On Monday, a well-known privacy advocate exposed to the public some of the tools the intelligence world uses to do their spying, and expressed that his revelations about the NSA’s capabilities “are even worse than your worst nightmares.”
“What I am going to show you today is wrist-slitting depressing,” he said.
Jacob Appelbaum told a hacker conference in Germany that the NSA could turn iPhones into eavesdropping tools and use radar wave devices to harvest electronic information from computer even if they weren’t online, according to msn.com.
Although the past six months have seen unprecedented levels of public scrutiny of the NSA and its methods, Appelbaum’s claims — supported by what are reported to be internal NSA slideshows — were highly unsettling.
According to an AP report, one of the slides “described how the NSA can plant malicious software onto Apple Inc.’s iPhone, giving American intelligence agents the ability to turn the popular smartphone into a pocket-sized spy.”
The reported added that Applebaum “showcased a futuristic-sounding device described as a “portable continuous wave generator,” a remote controlled device which — when paired with tiny electronic implants — can bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what is being typed even if the target device isn’t connected to the Internet.”
A third slide reportedly highlighted a piece of equipment called NIGHTSTAND, which supposedly allows the spies to tamper with wireless Internet connections from up to 8 miles away.
The documents included in Appelbaum’s presentation were first published by German magazine Der Spiegel on Sunday and Monday.
Appelbaum and Der Spiegel have both played an important role in the revelations of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, but neither has made it clear whether the most recent set of slides are associated with Snowden.