New leaks have revealed the hack methods that NSA has used to install malware on millions of computers. It seems that they actually pretended to be Facebook.
Using Facebook might be the simplest way to infect millions of computers with malware. The National Security Agency used the social network to trick users to download malicious code. The Intercept has reported that this is what the last leaked documents obtained from Edward Snowden indicate.
The NSA has used a fake Facebook server to infect computers, but this is not the only technique they accessed with the purpose to spread malware into the targeted devices. They also used spam emails which allowed them to obtain audio access and even take shots with the webcam of the computer.
“The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites,” The Intercept wrote. The document shows that this interception method was used by NSA on a large scale in 2010.
To be able to infect so many computers, NSA used an automated system, named TURBINE, the documents reveal. The system is actually described as the perfect tool to control thousands of computers. The system itself is capable to decide which data is important to gather.
Moreover, the system needs only a few people to know about this program and the information extracted from users.
One technique that the NSA has used so far is the program called QUANTUMBOT, which aimed to find computers belonging to botnets, which are used for intellectual property theft or other criminal activities, hijacking the command and control channel. The NSA considered its program to be highly successful.
The existence of this system was revealed by Edward Snowden, while the NSA refused to confirm or infirm these facts. Moreover, it is not clear if these operations targeted people from the United States or they included other countries, as well.
The information revealed now is just the latest that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden decided to share. Snowden faces felony charges in the United States. The man currently lives in Russia, in an undisclosed location.