No evidence suggests the intelligence agency has implanted its secret software or used its radio frequency technology inside
But in its overseas operations, the secret software not only provides surveillance intelligence but can also create a digital avenue for launching cyberattacks, the newspaper said.
Most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, but the NSA increasingly uses a secret program, code-named Quantum, that lets it enter and alter computer data even if those computers are not connected to the Internet, the documents indicate and officials and experts said.
The technology, which the NSA has had for five years, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards secretly inserted into computers.
The radio frequency hardware must usually be physically inserted by a spy, a manufacturer or an unwitting user, the Times said.
The biggest Quantum target is
But Quantum has also secretly loaded software into Russian military networks and computer systems used by
Other targets include EU trade groups and periodic counter-terrorism partners including Saudi Arabia,
The map shows sites of what the NSA calls "computer network exploitation."
"Some of these capabilities have been around for a while," cybersecurity expert
"But the combination of learning how to penetrate systems to insert software and learning how to do that using radio frequencies has given the U.S. a window it's never had before," he said.
The NSA refused to comment on the Quantum program's scope.
But an agency spokeswoman said the NSA actions were far different from to those of
"NSA's activities are focused and specifically deployed against -- and only against -- valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements," spokeswoman
"We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of -- or give intelligence we collect to -- U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line," she said.
Most Popular Stories
- Obama Administration Releases Proposal to Regulate For-Profit Colleges
- Apple, HP, Intel May Take a Hit from Slowdown in Smartphone Sales Growth
- Elizabeth Vargas' Husband Marc Cohn Addresses Rumors
- Keurig Adds Peet's coffee, Alters Starbucks deal
- Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx Marries Model Courtney Bingham
- U.S. to Relinquish Gov't Control Over Internet
- FDIC Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Banks Allegedly Hurt by Libor Scandal
- Chinese e-Commerce Giant Alibaba Gears for IPO in U.S.
- Some California Cities Seeking Water Independence
- Quiznos Files for Chapter 11