Report: NSA intercepts computer shipments, plants malware

German news magazine Der Spiegel has published a couple of articles containing new revelations about the NSA’s electronic spying programs. The first describes the spy agency’s Tailored Access Operations unit, which specializes in gathering high-value intelligence that can’t be obtained by traditional surveillance methods. The TAO’s activities reportedly include hacking into servers, monitoring Windows crash reports, and tapping undersea communications cables, among other things.

According to the documents seen by Der Spiegel, the TAO even intercepts shipments of computers and other devices en route to customers. These products are reportedly loaded with malware and "hardware components" that grant intelligence officers remote access to the targeted systems. Think about that the next time one of your Newegg shipments is delayed.

Der Spiegel’s second article looks into an unnamed group called the ANT, which is described as a team of "master carpenters" working for the TAO. The ANT reportedly produced a 50-page "product catalog" that includes everything from GSM "base stations" that masquerade as cellular towers to bugged USB ports "capable of sending and receiving data via radio undetected." The document even lists prices for each surveillance product; the GSM units cost $40,000, while a 50-pack of bugged USB ports is priced at a cool $1 million.

In addition to offering snooping hardware, the ANT division reportedly produces malicious software. It prefers planting malware in motherboard BIOSes, which allows the code to hide from virus scanners and persist after the system’s hard drive is wiped. Hard drives aren’t safe, either. "Another program attacks the firmware in hard drives manufactured by Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor and Samsung," Der Spiegel says. There are exploits for networking hardware, too, though tech companies don’t appear to be complicit.

The NSA stopped short of admitting to specific activities, but it issued a statement to Der Spiegel describing the TAO as "a unique national asset that is on the front lines of enabling NSA to defend the nation and its allies." The group’s mission "is centered on computer network exploitation in support of foreign intelligence collection," the NSA says.

Comments closed
    • corwin155
    • 6 years ago

    Well since NSA wants all our Emails , i started a new folder for them.
    its called NSA i throw all my junk mail and spam in it.
    they must go thru it , can’t ignore filter it in the off chance someone would hide stuff or something in that folder.
    so i guess if they want my emails they can have the Vast amounts of Junk mail i get.

    • Imperor
    • 6 years ago

    “By clicking Next you agree to install the NSA Toolbar, keeping you safe from yourself.”

    • PopcornMachine
    • 6 years ago

    Not to worry. I’m sure all this spying is being done by “fellows with compassion and vision”.

    No way this all will come back to bite us in the ass.

    • WaltC
    • 6 years ago

    Report: [b<]Snowden is cyborg NSA plant!!! Snowden programmed to say and do all he's done for the last year! Given supernatural abilities by NSA engineers such as Faux Telepathy (TM), and much more![/b<] [b<]Luxembourg[/b<]--Today an unknown journalist working for the CrackerJack candy company unleashed a treasure trove of typed and photo-shopped, photocopied documents that prove Snowden is more machine than man, more NSA than not!--Read all about it! And belie-e-e-e-e-e-ve-ah! (Happy New Year, shmucks! I'm selling swamp land on the moon, want some? Dial 1-900-BR5-1212 and stay on the line for 1 hour--(call is only $9.99 per minute.) Snowden--the man, the machine--will come online himself to tell you how to purchase this beautiful, seaside property for your very own.)

      • sweatshopking
      • 6 years ago

      OMG TELEPATHY IS REAL?!!? OMG OMG OMG.

    • Bensam123
    • 6 years ago

    Wow, at least one thing in the US is working well… Too bad it’s not for the betterment of everyone.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      Everyone doesn’t deserve to be bettered. /Rand

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 6 years ago

        Translated: No one deserves to be bettered.

    • Dashak
    • 6 years ago

    [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0w36GAyZIA<]30C3 Presentation, 2013-12-30 - Jacob Appelbaum - To Protect and Infect: The Militarization of the Internet, Part 2[/url<]

      • south side sammy
      • 6 years ago

      congrats, you made CNN today…. really. with all the company men on this site I’m surprised you didn’t get 37 thumbs down for the pertinent information.

        • Nestea_Zen
        • 6 years ago

        I don’t think I get what you’re implying.

          • oldDummy
          • 6 years ago

          He’s implying TR has NSA personal in attendance; for tech/professional information,
          Of course.

            • Nestea_Zen
            • 6 years ago

            I missed company men. tyvm

    • south side sammy
    • 6 years ago

    and just think, it took 2 hours scouring the internet for that to be found. because it sounds more scientific does it make it any more true or false? as far as the pics………… do your homework. I did mine already.

    • hasseb64
    • 6 years ago

    This is a minor NSA-issue TBH, this is typical SPYING activity against people and organizations that are very interesting, nothing new, maybe also not that technical, this actions are special actions against special targets, I am certainly not one and I would guess no one on this site is one either.
    Previous NSA-news/issues was much more disturbing.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    This makes me sad. I’m generally all about transparency, both personal and public. This is just plain criminal though. Device Hampering w/o Judicial review is so far past immoral its quite disgusting.

    They do realize that they are using gestapo tactics don’t they?

    • windwalker
    • 6 years ago

    The stupidest thing that get repeated over and over is the argument of legality.
    This is such a red herring.

    Laws are not passed down from a higher power for you peons to obey.
    If you agree with them they are yours. Otherwise you can and must change them.

