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How the NSA Plans To Infect 'Millions' of Computers With Malware

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the sudo-apt-get-install-nsa-malware dept.

Government 234

Advocatus Diaboli sends news from The Intercept about leaked documents which show that the NSA is significantly expanding its efforts to build an automated system to compromise computers remotely. From the article: "The implants being deployed were once reserved for a few hundred hard-to-reach targets, whose communications could not be monitored through traditional wiretaps. But the documents analyzed by The Intercept show how the NSA has aggressively accelerated its hacking initiatives in the past decade by computerizing some processes previously handled by humans. The automated system – codenamed TURBINE – is designed to 'allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually.' In a top-secret presentation, dated August 2009, the NSA describes a pre-programmed part of the covert infrastructure called the 'Expert System,' which is designed to operate 'like the brain.' The system manages the applications and functions of the implants and 'decides' what tools they need to best extract data from infected machines."

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crime? (5, Insightful)

BlazingATrail (3112385) | about 7 months ago | (#46466407)

Shouldn't somebody go to jail for this?

Re:crime? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466465)

Hah. The elite get in trouble for doing something illegal? Was that a joke?

However, since you pointed out their wrong-doing, you have a chance of being locked up. There is no greater law in these lands than embarrassing or exposing those in power.

Re:crime? Sovereign Immunity. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466491)

Shouldn't somebody go to jail for this?

Apparently, the government is above the law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_immunity When you steal money from someone, it is called a crime called theft but when the government does it, they call it taxes. When you extort money from someone, it is a crime but when the government does it, it is called a fine, levy, duty or fee.

Don't steal, the government hates competition.

Re:crime? Sovereign Immunity. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466653)

Shouldn't somebody go to jail for this?

but when the government does it, they call it taxes.

Fuck you idiot. Go buy a fucking island from some Saudi Prince or something and run your own anarchist state with no roads, power, or drinkable water.

Re:crime? Sovereign Immunity. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466769)

get a job lazy ass fucking leech

Re:crime? Sovereign Immunity. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467235)

I'm the leech from above, with consistent employment. If plans pan out at my current place, I may reach the $80,000.00 range by the end of the year. I'm not rich, but I'm far, far away from needing any social assistance. I don't live in a huge city, so cost of living is quite low here. That salary goes a long way, and I'd gladly double my taxes to increase the services everyone here is getting.

The roads here that are privately maintained are garbage, and the tolls aren't automated yet so they're slow as hell, while the city ones are always in considerably better shape.

My hometown has a public energy utility. My current residence has choice of two, both far more expensive than my home, and they both cost the same. Why? I don't know.

I don't have experience with private water (thank god) but in countries that do privatize water, service and cost isn't exactly an outcome.

This isn't even addressing private vs public (when they're properly funded) education, healthcare, public safety, etc. I've never seen a favorable comparison in any of these cases, though.

Don't want to be too serious, on Slashdot though, so here's a joke. Why is my 6 year-old a libertarian? He doesn't understand the world either.

Re:crime? Sovereign Immunity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466771)

Are you implying that the federal government is responsible for roads, power, and drinkable water while also trying to call him an idiot? And what does that, at all, have to do with him being an anarchist, exactly?

Oh. You're trolling. I get it. You say stupid things to incite some harsh reaction. You got me; I'm so angry that someone on the internet is wrong

Re:crime? Sovereign Immunity. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466783)

The government does not provide ("make") roads, power nor drinkable water.

Fuck you, statist twat.

Re:crime? Sovereign Immunity. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467101)

In civilized countries the government provides all of those. They're all doing fine economically as well.

Re:crime? Sovereign Immunity. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 7 months ago | (#46467115)

The government has always been above the law.

The only time people in sufficient positions of power go to jail for crimes is when they governing body been sufficiently embarrassed by the situation they've created that they want to start over with a clean slate, and at least pretend like they never condoned whatever crime was committed Since this is determined by what the *government* actually wants, and not anything constituents may want or choose to do, there is no way that citizens can exercise any control over this.

Re:crime? Sovereign Immunity. (4, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 7 months ago | (#46467355)

While I agree with the fact of the rediculousness of how the government can do crime in many ways that would otherwise be illegal. Equating taxes to it is just plain stupid. Taxes are logical payments for services in which the government can and does provide. IE the roads, the oversight into companies to prove that our food isn't entirely relabeled rat droppings, fire departments etc.. Now is it done perfectly or even well? Not in the least, but no matter what a functioning society is going to need a tax system. Even if a perfect rebuilding of government happened, taxes would absolutely be a necessity.

