Tuesday, January 28, 2014

SPARROW II: NSA exploit of the day

Today's item from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:
SPARROW II (TS//SI//REL) An embedded computer system running BLINDDATE tools. Sparrow II is a fully functional WLAN collection system with integrated Mini PCI slots for added functionality such as GPS and multiple Wireless Network Interface Cards.
(U//FOUO) System Specs
Processor: IBM Power PC 405GPR
Memory: 64MB (SDRAM), 16MB (FLASH)
Expansion: Mini PCI (Up to 4 devices) supports USB, Compact Flash, and 802.11 B/G
OS: Linux (2.4 Kernel)
Application SW: BLINDDATE
Battery Time: At least two hours
(TS//SI//REL) The Sparrow II is a capable option for deployment where small size, minimal weight and reduced power consumption are required. PCI devices can be connected to the Sparrow II to provide additional functionality, such as wireless command and control or a second or third 802.11 card. The Sparrow is shipped with Linux and runs the BLINDDATE software suite.
Unit Cost: $6K
Status: (S//SI//REL) Operational Restrictions exist for equipment deployment.
Page, with graphics, is here. General information about TAO and the catalog is here.
In the comments, feel free to discuss how the exploit works, how we might detect it, how it has probably been improved since the catalog entry in 2008, and so on.

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