NSA diverted computers and laptops from shipping facilities to install spyware


Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that the NSA’s “Tailored Access Operations” (TAO) has been diverting desktops and laptops shipped to U.S. consumers and installing spyware on them.

According to the report, the process, which TAO calls “interdiction,” involves intercepting packages on their way from manufacturers like Dell, Cisco, and Seagate, and installing bugs or spyware on them at a “secret workshop.”

The packages are then reintroduced into the delivery pipeline and arrive at their destination without the consumer ever realizing their machine has been compromised.


Unlike most NSA operations, which rely on remote access to targeted computers and networks, the TAO’s programs offer unprecedented physical access.

[Image via The Office of the Director of National Intelligence]

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