Let’s look back on how spying implants would have been accomplished in unix technology – of a generation of two ago. Lets use the technique of historical dialectisim to reveal secrets.
So what has changed and not changed in 20 years?
First, the belief in exceptionalism and the special rights of the few have not changed; and thus implanting now and then is driven by the same motives and is conducted using the same kinds of deceptive covers. Those who believe have beliefs in the righteousness of the program of deception. So focus on the “art of deception”, when considering how implanting works.
Second, the means by which deceptions are crafted to cover the implanting exercise have indeed evolved over the 20 years – there being obviously far more system administrators to be subverted than there once were, when such as CISSP programs could be used to “induce the right perspective” in the few who had right powers (on the backbone routers, X.25 switches etc). Now the typical system admin has to be an unwitting accomplice, where NSA etc is aided by a small number of properly-indoctrinated system admins who will exploit local interpersonal trust between admins on a shift, (say), to facilitate the implanting opportunity conducted *via* he/she who is not fully indoctrinated.
The core nature of the need to hide the implant has not changed. Thus it still needs remote activation and remote control – which is the main reason why intel is involved such that remotely-delivered ethernet packets of the right framing type are recgnized and induce the driver to pass through implanted code.
The core need to have a set of implants support in networking layers to support each other has not changed. If the cisco router is the first device to be subverting policy, its job may be simply to deliver the appropriately crafted mac frames to the ethernet driver of the PC or Unix server being targeted – the two of them working in concert to create a cover for authorized packet flow. If the targeted device is using wireless modulation or display signaling to subvert an apparent air gap (say), again its upto one imlant to receive such modulated waves and get them out the door, ev en though it was up to another to capture the information.
When subverting such as windows, one has to recall how the BIOS itself also has control over the motherboard-managed USB PHYs. It is through firmeare-upgrade of the bios that USB, in its intel management plane mode, allows one driver facilitated by Intel to undermine the USB drivers in windows also interacting with the USB chip. Through subversion of the management plane, or its security model that was supposed to prevent unauthorized management-quality drivers, USB becomes a general purpose means of “arranging for” implanting.
Lets assume (perhaps compelled) Intel complicity with NSA where the policy is to facilitate backdooring, generally, into motherboard. Assume that this aligns with disablement backdooring of the CPUs, manufactured by INtel, so the US can remotely disable computing power, per se. Assume that motherboard implanting works hand in hand with CPU microcoding implants so as to (1) facilitate multi-level implanting in general, (2) remote disablement, (3) by the defeat of Crypto primitives performed by the CPU itself.
Of course its not the “policy” of intel to do such a thing (since the practice is compelled, and thus not “policy”). But, there we have full indoctrination at work, exploiting the word games.