Re:crime? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 7 months ago | (#46466637)

Only if they actually do it, and only if someone with authority ends up considering it illegal.

Re:crime? (1)

Andrew Osiris (2826645) | about 7 months ago | (#46466703)

conspiracy is a crime. Planning a bank robery is a crime.

Re:crime? (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 months ago | (#46466727)

I'm pretty sure Snowden will, at some point in the future.

Re:crime? (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 7 months ago | (#46466763)

Unfortunately, the people most likely to go to jail for this are the people who are letting us know about these abuses of power instead of the people abusing power. The latter will simply cry "TERRORISTS!" at the next Congressional hearing and get (at worst) a sternly worded speech directed at them.

Re:crime? (4, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 7 months ago | (#46466959)

to send someone to jail, you have to take them to court (part of the process).

and there is the problem: you and I can't show 'standing' (it will always, ALWAYS be denied us and we can't prove we have been tapped, so there you go!).

therefore, they are untouchable via usual legal means.

they know the system and they use it to keep themselves in power.

nothing short of a full revolution is going to unseat, them either. and given americans' apathy and blind trust in continually voting against their own best interests, this won't be solved in our lifetime.

Re: crime? (1)

macinnisrr (1103805) | about 7 months ago | (#46467107)

I take it you've never heard of Guantanamo.

Re:crime? (4, Insightful)

hackus (159037) | about 7 months ago | (#46467245)

Jail?

Oh, I am sorry...you are thinking of JUSTICE. No no...laws apply to YOU..thats JUST US.

JUSTICE is for anybody not you, and it works this way:

1) Eric Holder runs guns for the mexican cartels in a act of subverting the law of the land, the constitution by orchestrating heavy arms into very violent people on the Mexican border hoping the chaos that will inevitably follow through with the subversion of law abiding citizens right to bear arms.

You know, because, if you have border incidents, they don't want people able to defend themselves.

While this is going on, DHS is plotting to kill every man women and child in the USA through the acquisition of ludicrous amounts of ammo.

HOLLOW POINT BULLETS AND SNIPER AMMO, not pistol ammo. MILITARY GRADE AMMO.

I mean, ammo in the BILLIONS OF ROUNDS. You would need hundreds of MILLIONS of terrorists to justify that sort of purchase.

Do I need to draw anyone a picture or is it just a coincidence that the population of the USA is about 280 Million?

280 Million terrorists.

Yeah, terrorists because you don't like having your money confiscated when the banker cronies come and take it all.

2) Look at these lawless people and the BANKS THAT SUPPORT THEM.

New data centers that are funded for criminal industrial espionage, which is the primary activity of the NSA, with PRINTED dollars, because the economy could never afford to build any of this stuff.

From the NSA data centers to the really outrageous F35 program, which cost about 2 trillion to maintain a world wide fighter force of F35's when fully deployed.
(Probably more and if they can ever deliver it because they can't get the thing to work.)

Does anyone know what we collect in taxes? It's about 2 trillion. No really, go look it up. ALL of the collected tax revenue for one year, would go JUST for maintaining a fleet of F35's world wide on all of those bases we have.

Meanwhile these BANKERS print money and destroy the dollar value and as a result creates mischief. If you spend 2 trillion on air planes, you logically have to print the rest of the money to pay for everything else.

The SAME MISCHIEF THAT IS GOING ON IN THE UKRAINE right now. Did you see who they hired?

A Banker. A nice London Banker!

These people are everywhere and where they go lawlessness follows.

3) Have you noticed our youth have no where to go? You know why? Well, for one thing the economy is totally managed by the federal reserve.

The whole thing is rigged. LIBOR. Rigged. Silver Gold Prices, Rigged. Stock Market...

RIIIIIIIIGGGGGGEEEEEEEDD!

You tell me how the stock market can be so high when there is virtually no growth ANWYHERE IN THE WORLD, let alone the United States, which has like 35% unemployment.

You know once upon a time we had laws in place so Bankers couldn't control everything through monopolies. We use to have like a huge number of banks in the USA. Laws were put there so that the banks could not combine and do a EPIC meltdown, or forge any mischief. What do we have now?

