As NSA Pairs With Banks To "Fight Hackers", Will It Also Gain Access To Every American's Financial Secrets?

Tyler Durden's picture

Just because there was not enough encroachment by the government into virtually every corner of private life, here is another "collaboration" that will further enmesh big brother into every aspect of private life, in this case private financial life, because as the WaPo reports, "major U.S. banks have turned to the National Security Agency for help protecting their computer systems after a barrage of assaults that have disrupted their Web sites, according to industry officials. The attacks on the sites, which started about a year ago but intensified in September, have grown increasingly sophisticated, officials said. The NSA, the world’s largest electronic spying agency, has been asked to provide technical assistance to help banks further assess their systems and to better understand the attackers’ tactics."

And while we salute the great diversionary pretext that "Iranian hackers" pose a greater risk to the stability of the US financial system than, say, the ongoing monetization of US debt at a pace of $85 billion per month, which has made the Fed's DV01 rise to a mindboggling $2.75 billion, or idiot pundits who claim all American problems can be resolved with one coin, we can't help but wonder what happens when the most intrusive of US spy agencies, one which as reported last year is free "to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store" virtually every electronic communication in the entire world, now has full explicit access to all bank data, and, incidentally, every American's financial snapshot at any given moment?

More on the official spin:

The cooperation between the NSA and banks, industry officials say, underscores the government’s fears about the unprecedented assault against the financial sector and is part of a broader effort by the government to work with U.S. firms on cybersecurity. Nonetheless, the assistance is likely to dismay privacy advocates, who say that the NSA has no business peering inside private companies’ systems, even if for the strict purpose of improving computer security.


U.S. intelligence officials said last year they believe the attacks against the banks and other companies have been carried out by Iran, although some experts have cautioned that it is difficult to accurately determine who is behind them.


The banks whose Web sites have been disrupted include Bank of America, PNC Bank, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, HSBC and SunTrust. In recent weeks, attackers have targeted up to seven banks a day, but only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

So Monday and Friday are holy days for Iranian hackers we take it?

It appears that the private anti-hacker sector is completely powerless to withstand this massive onslaught of millions of Iranian hackers hell bent on seeing just how much money the average American has in their Bank of America online account page:

The banks whose Web sites have been disrupted include Bank of America, PNC Bank, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, HSBC and SunTrust. In recent weeks, attackers have targeted up to seven banks a day, but only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Enter the NSA, which has generously agreed to provide its expertise in learning all there is to know about everyone's finances thwarting evil Iranian hacks.

The government’s willingness to engage “is emblematic of how these cyber-related risks are evolving,” the bank official said. “Agencies like the NSA have tremendous expertise for very sophisticated types of information-security programs.”


In general, it can provide assistance to private-sector companies when their systems are seen as critical to national security, said Richard George, a former computer security official at the NSA. The request must come from a government agency, such as the Treasury Department or the Department of Homeland Security, that has authority to work with the company.

But don't worry - the NSA is with the government, and it is here to help:

“The dual mission of the NSA, to promote security and to pursue surveillance, creates an intractable privacy problem,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.


Former NSA officials say privacy concerns are overblown and note that requests for NSA assistance are denied when there is no national security interest at stake. George said that, over the past decade, the agency has aided about 10 companies a year after their networks were compromised.


“If NSA is involved [with the banks], it’s because they would love to see what’s happening on the victim’s side,” a second former defense official said. “There’s probably more for the government to learn than to give.”

In conclusion:

The NSA declined to comment for this article beyond a statement saying that the agency provides assistance “in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

Enlighten us, please, which applicable laws and regulations are these? The same ones that give the government the right to detain citizens indefinitely. Or the one granting it the right to spy and monitor all Americans' emails and calls without a warrant? Because we are confused.

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Bob's picture

Seems like a toss-up as long as we don't resist and they don't bust the buck:

Michelle's picture

Interestingly a large segment of the Hispanic population is unbanked, guess they don't want to be tracked here in the U.S. Is it Big Brother or deportation? I'll take the latter. Since I don't have to worry about deportation then why does Big Brother care how much or little I have? Honestly I don't think they care as they can gain access to that information anyway via the IRS. Brokerage firms are already reporting both sides of trades now, all financial records have the ability to be subpeoned if I'm charged with tax evasion. As distrusting as I am of the government, I believe that financial terrorism is the true reason the NSA is involved now in the bank website hacking issue, but the bigger question is who is doing the hacking? Certainly the truth of the cause will never surface, that I am sure of.


otto skorzeny's picture

I think the root of it is really that .gov is getting desperate and the shit is getting out of hand. they want to know where every penny is at as far as tax reasons and i am sure they would love to go to a cashless society. capital controls are already being enacted (unless you are juiced in Romney or a congressman) and the physical border of the US may be porous as hell but the monetary border will be airtight

Sabibaby's picture

So your saying CONgress will continue to pay druglords for their steady supply of cocain.

jonjon831983's picture


Not to say hispanic population is only population getting any benefits etc, but if it was wanted people using paper can be eventually pushed towards the convenience of electronic transactions.

