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This article was published on January 15, 2014


    The NSA is reportedly able to access offline computers thanks to radio wave technology

    The NSA is reportedly able to access offline computers thanks to radio wave technology
    Jon Russell
    Story by

    Jon Russell

    Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

    computer-cropThe ongoing series of leaks from the NSA and its cyberspying programs have got many wondering how to stay safe. It’s been joked that the only guarantee is to be offline, but now even that extreme approach doesn’t guarantee an escape from the US agency’s eyes, according to a New York Times report.

    Citing leaked documents, the paper claims that the NSA has developed “a secret technology” which taps into radio waves to access computers and hardware, even those that are offline. The setup relies on a radio-transmitting device — such as a USB or other kinds of hardware/peripherals — being connected to the device in question, either by an agent, a manufacturer or users themselves.

    There’s no evidence that the technology has ever been used, but it is a particularly troubling development considering that the agency is already reported to have all manner of tools to gain backdoor access to popular consumer and business electronic devices.

    ➤ N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers [New York Times]

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