The NSA's 50-Page Catalog Of Back Door Penetration Techniques Revealed

Tyler Durden's picture

While the world may have become habituated to (and perhaps revels in, thank you social media exhibitionist culture) the fact that the NSA is watching anyone and everyone, intercepting, recording, and hacking every electronic exchange regardless if it involves foreign "terrorists" or US housewives, the discoveries from the Snowden whistleblowing campaign continue. The latest revelation from the biggest wholesale spying scandal since Nixon, exposed by Germany's Spiegel which continues the strategy of revealing Snowden leaks on a staggered, delayed basis, involves a back door access-focused NSA division called ANT, (which supposedly stands for Access Network Technology), described by Spiegel as "master carpenters" for the NSA's TAO (Tailored Access Operations, read more about TAO here). The ANT people have "burrowed into nearly all the security architecture made by the major players in the industry -- including American global market leader Cisco and its Chinese competitor Huawei, but also producers of mass-market goods, such as US computer-maker Dell." More importantly, thanks to Spiegel (and Snowden of course), the NSA's 50-page catalog of "backdoor penetration" techniques has been revealed.

The details of how the NSA can surmount any "erected" walls, via Spiegel:

These NSA agents, who specialize in secret back doors, are able to keep an eye on all levels of our digital lives -- from computing centers to individual computers, from laptops to mobile phones. For nearly every lock, ANT seems to have a key in its toolbox. And no matter what walls companies erect, the NSA's specialists seem already to have gotten past them.


This, at least, is the impression gained from flipping through the 50-page document. The list reads like a mail-order catalog, one from which other NSA employees can order technologies from the ANT division for tapping their targets' data. The catalog even lists the prices for these electronic break-in tools, with costs ranging from free to $250,000.

Nothing quite like an extensive, taxpayer funded catalog listing back-door entry strategy imaginable. Say you wanted to have some backdoor fun with Juniper Networks, the world's second largest network equipment manufacturer (which claims the performance of the company's special computers is "unmatched" and their firewalls are the "best-in-class.")

In the case of Juniper, the name of this particular digital lock pick is "FEEDTROUGH." This malware burrows into Juniper firewalls and makes it possible to smuggle other NSA programs into mainframe computers. Thanks to FEEDTROUGH, these implants can, by design, even survive "across reboots and software upgrades." In this way, US government spies can secure themselves a permanent presence in computer networks. The catalog states that FEEDTROUGH "has been deployed on many target platforms."

It gets better, because when simple penetration is not enough, the NSA adds "implants."

In cases where TAO's usual hacking and data-skimming methods don't suffice, ANT workers step in with their special tools, penetrating networking equipment, monitoring mobile phones and computers and diverting or even modifying data. Such "implants," as they are referred to in NSA parlance, have played a considerable role in the intelligence agency's ability to establish a global covert network that operates alongside the Internet.

So what exactly is to be found in the 50-page catalog?

Some of the equipment available is quite inexpensive. A rigged monitor cable that allows "TAO personnel to see what is displayed on the targeted monitor," for example, is available for just $30. But an "active GSM base station" -- a tool that makes it possible to mimic a mobile phone tower and thus monitor cell phones -- costs a full $40,000. Computer bugging devices disguised as normal USB plugs, capable of sending and receiving data via radio undetected, are available in packs of 50 for over $1 million.


The ANT division doesn't just manufacture surveillance hardware. It also develops software for special tasks. The ANT developers have a clear preference for planting their malicious code in so-called BIOS, software located on a computer's motherboard that is the first thing to load when a computer is turned on.


This has a number of valuable advantages: an infected PC or server appears to be functioning normally, so the infection remains invisible to virus protection and other security programs. And even if the hard drive of an infected computer has been completely erased and a new operating system is installed, the ANT malware can continue to function and ensures that new spyware can once again be loaded onto what is presumed to be a clean computer. The ANT developers call this "Persistence" and believe this approach has provided them with the possibility of permanent access.


Another program attacks the firmware in hard drives manufactured by Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor and Samsung, all of which, with the exception of latter, are American companies. Here, too, it appears the US intelligence agency is compromising the technology and products of American companies.


Other ANT programs target Internet routers meant for professional use or hardware firewalls intended to protect company networks from online attacks. Many digital attack weapons are "remotely installable" -- in other words, over the Internet. Others require a direct attack on an end-user device -- an "interdiction," as it is known in NSA jargon -- in order to install malware or bugging equipment.

