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SOURCE: Daily Mail

  • The NSA has figured out how to hide spying and sabotage software deep within hard drives, according to cyber researchers and former operatives
  • The group said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs
  • The most infections were seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria
  • The infections started in 2001, but increased drastically in 2008, the year President Barack Obama was elected
  • The tools are designed to run on computers even when they are not connected to the Internet, and even the makers of some of the hard drives are unaware that these programs have been embedded
  • The spies made a technological breakthrough by figuring out how to lodge malicious software in the obscure code called firmware that launches every time a computer is turned on

The National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives, allowing them to monitor and eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers – even when they are not connected to the internet.

The Moscow-based security software maker Kaspersky Lab said it has found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria.

The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists.

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