NSA reportedly intercepting laptops purchased online to install spy malware | The Verge

English: Former NSA station on Teufelsberg. De...

English: Former NSA station on Teufelsberg. Deutsch: Frühere NSA-Station auf dem Teufelsberg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While the report does not indicate the scope of the program, or who the NSA is targeting with such wiretaps, it\’s a unique look at the agency\’s collaborative efforts with the broader intelligence community to gain hard access to communications equipment. One of the products the NSA appears to use to compromise target electronics is codenamed COTTONMOUTH, and has been available since 2009; it\’s a USB \”hardware implant\” that secretly provides the NSA with remote access to the compromised machine.This tool, among others, is available to NSA agents through what Der Spiegel describes as a mail-order spy catalog. The report indicates that the catalog offers backdoors into the hardware and software of the most prominent technology makers, including Cisco, Juniper Networks, Dell, Seagate, Western Digital, Maxtor, Samsung, and Huawei. Many of the targets are American companies. The report indicates that the NSA can even exploit error reports from Microsoft\’s Windows operating system; by intercepting the error reports and determining what\’s wrong with a target\’s computer, the NSA can then attack it with Trojans or other malware.

via NSA reportedly intercepting laptops purchased online to install spy malware | The Verge.

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