How can the NSA monitor computers that are offline?

bralphye

The latest NSA revelations concern the agency physically installing backdoors that allow them to monitor machines even when they are not connected to the internet. How would this work? How can they monitor something that isn’t online?

Tags: backdoors, NSA
Topic: Security
Answer this Question

Answers

2 total
jimlynch
Vote Up (4)

N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/us/nsa-effort-pries-open-computers-not...

"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.

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."

rousseau
Vote Up (2)

You can pour out a little chianti in thanks to Guglielmo Marconi for this NSA ability. Radio waves, my friend, radio waves, zipping through thin air straight to the all-seeing eyes of the NSA. Transmitters are installed inside the case, and apparently they are small enough to be concealed in USB cards (or possibly even cables according to some news reports). Of course, the transmitter has to be physically installed, which might seem difficult at first glance, but apparently manufacturers are willing to help the NSA with that when asked so your shiny new machine may come with an express connection to The Brave New World.

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Almost 500,000 patient records have been hacked from the servers of the Harley Medical Group, the plastic surgery firm which has clinics across the UK.
Security researchers have found that many satellite communication systems have vulnerabilities and design flaws that can let remote attackers intercept, manipulate, block and in some cases take full control of critical communications.
The U.S. commercial drone industry is still struggling to get off the ground more than two years after President Obama signed into law a bill that permits the civilian use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) over the country's airspace.
Sure, you’ve changed a bunch of passwords, but are you doing all you can to protect yourself?
About 2.6 million payment cards at Michaels Stores and another 400,000 at subsidiary Aaron Brothers may have been affected in a card skimming attack that compromised its point-of-sale systems, the retailer said Thursday.
National security may be at stake as private businesses try to manage a growing number of cyberthreats, but IT professionals shouldn't have to bear that burden alone.
Worried about how the Heartbleed vulnerability may affect your personal accounts? A new tool may be of help.
Whether it's the first time you've picked up an iPad or the seventeenth time you've pulled out your iPhone today, there are probably still some iOS 7 features and functionality that you're not familiar with. Don't sweat it: We're here to help. We've collected some of our favorite and most useful tips and compiled them here, just for you.
The Tor Project has flagged 380 Tor relays vulnerable to the critical Heartbleed flaw to be rejected from the Tor anonymity network, reducing the network's entry and exit capacity.
Cybercriminals have started using a sophisticated Android Trojan app designed for e-banking fraud to target Facebook users, possibly in an attempt to bypass the two-factor authentication protection on the social network.

White Papers & Webcasts

See more White Papers | Webcasts

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

randomness