    So the question is not what is legal but what do you want to do and not do.
    And put into writing as law whatever that is.
    That second amendment that you usually use to murder each other was supposed to guarrantee you this power.

      • Pwnstar
      • 6 years ago

      I’ve never murdered anyone, nor do I know someone who has. There is an average of one gun per person in the US and very few of those are used for murder. Get another cause, bleeding heart.

        • windwalker
        • 6 years ago

        Based on “what you know” the Earth is 6000 years old, flat and the centre of the Universe.
        The fact is that the guns you speak of have been used exactly zero times for their stated purpose (overthrowing an oppressive government) and millions of times to murder each other.

        Just like with the NSA, the issue is one of hypocrisy.
        The huge gap between the officially stated motives, intentions and reality is too big to ignore once revealed.
        Which one is harder? Living up to your own inflated image of yourselves or admitting who you truly are?

          • Pwnstar
          • 6 years ago

          Nice strawman. Does that usually work for you?

          The thing is, there are 400 million guns in the US, but only a few million of them have been used for murder.

          Your argument doesn’t reflect the facts.

            • Anomymous Gerbil
            • 6 years ago

            Only a few million? Phew! That’s OK then.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 6 years ago

            And the vast majority of those are illegal, aside from fast n furious. But hey, FnF doesn’t exist, and let’s not prosecute the CRIMINALS who were involved in it.

            The “liberal” (codeword: communist/socialist) perception of “guns” is a joke. The majority of mass shootings occur in “GUN FREE” zones with illegally purchased weapons from certifiably crazy people who weren’t taken serious. The weapon of choice isn’t a m16 either, as it’s handguns, and there’s a difference between “assault weapons” and “semi automatic”. You can’t buy fully automatic without a class 3 license, the guns are EXTREMELY expensive, and you don’t find them in your neighborhood walmart. Also, the reliability of ammo drums and AR-15’s are notorioulsy poor and always jam up, especially to noobs. The only dangerous people who have fully autos are the mexican cartels. More “gun control” will not stop the mexican cartels from slaughtering entire villages, it will only stop the villages from defending themselves.

            Of course, Mexico being a failed state because of drugs cartels isn’t in the “liberal” vocabulary, because gun control never was about stopping violence, it’s about having full control of the country when the general population is disarmed. Always was, always will be. None of the arguments are ever about finding real common sense ways to stop violence, it’s always about how they can take your guns. Always. And my answer to that is two middle fingers straight up.

            • sweatshopking
            • 6 years ago

            Mexico is a war zone. it’s hardly a similar comparison. Canada has major drug problems, but little of the violence. BC’s drug trade is larger than the entire forestry industry of the province (according to research done by the economist). that’s HUGE, but the population is largely unarmed.

            The issue I have with your positions, L33t, is that they’re absolute. You leave no room for the grey that exists in reality. Guns have a place, in certain situations, and they don’t in others, LIKE ANY TOOL. when you make it so black and white, you make enemies out of friends when you don’t have to.

            You can look at Mozambique as an example of successful weapons buyback. The program started in 1997, and
            [quote<] Overall trends indicate that firearm-related mortality may be decreasing: it declined by 26 per cent between 1997 and 2003 [/quote<] as the buy back progressed. You can read the full report here: [url<]http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/C-Special-reports/SAS-SR10-Mozambique.pdf[/url<] weapons can be useful, but they can be a problem. The stats infowars have prove nothing. they're totally unrelated to the reality, have nothing to do with what they claim and you should be able to see that.

            • Pwnstar
            • 6 years ago

            Compared to 400 million? Yes, just a few million is OK. That’s about 1%.

            • sweatshopking
            • 6 years ago

            do you think 1% of knives are used violently? i have about 30 knives, i’d bet my neighbor probably has the same. Do you think between 3 houses one of us will us a knife violently?

        • Kaleid
        • 6 years ago

        Some actual bleeding..

