Is the government spying on you?
It’s time to check your kids’ new video consoles and all the other electronics you bought friends and family for the holidays. Sources at the German Der Spiegel revealed this morning that the National Security Agency’s Tailored Access Operations division has electronic “backdoors” to monitor activates anywhere you can find modern electronic equipment.
Der Spiegel reports that documents from Edward Snowden reveal that the TAO can easily hack into almost anything on the market (and in your homes) today. The division has compiled a complete, itemized list of all commercial electronics that have the above-mentioned NSA “backdoors”. According to reports, storage products made by such companies as Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital all presently have these backdoors in their merchandise.
Other products on this backdoor list include networking equipment from Cisco and Huawei, Juniper Networks company-proclaimed “best-in-class” firewalls and numerous items manufactured by Dell. Additionally, the Tailored Access Operations division also employs special computer software to hack into user-sent Windows “bug reports” in order to obtain data to assist them in gaining control of the electronics.
Der Spiegel investigative reporters claim that the Tailored Access Operations division even goes as far as intercepting online orders of various electronic products in order to alter and “bug” them. They also note, however, that while Dell company spokespeople said the corporation “respects and complies with the laws of all countries in which it operates”, the majority of manufacturer representatives denied any knowledge of any National Security Agency activity.
The NSA also employs a group of specialists known as ANT. These are computer hackers who modify and construct tools and equipment for TAO operatives to use and/or plant. Their catalog of “break-in tools” includes items that range in price from free to $250,000. Examples of items available include: a $30.00 monitor cable that permits agents “to see what is displayed on the targeted monitor”, a $40,000 cellphone monitoring station or “active GSM base station” and modified flash-drives capable of planting transmission bugs that can send and receive information via undetectable radio signals that cost over a million dollars for a pack of 50.
Apparently, maintaining national security is not only dirty work but it is sometimes expensive as well. This reporter cannot help but point out that he knew this was going on years ago. Further more, your truly would advise everyone to avoid panicking. After all, do you really think your life is so exciting that the government would even care about what you do in your everyday life?
Is the government spying on you? Do you really think they need to?
(Images courtesy of MyFox8 and Newsbreaker)