Turns out we aren’t just being paranoid when we think the National Security Agency (NSA) knows pretty much everything we do. And in this digital age we live in, knowing everything involves our computers and other digital devices. The NSA has that covered, too — and to a level that may leave you more than a little paranoid.
Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab announced yesterday that the NSA now has the ability to hide spyware deep within the hard drives manufactured by tech companies such as Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, IBM, Micron, and Samsung — in other words, the largest makers of hard drives in the world.
Researchers at Kaspersky Lab said they discovered that computers in some 30 countries are infected with the NSA spying software. The highest number of infections were found on hard drives in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen, and Algeria. The targets of these infections included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banking, energy companies, nuclear research, media, and anything dealing with Islamic activists.
While Kaspersky didn’t directly point the finger at NSA, it did say the hard drive spying program was closely linked to Stuxnet, an NSA-created cyberweapon which was used against the Iranian nuclear-enrichment program. And a former NSA employee told Reuters that he could indeed confirm such programs are developed and used by the agency. NSA declined to comment on the matter.
What makes this type of spying program so pernicious, according to Costin Raiu, lead researcher at Kaspersky, is that:
“The hardware will be able to infect the computer over and over.”
Another sobering fact about this state-installed computer code is that it allows cybersnoops to collect data and map networks which would otherwise not be accessible. Also, since the malware isn’t found in regular storage, it is virtually impossible to detect or remove.
So it now seems NSA has reached the pinnacle of its wishes to know everything that takes place on the Internet. But will the agency be content with this accomplishment, or merely use it as a stepping stone to even more intrusive methods of spying? No doubt it knows the answer to that question, but NSA isn’t sharing it with those it chooses to spy on.
The door is wide open, and Big Brother is now in our homes. Happy Web surfing everyone!
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.