According to Cisco’s security chief John Stewart:
“We ship [boxes]to an address that’s has nothing to do with the customer, and then you have no idea who ultimately it is going to. When customers are truly worried … it causes other issues to make [interception]more difficult in that [agencies]don’t quite know where that router is going so its very hard to target – you’d have to target all of them. There is always going to be inherent risk.”
According to “The Register”, the NSA intercepts Cisco networking devices (routers, servers etc) before being exported from the US in order to install backdoors and surveillance tools, thus gaining access to whole networks of international customers.
In reaction to the NSA’s interception campaigns, Cisco will start shipping devices to fake identities for its most sensitive customers, in the hope that the NSA’s interceptions are avoided.
Moreover, John Chambers – Cisco’s CEO – has reportedly written to US President Obama, pointing out that the NSA tampering with kit it exports is not likely to result in more customer confidence or higher sales. Also, Chambers commented about NSA’s interceptions that “if these allegations are true, these actions will undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally.”