December 29, 2013 By Jacob Appelbaum, Judith Horchert and Christian Stöcker – Spiegel.de
After years of speculation that electronics can be accessed by intelligence agencies through a back door, an internal NSA catalog reveals that such methods already exist for numerous end-user devices.
Editor's note: This article accompanies our main feature story on the NSA's Tailored Access Operations unit. You can read it here.
When it comes to modern firewalls for corporate computer networks, the world's second largest network equipment manufacturer doesn't skimp on praising its own work. According to Juniper Networks' online PR copy, the company's products are "ideal" for protecting large companies and computing centers from unwanted access from outside. They claim the performance of the company's special computers is "unmatched" and their firewalls are the "best-in-class." Despite these assurances, though, there is one attacker none of these products can fend off -- the United States' National Security Agency.
Specialists at the intelligence organization succeeded years ago in penetrating the company's digital firewalls. A document viewed by SPIEGEL resembling a product catalog reveals that an NSA division called ANT has burrowed its way into nearly all the security architecture made by the major players in the industry -- including American global market leader Cisco and its Chinese competitor Huawei, but also producers of mass-market goods, such as US computer-maker Dell.