Top Secret Brief: Russian Threat to Undersea Cables Growing

Russian aggression continues to pose a threat to a massive series of undersea cables that carry worldwide Internet communications, according to a leading senator who received a top-secret classified briefing on the matter on Wednesday.

Russian subs and spyships have been caught “aggressively operating” near these cables in the last month, prompting concern among lawmakers and others who have warned that Moscow could easily sever these cables and toss large portions of America and other nations off the web. Continue reading

U.S. Shadowing Russian Ship in Atlantic Near Nuclear Submarine Areas

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High-tech spy vessel carries cable-cutting gear, mini-subs

U.S. intelligence ships, aircraft, and satellites are closely watching a Russian military vessel in the Atlantic that has been sailing near a U.S. nuclear missile submarine base and underwater transit routes, according to Pentagon officials.

The Russian research ship Yantar has been tracked from the northern Atlantic near Canada since late August as it makes its way south toward Cuba.

Defense officials familiar with reports on the Russian ship say the Yantar is believed to be gathering intelligence on underwater sensors and other equipment used by U.S. nuclear submarines based at Kings Bay, Georgia. The submarines, their transit lanes, and training areas stretch from the coastal base through the Atlantic to Europe.

Intelligence analysts believe the ship, one of Russia’s newest military research vessels commissioned earlier this year, is part of a larger strategic intelligence-gathering operation against U.S. nuclear missile submarines and other targets. Continue reading

Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit

For more on SCADAs, please see the following previous posts:

Exclusive: Cyberattack leaves natural gas pipelines vulnerable to sabotage

UPDATE 3: U.S. probes cyber attack on water system

Security backdoor found in China-made US military chip

 

The NSA’s TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.

In January 2010, numerous homeowners in San Antonio, Texas, stood baffled in front of their closed garage doors. They wanted to drive to work or head off to do their grocery shopping, but their garage door openers had gone dead, leaving them stranded. No matter how many times they pressed the buttons, the doors didn’t budge. The problem primarily affected residents in the western part of the city, around Military Drive and the interstate highway known as Loop 410. Continue reading