Found a little more about Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the Computer Network Exploitation/Computer Network Attack (CNE/CNA) operation of NSA, long known, but mentioned in the Washington Post article last week revealing the National Intelligence Budget. The Post describes TAO as “surreptitiously installing spyware and tracking devices on targeted computers and mobile-phone networks.” I think that description is too broad.
Tailored Access Operations, or sometimes called Defense Tailored Access Operations, is part of the S3 Data Aquisition, or the Signal Intelligence Directorate. It is made up of six subordinate elements (branches):
- S321: Remote Operations Center (ROC)
- S323: Data Network Technologies (DNT)
- S324: Telecommunication Network Technologies (TNT)
- S325: Mission Infrastructure Technologies (MIT)
- S327: Requirements & Targeting (R&T)
- S328: Access Technologies Operations (ATO)
The Remote Operations Center is the primary CNE operation of the U.S. government to gain access and intelligence from computer networks in direct support to cyber security & network warfare missions. It is made up of the following divisions:
- NOC: Network Ops Center
- ORD: Operational Readiness Division (Training)
- IOD: Interactive Ops Division
- POD: Production Ops Division
- AOD: Access Operations Division
The Network Warfare Team (NWT) provides liaison between the military and TAO.
Two tool development organizations are also subordinate to TAO:
- TNT- Telecommunications Network Technologies
- DNT- Data Network Technologies.