Jacob Appelbaum, a computer security researcher, got a detailed description of the surveillance capacity of NSA this weekend at Chaos Communications Congress held in Berlin. Jacob Appelbaum is the co-author of the Der Spiegel article that first unveiled the NSA catalog. At the congress, he went into further detail of different devices available in the catalog and what they were used for.
In addition to revealing pre-prepared exploits that could compromise GSM phones and iOS devices, Applebalum threw light on a device that could target computer by seeding exploits from as far away as 8 miles. He conjectured that these exploits might well be delivered via a drone, but according to him the most used case will be via a van.
The catalog brochure is from the year 2007 which leads us to believe that with the advancement of technology the capabilities might have become further deadlier. Applebaum said that he was certain that these tactics were still being used by NSA and he even gave instances when he had seen these in use.
The one example being the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Julian Assange is living. The vistors there will be surprised to get welcome messages from a telephone company from Uganda. Upon investigation it transpired that the messages were being relayed from a base station installed on the roof, which was hidden as a cell tower and was actually being used for keeping surveillance.