Sneak into the TAO, the elite division of the NSA whose equipment sounds like James Bond’s one !
So far, the NSA had led to much media news with the PRISM case, a scandal involving major Internet players, via its massive online data espionage of people “suspected to be dangerous.” But the NSA has much more sophisticated means, when it aims at collecting targeted information: the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) is a team of elite hackers who are specialized in data theft, as revealed by German magazine Der Spiegel .
The elite unit would thus collect “some of the most relevant information that our country has ever seen” according to the comments given anonymously by one of the leaders of this elite team. To get information, the TAO uses various means: from some kind of James Bond’s arsenal of highly sophisticated espionage material to the targeted interception of hardware material to slip special software.
Among the high-tech gadgets, the TAO would thus exploited some USB keys containing radio transmitters to compile data that are transiting towards them, but also computer screen cables that can record everything that happens on the screen. And this material power is coupled with a fine knowledge of Internet and all sorts of software. All flaws (Internet, common software architecture weaknesses…) are exploited to spread spyware. The German newspaper explains that the recovery of Windows error reports to Microsoft can also pass by the NSA so that the latter can optimize its spyware operations.
Last but not least, the TAO can also intercept hardware … If one of the NSA “targets” place an order to buy some electronic equipment (computer or other things) , the parcel might go through the hands of the TAO expert before reaching the customer. With the support of the FBI and / or CIA, the elite team thus creates a control on deliveries. After a stint at the TAO, the material will contain the necessary software for the user to be spied closely. According to documents recovered by Der Spiegel newspaper, this method would be “much productive”.
This information is added to the sum of revelations that leaked on the NSA illegal methods. American documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who is close to Edward Snowden , has also contributed to this article in Der Spiegel.
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