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Glenn Greenwald: How the NSA Tampers With US Made Internet Routers 347

Bob9113 (14996) writes "According to Glenn Greenwald, reporting in The Guardian: 'A June 2010 report from the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development department is shockingly explicit. The NSA routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers, and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers. The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal, and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users. The document gleefully observes that some "SIGINT tradecraft is very hands-on (literally!)".'"
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Glenn Greenwald: How the NSA Tampers With US Made Internet Routers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:50PM (#46983485)

    Had Snowden only leaked the unconstitutional domestic spying, he would be a hero. It should be very clear now that those leaks were just a cover for treason. His goal seems to be nothing less than the dismantling of our entire intelligence apparatus.

  • Re:Knock knock (Score:5, Interesting)

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:55PM (#46983543)

    Well that's what I was wondering. They must import them to the US, backdoor them and then export them again. I'd bet they have chinese backdoors in addition to the US ones.

  • Re:China (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jmc23 ( 2353706 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:58PM (#46983593) Journal
    Why would they? They have a culture of working smart not hard.

    Simply raise tech propaganda, wait for the US to build backdoors into everything, and then steal the knowledge because apparently the US is very bad with cybersecurity.

    I'm suprised most people haven't realized that it's part of the pattern USians show, do-evil-blame-someone-else. NSA backdoors everything, thinks everybody is just as evil and paranoid as they are so they start creating negative propaganda against 'enemy' targets accusing them of doing exactly what they are doing.

    I'm not a USian, so haven't been exposed to all the mind numbing media they have, but has there ever been ONE piece of intelligence about other countries that was true and wasn't simply the US looking in a mirror and trying to cover their tail???

  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @05:02PM (#46983661) Homepage

    Security researcher and Tor developer, Andrea Shepherd, found something fishy: []

  • Huh? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2014 @05:18PM (#46983825)

    This is far beyond espionage and about the common man. Espionage is some fake shit hollywood wants you to believe is real, the glamorization of getting ass fucked by surveillance and other perceived "cool" stuff the federal government makes to justify the fake terror organizations they set up in each in every country. Currently it's Ukraine.

    Ever hear about this?

    I suggest you slowly and calmly turn off CNN, Fox news, and wherever else you have justified your attitude and realize the complete betrayal of trust the NSA has been engaged in for over 50 years now.

    People are waking up to the fact that the entire system is rigged. Every war, conflict, thing that happens on a global perception scale has been carefully scripted to gain more control over money and resources, and the media is there to keep people like you still believing that we should be good little slaves because we need "Espionage".

    When 13 families run the world "Espionage" doesn't mean shit.

  • Re:First (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @05:20PM (#46983857) Journal

    Al Franken? No thanks []! Besides, he thinks the NSA is a-okay...

  • Re:First (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @05:45PM (#46984111) Homepage

    You can't really trust the firmware upgrader to actually write your code there unmodified, either. Or that your code is the only code that runs on the system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2014 @06:21PM (#46984489)

    I work for a company that ships laptops, desktops, and routers to customers overseas and I'm going to say that there are some really weird things going on in transit that I can't explain. Particularly with international shipments, but not necessarily exclusively. I've personally heard from numerous customers who've had there systems seemingly opened in transit. Not just the packages, but the actual cases. They don't even always do a good job of re-connecting and re-sealing everything. Its obviously the cases that have been opened too as snap-style pieces are left disconnected (hard drives). No amount of vibration or force will cause a disconnect.

    While I've suspected something like this I've never attempted to have a customer take a hash of the disk image and compare it to a before-shipment hash. Given this is a problem I think I might just go ahead and start doing this. The problem now is actually finding a customer who is going to be able to repeat the process on the other end.

  • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @06:36PM (#46984633) Homepage

    "just people applying 20th century ideas to 21st century conflicts."

    All too true. Although the results may be far worse than becoming a "quaint has-been". To expand on your point: []
    "Likewise, even United States three-letter agencies like the NSA and the CIA, as well as their foreign counterparts, are becoming ironic institutions in many ways. Despite probably having more computing power per square foot than any other place in the world, they seem not to have thought much about the implications of all that computer power and organized information to transform the world into a place of abundance for all. Cheap computing makes possible just about cheap everything else, as does the ability to make better designs through shared computing. ... There is a fundamental mismatch between 21st century reality and 20th century security thinking. Those "security" agencies are using those tools of abundance, cooperation, and sharing mainly from a mindset of scarcity, competition, and secrecy. Given the power of 21st century technology as an amplifier (including as weapons of mass destruction), a scarcity-based approach to using such technology ultimately is just making us all insecure. Such powerful technologies of abundance, designed, organized, and used from a mindset of scarcity could well ironically doom us all whether through military robots, nukes, plagues, propaganda, or whatever else... Or alternatively, as Bucky Fuller and others have suggested, we could use such technologies to build a world that is abundant and secure for all."

    And also on intelligence specifically: []
    "A failure to realize this irony will produce ever greater problems down the road as we develop ever greater technologies that can become ever greater amplifiers of destructive impulses (including self-replicating nanotech and biotech) or ever greater inhibitors of constructive impulses (like pervasive surveillance to enforce arbitrary unhealthy norms as a "war on the unexpected"" [see Schneier]). So, how can we have an intelligence community in the 21st century that is truly worthy of the name? How can we have an intelligence community that truly helps prevent misadventures that waste trillions of US dollars while millions of US children grow up in poverty and tens of millions of US citizens lack access to health care or even adequate nutritious food?"

    And: []
    "As with that notion of "mutual security", the US intelligence community needs to look beyond seeing an intelligence tool as just something proprietary that gives a "friendly" analyst some advantage over an "unfriendly" analyst. Instead, the intelligence community could begin to see the potential for a free and open source intelligence tool as a way to promote "friendship" across the planet by dispelling some of the gloom of "want and ignorance" (see the scene in "A Christmas Carol" with Scrooge and a Christmas Spirit) that we still have all too much of around the planet. So, beyond supporting legitimate US intelligence needs (useful with their own closed sources of data), supporting a free and open source intelligence tool (and related open datasets) could become a strategic part of US (or other nation's) "diplomacy" and constructive outreach."

    "Good will" is an important resource. Slowly the USA has been squandering what goodwill it including from WWII. Fortunately, good will can be a renewable resource depending on the political choices the USA makes going forward.

    For example, imagine how much goodwill the USA would have right now if we had given the people of Iraq US$6 trillion dollars (US$300

  • Re:First (Score:5, Interesting)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @07:45PM (#46985225) Homepage Journal

    The NSA can't control who you vote for.

    And you know this how? You know for a fact that the NSA can't 1) Dig up information on a candidate, that will cause them to (legitimately) lose the election. 2) Donate, or encourage others to donate, to campaigns such that they legitimately lose the election. 3) Frame the candidate for something, that will cause him to lose your vote. 4) Actively eliminate a candidate, eg an "accident", causing you not to vote for them. 5) Change your vote, such that "your" vote becomes a vote for a different candidate?

    Full paranoia mode: and occasionally they release a few people like Snowden, to air a select portion of their dirty laundry and make us believe that we know what the NSA is doing. Remember when they were nicknamed the No Such Agency, think they gave up on that level of secrecy rather than just have the current NSA as their public interactions branch?

    Now excuse me while I go add a few more layers to my tin foil hat.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright