RADIO hackers have reverse-engineered some of the wireless spying gadgets used by the US National Security Agency. Using documents leaked by Edward Snowden, researchers have built simple but effective tools that can be attached to parts of a computer to gather private information in a host of intrusive ways.

The NSA’s Advanced Network Technology catalogue was part of the avalanche of classified documents leaked by Snowden, a former agency contractor. The catalogue lists and pictures devices that agents can use to spy on a target’s computer or phone. The technologies include fake base stations for hijacking and monitoring cellphone calls and radio-equipped USB sticks that transmit a computer’s contents.

But the catalogue also lists a number of mysterious computer-implantable devices called “retro reflectors” that boast a number of different surreptitious skills, including listening in on ambient sounds and harvesting keystrokes and on-screen images.

Because no one outside the NSA and its partners knows how retro reflectors operate, security engineers cannot defend against their use. Now a group of security researchers led by Michael Ossmann of Great Scott Gadgets in Evergreen, Colorado, have not only figured out how these devices work, but also recreated them.



  1. reader says:

    ISIS has captured and currently uses American weapons, vehicles and uniforms in its operations. ISIS members have been seen wearing the standard US Army Combat Uniform along with Interceptor body armor. For night raids, AN/PVS-7 night vision goggles worn with PASGT helmets are used. Some of the weapons used are M16 rifles, M4 carbines, M203 grenade launchers, M60 machine guns, M240 machine guns and RPGs, surface-to-air Stinger missiles[94], and vehicles used include Humvees, MRAPs, M113 APCs and several T-55 tanks. During the 2014 Northern Iraq offensive, ISIS raided an Iraqi Army base and captured numerous Type 59-1 artillery guns, DShK guns mounted on trucks and several ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns.[95][96]

    When ISIS captured Mosul Airport in June 2014, it seized a number of UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and cargo planes that were stationed there.[97][98] However, according to Peter Beaumont of The Guardian, it seems unlikely that ISIS would be able to deploy them[99] since it has no trained pilots in its ranks.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant

    They got all that, plus the chemical weapons? No doubt this doesn’t end well and we are all in a tizzy over the sanctity of our text message on our smart phone? Thanks to Snowden we have the designs for aircraft that we can’t afford to build and can’t fly. They don’t have weapons of mass destruction though. They just have weapons of ass destruction and nobody who can put their ass in aircraft. Maybe we can supply them with drones because we stocked them with all the other goodies. I pray they don’t have smart phones. They might have the latest sat phones though.

    • Tim says:

      “”Thanks to Snowden we have the designs for aircraft that we can’t afford to build and can’t fly.

      dafuq? If you could elaborate on that then i’d find that even more interesting than hearing about your mother.

  2. reader says:

    “After a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan costing more than $1 trillion, U.S. troops continue to die and be maimed by a weapon that can be cobbled together with spare parts costing less than $30,” journalist William Levesque wrote in the Tampa Bay Times in 2012. http://theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/03/baghdad-bob-and-his-ridiculous-true-predictions/274241/

    Why couldn’t they just left them with a bunch of spare parts and thirty bucks instead of all that? We’re stuck with spare parts, thirty bucks (if we’re lucky) and Ed’s DIY Guides to national security and a ata boy pat on the bum. We have hope and chump change though! Maybe we can cobble together bomb detectors since we can’t afford dogs (the other white meat) if we are going to keep paying for Iraq because it ain’t paying for itself. They are going to partner with Iran to work it out. Arm the Iranians too with better gear while you disarm the Americans to make them pay for it. Iran is begging us to bomb them. Washington seems doubtful.

  3. You've Got Mail? says:

    Hey Edward Snowden –

    Please find Lois Learner’s missing emails and send them to Congress.

    Thanks!

    • Conspiracy Nut says:

      +1

      War – schmoar! NSA hacked? Please!

      Kill your enemies ECONOMY and you’ve pretty much got a bunch of instant allies.

    • You've Got Mail? says:

      Oops. Sorry Ed. I misspelled her name.

      It’s “Lerner”. (Just in case your search engine said “files not found”.)

      Please try again. This is important!

      Thanks.

  4. reader says:

    Typo: Iraq wants bombings, not Iran. Iran hacking? “Alternatively, the Iranians very well could have been sawed off the wings in order to transport the aircraft as fast as possible away from the crash site, as the Iranians are knowingly paranoid of being watched at all times via the air (for good reason right?!). Further, they would have known that there would very well be a cruise missile or even an assault force headed their way.”
    http://aviationintel.com/in-depth-photo-analysis-of-the-supposed-rq-170-sentinel-drone-in-iranian-hands/
    Their fiberglass work is improving.

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Thousands of Shiite militiamen have paraded in Baghdad and several other cities in southern Iraq with heavy weaponry, signaling their readiness to take on Sunni militants who seized much of the country’s north.

    Our local Memorial Day parade almost got canned because of lack of funds. 4th fireworks are either reduced or gone as US towns go broke. We used to burn millions on 4th fireworks, now we burn family because we are out of friends to cheat out of their hard earned dough. Post Bush America. If it were any worse it would be Post Bush Iraq. They did real well bankrupting all the others. Russia looks like a good option after watching your country go broke and now that the US is subject to blackmail thanks to Snowden and the others we can sell more books on how to hack stuff. Got saws?

  5. reader says:

    “It is possible that in writing this talk that I am merely echoing
    how a free-range cattleman felt about the coming of barbed wire,
    roads, and land title to the American West. The great cattle drives
    of the West lasted twenty years before other kinds of progress made
    them impossible. Commercial Internet traffic began twenty years
    ago last summer.[2]

    Douglas Adams, in the posthumous book _The Salmon of Doubt_, described
    our reactions to technologies:

    1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and
    ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

    2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and
    thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can
    probably get a career out of it.

    3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the
    natural order of things.”
    http://geer.tinho.net/geer.issa.rmisc.18v12.txt

    We tried tolls and that didn’t work. We tried increasing oil to $100+ and that didn’t work. We tried more debt…

    http://usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/22/feds-to-fly-hundreds-of-migrants-to-california/11234411/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usatoday-NewsTopStories+%28USATODAY+-+News+Top+Stories%29
    Send them to the middle of a drought stressed state because there aren’t enough problems. They could go to Vegas and gamble because coming here was a gamble.

  6. reader says:

    The player is watching the cards, the dealer is watching the player, the pit boss is watching the dealer and the eye in the sky is watching everybody…”The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the secretive agency that launches and runs the nation’s spy satellite system, is looking at technology developed by the video game industry to help it improve how it gathers and analyzes intelligence data, according to a research proposal released Monday.

    The NRO wants to tap into the video game industry’s “innovative algorithms” and “enhanced visualization techniques,” the proposal said.” Ray Locker, USA TODAY

    • Tim says:

      it’ll just spit out a bunch of thumb-stick wielding retards that measure achievement by being able to find the minecraft easter egg in the preflight checklist…