Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News 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 CRM Systems Customer Service Contact Centers Business Intelligence More Topics...
Computing
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
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:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Computing
1.   Target Data Breach Cost: $148 Million
2.   New Lenovo PCs for Business Users
3.   Aruba Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
4.   Price Wars Hitting Laptop Market?
5.   Concerto 2200: Dedupe, Compression


advertisement
China Puts Microsoft Under the Lens
Official anti-monopoly probe launched.
Average Rating:
Target Data Breach Cost: $148 Million
Better customer data protection needed.
Average Rating:
Aruba Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
Network firm sees 2,376 DoS attacks.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 
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.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
Businesses everywhere want computing solutions that do more for less money, and Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 
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.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Apple Stock Soars Ahead of iPhone 6 Launch
The imminent release of the iPhone 6 -- and maybe even an iWatch -- has sent Apple's stock soaring to new heights. Considering what else the firm could have up its sleeve -- the stratosphere may be the limit.
 
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.
 
Verizon Earns Top Rating in Mobile Network Comparison
A new report says Verizon Wireless was the top-performing U.S. cellphone service provider in the first half of 2014, on a nationwide and state-by-state basis, as well as in metro areas.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Contact Centers | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Customer Data | CRM 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.