The NSA regularly intercepts laptop shipments to implant malware, report says

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posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 03:25 PM
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I found this particularity terrifying.




It’s common to check up on tracking information when you’re waiting on a package, but at least occasionally, that tracking data is omitting a quick stop off at the NSA. According to a new report in Der Spiegel, the NSA regularly intercepts shipments of laptops and other electronic devices in order to implant physical listening devices and install advanced malware. This process, called interdiction, can give authorities instant remote access to a subject’s computer without them being any the wiser.

Link


Has any tech-savvy ATS user ever found any strange contraptions imbedded in their computer?

I wonder how far this activity extends to? Makes me not want to buy a new laptop.
edit on 30/12/13 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 03:46 PM
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I'm stupid so please help, say u did find something that doesn't belong? Who would be held responsible, the manufacturer or the organization who planted it?? And would it be illegal for them to do this??



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 03:46 PM
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reply to post by Ghost147
 


When I used to work for a Fortune 100 tech company we would order systems by the hundreds for our department. They all came with the same bloatware problem. First thing that was required was a complete purge of the drive and reinstalling an OS and required drivers and applications.

It's still a habit for me to this day to wipe all drives and reinstall trusted software. For routers and such reinstalling the firmware may help but who knows if that software is compromised already.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 03:53 PM
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I'm not tech savvy, but don't you think the advent of technological advances has been a Government's absolute wet dream?

They can put a little spy right into your household and keep an eye on everyday folk's terrorist activity. Don't enjoy your servitude? Terrorist! Don't agree with your elected politician? Terrorist! Looking at porn? Pervert terrorist!

Enough is enough is enough.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 03:58 PM
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The source of this news piece is quite reliable.

Forceful and constant invasion of privacy is apparently commonplace now.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 03:59 PM
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Don't know if NSA were directly involved, but the laptop I shipped in my luggage last week from JFK to LAX in my carry on was obviously bugged, only found out because the webcam light would come on at night and when I took it to Best Buy Geek Squad in Signal Hill they removed a black 'transmitter' and told me that these transmitters are supposedly put into laptops by rental companies to track them down if/when they are stolen.

Only problem is, this was never a rental, I bought it only 2 months ago.. from the very same Best Buy - and never had a problem with this laptop until it passed thru JFK-LAX checkin!

Geek Squad in signal hill, ca were very friendly and showed me the transmitter they removed. I don't know where it is now... as I'm typing this, its probably being consfiscated over there by MIB.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by Ghost147
 


Hmm, perhaps as the bios has gotten larger it has become possible to change it for like software with added features that are unaccessable to the user but can be accessed remotely, interesting and if the NSA are doing it them it is likely and far more worrying that there are hackers whom are also using it.
Any hardware intrusion would be difficult to detect if is was a surface mounted device so it is possible but unlikely as the cost of random implementation would be huge to say the least though as for a laptop not many people ever open them so it is possible, more likely they are targeted shipments that are destined for a particular locality or country but hey who knows, there are just so many places where a program could hide, the video bios, the mainboard bios, in some cases the sound bios if a custom sound card is installed, the memory may also have extra chips that would allow direct interface and that would likely require a custom bios flash.
I doubt this is true though and if it is then is likely only affects a very small select number and area of computers, more likely they would subvert the production stage than intercept them but not impossible.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by Bassago
 


Yeah, bloatware is a huge problem.

BUT, the article states that PHYSICAL listening devices are installed, along with the advanced malware. Therefore, simply wiping a system clean would not do anything for the former, and if the NSA is that smart and advanced, they could install malware that is, in a sense, hidden enough so that a cleaning or format wouldn't eliminate it.

As the OP suggested, this is quite terrifying. Screw private intrusion, they'll just install the devices BEFORE you even get it. And at that point, since it's not in your possession or on your private property, you have no expectation of privacy, and the the 4th Amendment doesn't really apply.

I was wondering how often this is implemented, and to whom. It would make sense to do this only to select people or groups, and since the NSA has also been known, we now know, to engage in cyber espionage even against domestic corporation, etc, i would suspect it's only top tier purchasers/clients who get it installed.


