Originally Posted by mothergoose729
I don't dispute that it is possible, I just don't think NSA could keep it a secret. You can't route packets in a packet network without exposing your address in the packet header. If this were taking place on any scale, it would be discovered immediately. Any router with even the most basic of logging software would show in the log file.
Before Snowden, i would have said it's impossible. After Snowden, i don't regard anything impossible anymore. But, i don't think that IF NSA has anything to do with this, that they would use this backdoor en masse. It's like using nuclear weapons as first resort. It doesn't make sense. This is a powerful backdoor, assuming it can be exploited. So you don't want to use it often.
The exposure of the address is a non issue, as i am sure NSA has ample amount of proxy servers, where the only thing you 'd see in your router, is that you connected to one of the miriad of akamai.net servers for example. They wouldn't use "NSA computers". I mean, the "Anonymous" can remain anonymous, imagine if NSA can't.
So what would the router show? That your hope IP, made a connection with TCP to 245.xxy.435.yyx. Which you resolve to be a server somewhere in the US. So? How are you going to tell that's an NSA server and that you don't have a legitimate application that is simply autoupdating at the time or that you simply have a malware infection that your antivirus can't catch?
I mean, what's the difference with having the backdoor in the hard disk?
Won't the backdoor need to pass through the router again? So, why is NSA bothering? Because they don't think it's a problem apparently. How many people pass through a sea of connections every day logged in their router to see what was every single connection they made? In theory, you can have this thing phone home once a year at midnight. Are you going to analyze the logs of the router that particularly night and think "hmm, this server in the US, leading to akamai.net, must be an NSA's hidden proxy"?
Or, what is different than having a software backdoor? Or is NSA shy of using software backdoors too? Won't the router show the same as with hardware backdoor? So, why should NSA have problem with hardware backdoors?
Now, i 've no idea if NSA has anything to do with this, but, if i was NSA, i 'd certainly think about taking advantage of this as "ultimate weapon". Software backdoors, are to be preferred for wide use, because software updates often, the hole might be patched, software always has holes, so if one finds a hole, it's "normal". But hardware backdoor, is "nuclear weapon". And you don't use nuclears every day.
I mean, it's not that NSA is so shy about hardware backdoors anymore...
Here's an interesting coincidence with the current topic. The encryption used on the Intel chip is:
Although the ME firmware is cryptographically protected with RSA 2048,
Security industry pioneer RSA
adopted not just one but two encryption tools developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, greatly increasing the spy agency's ability to eavesdrop on some Internet communications, according to a team of academic researchers.
Reuters reported in December that the NSA had paid RSA $10 million to make a now-discredited cryptography system the default in software used by a wide range of Internet and computer security programs. The system, called Dual Elliptic Curve, was a random number generator, but it had a deliberate flaw - or "back door" - that allowed the NSA to crack the encryption.
^ They backdoored firewalls, the irony!
So, a security company named RSA, has made the encryption for the Intel chip and the same company has received money from NSA to basically make an encryption with code from NSA, including backdoor.
So, if anything, one may have some doubts, about how "independent" to NSA pressures this company is...
So, i don't know if the Intel chip is or can be controlled by NSA, but surely, the love of NSA towards hardware backdoors and encryption backdoors, is not disputed. Thus, i don't know if NSA CAN currently control the chip, but i sure think they 'd love to!