Browse Definitions:
Definition

XKeyscore

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

XKeyscore (XKS) is the search engine interface that interacts with all NSA  federated databases for the collected Internet traffic, communicated data and phone metadata of private citizens.

XKS is used to search the big data collection. The application is distributed to over 150 sites worldwide. Access is provided at high security levels within the countries known as the 5 Eyes (United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand).

XKS was one of the focuses in whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA activities. The NSA downplays the abilities that systems like XKS have and stresses that justification is required for targeted searches. However, leaked 2008 employee training slides for XKS demonstrate that all that’s required to obtain legal and targeting justification is a couple of broad descriptors, which can be selected from drop-down options. Subsequently, the user can wiretap anyone by searching with their email address, yielding access to live Internet data, such as current browsing and Facebook chat, as well as traffic on many other services -- including encrypted ones -- and a backlog of collected data.

The system that ran the XKS as of the 2008 training document was a linearly scalable distributed Linux cluster made up of over 700 servers in 150 sites worldwide.

  • In 2012, XKS collected, processed and stored 41 billion total records in a single 30-day period.
  • XKS can track encrypted communication usage and can decrypt VPNs.
  • XKS also catalogues exploitable machines that can be compromised in order to increase focus on a subject of interest.
  • XKS captures over 20 terabytes of data a day.

Making a statement to The Guardian website, which broke the Snowden leaks, the NSA said:

"NSA's activities are focused and specifically deployed against – and only against – legitimate foreign intelligence targets in response to requirements that our leaders need for information necessary to protect our nation and its interests… XKeyscore is used as a part of NSA's lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system.”

XKS represents a large part of Edward Snowden’s leaks. As an NSA employee, Snowden said he could, while “sitting at my desk, wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email.”

Edward Snowden explains NSA data collection:

This was last updated in November 2014

Continue Reading About XKeyscore

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

Dateiendungen und Dateiformate

Gesponsert von:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • population health management (PHM)

    Population health management (PHM) is a discipline within the healthcare industry that studies and facilitates care delivery ...

  • ICD-10-PCS

    The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS) is a U.S. cataloging system for...

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest biomedical library in the world.

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • open source storage

    Open source storage is data storage software developed in a public, collaborative manner that permits the free use, distribution ...

  • CompactFlash card (CF card)

    A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store ...

  • email archiving

    Email archiving (also spelled e-mail archiving) is a systematic approach to saving and protecting the data contained in email ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close