5 banks controlling like 85% of the market? What happens when one of them goes titsup?

Yeah, remember the Anti Trust laws? Remember the glass steagall laws?

Yeah they got rid of them. You know why?

Because they want to steal it ALL that is why, and they don't want to be held accountable for ANYTHING.

Justice is for JUST US, NOT THEM.

I am not even going to go into OBAMA CARE, because at this point I am really freaking ticked off at all of this banker mishief and the hollowed politicians from our so called TWO PARTY, really ONE PARTY system.

ONE PARTY to SCREW YOU.

Two Party so they can laughably claim you have a choice when you vote.

Re:crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467369)

People aren't even willing to vote to make it become a crime, and you want people to act as though it were? People have been bitching about CALEA for two decades but you would never guess anyone has a problem, looking at every single goddamn election. Oh, you disagree? Ok, tell me the name of any politician who lost an election due to their pro-police state stand. Or tell me the name of one who won, running on promises of getting the lawbreakers out of government, expanding the peoples' power at the expense of the government's power, or repealing police state laws?

Voters don't care. So nobody has incentive to arrest anyone. If someone does, we the people will punish them at the polls.

Re:crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467425)

SEVERAL people should go to jail for this

Skynet? (0)

Traze (1167415) | about 7 months ago | (#46466431)

Is there any way to avoid such a thing short of cutting my net connection?

Generally I am not too worried about the NSA. I think it is BS what they do as far as invasion of privacy. But I personally have nothing to hide.

But this has completely changed the small amount of reluctance I had in becoming a "ZOMG da sky iz fallinz!" type.

Burn these fuckers.

Re:Skynet? (5, Informative)

BrianPRabbit (2020846) | about 7 months ago | (#46466501)

But I personally have nothing to hide.

Even if You are completely innocent, You have "something to hide". So agree both a defense Attorney and a law enforcement Officer [youtube.com] as well as every other law enforcement Officer I have ever met.

Re: Skynet? (1)

macinnisrr (1103805) | about 7 months ago | (#46467153)

Even if you have something to hide, just don't mention it on the internet. Drug dealers don't usually mention drugs on their cell phone. If you're a criminal and don't adopt this strategy, you're just bad at your "job".

Re:Skynet? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466549)

Is there any way to avoid such a thing short of cutting my net connection?

Wouldn't do much good. They have a plethora of ways to extract information from your computers even if there is no internet connection.

But I personally have nothing to hide.

Yes you do. I'm not even going to go on about the "the average person commits 3 felonies a day without even knowing it," speech and instead just point out that everything you do in your private life is just that: private. It is yours, and unless they have a warrant, "they" (whoever "they" may be in your country of choice) should not have access to it under any circumstances. That, and even if you don't think you are a valid target, "they" might disagree. There's a number of people out there that thought they were safe and could trust the system, but you know how that turned out. Most recently, Feinstein is finding that she has been bitten by the very same spy machine she's been feeding, or how about Petraeus' mistress that was exposed through the use of so-called "meta-data."

However, you're absolutely right that even if someone perceives themselves to not be a target, they should still move towards securing themselves.

Re: Skynet? (1)

macinnisrr (1103805) | about 7 months ago | (#46467227)

Invasion of privacy sucks, I agree. But come on, how can any agency get information without an internet connection? I suppose you'll say "physical access", to which the answer is "linux+encryption", or "measuring emp" which is even more invasive. If you're breaking laws and don't notice the large surveillance van parked in front of your house for three days, you're an idiot.

Re: Skynet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467471)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/us/nsa-effort-pries-open-computers-not-connected-to-internet.html?_r=0

BTW someone told me about this more than 15 years ago. I thought the guy was crazy. Turns out he was right.
I sooo wish he didn't also believe in this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLGxa3L1VJA
because now I'm starting to think that might not be too far fetched either....

Re:Skynet? (-1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 7 months ago | (#46466561)

They're welcome to monitor me playing DayZ and repetitively dying and being eaten by Zombies at home. I don't give a shit. At work, this could be more tricky.

