By Andrew Couts — March 12, 2014
Well, this is just special. As part of its efforts to install malware on “millions” of computers worldwide, the National Security Agency impersonated Facebook to trick targets into downloading malicious code.
“In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive,” reports The Intercept in its latest on top-secret documents obtained by Edward Snowden. “In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.”
The Facebook trick was called QUANTUMHAND by the NSA, and was initially tested on “about a dozen targets” before being launched on a larger scale in 2010, the documents show.
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