"To keep getting your benefits check, sign up for electronic delivery"



Seasmoke's picture

get out and buy your own personal LOCKBOX

curious1's picture

I am sick of these dual mandates....

“The dual mission of the NSA, to promote security and to pursue surveillance, creates an intractable privacy problem,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Bob's picture

Whaddya mean--that Maximum Employment mandate of the Fed has been great!

l1b3rty's picture

This is complete, with systems like Echelon in Europe. We all have our own cute Avatar in the digital world, and if you're a working man or woman, your whereabouts: hardly a mystery.

Number 156's picture

Now, they will see detailed information on every bank transaction. They wont need to worry about tracking purchases of gold or silver anymore.

victor82's picture

Smart buyers and sellers of physical will be doing their transactions strictly in cash and carry from now on. That's how I'll be doing it.

Of course, the banksters don't care; they own the scam; it's the small-timers they want to run out of the market they way they had FDR do it for them back in the Thirties.

As fiat goes down the crapper, however, confiscation of phyiscal IS coming.

Number 156's picture

Dont forget thet they will see the date, the time, the ATM location, probably your photograph along with the amount of the withdraw you made before you either bought something, or stuffed it into your mattress. Large cash transactions will be the first ones they flag.

q99x2's picture

Banks and NSA should not be allowed on our networks. People have to stop these FED bankster creeps.

Rustysilver's picture

Ever hear of Fedwire.  This stuff has been monitored for years: since X.25, or even longer. Don't pretend that you are surprise.

Downtoolong's picture

Will It Also Gain Access To Every American's Financial Secrets?

Not unless they discover my gold burried under my nephews swingset.

Damn me, now I have to move it again.

Sabibaby's picture

At least you didn't lose it to a rogue wave rocking your boat!

Super Broccoli's picture

banks and government working together to fight ... erm ? terrorists ? wait a minut what's a terrorist ? Does that restains to some crazy lads with a RPG in a pick-up singing how allah's great and how they can't wait for those 72 virgins or does the word "terrorist" also includes anyone with a brain that gets a bit critical to the gov and the banks ?

If the definition is the broadest then we're all terrorists on ZH !!!!'s picture

Terrorists are the people supported by NATO airstrikes in Libya and arms in Syria. It used to be that you were either with the terrorists or against them but now it's all the rage to be against them while your with them.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


It used to be that you were either with the terrorists or against them but now it's all the rage to be against them while your with them.

It dovetails nicely with being for freedom while stamping it out.

AgAu_man's picture

They're all "assets". A rose by any other name.

JR's picture

IOW, tyranny advances as it uses everything it can to propagandize the uninformed sheeple, preying on their fears, to take away their freedoms.

Speaking of preying on fears, CNN’s Candy Crowley asked National Rifle Association President David Keene if the NRA was intentionally trying to “gin up” fear that government was going to take away people’s guns in order to increase sales and profits for gun manufacturers.

Replied Keene: “The two people who were selling so-called assault rifles are Senator Feinstein and President Obama. They’re the ones scaring people, not us.”

Keene predicted there would not be enough votes in Congress to pass an assault weapons ban.

otto skorzeny's picture

I hope it doesn't pass-and if it doesn't I think you'll be able to pick up some nice weapons on the cheap. prices for mediocre guns are outrageous-$1700 for a S&W M&P sport?

klockwerks's picture

Who would sell their guns? When supply catches up to demand, prices will go back to normal but I don't know anyone who would sell their edge

holdbuysell's picture

Obama's stance on the 2nd Amendment - YouTube

From 2008:

Joebloinvestor's picture

I would hope the NSA could disclose some of those executive compensation packages also.


Parrotile's picture

I'm certain they can.

I'm equally certain they won't.

You don't bite the hand(s) that feed you do you??

Xibalba's picture

fanatic fascism under the guise of a democracy.  

NuYawkFrankie's picture

NSA - Nothing is Safe Anymore

lakecity55's picture

Seems if you step back for a moment from the noise and take a look at the entire forest, the Noose is getting tight really fast.

I suspect an enormous FF soon, along with implementation of the numerous EOs signed over the last four years.

Hope I am wrong, but these elites seem to be getting nervous. That, and their hubris can lead to drastic overreach and mistakes.

I would begin to practice situational awareness, ZHers, Big Time, if you are already not doing so.

I have always suspected the Plan is not a "socialist revolution," but the destruction of the entire Republic.

smacker's picture

"I have always suspected the Plan is not a "socialist revolution," but the destruction of the entire Republic."

The two aims are not mutually exclusive.

Think: Pol Pot, Mao Tse-tung, and others.

