases, including cables specially modified computer to record what is written on the screen, card USB radio chips to transmit stolen data, and false base stations to intercept cell phone signals.
They cite a list 2008
The NSA does not depend on spy gadgets James Bond style, the magazine said. Some of the attacks described by Der Spiegel exploit vulnerabilities in the architecture of the Internet to send malware to specific computers. Others take advantage of weaknesses in hardware or software distributed by some of the leading technology companies in the world such as Cisco Systems, Inc. and Huawei Technologies Ltd.
Der Spiegel cited a 2008 list of vulnerabilities that spies could exploit NSA technology companies like Western Digital Corp. and Dell Inc. The magazine suggested that the agency was “engaging technology and products from U.S. companies.”
More traditional methods are also mentioned. Der Spiegel reported that if the NSA detected a target placed an order for a computer or other technology product, TAO could contact their allies in the CIA or FBI, intercept the shipment and take him to a secret workshop where he installed spyware before to be sent to its destination.
What the NSA uses Microsoft errors?
Interception of computer equipment that way is “one of the most productive operations of the NSA” and helped get information around the world, says a document quoted by Der Spiegel.
One of the most startling revelations is the alleged ability of the NSA to spy bug reports to Microsoft, familiar to many users of the Windows operating system as the dialog box that is displayed when a program freezes or document disappears. The system aims to help engineers at Microsoft to improve its products and repair faults, but Der Spiegel indicates that the NSA spy reports to get into computers.
Der Spiegel did not indicate where the flow of documents from the NSA came, although the magazine has been published previously based on leaked by former systems analyst Edward Snowden agency, articles and documents a major contact Snowden (American documentary Laura Poitras) is among the six authors of the article.