THE UNITED STATES National Security Agency (NSA) has been accused of infecting 50,000 computer networks with malware designed to facilitate stealing sensitive information.
This really is the sort of thing that the NSA should be fighting, but apparently it has a huge conflict of interest.
Danish newspaper NRC posted its report last weekend, and traced evidence of the malware infection to 2012. It said that the malware infections are much like digital sleeper cells that can be turned on and off as and when they are needed.
"[A] presentation shows that the intelligence service uses 'Computer Network Exploitation' (CNE) in more than 50,000 locations," it reported. "CNE is the secret infiltration of computer systems achieved by installing malware, malicious software."
The newspaper said that this sort of hacking was used against the Belgian telecom provider Belgacom, which, it added, was infiltrated by the UK's Government Communications Head Quarters (GCHQ).
"The Belgacom network was infiltrated by GCHQ through a process of luring employees to a false Linkedin page," it added.
"The NSA computer attacks are performed by a special department called TAO (Tailored Access Operations). Public sources show that this department employs more than a thousand hackers."
"The malware can be controlled remotely and be turned on and off at will. The 'implants' act as digital 'sleeper cells' that can be activated with a single push of a button," it reported.
The NSA declined to comment. µ