When Syria briefly dropped off the internet in late 2012, it was widely assumed to be the doing of President Bashar al-Assad – the country was, after all, descending into civil war.
Not so, according to Snowden, who told Bamford that, when he was working for the NSA, he’d been told it was down to U.S. intelligence. Specifically, the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations group (TAO) — the agency’s hardcore hacking team – had tried to install infiltration software on a router at a major Syrian ISP. The operation went horribly wrong, bricking the router and cutting off the country’s internet access. The Syrians never found the software, much to the NSA’s relief, Snowden said.
— source gigaom.com