You cannot build a socialist utopian society where everybody is owned by The State and is obedient to The State without first destroying the one that exists.

klockwerks's picture

I'm a little dense, what is "FF"

AgAu_man's picture

Or "Manufacturing Consent", in Moan Chomsky speak.

malek's picture

So you mean they haven't gained access to every American's financial secrets yet? Good one.

news printer's picture
Feasibility study to build USS Enterprise - another petition

Assign NASA to do a feasibility study and conceptual design of the Gen1 USS Enterprise interplanetary spaceship.

tip e. canoe's picture

ask Gary McKinnon about that one

F. Bastiat's picture

Certainly, the primary weapon of coercion, wielded by the central government against the people and the several states, is financial coercion.

Insideher Trading's picture

I would feel so much better if there was an government agent in every bedroom across the country, you know, for our safety.

I probably shouldn't joke around about that, some politician will read this and think it's a great idea. As if recording our every keystroke, and spying on us with drones isn't enough. I love the fact the government can detain me indefinitely for any reason, without a warrant, and without due process of a judge and my peers. I know the government loves me and this is all for my protection, and I feel so safe now especially that some politicians want to confiscate my guns. Freedom feels so good.

FeralSerf's picture

Not to worry.  If you have a smart phone or PC in your bedroom, you're already fully protected.

hazek's picture

The answer is fairly simple: use Bitcoin, then they can be integrated with the banking system all they want.


Michael Maloney's company has put out a blog about it, have a read:

Bitcoin Invades Mainstream Banking System

Jan 11 2013
The WealthCycles Staff

Digital Currency Exchange, Bitcoin-Central, has been authorized by the French government to conduct bank style operations. In an announcement last month on, Paymium, the organization behind Bitcoin-Central said this:
We’re announcing today that is getting, through a partnership with Aqoba, allowed to operate like a bank, (or more precisely like a PSP [Payment Service Provider], which is basically the same as a bank, just without the debt-money issuing part).

If you’ve been following the crypto-currency story, you will realize that this is a huge step forward. For the first time a crypto-currency exchange has been brought into the mainstream banking circle, allowing believers in the idea of free choice in currency the opportunity to transact business through traditional channels.

Read on at the link above!

blindman's picture

don't be confused. the cia, nsa ,fbi, defense department
executive branch, congress and local governments are
all the property of or manifestations of the banks, it is that simple. everything else is an illusion, a personal and temporary
delusion. you will have trouble finding a conscious and open mind on the planet.... just
look at your "money", your notes, they are the federal reserve's
notes. someone said it .." give unto the federal reserve
that which is the federal reserve's." ?
the brainwashing is nearly universal and complete, put on the
ball game and go to sleep. your neighbors will thank you
unless and untill the illusion vaporises, then they will
curse you? it is a problem. peter tosh sang about it.
equal rights/downpresser man peter tosh
"where you gonna run to?" p.t.

joego1's picture

Fuck it? I'm going naked from now on! We will see if they really want to see everything.

yogibear's picture

The TSA on steroids. When bored they get to toy around with peoples lives or destroy them.

The introductory stage to the Nazi Brown Shirts.


shovelhead's picture

President Obama today announced his new program titled "The Global War on Everything".

This, unfortunately, includes the American people.

The M.I.C. and markets respond with enthusiasm.

"The Military Industrial Complex has been suffering from slowing profits due to saturation of existing markets and The War on Everything should provide a boost to the American economy by creating new conflicts to increase prosperity everywhere." says Jeffrey Immelt, the President's close adviser.

We used to have Reds under our beds.

Now we have Achmeds under our beds.


JR's picture

There's a whole lot of truth in your sarcasm, shov. And the truth is that Americans are caught between Obama’s welfarism and the GOP’s (even higher taxes are acceptable rather than cutting the military) militarism. Tax increases could have been avoided if Congress had cut the Pentagon.

Ron Paul exposed Congress's Empire-Era support for the military-industrial complex on January 10, 2013: “If we accept the notion that the role of government is to protect our freedoms, provide some national defense for us, provide a sound currency and protect our liberties, there would be no warfare state and there would be no welfare state. And nobody wants to address that. All this talk [on the fiscal cliff], and neither Republicans nor Democrats will even suggest cutting the militarism. The only talk was should we increase the military expense by 18 percent or 20. The people who wanted 18 percent were castigated for slashing national defense as if they were unpatriotic.

sitenine's picture

Mirror mirror, on the wall. Who's the fascistest of them all?

cranky-old-geezer's picture



How much worse does it have to get before GOs do their "revolution"? 

If they wait till the currency collapes, forget it, we'll be under martial law then, military in the streets. 

...and no, they won't be on our side.

All Out Of Bubblegum's picture

Bitcoin, bitchez.

I'm giving away bitcoins. Post a bitcoin address as a reply and I'll send you some satoshis. You can use them to lose free money gambling, just like the big boys do:

This offer ends whenever I feel like it. 

seek's picture

I'm game for free money: 19uysjrgpZkPJBYSXPZeatpU3nnNwPWn4a