January 15, 2014
The National Security Agency has secretly installed software on roughly 100,000 computers in countries around the world which enables the U.S. to not only conduct surveillance on the devices but to be ready to launch a cyber-attack at the push of a button, The New York Times is reporting.
Although the majority of the computers have been infiltrated by accessing computer networks, the NSA, for the past six years, has also used secret wireless technology permitting it to access and alter data on computers, even when they are offline, NSA documents, computer experts and American officials, have revealed.
This technology, according to the New York Times’ report, depends on a “covert channel of radio waves” to transmit from “tiny circuit boards and USB cards” secretly installed into the computers.
The radio waves can then be sent to briefcase-size relay stations miles away from the transmitting computer, the report indicated.
The Chinese Army, the documents revealed, was a regular target of such technology. However, it does not appear the agency used such technology inside the U.S.
The NSA responded to the report with a uniform statement: “NSA’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements. In addition, we do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to — U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”
The NSA has classified its actions as an act of “active defense” against foreign cyber-attacks in case such measures are ever needed, according to the Times report.
The U.S. government has protested, however, when China carried out similar actions on the computer systems of American companies or government agencies.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.