The original of this post is here at No Right Turn.
The latest NSALeak: the NSA is deliberately spreading malware on a massive scale to spy on everyone:
Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.
The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.
The covert infrastructure that supports the hacking efforts operates from the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, and from eavesdropping bases in the United Kingdom and Japan. GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, appears to have played an integral role in helping to develop the implants tactic.
This isn’t the sort of targeted operation they aimed at Belgacom – its effectively a global cyberwar against everyone. They infected 100,000 computers already, and they plan to infect millions – well beyond any possible number needed strictly for “national security”. Why? So they can pwn you:
One implant, codenamed UNITEDRAKE, can be used with a variety of “plug-ins” that enable the agency to gain total control of an infected computer.
An implant plug-in named CAPTIVATEDAUDIENCE, for example, is used to take over a targeted computer’s microphone and record conversations taking place near the device. Another, GUMFISH, can covertly take over a computer’s webcam and snap photographs. FOGGYBOTTOM records logs of Internet browsing histories and collects login details and passwords used to access websites and email accounts. GROK is used to log keystrokes. And SALVAGERABBIT exfiltrates data from removable flash drives that connect to an infected computer.
We’ve already seen that they target ordinary people without any “national security” reason whatsoever, spying on their movements, communications, sex lives. This is more of the same. That’s their vision of the future: an omniscient surveillance system, spying on everything we do, forever.
Unless we use our democratic power while we still have it to cut their budgets, outlaw their spying, and shut them down. Time to pull the plug on the spies, before they pull the plug on our democracy.