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The US gets into the Russian FSB monitoring system

SORM is a Russian hardware and software system for listening in on phone calls, text messages, and all Internet messages sent by people in the Russian Federation. SORM is known as The System for Operative Investigative Activities. It was possible for US secret services to hack into it more than 10 years ago. Jacob Appelbaum, an American hacker and journalist, who had access to Edward Snowden’s leaked documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA), in his dissertation, which was studied by Meduza. Jacob Appelbaum alleges that unreleased Edward Snowden papers relate to US spy agents hacking Russian SORM. Appelbaum defended her dissertation, “Communication in a World of Pervasive Surveillance,” at Eindhoven University of Technology in March 2022.

According to Meduza, it was found that private information about regular Russians may have been viewed. This is a worrying development that could affect not only Russian officials but also American parties. Addressing rising privacy and security issues requires transparency and responsibility, as the research shows.

Edward Snowden’s Documents leaked NSA

Meduza wrote about papers from Jacob Appelbaum’s research that showed how the NSA broke into Russia’s SORM “lawful interception” system. The papers talk about the breach and point out that NSA pictures of Russian troops with the words “You talk, we listen” written in Cyrillic. Appelbaum’s dissertation looks into what the NSA did when it broke into “lawful interception” systems and the companies that make hardware or software for them.

The papers describe how the NSA got into one SORM computer, which makes me wonder what other information they got. It’s still not clear how hard it would be to get into all of SORM’s parts at the same time, but the news has led to questions about how the breach happened and what data was viewed.

People know Appelbaum for his work on WikiLeaks and as a hacktivist. In 2011, the DOJ looked into his Gmail account, and the results were made public in 2015. The dissertation uses Snowden’s files to shed light on what the NSA did from 2013 to 2015.

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