        TO LIVE AND DIE IN AMERICA
        3 Shot And Killed In Mich… 18-Year-Old Shot Multiple Times, Dies… Man Kills Wife, Teen, Himself… Man Shoots, Kills Own Son… Cops Shoot Teen Dead… Man Gunned Down In Parking Lot… 5 Dead In Spate Of Shootings… 2 Murdered In Philly… 2 Kansas Cops Shot Dead… Shooter Killed… 4 Die In Apparent Murder-Suicide… Ga. Cop Dies From Gunshot… Argument Leads Teen To Shoot Friend… Man Shot To Death… Teen Dies After Being Tied Up, Shot… Man Shot Dead In Street… Drug Deal Leads To Shooting Death… Mother Of 2 Killed In Road Rage Shooting… Man Shoots, Kills Intruder… 1 Killed In Coney Island… Man Dies From Gunshot Wounds… Cops Investigate Gun Death… Shooting Victim’s Body Found On Bike Trail… Man Charged With Shooting Own Brother Dead… Man Dies After Being Shot In Chest… Body Of Shooting Victim Found In Pickup… Teen Arrested For Robbery Shooting Death… Man Carrying 2-Year-Old Son Shot Dead… Man Fatally Shot Near Home… Parolee Dies In Shooting… 1 Killed In Buffalo Shooting… Man Shot Dead In Apartment Complex… Street Gun Battle Kills Grandma Bystander… Man, Woman Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide… Woman Shot Dead By Intruder… 14-Year-Old Arrested Over Fatal Gun Attack… Man Found Shot Dead In Parking Lot… Woman Shot In Face By Ex-Boyfriend… 1 Woman, 3 Men Shot Dead… 2 Die In Attempted Robbery… Army Reservist Shot To Death In Alley… Man Shot To Death In Bodega… 2 Shot Dead In Burned House… Man Shot During Break-In… Man Fatally Shot… 20-Year-Old Gunned Down… Man Shoots Self During Police Pursuit… 1 Killed In Baltimore Shooting… Cops ID Shooting Victim… 60-Year-Old Man Shot Dead… Shot Man’s Body Found In Vacant House…. Woman Shot And Killed Outside Her Home… Shooting Victim Was ‘Trying To Turn Life Around’… Slain Shooting Victim Found In Street…. Driving Altercation Leads To Shooting, 1 Dies… 3-Year-Old Dies In Accidental Shooting… Man Turns Self In After Allegedly Shooting Wife… Man Shot Dead Outside Home… 3 Slain In Separate New Orleans Shootings… Cops Investigate Shooting Death… Man Shot Dead In Ohio… Teen Shot To Death… Man Dies After Being Shot Multiple Times… Man Charged Over Son’s Shooting Death… Cops Find 2 Men Shot Dead… 1 Dies In Shooting… Man Charged Over Gun Killing… 1 Shot Dead In Confrontation… Man Charged With Murder Over Shooting… Motel-Owner Shot And Killed… Husband Shoots Estranged Wife Dead… Suspect Arrested Over Deputy’s Shooting Death… Police Probe Fatal Shooting… Cops Kill 2 Suspects In 3 Shooting Deaths… Man Killed Fighting Back Against Robber… Man Killed In Home Invasion…. Nightclub Shooting Kills 1… Child Brain Dead After Drive By Shooting… Man Charged Over Shooting Of Ex-Wife… Body Found In Vacant House… Teen Fatally Shot…

        1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide
        2. Across high-income nations, more guns = more homicide.
        3. Across states, more guns = more homicide
        [url<]http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/index.html[/url<] But don't worry about your precious guns, there is too much money in selling these so nothing will really happen. It's also a good opportunity for politicians to claim that they are on the side of liberty whilst everything else suffers.

          • Pwnstar
          • 6 years ago

          More guns, less crime:

          [url<]http://www.infowars.com/statistics-prove-more-guns-less-crime/[/url<]

            • sweatshopking
            • 6 years ago

            really? infowars? really? i mean, REALLY? is this l33ts alt account?
            those stats don’t prove anything, except that some people have no critical thinking skills.
            DOCTORS KILL MORE PEOPLE BUT [quote<] no outcry to slap draconian regulations on the medical industry. [/quote<] the medical industry is HEAVILY regulated, and people complain about it constantly. OMG OBAMACARE IS ALL WE'VE HEARD ABOUT FOR MONTHS. THOSE SAME GUYS YOU'RE QUOTING CLAIM NO REGULATION THEN QQ FOREVER ABOUT THE REGULATION!! really pwnstar? infowars? really? Canada has far fewer weapons and lower crime. south africa has fewer weapons and higher crime. OMG WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?!!? it means that guns have little to do with crime rates, and there are other things at play. it DOES MEAN WHEN CRIME IS HIGH YOU'RE MORE LIKELY TO GET SHOT AS THEY'RE EASIER TO ACCESS. But crime has been falling for years, guns up or down. come on, son, think a bit. if you don't think the USA has a gun violence problem, especially when compared to similar nations (like canada) then idkwtf to tell you. Thank God you can vote, that's all i'll say.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 6 years ago

            LOL. Those stats actually prove everything. You disarm citizens, the criminals run wild. Chicago, murder capitol of the US. “No guns”. * (of course, the criminals and police are all armed, just not the sheeple.) Talk about critical thinking. If you can’t understand the fact that letting a 70yr old man own a gun in a crime ridden neighborhood reduces the chances that he’ll be mugged, or his house robbed, then you’re either delusional or supporting the criminals. IMO, it’s the latter, considering you believe in “redistribution”. (theft)

            2nd. I’d say he’s more your alt parody account, because I don’t really disagree with the OP here. At least aside from that he’s not fully acknowledging natural rights, and only insinuating them. Natural, as in you’re born with the right to breath, etc. All other laws past natural laws are indeed fake, and that includes gun control. I have the natural right to defend myself, and any law that says otherwise is illegitimate. Apparently, the OP agrees to some extent, because he mentions the 2nd amendment, and indeed the founding fathers did mention using it against the federal gov in case it became tyrannical. That’s a natural right, not a legal right. The laws are *supposed* to protect natural rights, and in any instance where they don’t, they should be changed.

            * I see what set off Pwnstar was the phrase, “to murder each other”. Which really isn’t something to get all defensive about. Because HEY, I could very well “murder” any one of you with a PENCIL, if I stabbed you right in the neck. Guns don’t kill, people do. “Liberals” are blaming an inanimate object on the mental deficiencies of crazy people. The argument doesn’t hold water. It’s already FULLY ILLEGAL for a crazy person or criminal to have a gun. They just don’t obey those laws. DUH. That’s why you need to take personal responsibility, and disarming yourself is not the way to do it. BTW, speaking of that, a lot of Hollywood gun grabbers actually have guns and personal bodyguards. They aren’t that stupid, but they think the rest of us are. Not gonna happen.

