Tuesday, 31 December 2013

NSA intercepts new computers before it reaches consumers

The scandals associated with the NSA did not stop to rise and they are becoming more complicated and intricate. Every week brings new information detailing the various activities of this agency.

The latest revelation shows that one of the special units of this agency intercepted orders from computer equipment and software. At the same time news broke that they may have infected firewalls from different manufacturers with backdoors. The latest denounces appeared in two published articles by the German newspaper Spiegel, which are based on documents available to it.
  1. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-nsa-uses-powerful-toolbox-in-effort-to-spy-on-global-networks-a-940969.html
  2. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html

In these two stories it is presented two modes of North American Security Agency action, revealing that there had been interception orders, where it was placed software that would allow the NSA to monitor or access data remotely, before even these have reached their recipients.

This capability is in charge of a special unit of the NSA that intercepts and orders and is able to add software or hardware, depending on what is desired. This unit has access to a wide range of hardware and can access the orders that are made in different factories in several areas of the United States. In addition to this unit, there is another that can go farther and infect and compromise access multiple firewalls and network equipment from several manufacturers. The gateway to this equipment is hidden in the discs from various manufacturers that have put them there without knowing.

The security breach these discs are permanent and even if users do a cleaning of the discs these backdoors will not be eliminated. By having this hidden software on disks, can easily compromise the equipment and access them remotely without the knowledge of who uses them.

Manufacturers targeted and that saw their equipment compromised ranging from the Juniper Networks firewalls and network assets of Cisco and Huawei. Disc manufacturers that saw their devices with embedded backdoors in their firmwares are Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor and Samsung.

As far it is know, none of these companies had knowledge of these capabilities and shortcomings. This is just one of the discoveries that have been brought to the public and show how the NSA conducts its operations.

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Blog Editor and Owner: Luis Aparicio Fernandes (or Mikey) is a Business Expert and a Traveler based in London, UK. He is a member of The International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma due to his achievements in business. You can follow Luis on Google+, and LinkedIn.