‘Core secrets’ exposed: NSA used undercover agents in foreign companies

Link to original article here…

Now you know why enterprise-stalkers like Amazon, Google, Yahoo, and countless others that follow you around the web give you the creeps… they have NSA employees enabling trap-doors so that your system is more “available”. Just in case they need to know…

‘Core secrets’ exposed: NSA used undercover agents in foreign companies

Published time: October 11, 2014 04:15

Reuters / Jason Reed

Reuters / Jason Reed

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To infiltrate foreign networks and gain access to sensitive systems, the NSA has been using the tactics of “physical subversion” – deploying undercover agents in Chinese, German, South Korean and possibly even American companies, The Intercept reports.

Past reports on the National Security Agency (NSA) have typically depicted a government organ that hacks other systems or works with private corporations to bypass their own encryption protections, but the latest report based on files leaked by Edward Snowden suggests the agency could be embedding operatives into foreign, as well as domestic, “commercial entities.”

In a 13-page document published by The Intercept, the NSA describes six different programs that it considers to be “core secrets,” all of which are filed under the banner of “Sentry Eagle.” The document warns that any disclosure of the “secrets” will cause “exceptionally grave damage to US national security” and should not be done without an authorization from a senior intelligence official.

These programs, some of which were ongoing as of 2012, are composed of the following:

Sentry Hawk: Which involves cooperation between the NSA as well as foreign and domestic companies to exploit computer networks.

Sentry Falcon: Which includes the defense of computer networks.

Sentry Osprey: Which involves the NSA cooperating with the CIA, FBI and Pentagon to employ human operatives that can help give the agency access to networks.

Sentry Raven: Which describes the NSA’s negotiations with American companies to weaken their encryption in order to give the agency easier access.

Sentry Condor: Which includes offensive network attacks that can destroy or weaken computer systems.

Sentry Owl: Which involves the NSA working with foreign companies to make their products susceptible to NSA data gathering.

One of the biggest revelations is that under Sentry Osprey, undercover agents – human intelligence assets, or “HUMINT” – have been embedded to help the NSA successfully conduct signals intelligence operations (SIGINT), which involve the interception of communications and electronic signals. Whether these agents are impersonating employees, outside businessmen, or some other type of personnel is unknown. Foreign companies as well as domestic companies could be targeted.

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