NSA’s Secret Toolbox: Unit Offers Spy Gadgets for Every Need

When agents with the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division want to infiltrate a network or a computer, they turn to their technical experts. This particular unit of the United States intelligence service is known internally as ANT. The acronym presumably stands for Advanced Network Technology, because that’s what the division produces — tools for penetrating network equipment and monitoring mobile phones and computers. ANT’s products help TAO agents infiltrate networks and divert or even modify data wherever the NSA’s usual methods won’t suffice. You can read more about the TAO division, its strengths and tricks in a SPIEGEL feature that was published in English on Sunday.SPIEGEL has obtained an internal NSA catalog describing ANT’s various products, along with their prices. A rigged monitor cable, for example, which allows “TAO personnel to see what is displayed on the targeted monitor,” goes for $30 (€22). An “active GSM base station” that makes it possible to mimic the cell phone tower of a target network and thus monitor mobile phones, is available for $40,000. Computer bugging devices disguised as normal USB plugs, capable of sending and receiving data undetected via radio link, are available in packs of 50, for over $1 million.
www.spiegel.de/international/world/nsa-secret-toolbox-ant-unit-offers-spy-gadgets-for-every-need-a-941006.htmlNSA Surveillance Has No Boundaries, Expert Says
Cryptographer, developer and activist Jacob Appelbaum took to the pages of Germany’s Der Speigel and the keynote dais of the 30th Chaos Communication Congress this weekend to deliver a damning expose of the catalog of backdoors, monitoring programs and products that potentially have and could be compromised by the National Security Agency.Appelbaum’s hour-long keynote, culled from top-secret agency documents provided by Edward Snowden and written about in the German publication, described the scale of surveillance the NSA has and hopes to achieve worldwide.
http://threatpost.com/nsa-surveillance-has-no-boundaries-expert-says/103355NSA Elite Hacking Team Operations Exposed
It should come as no surprise that the National Security Agency has a special team of top-gun hackers who breaks into systems around the world to spy on its targets. But revelations published yesterday by a German magazine about the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) Group and the agency’s homegrown hacking tools shine some light on the scope and expertise of the agency’s hacking abilities, including its custom backdoor tools for popular commercial networking equipment and systems.Der Spiegel reported yesterday that the NSA describes the TAO as specialized in “getting the ungettable” with access to “our very hardest targets.” According to the report, the hacking team successfully infiltrated 258 targets across 89 countries, and in 2010, executed some 279 different operations.
http://www.darkreading.com/privacy/nsa-elite-hacking-team-operations-expose/240165056

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