Downtime

Mar 27 2015   12:13PM GMT

Cisco’s postal service needs some work

Caroline Donnelly Profile: Caroline Donnelly

Tags:
Cisco
Hacking
Hardware
Networking

Cisco has hit on a novel way to stop the US National Security Agency (NSA) from tampering with its networking kit by sending its customer orders to the wrong address.

The shady US surveillance unit was previously accused by notorious whistle blower Edward Snowden of intercepting Cisco deliveries of networking stuff to install backdoors that could be used to keep tabs on customers.

To avoid this, the company has started shipping some of its customer orders to decoy addresses to stop the NSA getting its filthy paws on them.

This genius piece of subterfuge was revealed by Cisco security chief John Stewart earlier this month at a tech conference, which we’re sure the NSA is thankful for.

“We ship to an address that has nothing to do with the customer, and then you have no idea who ultimately it’s going to,” Stewart chirruped.

Exact details about how this works in practice are thin on the ground, but we’re assuming Cisco briefs its customers about its delivery plans beforehand. At least you’d hope.

It’s also not clear if other tech firms are following Cisco’s lead on this, but we have a sneaky suspicion Royal Mail might be, given how haphazard their deliveries seem to be these days.

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