The conclusion here is an easy one, and one we have repeated ever since before the Snowden revelations: Big Brother is bigger and badder than ever, he knows exactly what you've been doing, and the second the NSA wants to nuke your computer out of orbit and/or destroy your digital life, it can do so in a millisecond.  What is more amusing is that with each passing disclosure, it is increasingly clear that the NSA has gotten its inspiration for its dealings with the US public from a Danielle Steel book at best, or a Vivid Video bootlegged tape at worst.

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FredFlintstone's picture

I KNEW this was a porn site!

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I am wondering how fast the Obama jokes will be coming in......

BaBaBouy's picture

NSA Operative NERD Sneezes, And Your Computer Is Infected???

BaBaBouy's picture

I Heard Your Rub GARLIC All Over Your Computer And The NSA Can't Touch It...

One World Mafia's picture

That's the next excuse Bitcoin pumpers will tell you protects Bitcoin from its NSA roots.


malikai's picture

This one's probably gonna be pretty bad for business.

Junis are all over the place.

JackT's picture

Just make sure your secrets aren't worth it

MeMadMax's picture

And the Anti-NSA industry is born.



Disenchanted's picture

My best back door penetration technique is surprise.

Chuck Walla's picture

Q: why is it so hard for liberals to make eye contact? 

A: Obama’s ass doesn’t have eyes.




MsCreant's picture

OUTRAGEOUS! Quit lying. Joe Biden certainly has eyes for Christ's sake, now cut it out.

Colonel Klink's picture

Fail, it has one eye, and it's brown.  The libtards love gazing deeply into it.  Some find it penetrating.

Cacete de Ouro's picture

Backdoor delivery from Barry

JoBob's picture

DCRB:  Obama jokes coming in?

All this has stopped being funny to me. Making jokes about Obama makes him out to be the clown he is not. But then, clowns are really spooky.

max2205's picture

007s got nothing compared to these boyzzz

Midas's picture

As I was thinking about how to thwart these bastards one of my first thoughts was to feed them bad information.  Then I got to thinking about these wedding parties where the drones show up and kill the guests.  Maybe I am too deep down the rabbit hole, but that would be a fun way to take out your enemies if you are the taliban, feed a little bad information into a known compromised source, sit back and watch the show. 

mvsjcl's picture

No need for 007 when each and every one of these internet companies actively cooperate with the spy agencies--or else they're taken over by one means or another.

kaiserhoff's picture

The new meaning of ATM,

  in the new normal of cyber porn.

I think I need a drink.

90's Child's picture

You'd think with this day and age with infidelity the NSA would be looking to capitalize on it.

All they gotta do is setup a website charge... Idk $100 for days worth of snooping on ones spouse $600 for a week.

Or maybe use it to get leverage against your boss?

If they really wanted to fuck this country up they could just offer services to blackmail one another.

MsCreant's picture

Silly boy. Get leverage on everyone holding office. That is merely the opening gambit.

90's Child's picture

Leverage on political officials is TPTB doin.

I for one would like personal leverage that could be used in my everyday life.

I don't need to snoop on Obama too know he's a cocksucker, I can just watch any of his speeches for that.

rubiconsolutions's picture

This article is best read after clicking here.

Buck Johnson's picture

This is a horror story and is so dangerous and would explain everything about how the US is being govern.  If the NSA is able to essentially do whatever to your computer devices and know what you are doing, whats to stop them from finding stuff on a politicians or businessman computer device to blackmail them with along with you or me.  Or even to be able to upload images and videos and even links/favorites/fingerprints that you may have been to sites that you shouldn't have been too in order to blackmail and or get you arrested or a family member.  I bet the politicians and news rooms around the US know that they are being blackmailed and are afraid so they do what they are told.  They never thought that the monster they made could easily bite them and turn on them, that is what happens when you vote for leaders that are delusional of the real world and the consequences of their actions, now they are puppets to some super power that is hidden behind the NSA.

Also another thing, you can't tell me that this stuff haven't gotten out into the regular public.  That the problem with this, it has people who use it and people are greedy, selfish and petty.  So If I'm an agent of the NSA or work for the ANT I would be salivating to be able to use this stuff to keep track of people, to find out what they know what they are doing, to find out information about business dealings in order to make money etc. etc..  As one quick example, look at what happened to Target and them being hacked for 40 million debit and credit card information (and finding out this weekend that they also got the pin numbers).  You mean to tell me that some type of device from this list or software could have been used to easily get into their system and steal.  And then have that same person or persons (before the hacking) make a few if not more small online companies and companies under those to process a service (lets say 1 dollar to 10 dollars or whatever depending how greedy they are) for an amount of money from all 40 million cards?  That group or person could easily be a millionaire or a billionaire overnight and never get caught if done right.

