Monday, February 16, 2015

Russian Researchers Discover America's Crown Jewel In Cyber Spying And This Spyware Is On All Computers

Reuters: Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program

(Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.

WNU Editor: Here is a little background on me. I have a knack for computers .... both software and hardware. The first company that I started when I settled down in Canada (in the early 1990s) was in the assembly of computer systems and putting together networks. I had some good people with me .... eastern Europeans who were very knowledgeable on computers .... and we were very good at what we were doing. I also started to use my contacts in China, South Korea, and Taiwan to establish relationships with firms who were manufacturing computer peripherals and who wanted someone to represent them in North America .... single and double speed CD-Roms was what I pushed as well as complete systems. It lasted a few years .... and it was a good run. Made some money ... lost some money .... and I learned a lot .... correction .... a hell of a lot.

During this time I noticed certain "anomalies" in the hard drives that I was using .... being a techie guy who always wants to know everything about computers I did some digging and this is what I wrote in this blog a few years ago on a related story concerning German cyber spying  ....

.... A few years ago I had some nasty spyware installed on my computer that made my computer operate super-slow. I usually use Spy-Bot to clean up my drive, but in this case I used a friends anti-spyware program that he was testing with people that he knew who were using computers constantly (my friend is employed by Canada's RCMP). While cleaning up my drive, we noticed that I had a unique "foreign file" in the boot-sector of my hard drive that was difficult to erase. Investigating further, we then noticed that this "foreign file" had a .... cough cough .... White House signature. A month before I had visited the White House website to obtain some non-copyrighted pictures, and while it was not the reason why my computer was slow, I could only speculate on why it was specifically placed in a part of drive that would make it difficult to not only detect (Spy-bot did not detect it), but to erase.

I am speculating now .... but I suspect that the program that my friend used is a unique program that the RCMP and Canada's intelligence services use in protecting their own systems .... and he decided that since it was a beta version in development at the time .... no harm in trying it on my hard drive .... hence the discovery.

It is nice to know that sometimes this blog is on the cutting edge of detecting trends and news stories that no one else is following .... and in this case by years. I knew then that U.S. intelligence had found a way to install spyware on a critical part of the drive that you and I do not have access to ... and that we cannot delete. This spyware is on all of our computers .... we are all being monitored .... and there is nothing that you or I can do about it.

More News On The Equation Group

U.S. Embedded Spyware Overseas, Report Claims -- New York Times
How “omnipotent” hackers tied to NSA hid for 14 years—and were found at last -- Ars Technica
Kaspersky Says NSA Planted Stuxnet-Type Cyberweapon In Hard Drives To Spy On Computers Worldwide -- Tech Times
U.S. Shadow Group ‘Has Embedded Spyware in Foreign Computer Networks’ -- Time
Report Bares U.S. Computer-Espionage Tactics -- WSJ
NSA has ability to embed spying software in computer hard drives, including yours -- Boing Boing
Kaspersky Lab Discovers Equation Group: The Crown Creator of Cyber-Espionage -- Business Wire
The NSA hides surveillance software in hard drives -- Endgadget
Global Scandal: New Report Suggests NSA Has Hidden Software In Hard Drives, Globally -- DC Inno
Kaspersky Lab uncovers a suite of surveillance platforms that hide in hard drive firmware -- Tech Spot


Matthew Putnam said...

Thanks for the great commentary! I always scroll down to your comments before I read the article. You have interesting pockets of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

It's great being alive in the land of freedom and privacy ..

Buy some gold/silver and store it under your dogs ass ..

jimbrown said...

Two words: ed snowden. This is all cover for his data dump.

jimbrown said...

Two words: ed snowden. This is all cover for his data dump.

Anonymous said...

To your comment:"the file had a white house signature"...that sounds soooo unbelievable and far fetched and the way you refer to computers and the terminology you use makes me think you don't know what you're talking about. ..sorry. ..

War News Updates Editor said...

Anon ... you are correct. I was wrong. Edward Snowden revealed how extensive U.S. surveillance is on the world wide web .... I definitely underestimated how sophisticated and massive this monitoring is.