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Nsa Spy Program Targets Mobile Networks

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A stylized version of the National Security Agency logo.

According to documents released by Edward Snowden, the U.S. National Security Agency has been intercepting internal communications of mobile operators and trade groups and infiltrating mobile networks around the world.

Credit: Electronic Freedom Foundation

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been running the Wireless Portfolio Management Office and the Target Technology Trends Center, operating under the name Auroragold, in order to intercept the internal communications of operators and trade groups and infiltrate mobile networks around the world, according to the latest revelations from documents supplied by Edward Snowden.

The Auroragold program closely monitored the GSM Association (GSMA), maintained a list of 1,201 email targets, and gathered information about network security flaws. As of May 2012, the agency had collected technical information on about 70 percent of the estimated 985 mobile phone networks worldwide, according to the documents.

The Auroragold project collected information in IR.21 documents used by GSMA members to report security weaknesses and details about the encryption used by mobile operators. NSA then used this information to infiltrate encrypted communications.

"NSA collects only those communications that it is authorized by law to collect in response to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence requirements--regardless of the technical means used by foreign targets, or the means by which those targets attempt to hide their communications," NSA responded in a statement. "In order to anticipate and understand evolving threats to our citizens and our allies, NSA works to identify and report on the communications of valid foreign targets."

From IDG News Service
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