Author Topic: NSA spying capability  (Read 34539 times)

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Offline Homer J Simpson

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NSA spying capability
« on: January 27, 2014, 06:38:40 am »
Interesting article on NSA's capabilities.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nsa-secret-toolbox-ant-unit-offers-spy-gadgets-for-every-need-a-941006.html

and...

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-nsa-uses-powerful-toolbox-in-effort-to-spy-on-global-networks-a-940969.html



Click on the interactive graphic to see details of the devices available.

Here is one my favorites cut and pasted from the article.

Rigged monitor cable.

"Computer Monitor Surveillance

Technicians at the NSA’s ANT division have developed a system that makes it possible to divert data from a computer monitor undetected. A component called RAGEMASTER is installed in the ferrite insulation on the video cable right behind the monitor plug. It emits a signal that is then “illuminated” by a radar unit located remotely from the building being monitored, and thus made visible for NSA workers. A complex system makes it possible to use this reflected, slightly altered radar signal to reconstruct what can be seen on the monitor of the computer under surveillance.

RAGEMASTER is a hardware implant to intercept image signals from VGA monitors. It works on a passive basis, with its signal being carried by reflection over externally broadcast radar waves. It is hidden in the ferrite insulation of the VGA monitor cable, which is located right behind the monitor plug."



and yes it looks like they have a "catalog" of their available products.

Here are a couple more.














KT
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 07:32:36 am by Homer J Simpson »
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 10:01:39 am »
Radar is so 1960. Polonium is the new 'flavor' of the day.
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 10:16:17 am »
You left out the coolest parts













All that earlier than 2008. Imagine what they have now, or maybe they have switched tactics. Like going directly to chip manufacturers and weakening encryption and planting chip level backdoors.

Multichip modules (MCM) look cool, I wonder if they are actually used outside NSA?
EDIT: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4307/amd-launches-radeon-e6760


I think some early intel quad core processor actually had two dual cores under it's IHS. So not that exoting thing.

http://fi.farnell.com/lantronix/xp1001000-05r/module-serial-to-ethernet-xport/dp/2115259?whydiditmatch=rel_3&matchedProduct=1297883

Fully integrated serial to ethernet bridge, so those nsa things aren't anything special these days. Lantronix could easily make these even more compact, but it would increase price. No reason there couldn't be some spy stuff embedded in them.

Full embedded web server inside xport pro. And that's not new thing either.
http://fi.farnell.com/lantronix/xpp100200s-02r/mod-xportpro-serial-enet-encry/dp/2215012

http://www.lantronix.com/device-networking/embedded-device-servers/xport-pro.html
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 10:43:41 am by Legit-Design »
 

Online daqq

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 10:38:19 am »
Quote
Multichip modules (MCM) look cool, I wonder if they are actually used outside NSA?
Actually, MCM modules are not a new tech at all, though not very common in consumer stuff until recently. They were used mostly in obscure applications, where doing it the normal way was impossible. Mainframe CPUs, obscure processing stuff, google for images for multichip module, you'll find some beautiful tech, especially from IBM and the likes.
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Offline amyk

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 01:16:14 pm »
A lot of this stuff looks like some of the cheap "spying" crap you can buy from China on sites like DealExtreme...

 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 01:21:50 pm »
A lot of this stuff looks like some of the cheap "spying" crap you can buy from China on sites like DealExtreme...

Who do you think China steals the designs from?
 

Offline olsenn

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 01:58:43 pm »
These remind me of of "bug" circuits posted in Colin Mitchell's 'Talking Electronics' transistor books!
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 03:00:12 pm »
Some of the equipment needs board level component replacement how do they arrange that surreptitiously.
Spying on one allies is not new the transatlantic cables have been taped by the British government since the first one was laid in 18** whatever the date was. There was one case that I read about at the start of WW1 where the British wanted to tell the US about  German plots with Mexico but they did not want to let on that they were listening to transatlantic cables so they had to come up with an elaborate story about a break in at a Mexican embassy.
I would say that one has to assume that any conversation could be overheard one way or another so if you have something you don't want known keep it in your head ( I don't think they have mind reading machines yet).
But certainly if you are a crook or terrorist or government official somewhere you are better of running linux on your computer, perhaps this is why the German's are changing over to it apart from the cost.
 

Offline codeboy2k

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 06:25:45 pm »
Now you've done it !! you've all gone and mentioned the 3 letters in Dave's forums and now you've got the 3-letter agency watching up Dave's arse now :)

and pictures too :( it's all downhill from here..
 

Offline Homer J Simpson

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 07:56:44 pm »
You know a actually thought about that in the back of my mind.

I did post documents that are still officially classified as Top Secret by the US Government. They are all over the web thought and have been in the news.

I made it through last night without my front door being kicked in and I have been keeping the camera and mike on my phone covered up. I will check under the car later for the GPS tracker and stop using my router since it has probably had a back door installed on it. I am also going to take my keyboard apart and check for the hidden transmitter. :)

Seriously though at least read the second article posted. Read where they intercept ordered computers and electronics in the mail, modify the hardware and or software and then send the item on its way.

