Browse Definitions :
Definition

SIGINT (signals intelligence)

SIGINT (signals intelligence) is information gained by the collection and analysis of the electronic signals and communications of a given target.

Intelligence, in this context, is information that provides an organization or individual with support for making decisions and possibly gaining a strategic advantage. The term is often abbreviated as “intel.” Intelligence agencies worldwide use SIGINT in both foreign and domestic data gathering.

Originally SIGINT mostly consisted of communications intelligence (COMINT). SIGINT now has two main fields: COMINT, which is gathered through accessing the communications of individuals, and ELINT (electronic intelligence), which is gathered through the use of electronic sensors. SIGINT has also been extended to encompass information gathered from other types of signal interception and the disruption of these signals. Those activities are not covered by privacy laws. Since the invention of radio, the general consensus has been that radio waves cannot be owned, so interception is legal and as such does not require warrants as wiretap does.

The U.S. intelligence community claims that it only uses SIGINT related to the communications of foreign entities for the purposes of national security. However, documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013 and other revelations possibly brought about as a result of the Snowden effect demonstrate that the NSA has used many devices to gather SIGINT of both domestic and foreign targets through a program called Tailored Access Operations (TAO).

Examples include:

  • USB sticks secretly fitted with radio transmitters.
  • iPhone malware used to monitor the communications and activities of users.
  • Portable continuous wave generators that can monitor the keyboard activities of even offline computers through a keyboard vibration attack.
  • “LAMPSTAND” devices that can interfere with wireless connections at distances up to eight miles.

The term SIGINT was coined by the United States Department of Defense.

This was last updated in May 2015

Continue Reading About SIGINT (signals intelligence)

SearchNetworking
  • cloud-native network function (CNF)

    A cloud-native network function (CNF) is a service that performs network duties in software, as opposed to purpose-built hardware.

  • microsegmentation

    Microsegmentation is a security technique that splits a network into definable zones and uses policies to dictate how data and ...

  • Wi-Fi 6E

    Wi-Fi 6E is one variant of the 802.11ax standard.

SearchSecurity
  • MICR (magnetic ink character recognition)

    MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) is a technology invented in the 1950s that's used to verify the legitimacy or ...

  • What is cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.

  • Android System WebView

    Android System WebView is a system component for the Android operating system (OS) that allows Android apps to display web ...

SearchCIO
  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

  • contingent workforce

    A contingent workforce is a labor pool whose members are hired by an organization on an on-demand basis.

  • product development (new product development -- NPD)

    Product development, also called new product management, is a series of steps that includes the conceptualization, design, ...

SearchHRSoftware
  • talent acquisition

    Talent acquisition is the strategic process employers use to analyze their long-term talent needs in the context of business ...

  • employee retention

    Employee retention is the organizational goal of keeping productive and talented workers and reducing turnover by fostering a ...

  • hybrid work model

    A hybrid work model is a workforce structure that includes employees who work remotely and those who work on site, in a company's...

SearchCustomerExperience
  • Salesforce Trailhead

    Salesforce Trailhead is a series of online tutorials that coach beginner and intermediate developers who need to learn how to ...

  • Salesforce

    Salesforce, Inc. is a cloud computing and social enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider based in San Francisco.

  • data clean room

    A data clean room is a technology service that helps content platforms keep first person user data private when interacting with ...

Close