NSA spied on Pakistani civil-military leadership


The United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) hacked Pakistan’s National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) to spy on Pakistani civilian and military leadership, online publication The Intercept reported on Saturday.

It released a slew of never-before-published documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden with the report, including an April 2013 NSA presentation which ‘boasts’ of successful attacks against computer systems in Pakistan.

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According to the presentation, NSA hackers used SECONDDATE – a tool designed to intercept web requests and redirect browsers on target computers to an NSA web server – to breach targets in NTC’s VIP division. It said the targets contained documents pertaining to “the backbone of Pakistan’s Green Line communications network used by its civilian and military leadership.”

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Another document, a newsletter for the NSA’s Special Source Operations division, also describes how NSA software other than SECONDDATE was used to repeatedly direct targets in Pakistan to malware web servers, eventually infecting the targets’ computers. The servers, known as FOXACID, were described in in previously released Snowden documents.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2016.