NSA Allegedly Ran Spoofs To Disguise Itself As Google To Spy On People

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News Posted: Fri, Sep 13 2013 12:00 PM

The train carrying a vast amount of NSA confidential information continues to trek along today, with a revelation that the government agency conducted man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks involving a couple of the Web's largest companies. Falling under the guise of "FLYING PIG", one of the main traffic sources to intercept was Google, and the simple drawing below explains how such an attack was structured.

Due to the quality of the original image, I re-created it above, and hopefully it gets the point across. From the time the server requests were made from a router, the NSA effectively intercepted the request before Google could reply, and with faked security certificates, acted as a proxy to gather whatever data that it could. It's being noted that SSL traffic (encrypted) was being specifically targeted.

This highlights a reality discovered not too long after the initial NSA leaks occurred that stated if you encrypt your online traffic - yes, even you - the government is watching. That's a definitive statement, not one with lenience. Of course, even if the government has your encrypted data, it doesn't mean that it will actually decipher it - or try to - unless it actually has reason to (those supercomputer cycles could be better used elsewhere).

This is some seriously scary stuff, and this MITM attack is only the latest thing to be tossed onto an ever-growing pile. When Edward Snowden came forth with the initial NSA leaks, I hadn't anticipated this level of disclosure, or this many separate things being revealed. I am not sure anyone did.

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lipe123 replied on Fri, Sep 13 2013 1:22 PM

Image is super blurry, cant read any of the text.

Still I think we are at a point now where we go "I guess they already have cameras in everyone's bathrooms also" and not really care.

Most people don't understand the internet or computers or anything about technology and the NSA completely relies on that. I'm willing to bet 90% of internet users just go "I dont care/I dont know what that means" at this point.

I mean if any normal individual did anything the NSA did they would be in jail and banned from touching a computer for life. I don't even live in America but it's very unsettling that they effectively spied on anyone in the world and nothing is being done on it.

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RWilliams replied on Fri, Sep 13 2013 2:33 PM

The original image is of a horrible quality, but it seemed to be worsened even further when I resized it. I re-created the image so that it's actually readable.

"I'm willing to bet 90% of internet users just go "I dont care/I dont know what that means" at this point."

I believe you to be right, and it's genuinely depressing. And like you, I don't live in the US, but it worries me just the same.

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RWilliams, you may not live in the US, but you know that a lot of traffic is routed through the States, right?


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I've yet to get the Pintrist like to post anything, the image is always to small...

But anyways thanks for the NSA bad news, its stacking up. It truly shows that a lot of the overseers didn't know what was going on, lie to or just plain ignorant...

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Dave_HH replied on Sat, Sep 14 2013 3:05 PM

Yes, our Pintrest share button stinks. We're getting rid of those widgets for news versions soon. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Editor In Chief

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