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Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit

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posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 02:03 PM
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On-Call Digital Plumbers

One of the two main buildings at the former plant has since housed a sophisticated NSA unit, one that has benefited the most from this expansion and has grown the fastest in recent years -- the Office of Tailored Access Operations, or TAO. This is the NSA's top operative unit -- something like a squad of plumbers that can be called in when normal access to a target is blocked.

According to internal NSA documents viewed by SPIEGEL, these on-call digital plumbers are involved in many sensitive operations conducted by American intelligence agencies. TAO's area of operations ranges from counterterrorism to cyber attacks to traditional espionage. The documents reveal just how diversified the tools at TAO's disposal ..

Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit

The Wunderkind of the spy community.... meet TAO... via Der Spiegel... It looks like more slides are out from Snowden... at least in Europe.. Very few hits on the news related to this on the US side of the Atlantic..

The three page report is the top Reddit list on World news last I looked... with the header :
'Top Secret NSA catalog reveals US government has been secretly back dooring equipment from US companies including Dell, Cisco, Juniper, IBM, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor and more, risking enormous damage to US tech sector.'

An interesting read...




posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by R_Clark
 


I'll say it's an interesting read all right! Should be mandatory reading for anyone on the internet (or anyone with a garage opener!)(or anyone using UPS!). Just frigging unbelievable. Thx for bringing the story. Going to have to read it one more time - just hard to grasp that things are already this bad.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 03:12 PM
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TAO and SCS kick butt.

Sometimes the Fedex or UPS guy ARE spooks, it isn't done a lot but a couple of TLAs do that. Also the cable, phone, or power guys. When you need to physically stick boots in someone's embassy or whatnot, that's a way to do it.

And remember, the TAO you see is not the true TAO.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by R_Clark
 


I'm sure the chinese and the Russians are completely not spy and hacking too.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 03:20 PM
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Yes Virginia, the Cookie Monster is real.
And he wants to penetrate you.
He's so slick he'll get inside and back out again and not even leave a crumb.

There is no internet anonymity.
We are completely at their mercy so long as we have things of value accessible via the internet.
I hope these other countries are pissed at us for going through all their "delicates".



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 03:50 PM
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These driblets of information help to confirm what many know already. I have to say though that the mention of 'Technical deficencies' sounds a bit suspect, when we also already know some were compelled to accomodate the NSA anyway. The shipping gigs were also already around courtesy of the CIA and all their clandestine companies, only the tech is changing.
So this 'Lady' is spouting off about what they can do, or is it just a cover to make the NSA's little helpers, like Microsoft and AOL etc, seem like innocent victims? Her and her cohorts are just feckdogs, and we know they like a bit of private enterprise on the side to boot...no wonder they are expanding rapidly!
I want them OTF, they are disrupting the common internet culture, with their noses stuck up our backsides, and their blocking keywords and so on...blah blah. NSA feck off!



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by R_Clark
 


Its a crying shame that our government employs all these amazingly skilled people and provides them with everything they need to perform their jobs...

yet turns around and pays a Canadian company 677,000,000 dollars and counting to build a worthless website. At what point does this become embezzlement?



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by R_Clark
 


I also found this, about the TAO unit:

NSA Intercepting Laptops Bought Online to Install Spy Malware

www.commondreams.org...



Germany's Der Spiegel is reporting Sunday that the US National Security Agency (NSA), working with the CIA and FBI, has been intercepting laptops and other electronics bought online before delivery to install malware and other spying tools.

According to Der Spiegel, the NSA diverts shipping deliveries to its own "secret workshops" to install the software before resending the deliveries to their purchasers.


I'm wondering where in the shipping process they are 'interdicting' the orders. At the point of origin? The transit company (USPS, Fedex, UPS, etc)? Or at delivery? The last one is not too likely.

I ask because then either the origination company or transit company is complicient in this act. I guess if you pay companies enough they'll do anything except protect their customers from privacy invasions.

I am more convenced then ever that it's all about big business profit and that ...



Responding to a query from SPIEGEL, NSA officials issued a statement saying, "Tailored Access Operations is a unique national asset that is on the front lines of enabling NSA to defend the nation and its allies." The statement added that TAO's "work is centered on computer network exploitation in support of foreign intelligence collection." The officials said they would not discuss specific allegations regarding TAO's mission.



...is just the scripted private public relations firm's excuse to put more public money into private big business hands.

End corporate welfare.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 04:58 PM
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Asktheanimals
Yes Virginia, the Cookie Monster is real.
And he wants to penetrate you.
He's so slick he'll get inside and back out again and not even leave a crumb.

