NSA intercepts US-made Routers to implant surveillance backdoor

Pierluigi Paganini May 14, 2014

Journalist Glenn Greenwald published the last revelation of NSA surveillance, the agency tampers with US-made internet routers destined for foreign markets.

A new collection of documents leaked by Edward Snowden claims the NSA intercepted US-made routers bound for export and to implant backdoor in their circuits.

The allegations have been published by the journalist Glenn Greenwald, which has recently published the book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State on the topic based on the huge quantity of documents in the Snowden’s archive.

The document dated June 2010 from the head of the NSA’s Access and Target Development department reveals that the Intelligence Agency either receives or intercepts servers, network appliances and other devices for foreign customers.

An article published in The Guardian reports the NSA tampers with US-made internet routers deploying covertly implanting interception tools in US servers heading overseas.

A Huawei employee in Shenzhen, China, in 2005. The US has repeatedly claimed that its communications

It’s curious that US Intelligence many times has accused Chinese technology manufacturers to implant secret backdoor in their products, it was the case of Huawei, ZTE  and Lenovo.

“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. The document gleefully observes that some “SIGINT tradecraft… is very hands-on (literally!)”.

Eventually, the implanted device connects back to the NSA. The report continues: “In one recent case, after several months a beacon implanted through supply-chain interdiction called back to the NSA covert infrastructure. This call back provided us access to further exploit the device and survey the network.”

It is quite possible that Chinese firms are implanting surveillance mechanisms in their network devices. But the US is certainly doing the same.” writes Glenn Greenwald.

The report could have a serious impact on US companies which export technology, Greenwald argues that the NSA has arranged a smear campaign on Chinese competitors to capture its market for US manufactures and to deploy spy implants on a large scale.

surveillance NSA implant backdoor
The NSA chief Admiral Mike Rogers, during a recent conference in Washington, has defended the NSA surveillance programs, defining them as legal and indispensable for Homeland security. 
Rogers announced that he will meet counterparts of foreign countries to rebuild trust and reinforce the cooperation against cyber threats.
“It is by design that I have tried to start a series of engagements with a broader and perhaps more different groups than we have traditionally done,”  “The dialogue to date that we have had for much of the last nine months or so from my perspective, I wish was a little bit broader, had a little more context to it, and was a little bit more balanced.” He told the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  NSA, routers, surveillance)  

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