            “If you agree with them they are yours.”
            Exactly. This is the reality of the world we live in. There is no utopia. There is no “collective”. There is only the individual, and individuals must make individual decisions. If you want to write laws about gun control go ahead and try it, but they won’t get passed now, nor will I comply with said laws if they get passed later. Because I am an individual, and I don’t agree.

            • sweatshopking
            • 6 years ago

            those stats prove nothing. NOT A THING. you ignore the reality of gun ownership: it has nothing to do with crime rates. you guys keep citing chicago, ignoring the MANY issues that area has and just say “less guns = high crime”. canada has less guns and less crime. Ignore reality as you want.

            • Pwnstar
            • 6 years ago

            How am I a parody account? Because you disagree with what I’m saying?

            I take it you haven’t seen my other posts?

            • sweatshopking
            • 6 years ago

            hahaha

          • chµck
          • 6 years ago

          Feinstein, is that you?
          [url<]http://i.imgur.com/QPDZLds.jpg[/url<]

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 6 years ago

      There is indeed an argument of legality, but I’m not sure the NSA can even claim legality under current law. The only reason why they’ve got away with it for so long, is because nobody knew they were doing it. Now that it’s public, we’ll probably have all kinds of hearings on the subject.

      Clearly, it’s not something the NSA can legally enforce like China, and tech companies are moving to tighten security against it. If all this spying was “legal”, I don’t think google/MS would be allowed to enact countermeasures. Dragnet spying of the public is obviously illegal, but the question is more: How can we stop a spy-grid that already exist? Very carefully, I assume.

    • NeelyCam
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]Think about that the next time one of your Newegg shipments is delayed.[/quote<] So, since NSA is intercepting Newegg's deliveries, should the fringe element crazies have their stuff delivered by NSAmazon's drones then? I feel bad for paranoid lunatics. How do they even sleep at night these days...

    • MadManOriginal
    • 6 years ago

    So unlike all the other mass data gathering news, this news doesn’t bother very much because it’s targeted. I do hope they go through a warrant or approval process, which maybe they don’t but that’s a broader issue. Otherwise this is just spying as normal and quite frankly I would have been shocked if the NSA didn’t do something like this.

    • south side sammy
    • 6 years ago

    I’m sure the mb has built in wi-fi and keyloggers are installed, and my tv is watching me beat off on my couch……….. but just who are they protecting “US” from. I think it’s more like them protecting themselves from us. nothing better to know than what the people you constantly piss off are doing and saying. and now that 50million people are unemployed ( economically enslaved ) and have more time to see what’s going on, it’s probably more important to them than ever.

    while the establishment press concentrates it’s efforts here or follows Al Sharpton as he constantly insults all of our intelligence and just goes with the flow…………… I’d like to know just how badly the Fukashima nuclearb plant disaster has and is continually effected my air, my water, my health and the food chain. and I’d like to know what in the hell the “world” is doing about it………….. and then maybe we can rethink nuclear power and have a smart conversation about that………… or at least what can be done with the 100’s of millions of tons of spent fuel rods stored at every nuke plant everywhere…………. ??

    I really don’t want to hear about the NSA. You have to be an idiot not to realize your own government spies on you. remember when the Patriot Act first came out? and all the press thought it was a good idea………….. and look how far it has gone…………… now people are up in arms over what’s been going on…………….. stay asleep America…………..

    I hate Monday’s.

      • henfactor
      • 6 years ago

      If the “fallout” from Fukishima is your biggest concern in this world, then I suggest you read more into radiation and how it “spreads”. Your body is actually quite resilient to exposer, dispite what the fear mongering media would have you believe.

        • south side sammy
        • 6 years ago

        you should seriously look into this disaster yourself. you might actually learn something.

          • LovermanOwens
          • 6 years ago

          You had me up until nuclear power came up. Nuclear power can be and has been done correctly in many different places. Give it a chance.

          • chuckula
          • 6 years ago

          People who say that Fukushima is proof that we should abandon nuclear power… when an earthquake that killed 18,000 people resulted in exactly zero people dying due to radiation due to an accident that occurred in a nuclear plant using 1950’s era technology that could have been replaced years ago with a safer more modern design except that “environmentalists” blocked any construction of safer plants… would be amusing if they weren’t so dangerous.

          Tell me, do you also oppose any construction of new planes, trains, or cars because older models of planes, trains, and cars had safety issues? That’s basically what’s been happening with nuclear power, and even in spite of all those headwinds, nuclear power in non-Soviet bloc countries still has a nearly perfect safety record.

            • south side sammy
            • 6 years ago

            remember chernoble? KILLED A MILLION PEOPLE ( DON’T EXPECT THE W-H-O TO COME UP WITH THESE FACTS )….. seek it out yourself. then ask farmers in England why they can’t sell their farmland……… because it’s contaminated…… and there are parts of the world where you shouldn’t eat food grown there………………. and if you think radiation is okay, look at the birth’s in Iraq and Fallujah………… radiation from tank rounds………. nice effect huh?

            and when you look hard and find the data that shows Fukashima is 5 or 10 times worse than Chernoble and that the ecosystem has been severely disrupted and the food chain has been altered and certain isotopes are showing up in milk in New York State…………. maybe it’s just me huh?……….. but I like being under informed or misinformed. makes me feel good……… to be kept stupid!

            • UnfriendlyFire
            • 6 years ago

            That’s because USSR was using USSR style of engineering. Cost efficiency, check. Safety? Bah humbug.

            In fact, right before the power plant blew up, the operators decided to turn off all of the safeties and warning systems to do a test run on the reactors, in order to determine the maximum power output.

            I don’t think they lived long enough to tell how much power the reactors put out before one of them overheated.

            Also, chew on this: [url<]http://phys.org/news/2013-04-climate-nuclear-power-approximately-million.html[/url<] Apparently nuclear power kills less per terawatts compare to coal and natural gas power. They took in consideration of an entire fuel life-cycle, from mining/drilling to burning/disposal. And if you still want to rail about nuclear safety, I would like to mention the BP oil refinery disaster.

            • south side sammy
            • 6 years ago

            in what time frame?

            • StuG
            • 6 years ago

            You rag on people in your comments about becoming informed themselves, but aren’t willing to do so yourself? The article that was linked gives you exactly the information they wrote it off of.

            Prevented mortality and greenhouse gas emissions from historical and projected nuclear power, Environ. Sci. Technol.

            So take your own advice, and read the information.

            • south side sammy
            • 6 years ago

            information written by whom?

            google iraq newborns. then select images……….. this would be immediate effects…………. yup, I feel safe. then think about how many decades down the road……….. and escalating cancer diagnosis and death. and then think about how many thousands of years, long after we are gone, that this lingering deadly toxic pollutant will be forever changing life on this planet………. if the mutation could even be called life.

            • StuG
            • 6 years ago

            WOW you are a funny person to talk too. First off, I already told you who the information was from. But if you aren’t going to actually digest the information you are given, the person who wrote the report is Xavier Rabilloud, which the document starts off with the following:

            “Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power”

            Xavier Rabilloud
            xavier.rabilloud@yahoo.fr

            This document is the unedited author’s version of a submitted work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Environmental Science and Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work (publication date : November 12, 2013), see [url<]http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es404245a[/url<] So it is a peer reviewed, published scientific study. And you are trying to turn around and tell me your information is from a Google images search? THAT is your "information" you found on your own. Images of no concrete origin or scientific backing. Good luck man, hopefully you win yourself a Darwin award at this rate.

            • StuG
            • 6 years ago

            Which here, let me even help you understand how to make a coherent argument. The information about the Iraqi newborns is correct, but you telling me to google images them as your “proof” leads me to believe you do not check your sources. This means that in the day and age of the internet your opinion is largely moot. If you wanted to make a real point, you would link me to this work:

            Metal Contamination and the Epidemic of Congenital Birth Defects in Iraqi Cities
            Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
            Volume 89, Issue 5 , pp 937-944

            That covers the topic in depth, and can be trusted by it’s scientific and checked nature. As much as anything can be truly trusted that is (given that all information could technically be proven wrong in the future).

            So please, learn how to present yourself in an intelligent manner (rather then babbling like you are), and if you want people to actually take your opinion factually provide your sources.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 6 years ago

            The recurring theme is that governments cover up the environmental problems they spent years rubber stamping as safe. It’s not just nuclear. Look at the mess with the Deepwater Horizon rig.

            Yes, those are horrible things and Fukushima is probably going down in history as the worst reactor leak. No one is disputing that.

            But go beyond the nuclear alarmism for a moment. Nuclear is not the cheapest power source anymore, and the planet will not be covered in leaky reactors.

            To chukula’s point, which should be expanded:

            Barring or otherwise impeding the replacement of failing infrastructure is the recurring problem with [i<]all[/i<] power sources, not just nuclear. Rail car wrecks, pipeline leaks, gas explosions, and oil rig disasters have become common in the last few years, throughout the world. This is moral hazard in action. Here's a simple, real life example: 1) Pipelines are rejected. 2) Tons of oil has to be transported by rail car. 3) Rail car wrecks killed numerous people in Canada this year. 4) Meanwhile, the old pipelines stay in use, which are prone to leaks. Which is worse? A new pipeline that might leak 50 years later, or people dying [i<]and[/i<] a leaking pipeline? That same process is what's going on today with everything, everywhere.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]or at least what can be done with the 100's of millions of tons of spent fuel rods stored at every nuke plant everywhere............. ??[/quote<] NSA puts them in your hard drives. It's true. I read it on Infowars.

      • FranzVonPapen
      • 6 years ago

      Ever notice anyone who uses that many ellipses is unhinged…………

      I guess they feel a lot has been left unsaid!

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    What’s up with all this spying? I bet they’ll plant hidden cameras under toilet seats soon to check up on how much a particular individual ‘deposits’ everyday!

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    The only way to be secure using your computer these days is to not connect to the Internet at all, unless they plant some sort of secret mechanism to allow them to use your laptop’s camera to see you and record what you’re doing and transmit those to some secret location so they can see and hear you all the time!

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      Intel CPUs have embedded NSA 3G radios in them that use pixie dust for power. It’s true. I read it on Infowars.

