NSA Denies Impersonating Facebook To Serve Malware
Facebook's Zuckerberg speaks out after Snowden leak suggests NSA server posed as social media site to infect millions of computers with surveillance malware.
The National Security Agency (NSA) on Thursday shot down as "inaccurate" a media report that the agency may have planted malware on millions of computers worldwide and even impersonated Facebook and other websites to lure potential targets.
The Intercept news site reported Wednesday that classified documents pilfered by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that the NSA had built technology to automatically infect "potentially millions of computers" around the world with malware in order for the agency to glean data from foreign Internet and phone networks. The so-called implant operation reportedly started out as an isolated program for a few hundred targets, but the NSA over the past 10 years has automated some aspects of the program to reach targets on a wider scale, according to The Intercept.
Dubbed TURBINE, the automated system was built to "allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually," the report quotes NSA documents as saying. Examples included NSA setting up a server posting as a Facebook server to infect a target and grab files from its hard drive, and also using other man-in-the-middle type attacks that reroute victims to the NSA's computers that then inject the "implant" malware.
Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.