Recent diverse events in the world interest in the subject of espionage by the U.S. intelligence subsided. Which is undoubtedly beneficial to the NSA, as history, initiated by the former CIA officer Edward Snowden, did not give rest as to the security forces and senior officials of the state.
Since various media with some frequency, he began to publish the Snowden revelations, for all the clever ways us intelligence to spy it became difficult to follow. Recently Bloomberg BusinessWeek came back to the theme of American high-tech espionage and made a full consolidated description of the most common spies of surveillance technology.
The NSA agents are divided goals into two categories: “data in motion” and “data at rest”. Under the first definition covers situations where information needs to be intercepted at the time of transfer: conversations on the cell phone, data transmission over the Internet, to data centers and satellites. One of the most difficult to hack ways to transfer information is… email. Mail services implement strong encryption and open data on the fly is often difficult. But not impossible. One of the ways to solve the problem is to seize the camera, which was used sending the message, or simply “agree” with the provider of the postal service.
The second category, where the data are in a state of “dormancy” refers mostly to the archives and different systems of information storage, such as hard drives, archives, data centers, content mobile gadgets. It is believed that the stored information is rarely encrypted, so spies are not worth anything to find what they need without any problems. Well, or at least not to look, and just pump all the contents of the computer, smartphone, or even a whole information center. For the collection.
The NSA story began with the attack of Japanese aircraft on pearl Harbor. Established as one of the divisions of the Pentagon, the Agency was to prevent the recurrence of such incidents, gathering information about the plans of the enemies of the United States abroad. After September 11, 2001 stolen “al-Qaeda” planes destroyed the world trade center towers, the tasks of the NSA began to change gradually. In the framework announced by the administration of George W. Bush’s war against terrorism and on the basis of the famous “patriot act” NSA was granted broad powers to conduct surveillance inside the country. Now the Agency, for example, could without a court order to eavesdrop on phone conversations if at least one of the interlocutors was outside the United States. All this ultimately resulted in a huge scandal, when the newspaper The New York Times revealed that, in fact, to intercept domestic phone calls of millions of Americans.
Most of the data collected by the NSA is stored in the data center, occupying a huge territory around Bluffdale, Utah. It can hold around 12 exabytes of data. Exabytes is the equivalent of 1 billion gigabytes.
It is worth noting that the NSA has some specific but effective ways to spy on US citizens and foreign “terrorists”.
Call recording: the NSA can intercept almost all of the phone calls that are carefully sorted and stored for months.
Phone clones: communication devices can be swapped out for an absolutely identical model, but with the already integrated device for wiretapping conversations and data collection.
Shell shops: diplomats during G-20 summit held in 2009 in London and were unaware that most nearby to the venue of the summit cafe with Wi-Fi have been processed and all data was transferred to special services.
Chips for tracking: the NSA has several sophisticated technological means to monitor the objects, regardless of the fact, moves the objective around town or travels by plane. An example is a sensor embedded in the SIM card of the phone and is constantly sending location-based data on the servers of the NSA.
Special delivery: if the object of surveillance buying any digital equipment in the network, the NSA can intercept a courier carrying, say, a laptop, and the client get “processed” device.
X-ray scanner: this may seem fantastic, but the technology exists. The radar emits light waves that can detect what is shown on the screen or typed on the computer keyboard.
Credit cards: intelligence agencies have long been infiltrated in the network, Visa and other major banking systems to collect data about transactions.
Satellites: hackers, the NSA has infiltrated the systems of control of the German satellite communications, serving the drilling stations and the diplomatic corps.
Spies in games: come down to the fact that the NSA agents infiltrated in the community, popular game universes of World of Warcraft and Second Life, where to seek out traces of the criminal elements and recruit informants. It is known that security officers can be found in the Microsoft network Xbox Live.
Tower intercepting cell signal: the station simulating a cell tower, intercept geolocation data read from the GPS sensor of the phone. Agents can also intercept calls from mobile phones using receiver the size of a shoebox.
Subs: NSA can connect directly to telecommunicaciones fibre-optic cables running on the seabed using a modified nuclear submarine.
Secret selfie: a favorite habit of many users of smartphones to film themselves on camera gadget only at the hand of American intelligence. Virus implementierung in iPhone, allows you to activate the camera and microphone, transforming the smartphone into a listening device. Malware for gadgets on Windows allows the security forces to gain complete control over the camera.
Stones spy: the transmitters are built inside the rocks and other inconspicuous objects.