The shocking revelations about the extent of NSA spying on Americans and others worldwide have continued to unfold. The NSA has been intercepting computers and other devices to hack them, reports Al Jazeera on Dec. 29, 2013. These new revelations, which were published in the German magazine Der Spiegel, have come from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. This report says American spies intercept computer deliveries, exploit hardware vulnerabilities and even hijack Microsoft's internal error reporting system in order to spy on their targets.
The NSA's elite hacking unit, called Tailored Access Operations (TAO), which helps the agency target specific people and computer networks around the world, has been implementing these operations. TAO says it's mission is "getting the ungettable." TAO is said to have used computer monitor cables which are specially modified to record what is being typed across the screen, USB sticks which are secretly fitted with radio transmitters to broadcast stolen data over the airwaves and fake cell phone base stations which are intended to intercept mobile phone signals on the go.
The operations of TAO are apparently being conducted in collaboration with the CIA and FBI, reports Silicon Angle. Together they have been intercepting shipments of laptops and other computer gear before they are delivered, and than they take them to secret workshops where the systems can be backdoored. The specialized government hacking teams are apparently experts at setting up spyware on devices from a large number of high tech firms, including Samsung, Maxtor, Huawei, Dell, Cisco and more. They are also experts at breaking into Microsoft Windows systems. It's all getting clear that the fine lines between who are actually
the good guys and bad guys, and who is actually paranoid and who is not, are more blurred concepts than ever before.
Demonstrators Protest NSA Surveillance Sean Gallup/Getty Images