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Matthew J. Schwartz
Matthew J. Schwartz
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NSA Allegedly Installs Backdoors On US Network Devices

The US intelligence agency intercepts routers and other networking equipment being shipped overseas and adds spyware, according to a new Guardian report.

The National Security Agency has routinely intercepted networking equipment that's built in the United States, added backdoor access capabilities, then shipped the devices to their intended recipients abroad.

So says a report by journalist Glenn Greenwald published Tuesday by the Guardian. Greenwald cites a June 2010 document (leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden) labeled as being from the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development group.

"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," Greenwald writes. "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."

According to the document from the NSA -- the US intelligence agency charged with practicing signals intelligence -- this supply chain "SIGINT tradecraft... is very hands-on (literally!)."

Read the full story on Dark Reading.

 

Mathew Schwartz is a freelance writer, editor, and photographer, as well the InformationWeek information security reporter. View Full Bio

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AbeG
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AbeG,
User Rank: Black Belt
5/30/2014 | 11:12:21 PM
Is this realistic?
When the sony rootkit was discovered, wasn't it an end-user who found it? 

If there really are backdoors on network devices, where do the network security companies and security professionals stand in all this?  Wouldn't they have spotted something like that?
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
5/29/2014 | 10:03:31 PM
And The Beat Goes On
At this point, is anybody even raising eyebrows in surprise at each shocking new revelation? ;-)

It does sound like the NSA has kept themselves super-busy though, doesn't it? The bit about repackaging with 'factory seals' was interesting; I wonder how that works?

*sigh* Off to buy some Huawei, back soon.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
5/15/2014 | 11:09:35 AM
Re: now the movie
Matt Damon would be great, but perhaps a little old for the role. Maybe Ryan Gosling.
Mathew
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Mathew,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/15/2014 | 6:26:04 AM
Re: now the movie
Is Matt Damon too obvious? 
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
5/14/2014 | 6:16:20 PM
now the movie
According to this report, Sony Pictures has bought the rights to Greenwald's book. I wonder who will play Snowden?
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