So the NSA is pretty much giving everyone the middle finger these days by spying on your mother, brother, and Bob, your drugged up uncle from the south. While that’s disturbing, nothing is more so than the NSA intercepting laptop computers bought online for the purpose of adding malware and other programs to spy on the would be user. At this point, I’m wondering if the NSA is spying on me because I bought my laptop from eBay, so who knows? If they are, I’d like to say hi and promise a slamming performance via webcam later tonight.
The division in the NSA behind this senseless movement is called Tailored Access Operations, or TAO. Basically, these guys are the hackers tasked with the job of stealing data information from the toughest targets, and they are willing to do anything to get what they want, which includes intercepting your brand spanking new Windows laptop.
The German magazine that lifted the lid on the operations claimed that the NSA has some crazy hardware designed for hard to crack cases. For example, the agency has in its possession a computer monitoring cable that can track every bit of information you type on the screen, along with USB sticks that are fitted with radio transmitters. This is like something out of a James Bond movie before the movies became watchable with the release of Casino Royale.
Furthermore, the magazine states the NSA is capable of intercepting mobile phone signals on the go with fake base stations.
What’s interesting is how the NSA spies on Microsoft’s crash report. You know what I’m talking about, right? That crash report that usually pops up whenever something goes wrong, which also gives you the option to send it to Microsoft. Well, report claims the NSA made fun of Microsoft by replacing the standard error message on a user’s computer with the following.
“This information may be intercepted by a foreign sigint (signals intelligence) system to gather detailed information and better exploit your machine.”
Such a smack in the face to Microsoft’s own security capabilities, ouch. We have a feeling this will not go down well at Redmond; we’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation as it develops.