Has the NSA Planted Hidden Spying Files on Your PC?
Russian researchers have discovered that the hard drives of personal computers in 30 countries have been infected by deeply hidden National Security Agency spying software. That software was found in devices developed by “Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers,” according to Reuters, and former NSA workers have confirmed that the American agency is behind the program.
Apparently, the NSA would have needed access to “the proprietary source code that directs the actions of the hard drives” — information only the hard drives’ producers should have. For the moment, it remains unclear how the spy agency obtained that code.
That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.
Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said.
The firm declined to publicly name the country behind the spying campaign, but said it was closely linked to Stuxnet, the NSA-led cyberweapon that was used to attack Iran’s uranium enrichment facility. The NSA is the agency responsible for gathering electronic intelligence on behalf of the United States…Kaspersky published the technical details of its research on Monday, which should help infected institutions detect the spying programs, some of which trace back as far as 2001.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi ZapataWait, before you go…
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