Monday, December 30, 2013

Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit, The NSA remembers the Alamo

 TAO exploits the technical weaknesses of the IT industry, from Microsoft to Cisco and Huawei .

During the middle part of the last decade, the special unit succeeded in gaining access to 258 targets in 89 countries -- nearly everywhere in the world. In 2010, it conducted 279 operations worldwide.
In a 2006 document related to a municipal bond sale, City Hall estimated the NSA's new investment in San Antonio could reach $300 million and add up to 1,500 new jobs.
Helped in part by recent funding increases from Congress, the expansion in San Antonio is part of the agency's four-year plan to add 6,000 new employees, many of them language and intelligence analysts, the NSA said. The agency's expansion plans calls for adding 1,500 employees every year starting from last year until 2008.
Oh by the way, Sony former chip fab and now Texas cryptology data center has been producing 0.4-1.2 micrometer chips on 150mm wafers. AND NOW IT IS FILLED WITH 200 DATA RACKS AT  945 square meters meters area.

"We told them we were going to get Microsoft, and that really opened up their eyes," San Antonio City official Wolff said.
Data centers, which house thousands of computer servers, often have a clustering effect, Hernandez said. Hahahhhhaa.
 The NSA remembers the Alamo
The new NSA facility is just a few miles from Microsoft’s data center of the same size. Bamford says that under current law, NSA could gain access to Microsoft’s stored data without even a warrant, but merely a fiber-optic cable.
The original Microsoft error message exploited by the NSA
“What the Microsoft people will have will be just storage of a lot of the email that is being sent. They keep this email — I don’t know why — and there should be some legislation saying how long it should be kept,” said Bamford in a phone interview last week. “The post office doesn’t keep copies of our letters when we mail letters; why should the telecom companies or the internet providers keep copies of our email? It doesn’t make sense to me. But there’s no legislation. So they need a place to store it, and that’s where they’re storing all this stuff.” 
“Cybersecurity in the public domain has largely been about defense, but there’s certainly an attack component to it. To some degree, the U.S. Department of Defense and intelligence agencies are now starting to talk about the attack component in the public domain,” says Sandhu.
Once TAO teams have gathered sufficient data on their targets' habits in 2008, they can shift into attack mode, programming the QUANTUM systems to perform this work in a largely automated way. If a data packet featuring the email address or cookie of a target passes through a cable or router monitored by the NSA, the system sounds the alarm.  These documents reveal that in 2008, the Texas Cryptologic Center employed fewer than 60 TAO specialists. By 2015, the number is projected to grow to 270 employees. In addition, there are another 85 specialists in the "Requirements & Targeting" division (up from 13 specialists in 2008). The number of software developers is expected to increase from the 2008 level of three to 38 in 2015.

The TAO workers selected systems administrators and telecommunications engineers at the Mexican agency as their targets, thus marking the start of what the unit dubbed Operation WHITETAMALE.  
One document labeled "top secret" and "not for foreigners" describes the NSA's success in spying on the "SEA-ME-WE-4" cable system. This massive underwater cable bundle connects Europe with North Africa and the Gulf states and then continues on through Pakistan and India, all the way to Malaysia and Thailand. The cable system originates in southern France, near Marseille. Among the companies that hold ownership stakes in it are France Telecom, now known as Orange and still partly government-owned, and Telecom Italia Sparkle.  Enromous suicide rate in France Telecom, is it a mere coincidence ?

99% BAD HARDWARE WEEK: If you have garage door problem, than you know why :)
HAL, please open that bloody doors ( Space Odyssey 2010)
The presentation also notes that the NSA has been unable to employ this method to target users of Google services. Apparently, that can only be done by Britain's GCHQ intelligence service, which has acquired QUANTUM tools from the NSA.
Unintended Consequences: How NSA Revelations May Lead to Even More Surveillance

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?