Snowden leak: NSA plans to infect ‘millions’ of computers
Yet more previously secret surveillance operations waged by the United States National Security Agency were made public Wednesday morning thanks to leaked documents supplied by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The files — published first by The Intercept this week and dissected over the course of a 3,000-word article attributed to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher — bring to light a number of previously unreported programs undertaken by the secretive US spy agency, including operations that have given the NSA the potential to infect millions of computers around the world by relying on malicious software that’s sent to targets through surreptitious means.
In recent years, however, the NSA has reportedly made adjustments to these operations that enable them to by carried out automatically without the direct aid of human spies — a decision that experts say is undermining the internet as it is known today,
“Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process,” the journalists wrote.
- That automated system named "TURBINE," they said later, is designed to “allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually.”
According to The Intercept, the NSA has escalated offensive cyber operations significantly since 2004 in order to spy on targets, and has used an array of tactics and “implants” that were previously undisclosed in order to carry out these missions.
The website reported that the agency’s British counterpart, the GCHQ, “appears to have played an integral role” with regards to developing these implants, which have grown in number exponentially in recent years from only 100 or so to tens-of-thousands, according to the report.
These implants, the journalists wrote, allow the NSA “to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.” They can also be combined with a number of specialized plugins to provide analysts with additional surveillance options, the likes of which could likely leave many thinking staying secure on the Web seem impossible after reading the Greenwald and Gallagher report.[...]
“When they deploy malware on systems,” malware expert Mikko Hypponen told The Intercept, “they potentially create new vulnerabilities in these systems, making them more vulnerable for attacks by third parties.”
NSA posed as Facebook to install malware on computers
Publicerad den 14 mar 2014The National Security Agency has the ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems, according to newly released, top-secret documents from former government contractor Edward Snowden. The NSA has been using a program code-named Turbine to contaminate computers and networks with malware "implants" capable of spying on users. The documents also say that the NSA pretended to be Facebook to install its malware. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg shared harsh words for United States President Barack Obama on Thursday amid ongoing complaints from the tech community about the administration's role with regards to the internet. RT's Gayane Chichakyan takes a look at Zuckerburg's and the NSA's reactions to the leaked documents.
NSA masquerades as Facebook to hack your computer
March 12, 2014 - The Intercept Reports:
To initiate the automated data collection the NSA will pose as a Facebook Server.
In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive.
In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyber attacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.
The documents obtained from whistle-blower Edward Snowden by The Intercept show that the implants were once reserved for only a few hundred hard-to-reach targets, but the NSA has since aggressively expanded the hacking initiative over the past decade by automating the process.
- Malware expert and chief research officer at the security firm F-Secure, Mikko Hypponen described the NSA spying methods as “disturbing.”
“When they deploy malware on systems they potentially create new vulnerabilities in these systems, making them more vulnerable for attacks by third parties,” Hypponen told The Intercept.
The NSA has declined to comment on the revelations pointing to a new presidential policy directive publicized by President Obama that allows spy agencies to collect information “exclusively where there is a foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose to support national and departmental missions, and not for any other purposes.” [...]
Malware can record audio and take photos of web users without their knowledge.
Infowars.com March 11, 2014
The latest Snowden leaks on the NSA reveal that the spy agency is masquerading as Facebook in order to infect millions of computers around the world with malware as part of its mass surveillance program.
Glenn Greenwald reported the latest information today, noting that the practice has been in operation for over ten years with the help of British and Japanese intelligence.
The NSA, according to the leaks, has been distributing malware “implants” which can siphon out data from computers around the globe. The agency reportedly used a fake Facebook server as a launching pad to grab information from hard drives.
The malware has also been designed to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam.
Cyberterrorister utger sig för Facebook - men kapar och infekterar datorer - Vad kallas de?