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Hackers reverse-engineer NSA spy kit using off-the-shelf parts

On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 8:10 AM, Georgi Guninski <[email protected]> wrote:
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/19/hackers_reverseengineer_nsa_spying_devices_using_offtheshelf_parts/

my biased thoughts:

1. attacking like NSA means being in the middle.  you can do this over
various types of networks and protocols with very modest hardware;.
less than off-the-shelf. the key is position, not hardware brute
strength. (i don't consider passive surveillance an attack - more like
an operational reality ;)

2. scale and effectiveness are the dials that distinguish NSA attacks
from other adversaries.  scale in the sense they're pwning global
networks as mandatory objective; DPI at terabits an interesting
technical challenge by any measure.  and effectiveness in that
tailored access and offensive espionage techniques combine into a
platform where many-0day and fully automated attack sequences are
shown to achieve objectives with regularity and totality that makes
any offensive infosec analyst admire.

the hardware bits get exotic when dealing on fringe power levels,
miniature scale, or algorithmic complexities outside the norm. these
exotic hardware kits are by no means mandatory, nor the most
interesting aspect of these systems.
  (okay, spygear always admittedly cool however impractical :)

best regards,