“The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks,” David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker report for The New York Times. “While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.”

“The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers,” Sanger and Shanker report. “In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.”

“In most cases, the radio frequency hardware must be physically inserted by a spy, a manufacturer or an unwitting user,” Sanger and Shanker report. “There is no evidence that the N.S.A. has implanted its software or used its radio frequency technology inside the United States. Over the past two months, parts of the program have been disclosed in documents from the trove leaked by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor. A Dutch newspaper published the map of areas where the United States has inserted spy software, sometimes in cooperation with local authorities, often covertly. Der Spiegel, a German newsmagazine, published the N.S.A.’s catalog of hardware products that can secretly transmit and receive digital signals from computers, a program called ANT. The New York Times withheld some of those details, at the request of American intelligence officials, when it reported, in the summer of 2012, on American cyberattacks on Iran.”

“President Obama is scheduled to announce on Friday what recommendations he is accepting from an advisory panel on changing N.S.A. practices,” Sanger and Shanker report. “Computers are not the only targets. Dropoutjeep attacks iPhones. Other hardware and software are designed to infect large network servers, including those made by the Chinese. Most of those code names and products are now at least five years old, and they have been updated, some experts say, to make the United States less dependent on physically getting hardware into adversaries’ computer systems.”

Tons more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

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