Featured image : mashable.com | NSA Surveillance News: Everything You Need to Know
Russian Cyber Security Giant Kaspersky Labs, on the 16th, released a list of spying firmware used by the NSA to spy on other countries. According to the Kaspersky report, the NSA successfully inserted a spyware in the harddrives' boot sector of hardware giants like Seagate, IBM and Samsung electronics besides others, which helped NSA not only bypass major security measures but also seamlessly checkout what's going on the in the PC with the infected drive. Kaspersky declined to name the country directly behind this. According to Reuters, a former NSA employee verified that such a breakthrough spyware was indeed backed by NSA. Some of the target countries are Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Algeria, Syria, Yemen and Mali. The reason that this NSA spyware is a highly sophisticated and smart counter espionage tool is because it lives in the harddrive's firmware, which loads every time the computer is booted up. And this makes the detection virtually impossible. Plus to modify a harddisk's firmware, NSA needed certain propriety source codes. How it got access to those is also not clear. In the wake of this report, the companies said either they were not aware of such spyware existing on the hard drives or declined to comment. And since the harddrives are manufactured by commercial vendors, it's immediately also not clear whether or not these companies had cooperated with the NSA to insert the spyware in the drives.