The NSA didn’t just pick at the world’s emails, phone conversations, and text messages at their leisure. And they didn’t just infect computer files with their malware. They’ve actually developed a way to infect the firm ware of the hard drive itself. That means just wiping the drive won’t get the job done. The only way to get rid of this malware would be to physically destroy the hard drive.
This level of access to hard drives was discovered by software security company Kaspersky Lab, and revealed in the company’s Security Analyst Summit in Mexico last week, as reported by VICE. The system they detected affects hard drives found in computers around the world in at least 30 different major countries. Iran and Russia are the most-infected, with China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and Algeria as runners up.
The NSA’s approach is somewhat targeted, compared to their usual M.O. of sucking up anything and everything possible in the airwaves . The hard drives infected by this particularly effective malware had information including major infrastructure of telecommunication, banking, utility, and media companies; along with the expected government and military targets.
While this discovery by Kaspersky isn’t the 100% positive I.D. as with Edward Snowden’s leaks, it is still virtually impossible for any other entity to be behind such an involved, expensive, and highly sophisticated piece of malware, which has apparently been active since 2001.
What does this news mean for America? The level of invasion could spell disaster for the companies that complied with the NSA’s operation, leading to loss of partnerships with foreign countries, especially in the security sector and financial institutions.
There really isn’t much left that can be revealed at this point that would surprise anyone about the degree to which the NSA has infiltrated any and all communications or how they store and manage data which was obtained without warrants or even criminal suspicion.
That’s why Dabs Magazine will be thwarting the NSA’s efforts by flooding all our communication channels with The Rock memes, dirty emoji texts, and dick pics. That’ll teach them.