Re:Skynet? (5, Insightful)

The_Human_Diversion (3564171) | about 7 months ago | (#46466569)

Is there any way to avoid such a thing short of cutting my net connection? Generally I am not too worried about the NSA. I think it is BS what they do as far as invasion of privacy. But I personally have nothing to hide. But this has completely changed the small amount of reluctance I had in becoming a "ZOMG da sky iz fallinz!" type.

The "I have nothing to hide" argument is quite the slippery slope. Do you truly, really, honestly have nothing to hide? Let's put up cameras in every corner of your house, then. Perhaps we can get full copies of your bank statements? You may trust the NSA as a whole, but Snowden already showed that even a single bad apple can ruin a lot of days. What if he leaked compromising information of private citizens as part of his escapades? Would you have something to hide then? Hyperbolic? Sure. But because we've had even just a handful of instances of people having their lives screwed while innocent because surveillance - legal or illegal - uncovered something about them, it's a valid point. Read more. (article about why privacy matters) [chronicle.com]

Re:Skynet? (5, Insightful)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 7 months ago | (#46466661)

People with nothing to hide can still get wrongfully convicted with circumstantial evidence.

Re:Skynet? (3, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 7 months ago | (#46466801)

Not to mention that many people have something they'd like to hide. Perhaps nothing illegal, but something that would be embarrassing were it to become public knowledge. An agency that spies on everyone is one political move away from threatening to reveal these secrets if you don't tow the line.

Re:Skynet? (4, Informative)

sandbagger (654585) | about 7 months ago | (#46467275)

Toe the line. TOE THE LINE. Not tow. Toe the line as 'line up over there'.

Re: Skynet? (1)

macinnisrr (1103805) | about 7 months ago | (#46467327)

Well, this may be an interesting talking point, but really is a matter of attitude. Remember when Rob Ford admitted to smoking crack? I don't live in Toronto, but I applaud his honesty. The same goes for every other scenario on earth. If I cheat my wife, it's brought up, and I admit to it, I'll gain far more respect than if I deny, deny, deny.

More to the terrifying point (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 7 months ago | (#46467031)

People with nothing to hide can still get wrongfully convicted with planted evidence.

Re: Skynet? (1)

macinnisrr (1103805) | about 7 months ago | (#46467263)

They can (and have) also be convicted with falsified evidence. What's the difference (other than the fact that continuous monitoring of everyone is far more expensive)?

Re:Skynet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466681)

I, too, have nothing to hide.

That is to say: among the things I have to hide is nothing, so that when they go looking to see what I hid there they'll be wasting their time.

Re:Skynet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466731)

I have nothing to hide actually means "I will never dissent so they'll never have a reason to go after me".

Re:Skynet? (2)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 7 months ago | (#46466993)

The principle is still valid.

"According to your cellphone records, you were in the vicinity of an anti-government protest..."

Re:Skynet? (1)

Traze (1167415) | about 7 months ago | (#46467321)

Actually, no. I dissent all the time.

Do I incite riots? Nope.

Re:Skynet? (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#46466931)

Write your own OS and browser, run it on an eval board for some mil-spec chip.

Every common architecture, OS, and browser has known (and undisclosed) attack vectors. The only truly safe approach is to not use them.
Then you can browse the web in full knowledge that your machine is safe, and only every single one of your actions will be tracked.

Re:Skynet? (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 7 months ago | (#46467283)

But I personally have nothing to hide.

Nonsense. [slashdot.org]

But really, desiring privacy is not wrong. There's nothing wrong with having something to hide.

Re:Skynet? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 7 months ago | (#46467299)

Even having nothing to hide, and guilty of nothing, you are still target to confirmation bias [aljazeera.com] . And a private joke [theblaze.com] could put you in deep troubles.

All the more reason... (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46466467)

to pull out my old C64, dust it off and find my floppies.

to a happier and simpler time

Re:All the more reason... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466523)

yeah .. fcuk the NSA man .. let them scuk my floppy dcik .. ( 6.1 inch when flasid )

Re:All the more reason... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466553)

You must have a particularly rancid asshole.

Re:All the more reason... (1)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 7 months ago | (#46466895)

You could afford a 1541?

Most of us couldn't, cost more than the computer itself!

Re:All the more reason... (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 7 months ago | (#46467061)

to pull out my old C64, dust it off and find my floppies.

to a happier and simpler time

I was a VIC 20 guy myself. (Because no matter how many times we explained it to our parents they had no clue why what we really wanted was an Apple][...)

