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Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)’s Plan To Elude NSA Intercepts Is To Ship To Empty Houses

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is willing to go to extreme measures to ensure that the National Security Agency will not be able to plant bugs inside its hardware.

According to a report from The Register, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) will be shipping equipment to empty houses to thwart the agency’s spies.

The revelation was made by Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) Senior Vice President and Chief Security and Trust Officer John N. Stewart at the Cisco Live press panel in Melbourne earlier this week.

“We ship [boxes] to an address that’s has nothing to do with the customer, and then you have no idea who ultimately it is going to,” The Register quotes Stewart saying.

The revelation comes a year after it was revealed by a couple of reports from SPIEGEL that the NSA intercepted shipments of equipment made by Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) to covertly install backdoors.

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Done by a group reportedly called the Tailored Access Operations inside the NSA, the project is said to have also compromised equipment from other technology companies such as Dell, Huawei, Juniper Networks, Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital.

Nonetheless, Stewart admitted that there is always risk even if their company does go to extreme lengths to protect the hardware they made.

“When customers are truly worried … it causes other issues to make [interception] more difficult in that [agencies] don’t quite know where that router is going so its very hard to target – you’d have to target all of them. There is always going to be inherent risk,” Steward is reported to have said.

He said that even if the networking equipment giant produced machines inside airtight facilities, the controls they have that mitigate risk which includes third parties tampering with the equipment for their own gain are stopped while the equipment is in transit.

Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management increased its stake in Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) to about 2.04 million shares by the end of last year’s December quarter, up a staggering 3,349% quarter over quarter.

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