NSA Developed Malware Permitting it to Infect Large Number of Computers Worldwide
Securityweek.com reported on 12th March, 2014 stating that a report based on leaked and classified documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has developed malware which allows it to collect data automatically from hundreds and thousands of computers throughout the world.
The report which is co-authored by former reporter of Guardian Glenn Greenwald for online news site The Intercept said that the program has significantly expanded the ability of US Spy agency to secretly hack computers on a large scale.
The report said that the surveillance technology allows NSA to infect millions of computers with malware "implants" worldwide which help the agency to extract data from overseas Internet and phone networks.
The report says that these malware implants were once reserved for few hundred targets who were difficult to reach and whose communications could not be monitored through traditional wiretaps but now NSA has expanded this to a large scale.
Interestingly, there were approximately 100-150 implants in 2004 according to statistics gathered by the report but as the TAO (Tailored Access Operations) unit of NSA hired hackers and created new tools, the quantity of malware implants also surged to tens of thousands.
The NSA has devised a solution dubbed TURBINE because it is not possible to manage the malware implants manually and this system is competent of managing vigorous malware implants enabling it (NSA) to carry out "industrial-scale exploitation."
TURBINE is supposed to be part of a huge NSA-surveillance initiative nicknamed "Owning the Net".
TURBINE was active from July 2010 and has infected up to 100,000 devices and machines with a planning of more targets.
TURBINE is run through stations at the headquarters of NSA in Maryland with ancillary offices of British Menwith Hill facility from Misawa, Japan. Documents prove that the intelligence agency of UK, GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) has played an active role to develop exploits for TURBINE and uses information gathered from the system.
Theregister.com published a report on 12th March, 2014 quoting British intelligence agency (referring to GCHQ) as "All the work of GCHQ is carried out according to strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate with a rigorous oversight."
» SPAMfighter News - 20-03-2014