In my opinion it has gotten totally out of control with no oversight whatsoever. Every country needs to protect it's citizens and national interests but their is a legal framework to do this along with oversight and accountability.

Just harvesting all of the information you can looking for something someone may have done or be involved in is not right. What happen to probable cause and court orders?

The NSA has become a monster that apparently answers to no one.

Sorry but his gets me fired up.
 

Offline JoeyP

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2014, 11:54:15 pm »
Homer you just need this, generously developed with government funds:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-23/tor-anonymity-software-vs-dot-the-national-security-agency

Our government couldn't waste money quite fast enough, so we decided to pit agencies against each other!

 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 01:16:36 am »
heh. The last time I posted links to these, Geoffs deleted my post (without notification) and then when called out on it, argued that I'm always posting 'conspiracy crap'.

It's enjoyable watching the lala land denialists getting bludgeoned about the head with indisputable proof of actual severe, obnoxious and high level conspiracy, government or otherwise. Hey Geoffs, google Operation Northwoods.

One of my favorite web comics http://www.collectedcurios.com/sequentialart.php?s=872 recently summed it up:



"willfully ignorant disposition". Heh, that's spot on.
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Offline GeoffS

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 01:31:25 am »
And as long as your posts push your own personal conspiracy theories, they will continue to be deleted.
This thread is about the technology behind the NSA spying and as such is completely on topic.
 

Offline scientist

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 03:13:02 am »
NSA is roughly equivalent to mods on some forums, am I right? Too much power, no checks and balances, etc.

These devices are honestly pretty lame and the boards look handmade. I would be surprised if these aren't decoy data sheets, since spy agencies have been known to do that sort of thing.
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 03:31:17 am »
NSA is roughly equivalent to mods on some forums, am I right? Too much power, no checks and balances, etc.

These devices are honestly pretty lame and the boards look handmade. I would be surprised if these aren't decoy data sheets, since spy agencies have been known to do that sort of thing.

If you have an issue with moderation, I suggest you contact Dave. It's his forum and he sets the rules, not the moderators.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 05:59:40 am »
Some of the equipment needs board level component replacement how do they arrange that surreptitiously....

I've been following that string of articles.  From one of the earlier one (probably 2nd or 3rd), it suggested that delivery interception was the method.  I.E.: equipment did not go from seller to shipper to user, between seller and end-user, an extra stop was added before or after shipping.  Of course, even from stores, the store has to first receive a shipment from the factory.  Stops can be added between the ship-from and the ship-to.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:02:22 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline scientist

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 06:48:40 am »
NSA is roughly equivalent to mods on some forums, am I right? Too much power, no checks and balances, etc.

These devices are honestly pretty lame and the boards look handmade. I would be surprised if these aren't decoy data sheets, since spy agencies have been known to do that sort of thing.

If you have an issue with moderation, I suggest you contact Dave. It's his forum and he sets the rules, not the moderators.

Not this forum, others.
 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 07:05:56 am »
The NSA has become a monster that apparently answers to no one.

Sorry but his gets me fired up.

Don't apologize for righteous anger. Pick up your sword/pen instead, and swing it hard. The NSA's activities have been beyond the pale for decades, and it's great now they are getting some serious blowback.

The people who should be sorry are the apologists ("If you have nothing to hide, what's the problem?"), the normalcy bias idiots ("no, this can't possibly be happening, it's just tin foil conspiracy, they'd never be able to do that without someone blabbing"), the paid shills ("I'm an expert in this field, and this doesn't happen because the swamp throbble precludes thimbulation. Anyone will tell you that.") and the well poisoners ("When Nibiru arrives, aliens with space beams will put a stop to the NSA.")

It's interesting to read the stuff involving passive re-radiators. Very difficult to detect.

One of the links that geoffs deleted was to an original source of the NSA ANT catalog set on http://cryptome.org/ as several files:
   http://cryptome.org/2013/12/nsa-tao-ant.pdf   to http://cryptome.org/2013/12/nsa-catalog.zip

Full thread sequence here:
http://everist.org/eevblog/20140104_deleted.txt

Speaking of spyware built into electronics hardware, it's probably a good time to mention this again.
Here's a pic of some things called the Intel Yellow Books. They are processor system design documents, that Intel denies exist.

The way it works is this. If you're a person or company wanting to design a system board (PC or whatever) using Intel architecture CPU and support chips, you go to Intel's site and download the public data sheets for the chips. They appear to be complete, so you start designing and place some orders for chips.
A while later you have a board designed and populated, but when you try it out it doesn't work. No problem, it's very complex right? You probably just missed some detail. So you contact Intel. They are very helpful - talking with you at length about your design, who you are, what you want to do with it, and so on. Checking you out.

If they decide that you are kosher (and I chose that word carefully) you get a visit from a nice Intel man. After you sign an extreme non-disclosure agreement, in which you swear to deny even the existence of these manuals, he gives you a set of yellow books like these. "Here, these contain a few details that may have been omitted, or typos or whatever in the data you already have."

