A report from Der Spiegel based on the documents available says that NSA, with the help of FBI and CIA intercepts laptops and other computing devices shipments secretly and routinely installs bugging software before these are dispatched to the end users.
Der Spiegel claims that TAO group of NSA divers computer shipments to its “clandestine workshops” in what is called interdiction and then its agents install malware on laptops and other such devices which allow the intelligence agencies of the US ability to control these devices remotely.
Cottonmouth is one of the products installed in these secret workshops of NSA and allows secret remote control of the compromised laptop of device.
Der Spiegel further claims that NSA has a mail-order spy catalog for its agents which has spyware for leading technology companies and includes Juniper, Cisco, Seagate, Dell, Mastor, Huawei, Western Digital, Dell and Samsung. The target companies also include American companies.
NSA currently faces a lot of pressure from privacy groups, courts, public and Congress over the expanse of its undisclosed spying program which came into light only after the whistle blower Edwar Snowden leaked a trove of inside information about it.
Source: Der Spiegel