Nsabel eavesdropped diplomats and reporters – thousands of computers infected

Nsabel eavesdropped diplomats and reporters - thousands of computers infected

By the end of this year, there should be at least 85,000 such prepared computers, as the newspaper wrote on saturday on the basis of documents from the fund of the whistleblower edward snowden. The secret service NSA has also developed a system that can automatically control millions of infected computers.

According to a report in the news magazine "der spiegel", the french aube ministry was also spied on. The NSA was particularly interested in the computer network linking embassies, consulates and ministries, the magazine reports, citing an NSA document from june 2010. The NSA is said to have installed bugs in the french missions in washington and at the united nations, and screenshots have been collected in new york.

According to "spiegel," the U.S. Agents were also able to read the internal and especially protected communications of the arab broadcaster al-jazeera. In addition, the NSA has sneaked into the booking system of the russian airline aeroflot, the magazine reported, citing documents of the discloser snowden. Specifically, the magazine referred to an NSA document from march 2006. Al-jazeera, headquartered in qatar, has also been broadcasting audio and video messages from the leadership of the terrorist organization al-qaeda for more than a decade.

In 2011, the american intelligence services carried out a total of 231 cyberattacks, according to the "washington post". The figure is in a draft budget leaked by snowden. The best-known example of a state cyber attack is the stuxnet computer worm, which sabotaged the iranian nuclear program a few years ago. IT security experts are certain that western intelligence services are behind stuxnet, even if this has never been officially confirmed.

Intelligence hackers break into computers much more often to siphon off data, according to report. The actions ran under the code name "genie" (spirit). By the end of this year, special software will be placed on at least 85,000 strategically selected computers around the world as part of "genie," it said. This software can record and transmit data for example. In large computer networks, only one infected device can open access to hundreds of thousands of others.

Secret software installed on the computer often only serves as a backdoor for possible later access, a former official told the "washington post". According to the documents, only 8448 of the almost 69,000 infected computers were fully exploited in 2011. This also has to do with personnel capacity, although 1870 people were already employed on the project, he said.

In the future, however, a system with the code name "turbine" will ensure the automatic operation of millions of spy programs smuggled into other people’s computers. NSA specialists also worked on covert software that could detect and record relevant speech on computer networks.

In the wake of the latest NSA revelations, the american internet industry is fighting back against the impression that the NSA can access user data at will. The companies microsoft and google now want to go to court together to enforce more transparency in requests from american authorities for user data. Ongoing lawsuits will be pursued, wrote microsoft chief legal counsel brad smith in a blog entry on friday. Among other things, the companies want to be allowed to name the number of requests for the content of users’ communications separately from those involving less private information such as customer data on an e-mail address.

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