There is no internet anonymity.
We are completely at their mercy so long as we have things of value accessible via the internet.
I hope these other countries are pissed at us for going through all their "delicates".


It's not just privacy Animal, there's so much more, Alexander going for misanthropes for his empire..and it is an empire, yet within an empire. NSA budget, esimated $10.8 billion, 2013, employees? estimated 30,000-40,000 both classified. FBI budget classified, estimated $8+ billion, NCTC 'fusion' centre answers to the senate, the rest answer to the NCTC, classified new kids on the block, figures not known and probably at war with the CIA at least. What about the rest, $billions and $billions more, when all ordinary folk want to do is make something useful and get paid for it, what a waste!
What about the NSA 'Lady's' remark in the OP's link? 'The TAO's are expanding in their Maryland office up to 250 personnel' (that's not a quote but my words, but amounts to the same thing) what in the name of feck are the rest of the 30 to 40,000 people doing, are they throwing paper airplanes at one another?
No doubt either that intelligence services need to have a few answers to sort out over here as people cop on to what's going on.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by smurfy
 


Absolutely right. Privacy is but one small concern overall. Information is the new currency and the more personal and dirty it is the more its worth.
I used to wonder why so many people in Congress would seemingly vote against their conscience and sign things like the NDAA or PATRIOT ACT. My suspicion is that somebody knows something about them they wouldn't being made public and are told how to vote or your wife will find out.

To know competitors plans beforehand, military plans too - there is no greater advantage one can give themselves than this. It's literally like being inside their heads.

So long as people put information on computers the NSA can get it, change it, delete it, replace it, whatever they want to do with it. It takes little imagination to see the tremendous power they wield.

That kind of money and manpower added to what they already have spells big trouble for anyone who dares cross them and their agenda.
edit on 29-12-2013 by Asktheanimals because: added comment



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:17 PM
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FyreByrd
reply to post by R_Clark
 


I'm wondering where in the shipping process they are 'interdicting' the orders. At the point of origin? The transit company (USPS, Fedex, UPS, etc)? Or at delivery? The last one is not too likely.

I ask because then either the origination company or transit company is complicient in this act. I guess if you pay companies enough they'll do anything except protect their customers from privacy invasions.


Generally the computer company sends them the goods in overpack, they do the deed and reship it.

If the originating co won't, the shipper diverts it. Note that this requires a court order or PDD, so they can compel cooperation.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:19 PM
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reply to post by smurfy
 


What are they doing? Go take a look at the job offers. There are wads of jobs open all the time at NSA. Most are boring 8-5 type crap.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:43 PM
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FyreByrd
reply to post by R_Clark
 




I'm wondering where in the shipping process they are 'interdicting' the orders. At the point of origin? The transit company (USPS, Fedex, UPS, etc)? Or at delivery? The last one is not too likely.

I ask because then either the origination company or transit company is complicient in this act. I guess if you pay companies enough they'll do anything except protect their customers from privacy invasions.

I am more convenced then ever that it's all about big business profit and that ...

...is just the scripted private public relations firm's excuse to put more public money into private big business hands.



All part and parcel..forgive the pun.
Did you ever get an e-mail confirmation for your order with a delicate disclaimer about the supposedly pristine tracking number saying that in fact it could change, but to notify them if there was a problem?



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 06:09 PM
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Bedlam
reply to post by smurfy
 


What are they doing? Go take a look at the job offers. There are wads of jobs open all the time at NSA. Most are boring 8-5 type crap.


Uh Uh, been there done that in the UK civil service for some time, and even with big changes in the service from inhouse ancillary to private functions, there was never such a big difference in performance staffing with the ratios in the way you imply, nor was it a culture of people behaving in a pefunctory manner. In effect what you are saying, if true, is that money is being thrown about willy nilly without proper oversight, jobs for the boys in fact.
edit on 29-12-2013 by smurfy because: Text.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by smurfy
 


You're quite wrong, and in a way I find nearly unfathomable. Not all of NSA is TAO. Not all is SCS, and it's not a lot larger than TAO. That NSA has a lot more employees than that doesn't mean they're sitting around playing video games because they're not in a very focused group.

NSA has a large number of very different groups with very different missions. It's not very much MI6. There are a lot of geeks doing research and analysis. A lot. It's not all James Bond. Very little of it is.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 12:03 AM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


Fascinating comment....

It is a nice to see the tech community come out to play when articles like this hit....



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 01:33 PM
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Could it be that some of that spy-ware and viruses you have removed in recent years actually been NSA experiments and such?

A disturbing thought



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