As much as I miss those days, you'll have to pry my modern hardware from my cold dead hands, I rather like living in the 21st century where I can deploy applications to servers around the world with a click of a mouse and read books, watch movies and manipulate my entire music collection from a super computer in the palm of my hand.

Gotta be a red herring (2)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about 7 months ago | (#46466489)

I can't believe this claim.

I bet they did this a decade ago, and this article is just a way to make people believe it hasn't actually happened yet ...

- Jesper

Re:Gotta be a red herring (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 7 months ago | (#46467199)

'Expert System,' which is designed to operate 'like the brain.

This is the point where it started sounding like a syfy.... Maybe they have malware but I doubt it operates like the brain.

Re:Gotta be a red herring (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46467479)

Well, it shows they were planning it back in 2009, so presumably they already have done it. We need to focus on detection.

Linux version? (4, Interesting)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 7 months ago | (#46466495)

If not, we could finally be looking at the year of Linux on the desktop. :)
For me Linux on the desktop came about five years ago.

Re:Linux version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466575)

Don't think you're so secure because you run linux.

Re:Linux version? (4, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about 7 months ago | (#46466723)

Linux is more secure.
Also, Linux is less of a target.
I'm glad that I use Linux. I'm also happy that most people don't use Linux.

Re:Linux version? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466851)

LOL!!!!! With Linux being "nubber won in da server rooomzzz!!!" it's going to be a fantastic target.
 
Why go to the client when you can have the server? Or are you too fucking stupid to understand this concept?

Re:Linux version? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467067)

If you think everyone uploads all their files to a server somewhere, you're pretty fucking stupid.

Re:Linux version? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#46467019)

"more secure" != secure. I'm sure a lot of the backbone goodness is on linux servers, and it's like swiss cheese to them. at least you feel more secure.

Re:Linux version? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 7 months ago | (#46467261)

If you read through TFA, you'll see that many of their exploits take place by exploiting MITM (and similar) attacks on the Internet communication. However, most of these exploits use some type of malware installed on the machines and that is where Windows is particularly vulnerable. It's much harder to compromise a Linux machine.
(And please spare me the "But Linux does has bugz too" rant. Security is not absolute. It is a game of making it difficult to get to your data. Windows makes it easy. Linux makes it hard. Which would you rather have?)

Re:Linux version? (1, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46467361)

Neither.

Neither one is intrinsically more secure as a desktop OS than the other. That Linux has had less malware is only because the market share is smaller.

Re:Linux version? (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 7 months ago | (#46466823)

You're right but I have a strong feeling that I have a chance to be far more secure on linux ..

Re:Linux version? (0)

NuAngel (732572) | about 7 months ago | (#46467029)

I'm sorry, just the fact that you actually used the phrase "year of the Linux on the desktop" makes me crack up. I'm not a Linux hater by any means, but I've been hearing this same phrase since at least 1998. :)

Re:Linux version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467105)

For me Linux (Mint Debian) on the desktop came this year, for me, and, when the harddrive got corrupted on my wife's Vista laptop, on my wife's computer.

No biggies yet. VMWare Player / VirtualBox are both free and runs most Windows applications. Never been happier now that I'm back on stationary PC, 32 GB RAM and a snappy videocard. No more laptop noise and heat issues. No more proprietary iTurds. Looking forward to SteamOS and linux gaming (Linux Steam is compatible and works like a charm once you have the right proprietary video card driver installed).

Re:Linux version? (1, Troll)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46467167)

Right. Because it's not as if they found a bug in GnuTLS security the other week, that compromises HTTP security in many Linux apps. A bug that may or may not have been planted by the NSA, but either way has been undiscovered for 9 years.

There is nothing about Linux that makes it safer from government hacking. In fact the openness that allows many people, who's actual identities are not know to anyone, to contribute code makes it more vulnerable than a closed commercial OS.

At least with a closed commercial OS you have to actually be an identifiable person working for the company to submit changes. Or risk posing as one. And there are people who are paid to do the boring testing and audits. Apple's equivalent of the GnuTLS bug was discovered in a matter of months, not years.

SystemD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466541)

And the implant for Linux is called SystemD!

hard to believe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466543)

but isn't turbine a 3d game engine?

Steam = NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466927)

But this DRM is so convenient!