      The only way to be secure is to not have a computer at all.

        • ronch
        • 6 years ago

        Even without a computer, CCTV cameras are everywhere. I say, the only way to have real privacy is to live inside a cave in some remote planet.

          • Krogoth
          • 6 years ago

          Signal to Noise ratio is your greatest defense. The problem with intelligence gathering agencies is not encryption, but rather trying to obtain useful information out of the massive amount of noise that’s out there.

          Algorithms can only do so much. You still need flesh and blood to analyze the data to see if it is meaningful or just bogus.

          Unless you are doing something that pulls red flags (industrial espionage, openly incite rebellion, conspire against the state, plot a massive murder spree or terroristic act). You aren’t under the spyglass.

        • Milo Burke
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]The only way to be secure is to not have a computer at all.[/quote<] You said it perfectly. That's why I gave up using computers years ago. Haven't touched one since.

          • BIF
          • 6 years ago

          Nice, how did you make this post…a prehistoric Fred Flintstone bird?

            • Pwnstar
            • 6 years ago

            You know what a “joke” is, right?

        • Kaleid
        • 6 years ago

        Wut? No need for tin-foil hat?

        Thanks, you saved me some money

        😀

      • wiak
      • 6 years ago

      ´well, you did not read the bugged usb ports that can transmit via radio undetected did you? 😛

      • jihadjoe
      • 6 years ago

      The article did specifically state the the “special” USB devices have their own transmitter that can operate independently of the host computer.

      Edit d’oh should have read wiak’s reply first….

    • JosiahBradley
    • 6 years ago

    This is going to take computer building to the literal extreme now. Time to bust out my soldering gun. Anyone have a Lithography machine for sale. I need to start taping out my own wafers.

      • just brew it!
      • 6 years ago

      I do sometimes miss the days when one person could understand everything going on in a PC, from the UI all the way down to the hardware level.

      Still not quite ready to go back to the old 8-bit CP/M system with the 100% home-grown device drivers and 300bps acoustic coupler, though…

    • maasenstodt
    • 6 years ago

    While I realize from an intellectual standpoint that things like slaying innocent people with drones and incarcerating and seizing the property of non-violent “criminals” are far worse crimes committed by the state, my initial emotional reaction to reading this report was, to me, surprisingly strong. I suppose that the idea that I might be targeted for this kind of thing just rankles me.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 6 years ago

      Remember that there is no target, which is what crosses the line. For you to be “targeted,” as you say, you would have to be accused of a crime, with a warrant issued by a court, specifically naming you and what can be searched.

      I’m not trying to nitpick or dispute semantics. Compare to issuing thousands of warrants to search “communists” charged with treason and try them in court, just to put on a show.

      This is something else altogether, far beyond a mere witch hunt.

      • oldDummy
      • 6 years ago

      Agreed.
      No might about it
      ALL traffic is monitored/copied what happens if some future court issues an opinion against you, for whatever.reason.?

      This whole concept is un American and wrong.

        • NovusBogus
        • 6 years ago

        Maybe so, but the global information infrastructure lends itself to this sort of thing. The NSA is far from the only one monitoring everything, they’re just the one dumb enough to get caught first. Nor is the fun limited to government entities, those massive private-sector security breaches don’t happen on their own.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 6 years ago

    I thought it was bad enough for the Chinese government to mandate the installation of a “monitoring” software on all computers sold in the China…

    I bet someone is going to try and exploit NSA’s backdoors. Anyone remember Sony’s rootkit incident and how malware authors would try to piggyback on the rootkit?

      • just brew it!
      • 6 years ago

      Yes, aside from the potential for outright abuse, the biggest danger from this “surveillance society” we’re building is the hubris of the people who are setting it up. “Nobody but us will ever have the keys to these backdoors.” Yeah, right…

    • confusedpenguin
    • 6 years ago

    Wonder if the nsa’s spyware will run on a 286 with 1 meg of ram? Now watch as hundreds of 286 computers suddently end up in Pakistan. 🙂

    • puppetworx
    • 6 years ago

    Great, more bloatware.

    Is malware the right word here btw? Spyware seems far more appropriate. Malware presupposes that spying is always a malicious thing, which is a very naive way to think.

    • slaimus
    • 6 years ago

    I knew something was fishy about that “Intel Management Engine” that I couldn’t get rid of on my motherboard!

    • jdaven
    • 6 years ago

    While I despised any big brotheresque actions by our government, but is it just me or do these stories keep getting more and more absurd. What’s next? Mechanical birds with CCD cameras for eyes.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]What's next? Mechanical birds with CCD cameras for eyes.[/quote<] The next time that hummingbird droid is humming outside your window you should probably shoot it down with your 2nd amendment shotgun

    • bjm
    • 6 years ago

    After hours of investigation, I’ve discovered the fix. You have to delete the following line from AUTOEXEC.BAT:

    [code<]LH NSAMLWRE.EXE[/code<] A Secunia bulletin will posted soon.

      • Grigory
      • 6 years ago

      At least it is loaded into high memory and doesn’t use the precious 640k conventional memory. This is way too much competence for having originated from the Obama administration. It must be a remnant from the old America.

    • allreadydead
    • 6 years ago

    Maybe they should let Cyril beta test the equipment for goverment ? After all, he chose to be spied on..

