Newly brought to light documents leaked by Edward Snowden discuss that to infiltrate foreign networks and gain access to the sensitive systems, the National Security Agency ( NSA ) has been using “undercover agents” in South Korean, Chinese, German and possibly even American companies also.
This evening, as a much awaited documentary named “CitizenFour” about NSA former contractor Edward Snowden premiers in New York, some new revelations are being published simultaneously that revealed more information about the NSA’s work to compromise the computer networks.
Nsa Intercepting Foreign Networks And Data Centres
Latest documents leaked by Edward Snowden discuss the operations by the NSA working inside Germany, China and South Korea to help physically subvert and compromise foreign computer networks, And previous reports says that the NSA works with U.S. and foreign companies to weak their encryption systems.
Past reports on the National Security Agency (NSA) largely focused on U.S. companies providing the government agency with vast amounts of customer data, phone records and email traffic. It Also revealed the NSA’s operations to work with private corporations in an effort 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.”
NSA Core Secret Programs
In a 13-page document published by The Intercept, reveals new details about six different categories of NSA operations that fall under the ‘Sentry Eagle” rubric and some of which were ongoing as of year 2012. These are also known as the NSA’s “core” secrets and are identified as:
Sentry Hawk – involves cooperation between the NSA as well as foreign and domestic companies to exploit computer network. the government’s term for digital espionage.
Sentry Falcon – involves the computer networks defense.
Sentry Osprey – involves the NSA cooperating with the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency and Army intelligence. These operations involve human intelligence assets or “HUMINT assets (Target Exploitation—TAREX) to support signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations.”
Sentry Raven – focuses on cracking encryption systems. Negotiations with American companies to weaken their encryption systems in order to give the agency easier access.
Sentry Condor – involves offensive computer network attacks ( CNA ) that can damage or degrade computer systems.
Sentry Owl – involves the NSA working with foreign companies to make their products susceptible to NSA data gathering.
The document clearly states that any exposure of the “core secrets” can cause “exceptionally grave damage to US national security” and should not be done without an authorization from a senior NSA official.
One of the biggest expose in Sentry Eagle under Sentry Osprey is undercover agents – “HUMINT” or human intelligence assets, that has ability to help the NSA successfully conduct signals intelligence operations (SIGINT), which involve the interception of communications and electronic signals. Whether these agents are impersonating outside businessmen, employees. Foreign companies as well as domestic companies could be targeted.
This is labeled “TAREX” target exploitation” which, according to a 2012 classification guide, “conducts worldwide clandestine Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) close-access operations and overt and clandestine Human Intelligence (HUMINT) operations.” The program reportedly has a presence in Germany, South Korea and China, with a domestic presence in Hawaii, Georgia and Texas.
NSA Declined to Clarify Details
For its part, the NSA refused to clarify details about the exposed documents to The Intercept. It released a statement saying, “It should come as no surprise that NSA conducts targeted operations to counter increasingly agile adversaries.” At the same time, the agency said it “takes into account the globalization of trade, investment and information flows, and the commitment to an open, interoperable, and secure global Internet.”