Just you wait if it hasn't happened (we know it has) it will and people will see a group that will have the for awhile the technological know how of the NSA and will be a power themselves.  Hell I'll be looking on the darknet to find if somebody doesn't have any of this stuff or TOR.

deeznutz's picture



This is the ultimate issue. All of the NSA activities have to be used for insider trading and blackmail. "Terror" is a Red Hering.

TheLoveArtist's picture

Sounds like a Kama Sutra for Gays

FieldingMellish's picture

Lubrication for the nation.

Midas's picture

It will get better everyone.  Next election we will have a choice between Hillary Rodham and Chris Christie.  Both of them seem likely to pull the reins on all of this.  (I hope I don't need to put the /s down at this point)

roadhazard's picture

uh, no. There is No One likely to pull the reigns in on this. The new President will be sat down and told how it is and how it is going to be. Hillary may not have to go through it because she has been close to the situation before. All she wants to be is the first woman Prez. Christie would also be a puppet like all the rest.

Exactly how do you unbug something that can't be unbugged. And if THEY tell you they Did how will you know. You ain't that smart.

whstlblwr's picture

Starts with a community. Local politicians who think NSA spying on citizens is bullshit, work against it, it spreads larger from there. There are more against this surveillance, than support it, no matter what you see on the TV.

Emergency Ward's picture

Wasn't fat fuck Christie gonna run as VP on Hillary's ticket?  They can run unopposed with the slogan, "More and even better change with HILLARY/CHRISTIE 2016"

spinone's picture

If the NSA has it, so do the corporations that developed it for them.

Jlasoon's picture

Is there really a difference between the 2?

DaveyJones's picture

yes, the direction of the bailouts

JustObserving's picture

NSA, you should have ordered Obama to grant amnesty to Snowden months ago to earn his silence.  Now you can't even count the ways you are screwed.  

And what would you prefer to be today?  A leper with AIDS or the CEO of a US technology company? 

And you ungrateful, spinelsss Germans - you are happy to gain from Snowden's revelations but you will not even consider giving him asylum.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture



"And you ungrateful, spinelsss Germans - you are happy to gain from Snowden's revelations but you will not even consider giving him asylum."




Seasmoke's picture

first, they have that little problem of getting their Gold back   GOLD>SNOWDEN


Teknopagan's picture

Germany has been occupied since 1945

gratefultraveller's picture

Head over to and you will see that there is no mention at all of this on the german page - not a single fucking word.

Is that due to the ever so generous american occupying force bringing Germany it's very own special kind of "freedom" of expression???

gratefultraveller's picture

...and once I'm at it, I might as well do my part to promote the french "salute" to TPTB, the "quenelle". It is a simple gesture, indicating with one hand on the extended other arm how far one suggests the politician(s) target of the gesture insert said arm into their *backdoor*.

French politicians are desperately trying to paint the gesture as "antisemitic" because the comic and satirist Dieudonné that made it popular once founded an "anti-zionist" political party, but tough luck, as people everywhere are using it to show politicians what they think of them.

I expect it to become very popular in Europe in the months leading to the upcoming elections in spring, and why not, maybe even cross the Atlantic and work its way into american culture - in the end you guys can use a similar unequivocal sign of "shove it!" as much as we do over here in Europe.

Joe A's picture

This quenelle is a holocaust denier and related to the National Front party. That is why this 'salute' is considered anti-semetic.

I don't feel the need for Europeans to embrace this salute at all.

TheLoveArtist's picture

What someone said Holohoax again, come on Joey drop the routine, you heeebies have been throwing around the six million number since 1900

Nothing wrong with denying lies Joe.  And dont tell Euros what to do, cause most of them wish you would stick your Devil's Pitchfork = The Menorah up your backdoor

TheLoveArtist's picture

Each morning Joey I turn towards Israel and give it by middle finger salute after I wipe my ass with a page from the Torah.  Nothing feels better than flushing that alphabet down the drain lol.

TheLoveArtist's picture

Dont the Heebie Jewbies get all that NSA backdoor crap for free.  Just goes to show you what dual citizens placed in the right positions, AIPAC money and control of the media can do for you. 

Joe A's picture

Good morning to you too. I see the neo-nazis are up early this morning after a long night of jerking eachother off in the woods singing nazi songs.

gratefultraveller's picture

Downvoted you because it is people like you, people who cannot distinguish between Zionism and being jewish, and hence between antizionism and antisemitism, that play into the hands of the Zionists by spewing forth their ignorant hateful ramblings.

Go exercise jumping from bridges with your brownshirt friends, will you, the stuff discussed here in the forum at ZH is way beyond your intellectual capabilities.


Joe A's picture

I guess you are also a firm believer of the protocols of the elders of zion.