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Only days after Edward Snowden's livestream interview at SXSW in Austin, a new report has come out concerning NSA's...
Only days after Edward Snowden's livestream interview at SXSW in Austin, a new report has come out concerning NSA's surveillance misconduct. This time, their target is to infiltrate the computers of Facebook users, which all know number in the millions.
According to the report given by Edward Snowden, which was published in The Intercept, the NSA has been infecting computers and networks with malware by installing an automated system with the codename TURBINE.
The NSA forges its way into a user's computer by initiating an attack known as 'man-on-the-side,' which allows for the tricking of the computer into thinking it is accessing an authentic Facebook server, thus allowing for data from the hard drive to be extracted.
A striking 85,000 to 100,000 such implants have infiltrated their way into computers in this manner.
Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald describe how "one implant, codenamed UNITEDRAKE, can be used with a variety of 'plug-ins' that enable the agency to gain total control of an infected computer." Additionally, the installed malware can enter a computer's webcam and record audio, as well as collect login details, passwords used for Web services, and a computer's Internet browsing history. It can also corrupt downloading files, and block access to certain websites.
Allegedly, Facebook has been in the dark concerning these activities. “We have no evidence of this alleged activity...In any case, this method of network level disruption does not work for traffic carried over HTTPS, which Facebook finished integrating by default last year…If government agencies indeed have privileged access to network service providers, any site running only HTTP could conceivably have its traffic misdirected,” claims a spokesman for Facebook in The Journal.
In their defence, the NSA claim that they have been using their surveillance and monitoring techniques "exclusively where there is a foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose. All of NSA’s operations are strictly conducted under the rule of law."
What can we expect from NSA next? And is this conduct really a surprise? Only time (or Edward Snowden) will tell.