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...
Neustar, Inc.
Protect your website & network
using real-time information & analysis

www.neustar.biz
World Wide Web
24/7/365 Network Uptime
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
March 12, 2014 2:01PM

    Bookmark and Share
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:



Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.


 World Wide Web
1.   Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
2.   Internet of Things Comes to DIYers
3.   Social Media Haters Speak Up
4.   New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
5.   Verizon Launches Rewards Program


advertisement
Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
Social Media Haters Speak Up
Survey says, now showing a little love.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
New Web Tracking Technologies Defeat Privacy Protections
Recently developed Web tracking tools are able to circumvent even the best privacy defenses, according to a new study by researchers at Princeton and the University of Leuven in Belgium.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

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.