Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
World Wide Web
Is your endpoint data protected?
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Is the NSA Using Facebook Malware To Spy on You?

Is the NSA Using Facebook Malware To Spy on You?
By Jennifer LeClaire

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, called the NSA revelations "disturbing." Hypponen reportedly warned that NSA's surveillance techniques could accidentally undermine the Internet's security. "When they deploy malware on systems," Hypponen said, "they potentially create new vulnerabilities in these systems."
 


Facebook users look out, the National Security Agency may be spying on you by pretending to be Facebook. At least that's what The Intercept, a Web publication dedicated to covering the NSA, is reporting, citing documents leaked by former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden.

Reportedly, the NSA used automated systems to infect user computers with malware dating back to 2010, The Los Angeles Times reports. One of the vehicles the government agency used was the social media giant Facebook.

News reports indicate the NSA leveraged a program code-named Turbine to infect computers and networks with what are being called "implants" that can spy on users. All told, as many as 85,000 to 100,000 implants were commissioned for the digital spying mission on computers around the globe.

How Widespread Is It?

"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," reports The Intercept.

"[The NSA] has sent out spam e-mails 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 cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to Web sites."

According to a Fox News analysis, what began as a way to hit "hard-to-reach" targets -- around 100 to 150 of them, as of 2004 -- the NSA's malware-spreading efforts have since proliferated to potentially millions of computers around the globe using an automated system known internally as Turbine. Using Turbine, Fox said the Snowden documents reveal. Turbine reportedly gave members of the NSA's Tailored Access Operations unit the ability to tap into, or destroy, computers on a massive scale.

Wholesale Surveillance?

The Intercept quoted Mikko Hypponen, an expert in malware and chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, who called the revelations "disturbing." In the article, Hypponen warned that the NSA's surveillance techniques could accidentally undermine the Internet's security.

"When they deploy malware on systems," Hypponen said, "they potentially create new vulnerabilities in these systems, making them more vulnerable for attacks by third parties."

Hypponen told The Intercept that governments could possibly justify the use of malware in targeted cases against known opponents. However, he added, automatic deployment of millions of malware implants would be "out of control."

"That would definitely not be proportionate," Hypponen said. "It couldn't possibly be targeted and named. It sounds like wholesale infection and wholesale surveillance."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Protect 100% of your Data The prevalence of laptops and mobile devices in the enterprise makes corporate data increasingly vulnerable to loss and breach. And yet, workforce productivity is now inextricably linked to mobility. Click here to access the white paper "Top 10 Endpoint Backup Mistakes" to learn more about how to confidently protect data across platforms and devices while also providing features designed to enhance the end user experience.


 World Wide Web
1.   Google Buys Contextual Image Startup
2.   Google IPO Began Decade of Big Bets
3.   Assange Talks of Leaving Embassy
4.   Russian Hacker To Be Held Until Trial
5.   Police: Be Careful What You Tweet


advertisement
OkCupid Experiments with Daters
Unethical without user consent?
Average Rating:
Russian Hacker To Be Held Until Trial
Prosecutors fear he would flee country.
Average Rating:
Google IPO Began Decade of Big Bets
And Larry Page wants to push further.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Chinese Hackers Nab Info on Millions of U.S. Patients
A group of Chinese hackers has stolen the personal information, including names and Social Security numbers, of about 4.5 million patients at hospitals operated by Community Health Systems.
 
Premier FBI Cybersquad in U.S. To Add Agents
After helping prosecutors charge Chinese army officials with stealing trade secrets from major companies and by snaring a Russian-led hacking ring, the premier FBI cyber-squad is getting a boost.
 
Apple Opens iCloud Data Center in China
Treading lightly, Apple acknowledged it has started to store encrypted iCloud personal data of some Chinese users on servers in mainland China, operated by the state-owned China Telecom.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Compression, Deduplication Come to Violin Concerto 2200
Violin Memory has announced that data deduplication and compression capabilities are now available on its Concerto 2200 solution. Typically, users will experience deduplication rates between 6:1 and 10:1.
 
Cisco Axes 6,000 Employees in Restructuring Plan
Faced with declining profits, Cisco is laying off up to 6,000 employees in the months ahead -- a whopping 8 percent of its global workforce. That's in addition to the 4,000 jobs Cisco cut last year.
 
Web Slows, Have Internet Routers Reached The Limit?
If you encountered problems connecting to the Internet on August 12, you weren't alone. Networking experts blame the wide-scale slowdown on outdated routing systems that are reaching their limits.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
HTC Debuts Windows Phone Version of One M8 Smartphone
HTC is bringing the Windows Phone mobile OS to its flagship One M8 device -- the first time any mainstream flagship smartphone has been offered with a choice of operating systems.
 
RootMetrics Ranks Verizon Tops in Mobile Networks
Verizon Wireless is the top-performing cellphone service provider, according to a new report. In the first half of 2014, Verizon led on a nationwide and state-by-state basis -- and in metro areas.
 
Sprint Comes Out with Data Guns Blazing
As its new CEO promised, Sprint has rolled out a new aggressively competitive price plan. The shared data plans promise twice the high-speed data and at lower prices than AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.