It is unclear how frequently this program is utilized, but the scale is likely limited. Diverting electronics shipments en masse would be suspicious, and the intelligence agency would not want to expose its internal tools to more potential discovery than absolutely necessary — the NSA pays a pretty penny for many of these backdoors.

The NSA has what Der Spiegel describes as a catalog of spy tools with pricing and feature details. The 50-page document lists tools to compromise hardened systems made by the likes of Cisco, Juniper Networks, Huawei, Western Digital, Microsoft, and Samsung. The prices for these attacks, maintained by an internal group known as ANT, can reach as high as $250,000. Although, when it comes to secret NSA software vulnerabilities, you get what you pay for.


Not cool, NSA, not cool.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 05:19 PM
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reply to post by Liquesence
 




BUT, the article states that PHYSICAL listening devices are installed, along with the advanced malware. Therefore, simply wiping a system clean would not do anything for the former, and if the NSA is that smart and advanced, they could install malware that is, in a sense, hidden enough so that a cleaning or format wouldn't eliminate it.


True but even a tiny hidden 3rd party listening device requires some sort of software interface to be operational. It requires even more support if it's going to be used as a networked device to spy on people. Remove that and the hardware someone added won't function.

As far as wiping the drive I'm not talking about a simple format. You need a bootable 3rd party partitioning type software. The one I use finds and deletes all partitions (even hidden) and allows you to create new ones. If you can see every sector of the hard-drive and overwrite it there's nowhere for anyone to hide their malware except maybe by rewriting the BIOS and sneaking it in there.

Not foolproof of course but better than nothing.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 06:14 PM
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i can see this as useful in a few cases.

but not in the US.

in a few third world terrorist countries few have the money to buy new laptops except people that are backed by terrorist organizations.

This could be used by tagging all laptops going to one country and then using malware to take out known terrorist computers.
when they replace them they end up with a bugged computer.

This would not work in a first world county with a large number of computers and a high turnover.

it would work in Afghanistan



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 07:39 PM
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Guys/gals. I'm a noob to the board but not to the game. I am not here to argue with anyone, so don't waste my time and yours. Normally I don't even care about the threads and posts of other places, but this got my goat. Some of you will get that. Some later.

Today I found this on youtube. It scares the H3// out of me.
It is an hour long but once you start watching you will be glued to the screen. This is taken from a Chaos Communication Congress conference in Germany.
30c3: To Protect And Infect, Part 2


If you think you even have an inkling of their capabilities, you are wrong. This is what we know of at the moment.

One more thing. It is not just laptops. Don't kid yourselves.
edit on 30-12-2013 by mallenhall because: One more thing



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 08:13 PM
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Well this reminds me of when News Corp first got caught for all the spying on celebrities cell phones. Then it got more serious and they found out they were hacking politicians and every body else. So what does the US do? Nothing it is a UK problem not ours. What does News Corp do? Make a deal with Samsung to put News Corp software package in all the Galaxy phones. Installed before you ever turn it on. Straight from the factory and embedded. On computers you have the same thing. Do a system restore back to factory start up and you already have a whole list of software sitting on there saying free trial. And all of them have access to your computer because there software is on your computer.But it does go way deeper. Antivirus are bought off. They sold out a long time ago to the Piracy crime fighting. And that was only the beginning. The recent spat over STUXnet and Command and Control networks was only because our governments were giving them all bad names and causing them to lose there customers. Think the Cloud was the first to lose money over NSA. Antivirus were the first. The Cloud Providers followed along with hardware and software companies because the world knows it is all compromised from the very start when they first apply for a patent. Change it like this, add this and then let us know all about your encryption process.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by Ghost147
 


Yeah, I found one alright - it's been on every single laptop I've purchased. Not only does it collect data, but it's so integrated into Windows that you cannot remove it. Chances are, you have some variant of Internet Explorer on your computer already.


