Router Bricked


A tiny revelation from James Bamford’s compelling new profile of Edward Snowden in Wired:

One day an intelligence officer told him that TAO — a division of NSA hackers — had attempted in 2012 to remotely install an exploit in one of the core routers at a major Internet service provider in Syria, which was in the midst of a prolonged civil war. This would have given the NSA access to email and other Internet traffic from much of the country. But something went wrong, and the router was bricked instead — rendered totally inoperable. The failure of this router caused Syria to suddenly lose all connection to the Internet — although the public didn’t know that the US government was responsible. (This is the first time the claim has been revealed.)

Well I mean who hasn’t a bricked a router and taken out an entire country’s Internet at least once while trying to update the firmware? The NSA’s “blame Israel” trick is new to me, though.