tisdag 31 december 2013

NSA har infekterat 85.000 datorer med skadlig kod - TAO-nördar fixar extrema kriminella hack

2013-12-30. - Snowdens material avslöjar att NSA infekterat över 85.000 datorer globalt, med skadlig kod. TAO - ett gäng statliga nördar, avslöjas utgöra NSA:s hemliga vapen i jakten på de luriga terroristerna...
TAO står för "Tailored Access Operations" och skall enligt reklamen göra "det omöjliga möjligt" inom statlig cyberterror och offensiv kriminell spaning...

TAO Revealed: - The NSA's 'top secret weapon'

Publicerad den 30 dec 2013
Their job is to get the ungettable. A unit of mostly young hackers are helping the National Security Agency break into computers around the world to access some of the toughest targets. 

German news magazine Der Spiegel published a report over the weekend revealing the National Security Agency's top hacking unit, the Tailored Access Operations. It's best described as a team of digital plumbers that unclog blocked access to targets.

- One of their most sophisticated set of tools lists Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as targets, and was used to gain important economic data from high-ranking members of OPEC. 

RT's Perianne Boring takes a closer look at TAO.


NSA Interception: Spy malware installed on laptops bought online

Publicerad den 30 dec 2013
If you're considering buying a new laptop online, you might want to think twice ... because US intelligence agencies are reportedly planting bugs on them before they reach their destination. German news magazine Der Spiegel says there is a special NSA unit dedicated to the task. RT's Peter Oliver has more. For even more on this spy story, let's cross live to London and talk to Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group.


CNET NEWS 2013-12-30
A new report from Der Spiegel, based on internal National Security Agency documents, reveals more details about how the spy agency gains access to computers and other electronic devices to plant backdoors and other spyware.

The Office of Tailored Access Operations, or TAO, is described as a "squad of digital plumbers" that deals with hard targets -- systems that are not easy to infiltrate. TAO has reportedly been responsible for accessing the protected networks of heads of state worldwide, works with the CIA and FBI to undertake "sensitive missions," and has penetrated the security of undersea fiber-optic cables.

TAO also intercepts deliveries of electronic equipment to plant spyware to gain remote access to the systems once they are delivered and installed.

Der Spiegel: Inside TAO -Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit

Der Spiegel: Shopping for Spy Gear - Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox

According to the report, the NSA has planted backdoors to access computers, hard drives, routers, and other devices from companies such as Cisco, Dell, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Samsung, and Huawei.

The report describes a 50-page product catalog of tools and techniques that an NSA division called ANT, which stands for Advanced or Access Network Technology, uses to gain access to devices.

This follows a report that the security firm RSA intentionally allowed the NSA to create a backdoor into its encryption tokens.


NSA har infekterat 85.000 datorer med skadlig kod - TAO-nördar fixar extrema kriminella hack

3 kommentarer:

  1. -State Dept whistleblower’s emails hacked, deleted-

    December 30

    A US State Department whistleblower whose personal email files contained allegations of abuse and wrongdoing has had his account hacked. Four years of potential evidence has been deleted, his lawyer announced.

    A computer attack of unknown origin appears to have targeted Richard Higbie, a criminal investigator with the Diplomatic Security Service who earlier this year accused the State Department of blocking his career advancement.

    Cary Schulman, Higbie’s lawyer, told the New York Post that Higbie’s Gmail account included correspondence with other whistleblowers about top officials within the State Department and members of Congress who are investigating the matter.

    “They took all of his emails and then they deleted them all,” Schulman said. “Obviously somebody is not happy with something he’s doing and wanted to get that information and also cause him an inability in the future to have ready access to that.”

    The lawyer said that the hack was “sophisticated” and “alarming,” adding that the messages also contained notes between he and Higbie on their legal strategy.

    Higbie is one of the State Department officials who reportedly informed the agency’s inspector general about a variety of wrongdoings earlier this year. The inspector general’s annual report, of which Higbie was as a source, chronicled reports of officials soliciting sex from foreign prostitutes in a public park (some of whom were underage), an “underground drug ring” that funneled illegal substances to security teams in Iraq, and at least one instance of an official over-charging the State Department for the number of hours he worked.

    Higbie worked closely with fellow whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn, although the two now maintain that they were instructed to stop investigating because of how embarrassing the revelations would be, and how many careers would be at risk.

    Fedenisn told CBS that when the final report was shown to department higher-ups, one said, “this is going to kill us.” When the inspector general report was published, all references to specific cases had been scrubbed, she added. [...]


  2. -‘NSA has carte blanche to hack computers’-

    December 31

    The NSA appears to be making its own decisions about how democratic governments should be operating, what policies they follow and in general doesn't trust them to do their jobs, Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, told RT.

    The latest revelations from Edward Snowden, published in Germany’s Der Spiegel, show that the NSA is not only listening to people’s phone calls and reading their e-mails, but actually has a special unit dedicated to bugging computers even before they get to the stores.

    Chips are installed in computers to be sold in geographical areas that the NSA deems to be worth spying on, the newspaper reports. [...]


  3. -Sorry for letting them snoop? Dell apologizes for ‘inconvenience’ caused by NSA backdoor-

    December 31

    Security researcher Jacob Appelbaum dropped a bombshell of sorts earlier this week when he accused American tech companies of placing government-friendly backdoors in their devices. Now Texas-based Dell Computers is offering an apology.

    Or to put it more accurately, Dell told an irate customer on Monday that they “regret the inconvenience” caused by selling to the public for years a number of products that the intelligence community has been able to fully compromise in complete silence up until this week.

    Dell, Apple, Western Digital and an array of other Silicon Valley-firms were all name-checked during Appelbaum’s hour-long presentation Monday at the thirtieth annual Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany. As RT reported then, the 30-year-old hacker-cum-activist unveiled before the audience at the annual expo a collection of never-before published National Security Agency documents detailing how the NSA goes to great lengths to compromise the computers and systems of groups on its long list of adversaries.

    Spreading viruses and malware to infect targets and eavesdrop on their communications is just one of the ways the United States’ spy firm conducts surveillance, Appelbaum said. Along with those exploits, he added, the NSA has been manually inserting microscopic computer chips into commercially available products and using custom-made devices like hacked USB cables to silently collect intelligence.

    One of the most alarming methods of attack discussed during his address, however, comes as a result of all but certain collusion on the part of major United States tech companies. The NSA has information about vulnerabilities in products sold by the biggest names in the US computer industry, Appelbaum said, and at the drop off a hat the agency has the ability of launching any which type of attack to exploit the flaws in publically available products.

    The NSA has knowledge pertaining to vulnerabilities in computer servers made by Dell and even Apple’s highly popular iPhone, among other devices, Appelbaum told his audience. [...]




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