NSA “Equation group” Puts Spyware in Hard Drive Firmware

NSA HQHere we go again! My previous article “10 Ways the NSA Spies on You” showed how the NSA has been listening and recording through your mobile phone for years (“Clapper Program”) whether it’s on or off. Of course U.S. District Judge William Pauley said in a 53 page ruling that it was legal as long as they do it to everyone.

Well the NSA never ceases to amaze me. Now Moscow-based security software maker Kaspersky Labs has found spyware hidden inside the firmware of hard drives made by most major manufacturers. Those found to contain the spyware include Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, IBM, Micron Technology and Samsung. Experts agree that the NSA would have required the source code for the hard drive’s firmware in order to embed the malicious program in it. That’s easy though. They say the Pentagon wants a bunch of hard drives, but the NSA has to review the source code for security purposes and bingo they have the source code.

Over 30 countries have been found to be infected with the spyware including Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists.

This is now costing the US because foreign governments don’t want to purchase our hardware for fear it’s been corrupted with NSA spying technology. Peter Swire, one of five members of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, said the Kaspersky report showed that it is essential for the country to consider the possible impact on trade and diplomatic relations before deciding to use its knowledge of software flaws for intelligence gathering. “There can be serious negative effects on other U.S. interests,” Swire said.

Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program

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