NSA Apparently Impersonates Facebook to Spread Malware
Dailymail.co.uk reported on 13th March, 2014 stating that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked latest compilation of national security particulars saying NSA (National Security Agency) of US impersonated Facebook to try to dupe Internauts into downloading malicious code in an attempt to install malware on hundreds and thousands of systems.
The intelligence agency (NSA) reportedly deployed malware code especially designed to target specific computers. Once inside, NSA gained complete control of the machine and it dubbed the Facebook tactic as 'QUANTUMHAND'.
Firstlook.org published news on 12th March, 2014 quoting the detailed explanation of the trick by former Guardian correspondent Glenn Greenwald as "In a few cases NSA has shamed as a phony Facebook server employing the social media website as a launch pad, contaminating the target's computer and exfiltrating files from a HD (hard drive). In others, NSA has distributed spam emails maligned with malware that can be drafted to secretly record audio from a microphone of a computer and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting the downloading of files or denying access to websites."
Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer of Finnish security firm F-Secure, is an Expert in malware calls the disclosure, made by Snowden's leaked details, "disturbing". As per news published by techdirt.com on 12th March, 2014, he warns that surveillance techniques of NSA could accidentally weaken the Internet's security.
Hypponen says that when they install malware on machines, they potentially construct new vulnerabilities in these systems making them more prone to assaults from third parties.
Targeting of Facebook by NSA may be due to declining success of other techniques of malware injection.
Venturebeat.com published a report on 12th March, 2014 quoting a reaction of the Spokesperson of Facebook on the aforementioned NSA hits as "We have no proof of this action and this way of network-level disturbance does not work for traffic carried over HTTPS which Facebook completed integrating by default in 2013. But, if government organizations have advantaged access to network service providers, any site running only HTTP could probably have its traffic miss-directed.
» SPAMfighter News - 21-03-2014