It turns out it's impossible to get an Intel system working without the Yellow books. They form a kind of gateway, preventing 'disruptive technology use' since only vetted customers will be able to produce working systems.

So far as I know this applies to ALL Intel processors since way back sometime around the Pentium II or III. It's hard to know, since as I said, their very existence is secret.

A friend who dealt with a PC motherboard manufacturer in Taiwan, tells me those guys hinted to him that there's an even higher level of Intel secret docs, called the Gray Books. That only large scale board makers get to see.

The point of all this, is that there can be any degree of backdoor trickery built into processor systems these days, and we'd never know. Because the people who do know all have serious NDAs wrapped around them. It's only through some exceptional circumstances that I have these and know the story behind them. No, don't ask.

Modern processing hardware (and software) is about as far from open design as it's possible to go, without barbed wire and jackboots.
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Offline G7PSK

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 09:36:59 am »
Well if the intercept the delivery the obvious thing that any crook or spook would do is walk into a store somewhere and hand over cash and walk out with the goods. The NSA cannot intercept and alter all deliveries to stores around the world, they have to have a target in sight and hope they make a mail order purchase. :scared:
 

Offline Kompost

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 01:42:39 pm »
That's it, time to dust my tinfoil hat.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 05:36:58 pm »
I've been following that string of articles.  From one of the earlier one (probably 2nd or 3rd), it suggested that delivery interception was the method.  I.E.: equipment did not go from seller to shipper to user, between seller and end-user, an extra stop was added before or after shipping.  Of course, even from stores, the store has to first receive a shipment from the factory.  Stops can be added between the ship-from and the ship-to.

Gives a good excuse to always do a good ole teardown on brand new equipment then doesn't it ;) .. not that we need any reason for one in the first place.

I think typical PC users and even electronic hobbies like myself would have a hard time finding the well hidden bugs.  It would take someone with real experience to spot something well hidden stuff.

This brings up a funny picture in my mind:  A Monty Phython lion tamer type, looking at a CPU up and down, top and bottom, left and right, to make sure he doesn't see a bug stuck to it and no cable goes from under the CPU to the phone line.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2014, 05:52:48 pm »
An off topic post by TerraHertz has been removed*.

Quote
I assumed the purpose of this thread was to discuss the technology that the NSA were using 4 or 5 years ago, not a general discussion on the NSA themselves.
I admire the way you blend together an implication that these NSA tools are not currently used, with an attempt to impose an extremely narrow interpretation of what the tread is about, as justification for deleting a post containing links to the original pdfs of the OPs illustrations, and about the morals of using these tools, and an example of a similar kind of technological secretive behavior.

I have been following Spiegel for years, so I read all the articles in that string.  I can confirm that Spiegel reports indicates that the bugging tools are currently in use.

Not only are the tools still current in used, in fact, they were drastically increased since 2009 (or 2010).  The increase in intercepted data stored was 4X or 10X.  (from memory of the article, not sure if it was 4X or 10X increase.  But 4X or 10X is still drastic).  People involved (assigned) to this effort also drastically increase...

Those articles are likely still on line.

"Every smart phone a listening device."  That was the goal.  Are they there yet?  Who knows.  Those who knows certainly would not tell us about it.
 

Offline Homer J Simpson

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2014, 05:56:43 pm »
My suspicion on this  is that they have advanced to the point where they have their own fab facility.

Most likely able to produce clone Intel, AMD or whatever. Visibly and functionally identical to the original. Then with the "added special features".

If they can intercept a PC or device from the manufacture to the end user now what's preventing them from doing that from the chip manufactures to the OEM's.

Neither the Chip manufacture or the OEM's would have any idea.

Untold numbers of devices would have built in back doors and know one  would have any idea.

Not trying to be conspiracy theorist.

It just seems a logical step in the evolution of their technology.


........as scary as it is.

Also, what's to stop the Chinese from doing the same to us. All of the components in military hardware and communications equipment. We already know of the clone copies of real chips are out their. They try to work as advertised but lack quality. Very hard to detect.

KT
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:10:49 pm by Homer J Simpson »
 

Offline scientist

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2014, 06:29:26 pm »
Easy solution to the phone spying problem: just add a micro switch on your phone's outer case that disconnects the mic(s) from their data pins. Probably wouldn't be as easy for an iOSpy device as it'd be on an Android.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: NSA spying capability
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2014, 06:44:44 pm »
Easy solution to the phone spying problem: just add a micro switch on your phone's outer case that disconnects the mic(s) from their data pins. Probably wouldn't be as easy for an iOSpy device as it'd be on an Android.

What gives you the idea that they will be using the standard mic?  They don't even have to use the standard battery.

It could be a chip with built in capacitor and built in video camera or audio mic.  You can rip out the battery, rip out the mic, and the chip is still in there under a what you thought was an "electrical-noise" shield can.  Or it can be openly exposed with a familiar part number but no logo - some "generic part" that looks like it belongs.  No logo to look generic so as to ensure there is no investigation into fake parts...  Short of de-capping the darn thing and analyzing the signals, you may never know.

Heck, they can even court-order the well known manufacturer to cooperate and insert the needed part into the real genuine chip.
 


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