MAESTRO-II: NSA Exploit of the Day
Today’s item from the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:
(TS//SI//REL) MAESTRO-II is a miniaturized digital core packaged in a Multi-Chip Module (MCM) to be used in implants with size constraining concealments.
(TS//SI//REL) MAESTRO-II uses the TAO standard implant architecture. The architecture provides a robust, reconfigurable, standard digital platform resulting in a dramatic performance improvement over the obsolete HC12 microcontroller based designs. A development Printed Circuit Board (PCB) using packaged parts has been developed and is available as the standard platform. The MAESTRO-II Multi-Chip-Module (MCM) contain an ARM7 microcontroller, FPGA, Flash and SDRAM memories.
Status: Available—On The Shelf
Unit Cost: $3-4K
Finally—I think this is obvious, but many people are confused—I am not the one releasing these documents. Der Spiegel released these documents in December. Every national intelligence service, Internet organized crime syndicate, and clued terrorist organization has already pored over these pages. It’s us who haven’t really looked at, or talked about, these pages. That’s the point of these daily posts.
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.