This week began with a massive report detailing the NSA’s extensive spy operations in the United States, but the revelations didn’t end there. Jacob Applebaum, co-author of the original Der Spiegel report, took the stage at the 30th annual Chaos Communication Congress to discuss the specifics of the operations even further, including the existence of a device called “NIGHTSTAND,” which has the ability to infect a wireless network “from as far as eight miles under ideal circumstances.” Use of the device is employed by the NSA when a wired connection cannot be established. The leaked document also states that an attack by the device “is undetectable by the user.”
Applebaum says that he has heard of instances where the NSA has attached the hardware to drones in order to exploit the personal electronics of large groups of people. There are no documents to directly back up this terrifying claim, but considering the purported reach of the device, the potential for such an endeavor is hardly inconceivable. If drones seem a little drastic, Applebaum admits that NSA agents could simply park outside your house to gather the information they want.
The full video of Applebaum’s talk can be seen below, and discussion regarding NIGHTSTAND starts at 16:00.