The National Security Agency is using secret wireless technology that allows it to access and alter data on computers, even when they are not connected to the Internet, according to a New York Times report.
Since 2008, the agency has been increasingly using a “covert channel of radio waves” that can transmit from hardware installed in the computers, according to NSA documents and experts interviewed by the Times. Signals can then be sent to briefcase-size relay stations miles away, according to the report.
The NSA has also installed surveillance software on nearly 100,000 computers around the world, according to the Times. The newspaper said the Chinese Army was a frequent target of such technology but said there was no evidence that the agency used either technology inside the US.
Last month, a Der Spiegel report detailed how the agency’s Office of Tailored Access Operations intercepts deliveries of electronic equipment to plant spyware to gain remote access to the systems once they are delivered and installed. According to that report, the NSA has planted backdoors to access computers, hard drives, routers, and other devices from companies such as Cisco, Dell, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Samsung, and Huawei.
The German news magazine also described a 50-page product catalog of tools and techniques used by a program called ANT, which stands for Advanced or Access Network Technology, to send and receive signals to devices.