recommended reading

How to Keep NSA From Getting Between You and Your Googling

One of the documents leaked by Edward Snowden indicates that the NSA uses "man in the middle" attacks to hijack your interactions with Google servers. Here's how such attacks work, and how to protect your browsing.

Tech website Techdirt appears to have been the first to notice the reference to the attack, which appeared on a slide which aired during a Brazilian newscast. A section of that slide is below.

The diagram shows a number of requests for Google webpages coming into a router (the three arrows at lower left). Coming into the router from the very bottom is the NSA's request to route data from the surveillance target to a "static route" — in other words, somewhere besides Google. Once the requests reach the router, most head up to the "legitimate Google server," at top. But the target's traffic takes a detour, heading through the server labeled "MITM" before going on to the Google server.

"MITM," of course, stands for "man in the middle." The NSA inserts itself between the target and where the target is trying to get. It is the man in the middle. It's as though you were sending a package to a friend, but the NSA told the mailman to bring it to their offices first. They look at it, repackage it, and send it on to its final destination. To extend that analogy, it's also like you decided to send your package via certified mail, requesting a signature once the package arrives. What the NSA is doing, in essence, is signing your friend's name.

The Atlantic Wire spoke by phone with the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Micah Lee, who previously helped us put together our guide to hiding from the NSA.

Find out what he had to say at TheAtlanticWire.com.

Threatwatch Alert

Accidentally leaked credentials / Misplaced data

Hospital Breach Affects Thousands of Patients

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.