This is insurmountable in terms of violation of one’s privacy, but the NSA can do it all, and do it does.
According to famed German newspaper Der Spiegel, NSA agents have a catalog — basically, a list of tech items Seagate, Samsung, Cisco, Huawei, Dell and others — that if ordered by a “target”, can be intercepted during shipment, then replaced with a bugged version of the item.
For example, a new hard drive could be ordered by an individual, then installed per one’s own accord, and automatically activating access and monitoring for the NSA agent that started the operation. The same technique can be applied to popular websites, bringing up a rigged version of an authentic site before the server is beaten to the punch.
It’s incredible, but it is also horrifying. This is the work of NSA the elite hacker unit, called Tailored Access Operations (TAO). Bear in mind this sort of activity is not in place for every single American, but for specified targets alone.
Of course, who is to say that doesn’t change on a whim?
Via: Der Spiegel