    Hey hey, careful with that down vote sir :\

    • Goofus Maximus
    • 6 years ago

    I’d only be surprised that anyone is surprised by this one. This is the sort of thing you’d EXPECT a competent intelligence gathering agency to do.

    I’d fully expect foreign intelligence agencies to have done similar things to all our electronics as well. I REALLY don’t trust my internet to be truly private, nor my telecommunications. In fact, I’d be unsurprised to know that my Chinese-made microwave monitors me and sends out info every time I reheat my General Tso’s Chicken. When I think of “the internet of things”, I think of creepy stuff like this! 🙂

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 6 years ago

      You expect “competent” people to break the law? Do you find criminals to generally be competent or incompetent?

        • maasenstodt
        • 6 years ago

        I consider myself to be a reasonably competent individual and “good person” who is a net benefit to my community and the world. But I don’t think that has anything to do with the law. What matters law when tyrants and murderers decide what the law is?

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 6 years ago

          Think of “law” in the “case law” sense, derived through a history of courts, not legislated into existence. It could be common law, natural law, maritime law, Celtic law, or constitutional law.

          The law supercedes legislation, just as it did a king’s decree. Any bill or executive order that violates the law is null and void.

          Swapping “legislation” for “law” is a very recent aberration. They’re two different things.

          It won’t hold up for long. Throughout history, any system only stayed in place so long as people viewed it as legitimate.

          Tyrants and murderers claiming to write laws just publicly exposes them as illegitimate.

          Movable type dramatically sped up this process. And now we have the internet. There’s a so called Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” This is going to get very interesting!

        • Goofus Maximus
        • 6 years ago

        Hello Earth. As long as this is OVERSEAS, they aren’t breaking US laws, and all intelligence services break foreign laws, which is the very definition of spying.

        On a related note, this is the downside of tech companies basing their operations in Ireland for the tax breaks. It puts them in position to be legitimate targets for clandestine data acquisition.

        I’d be the first to denounce NSA over-reach, in their quest to store all info everywhere about everyone in every part of the world, but the spying technology and practices listed here is literally something to be expected in the arsenal of every spy agency on the planet.

        I’m more concerned about the stupid cryptography flaws in cell phones, which have also been pointed out recently, despite having been known since 2008…

        Give me all the negative thumbs down you like, but I’m talking about the capability rather than the morality, in my original post. 😛

        • NovusBogus
        • 6 years ago

        What law? A sovereign nation’s laws only apply to that nation’s people and international law (which are really more like guidelines) has very little to say about espionage. If the Swiss government wants to watch me poop there isn’t much I can do about it, just like there isn’t much the Swiss chancellor could do if I wanted to watch him poop.

        • jihadjoe
        • 6 years ago

        Legality has nothing to do with competence.

        After WWII Britain sent out commandos to execute minor Nazi officials who they knew would never come to trial otherwise. What they did was motivated by none other reason than revenge, and most certainly illegal. The commandos were very competent at doing their job.

    • blastdoor
    • 6 years ago

    I guess in a way it is refreshing to hear about a government agency that is exceedingly competent…

      • GasBandit
      • 6 years ago

      It’s just too bad its area of competency is to directly undermine the 4th Amendment.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        Only if it’s against US citizens.

          • Dashak
          • 6 years ago

          [s<]Not that the NSA should be deploying this dragnet against anyone, but the Fourth Amendment only applies to US citizens.[/s<] Ignore this.

      • nafhan
      • 6 years ago

      It might be directly related to the fact that they aren’t saddled with excessive bureaucratic overhead. All the secrecy and stuff does have some side benefits.

      • Kaleid
      • 6 years ago

      They often are, but they do not work so much for the average Joe and Jane.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    Pfft…. why bother intercepting shipments when the backdoors are built in by the manufacturers! Now excuse me, I’m going to my tailor to get fitted for my new tinfoil hat.

      • oldDummy
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]...I'm going to my tailor to get fitted for my new tinfoil hat.[/quote<] you don't believe it, don't care, it's overthink or just not newsworthy?

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      You really don’t think it was Micheal Dell’s money that allowed him to bring back Dell into private ownership do you?

    • Meadows
    • 6 years ago

    Good to know Toshiba hard drives are safe.

      • windwalker
      • 6 years ago

      Just because they are not mentioned doesn’t mean they are safe.

        • jihadjoe
        • 6 years ago

        IT’S A TRAP!

    • yogibbear
    • 6 years ago

    So all those people who disconnect their PC from the internet in the name of security… are…. are…. NOT SECURE?!

      • FuturePastNow
      • 6 years ago

      Well, if a PC is *never* connected to the internet, that would severely limit their options for spying on its owner. The article mentions USB ports with radios built into them, but those would probably have an extremely short range. Anyone being spied on that way probably has a lot more bugs hidden in their house.

      • Rübenschwein
      • 6 years ago

      Probably not. Of course you are quite secure from “direct” attacks over the network. But in most cases data still has to be transferred onto the separated systems. Most likely via USB-Sticks, CDs or adhoc connected laptops.

      The NSA “simply” changes their attack vectors to these data paths. This is called “bridging the (air) gap”. This is exactly how Stuxnet was injected. They targeted the Laptops of externally contracted technicians.

