NSA Playset

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The NSA Playset is an open source project, which was inspired by the NSA ANT catalog,[1] to create more accessible and easy to use tools for security researchers.[2] Most of the surveillance tools can be recreated with off-the-shelf or open-source hardware and software.[3] Thus far, the NSA Playset consists of fourteen items, for which the code and instructions can be found online on the project’s homepage.[4]


After the initial NSA ANT catalog leak, which was published by Der Spiegel in 2013,[4][5] Michael Ossman, the founder of Great Scott Gadgets, gave a shout out to other security researchers to start working on the tools mentioned in the catalog and to recreate them.[6] The name NSA Playset[3] came originally from Dean Pierce, who is also a contributor(TWILIGHTVEGETABLE(GSM)) to the NSA Playset. Anyone is invited to join and contribute their own device. The requisites for an addition to the NSA Playset is a similar or already existing NSA ANT project, ease of use and a silly name based on the original tool’s name.[4][5] The silly name requisite is a rule that Michael Ossman himself came up with and an example is given on the project’s website: "For example, if your project is similar to FOXACID, maybe you could call it COYOTEMETH." The ease of use part stems also from the NSA Playset's motto: "If a 10 year old can’t do it, it doesn't count!"


  1. TWILIGHTVEGETABLE: a boot image for GSM communication monitoring.[4]
  2. LEVITICUS: a hand held GSM frequency analyzer disguised as a Motorola phone.[4]
  3. DRIZZLECHAIR: a hard drive with all the needed tools to crack A5/1 including the rainbow tables.[4]
  4. PORCUPINEMASQUERADE: a passive Wi-Fi reconnaissance drone.[4]
  5. KEYSWEEPER: a keylogger in form of a USB wall charger, that wirelessly and passively sniffs, decrypts, logs and reports back (over GSM).[4]
  6. SLOTSCREAMER: a PCI hardware implant, which can access memory and IO.[4]
  7. ADAPTERNOODLE: a USB exploitation device.
  8. CHUKWAGON: uses a pin on a computer's VGA port to attack via the I²C bus accessing the computer's operating system.[4]
  9. TURNIPSCHOOL: a hardware implant concealed in a USB cable which provides short range radio frequency communication capability to software running on the host computer.[4]
  10. BLINKERCOUGH: a hardware implant that is embedded in a VGA cable which allows data exfiltration.[4]
  11. SAVIORBURST: a hardware implant exploiting the JTAG interface for software application persistence.
  12. CACTUSTUTU: Portable system that enables wireless installation of Microsoft Windows exploits.
  13. TINYALAMO: software that targets BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and allows keystroke surveillance(keylogger) and injection.[4]
  14. CONGAFLOCK: Radio frequency retroreflector intended for experimentation Intended use would be the implantation into a cable and data exfiltration based on radio reflectivity of the device.(FLAMENCOFLOCK (PS/2), TANGOFLOCK(USB), SALSAFLOCK(VGA) are retroreflectors with specific interfaces to test data exfiltration. )[4]


  1. ^ Rutrell Yasin (August 7, 2015). "The NSA Playset: 5 Better Tools To Defend Systems". DarkReading.com. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  2. ^ Lucy Teitler (November 17, 2014). "Let's Play NSA! The Hackers Open-Sourcing Top Secret Spy Tools". Motherboard. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Michael Ossmann (July 31, 2014). "The NSA Playset". Mossman's blog. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Sean Gallagher (August 11, 2015). "The NSA Playset: Espionage tools for the rest of us". Ars Technica: Technology Lab. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  5. ^ a b David Rudin (August 18, 2015). "The NSA Playset is trying to democratize surveillance using the aesthetic of child's play". Kill Screen. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  6. ^ Violet Blue (June 11, 2014). "NSA Playset invites hackers to 'play along with the NSA'". ZD Net. Retrieved June 15, 2017.

External links[edit]