Yesterday, Spiegel Online revealed details about an elite hacking unit at the National Security Agency called Tailored Access Operations (TAO). The Agency not only uses fancy high-tech tricks to get information from it’s targets on the digital front, it also uses more traditional spying methods. “If a target person, agency or company orders a new computer or related accessories, for example, TAO can divert the shipping delivery to its own secret workshops.“
Once the technology is successfully acquired, “agents carefully open the package in order to load malware onto the electronics, or even install hardware components that can provide backdoor access for the intelligence agencies. All subsequent steps can then be conducted from the comfort of a remote computer.”
This method has been deemed one of the “most productive operations” by the NSA hackers.