In terms of physical devices, the average user doesn't even know that their microphones and webcams (that come with the newer-gen laptops) can be turned on remotely without any fancy software. I mean, when I first got my wifi router (you know, the box that allows me to control what devices can connect to the internet), the default password for the admin user was "password" - You can't tell me that's not a backdoor waiting to happen.

As for stuff that's pre-installed, laptops that are bought at places like Bestbuy, Target, Office Max, etc usually have a lot of bloatware on them - When I buy laptops, my first step to installing is getting a new hardrive installed, and move the Windows license from the old drive to my new install on the hardisk. The old hardrive is then turned into a portable hardrive, or holds one of my VMs.

In short - I think the NSA has better time than to install these devices in laptops going to an average citizen. Now, if you're constantly watching terrorist training videos, participating in conspiracy theory discussions, and going on anti-government rants, and then suddenly decide to order a laptop - that's the machine that I would expect to contain a virus or malware.

-fossilera



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 09:11 PM
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Anyone who finds or detects NSA hardware or software find a lawyer and sue them.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 09:22 PM
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Ghost147
I found this particularity terrifying.




Has any tech-savvy ATS user ever found any strange contraptions imbedded in their computer?


On my computer, laptop, phone and tablets.

You can trigger it and monitor the activity by engaging in _____________ online activities. With some clever coding and restructuring of OS and browser configurations and firewalls as well as clandestine packet and port events you can use it to get into the NSA ___________.

Or maybe not, perhaps I just made that up... Or maybe I didn't... Only one way to know.

Malware can be used at both ends.




posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 09:48 PM
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Skyfloating
The source of this news piece is quite reliable.

Forceful and constant invasion of privacy is apparently commonplace now.


There is no such thing as privacy in the advanced digital age. NONE, ZERO, NADA... No reasonable expectation of privacy when using any form of digital communications of ANY kind, encrypted or not.

Anyone who assumes they can achieve complete anonymity and privacy are making a dangerous assumption. That said, unless you are an important person, or someone engaging in illegal or suspicious activity or otherwise have a need for secrecy and privacy you really have nothing to fear. They are not monitoring everyone and everything all the time, they can't and don't need to...



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 01:08 AM
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mallenhall
Guys/gals. I'm a noob to the board but not to the game. I am not here to argue with anyone, so don't waste my time and yours. Normally I don't even care about the threads and posts of other places, but this got my goat. Some of you will get that. Some later.

Today I found this on youtube. It scares the H3// out of me.
It is an hour long but once you start watching you will be glued to the screen. This is taken from a Chaos Communication Congress conference in Germany.
30c3: To Protect And Infect, Part 2


If you think you even have an inkling of their capabilities, you are wrong. This is what we know of at the moment.

One more thing. It is not just laptops. Don't kid yourselves.
edit on 30-12-2013 by mallenhall because: One more thing


watched 30mins of the vid....

confirms exactly what I suspected, even on this site....



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 01:11 AM
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AthlonSavage
Anyone who finds or detects NSA hardware or software find a lawyer and sue them.


do you ..

really think you'll find a lawyer? If lawyers in the US will NOT go after local corruption, why would you believe the lawyer will go after the most power government in the world??

take a breather and think...



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 03:58 AM
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ausername

There is no such thing as privacy in the advanced digital age. NONE, ZERO, NADA... No reasonable expectation of privacy when using any form of digital communications of ANY kind, encrypted or not.

Anyone who assumes they can achieve complete anonymity and privacy are making a dangerous assumption. That said, unless you are an important person, or someone engaging in illegal or suspicious activity or otherwise have a need for secrecy and privacy you really have nothing to fear. They are not monitoring everyone and everything all the time, they can't and don't need to...


That is the attitude that allows this mess to continue unabated... It's apathetic, the loss of privacy is but just one more step in the non stop chipping away of freedoms and liberties...



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 08:41 AM
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reply to post by mallenhall
 


Thanks for posting this video,

I was aware we were being monitored but this was a revelation to me, especially the stuff in the last 20 minutes, really is getting beyond science fiction, amazing and quite terrifying really, always thought Hollywood was far fetched, no I feel it need to catch up a little





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