Video Graphics Array Cable Implant RAGEMASTER

Here is another one of the NSA’s hardware backdoors/implants. It is called RAGEMASTER, which is a hardware implant that is embedded on a standard Video Graphics Array (VGA) cable.


What It Is
RAGEMASTER is a hardware implant which is embedded on a standard Video Graphics Array (VGA) cable. RAGEMASTER taps into the red video line between a desktop (or laptop) computer and an external monitor. RAGEMASTER is illuminated by a radar unit and the illuminating signal (containing the red video information) is modulated. Then the modulated information is re-radiated, picked up at the radar, demodulated, and passed onto the processing unit which could be something such as an external monitor. The processor recreates the horizontal and vertical sync of the targeted monitor. RAGEMASTER is typically installed in the ferrite bead on a VGA cable.


Ferrite bead
A ferrite bead is a type of electronic choke that is usually found on the ends of USB cables, VGA cables, and other types of cables. The main purpose of a ferrite bead is to suppress high frequency noise in electronic circuits. Ferrite beads can also be referred to as EMI filters or cores.


What We Can Do
According to the NSA’s documentation on RAGEMASTER this hardware implant is not used with video cables such as DVI or HDMI. Assuming this is true we can use Digital Visual Interface (DVI) or High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables to circumvent this hardware implant. Alternatively we could inspect VGA cables when we buy them to see if they have the implant. Inspecting VGA cables should not be very challenging depending on where the implant is embedded on the cable.


Thank you all for taking the time to read this post and as always God bless!

The NSA’s original documentation on RAGEMASTER



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Preston Hood
Hello, my name is Preston Hood. I am the owner of PJHoodsCo, an Information Technology Service Provider (ITSP). I am also a freelance writer and information security researcher.
Preston Hood

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