Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit

More leaked documents reveal a secret NSA hacking operation, with techniques ranging from physical implants of malware (sometimes hardware) to infiltrating Telecom networks, and even exploiting Microsoft updates to infect the target machine.  TAO has existed since 1997, but recently interest in the program is exploding, as seen by the drastic increase in the number of TAO operation facilities, and the number of employees.

The NSA’s TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting… One example of the sheer creativity with which the TAO spies approach their work can be seen in a hacking method they use that exploits the error-proneness of Microsoft’s Windows. Every user of the operating system is familiar with the annoying window that occasionally pops up on screen when an internal problem is detected, an automatic message that prompts the user to report the bug to the manufacturer and to restart the program. These crash reports offer TAO specialists a welcome opportunity to spy on computers. The technique can literally be a race between servers, one that is described in internal intelligence agency jargon with phrases like: “Wait for client to initiate new connection,” “Shoot!” and “Hope to beat server-to-client response.” Like any competition, at times the covert network’s surveillance tools are “too slow to win”..

Read the full article here – Inside TAOs_ Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit – SPIEGEL ONLINE Considering TAO is an NSA sponsored hacking program, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see Spiegel soon hacked, so we are keeping this article here on Global Intel Hub.

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