      This NSA division could be used to set up similar scenarios. The “opposition” or their contractors use for example Dell laptops? Excellent…

      Of course this is most likely not something they will use on “everybody” – you must be quite interesting for them to gain that level of attention. Embassies come to mind. I remember they found a Fax machine in a german embassy in the US some time ago which recorded and i think somehow forwarded fax send and received. Surely there will be more if you just look hard enough.

    • oldDummy
    • 6 years ago

    So, the internet and my hardware isn’t secure?
    Oh my.
    Big Brother would be proud.

      • poisonrain
      • 6 years ago

      Look at the costs involved, the name (“Tailored….”) and the risk of the devices being found and reverse-engineered (every time they were deployed). This is not a wide net being cast (as seemingly PRISM, etc is), this is an activity that would only target extraordinarily high value targets.

      Unless you believe you are *that* important to the government, I think you’re probably safe from this.

      More concerning (I would have thought) for US citizens, is that this marks a departure for Snowden since it’s difficult to see this information helping anyone other than the enemies of the US.

      Apologies for over use of brackets.

        • oldDummy
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]...I think you're probably safe from this.[/quote<] Oh, in what way? I might be overlooked?, This regime is more benign than previous or the next or next or next....? The fact remains that we are under surveillance by secret panels which can make life/death decisions, whose function is secret, operating under secret rules issued by a secret court which issued secret opinions whose whole collection of data has been ruled illegal or "maybe" illegal by open courts. Any time there is a question of legality IMO, it should not be allowed. It's not that complicated. Only those with vested interest cant' understand or see this. Our forefathers are turning over in their graves.

          • spugm1r3
          • 6 years ago

          [quote<]Our forefathers are turning over in their graves.[/quote<] Probably not. Even the mildest understanding of US history puts most of our forefather's in secret societies.

            • oldDummy
            • 6 years ago

            Yes, absolutely.
            They still adhere to “Old Boy” networks to this day.
            Masons come to mind, among others.
            Did these “secret societies” kill people or have “governance” over world citizens?
            Apples/Oranges, quite a difference I dare say.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 6 years ago

            British soldiers illegally issuing themselves “general” warrants to search anyone, any time unilaterally pissed off the colonists, not just the “forefathers.”

            If you had the mildest understanding of US history, you would know that all of the other disagreements and differences between various groups went out the window over that issue.

            And if you had the mildest understanding of any history at all, you would know that search warrants are a common law precedent, dating back hundreds, if not thousands, of years, developed outside of any form of government, and not unique to the US.

            The colonists were British subjects, retaliating against a violation of British law, in the same way it had been handled numerous times in the past.

            If you believe the “forefathers” were so magically important that they somehow supercede this, there is still a problem with your claim:

            15 years after declaring independence, even as they were conspiring to clone the British system and dump the Articles of Confederation, they still made it very clear that this practice was banned.

            And the states, sovereign entities made up of small groups of people, agreed by ratifying the 4th amendment.

            There is no grey area here.

            • spugm1r3
            • 6 years ago

            You guys act like I’ve defended the practice by pointing out that it is business as usual.I’m just not getting all up in arms as if it were something brand new. The government has always been really good at protecting “us” from “them” and insuring “them” was never really well defined.

            Really, its our own fault for giving someone the power to speak for us AND set their own wages. If you really want someone to speak for your interests, you have to ensure you can control their interests. Until that massive change occurs in our government, expect the people in power to invent new and invasive ways to remain as such.

            • NovusBogus
            • 6 years ago

            Pretty much…as long as the American public can be counted on to vote for whoever promises the most free stuff, the slide toward opaque authoritarianism will continue. This is exactly how the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire.

            • BIF
            • 6 years ago

            Yep, this is true. When we got healthcare, did you think they would stop there? Now everything they want to do TO us can be couched in healthcare terms, and they’ll get their way.

            Super-sized soft drinks? You shouldn’t do that because it’s a health care problem.

            Drones flying over your house? You need that because if you light a cigarette in your backyard…or if you drink a super-sized soft drink in your backyard, well that’s a potential health care problem.

            So what’s next? Putting cameras INSIDE your house. Oh wait, we’re all doing that already and making our feeds available on the internet. D’oh!

            • Krogoth
            • 6 years ago

            Just a minor nitpick, the Continental Congress actually took parts from British Law that worked quite well and some inspiration from the Roman Republic.

            That pretty much sums up the foundation of US Constitution.

          • just brew it!
          • 6 years ago

          As the poster you responded to stated, “look at the costs”. Even the NSA could not afford to use this tech on even a tiny fraction of the population. That doesn’t make it right; but statistically speaking, the statement “you’re probably safe from this” is, in fact, true.

            • oldDummy
            • 6 years ago

            As was shown with Russia poisoning dissident [Alexander Litvinenko] using a $1 Billion isotope so people could watch him die slowly and painfully; Cost does not matter. When spending is done in ones own fiat currency it’s the cost of printing it.
            Bottom Line:
            Our Bill of Rights should be priceless.

            • jihadjoe
            • 6 years ago

            To be fair to the Russians, they used Polonium-210 because

            1) It could kill in miniscule amounts, making the poisoning hard to detect
            2) They thought it was undetectable (no gamma ray emissions, etc).

            The amount of pain and suffering Litvinenko would experience was probably a secondary concern.

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