So now we now the NSA's plans for growth... (4, Insightful)

Are You Kidding (1734126) | about 7 months ago | (#46466601)

Is my Kaspersky Antivirus going to find and remove their viruses? Or even better, perhaps some enterprising hacker will write a tool that that sends its own malware back through the NSA bot net and trashes their servers. When I was a youngster "We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us" was amusing. Now it it taken as a guiding principle by our intelligence services. It's sad.

Re:So now we now the NSA's plans for growth... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46467279)

Is my Kaspersky Antivirus going to find and remove their viruses?

It seems like a good idea to avoid American make anti-virus software, as they may be working in cooperation with the NSA. But going for a Russian one doesn't seem like a terribly good idea, as you'll just get spied on by their security services instead. (Recently Russia gave out goodie bags to G20 representatives which contained spyware in USB drives and power supplies.)

Likewise British and Israeli anti-virus would be a bad choice given their history of surveillance and cooperating with the US.

So which country that we trust a bit more has an anti-virus company?

Re:So now we now the NSA's plans for growth... (1)

bug1 (96678) | about 7 months ago | (#46467447)

Antivirus programs wouldnt even find and remove the sony rootkit.
If you want to pay to be secure then you are not.

When am I going to get rid of this tinfoil hat? (5, Insightful)

dweller_below (136040) | about 7 months ago | (#46466629)

So, now it turns out that the NSA really was attacking me. Just because I ran the routers and a few other critical things.

20 years ago, when I first started ranting about the NSA it was mostly theoretical. I ranted because there was no proof they were not evil. The stickers on my laptop's mic and camera were a bit of a joke. People would ask about them and it would give me a chance to rant. That's all I really wanted. A chance to rant from time to time.

But, now it is clear that all my rants were too conservative.

Now I am doing IT security for a university. I spend all day attempting to hold off the attacks of foreign governments. Some of those attacks now appear to be my own government. I never really wanted to be this paranoid. And it still appears that I am not paranoid enough.

When will I ever be able to take off this stupid tinfoil hat?

Congress keeps railing against money wasted on social programs. It appears the NSA and the CIA are elaborate social programs for sociopaths. Why can't we defund them?

Re:When am I going to get rid of this tinfoil hat? (2)

FudRucker (866063) | about 7 months ago | (#46466909)

I physically removed the camera and microphone from my laptop, cant hack what does not exist anymore.

its not that i do anything wrong, even if i am typing up chocolate cake recipes it is still none of their fucking business what i am doing, maybe i am using a cad program to build custom motorcycle parts i dont want those fascist pigs to steal it and give it to their criminal friends on wallstreet

Re:When am I going to get rid of this tinfoil hat? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#46467035)

that's the way to go. I covered my laptop camera with a sticker. haven't had the balls to do the mike yet. it's a very convoluted process on a macbook.

Re:When am I going to get rid of this tinfoil hat? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467189)

I am a fat old dude, I just moon my computer every day -- A moon a day keeps the NSA away.

Re:When am I going to get rid of this tinfoil hat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467187)

The NSA isn't attacking you. Just because they have a capability doesn't mean it is used against a US Entity. I own a gun, does that mean I'm going to shoot you? Or maybe you're just one of those people. Garsh.

No, really? (0)

Crypto Cavedweller (2611959) | about 7 months ago | (#46466685)

As with so many Snowden "revelations," the security community can only shake their heads at the general illiteracy of the popular press and say "Yeah ... who didn't know this?" The NSA discovered that botnets are powerful infection mechanisms? They'd have to be as illiterate as the average blogger to NOT have figured that out by now, wouldn't they?

Title should say "has significantly expanded" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466695)

Presentation is august 2009. 3.5 years is a long time in cyber.

Are the encryption keys for rpms and debs safe? (0)

Marrow (195242) | about 7 months ago | (#46466715)

How do we know that the next update on linux is safe?

I'm sure Linus reviews everything. right? (2)

Thud457 (234763) | about 7 months ago | (#46467063)

How do we know that the next update on linux is safe?

I thought you said you were going to audit it.

Re:Are the encryption keys for rpms and debs safe? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46467089)

How do you know the current Linux is safe? How about last month? Last year? Five years ago? One hundred years ago?

I'm not saying aliens wrote Linux, but... aliens created Linus.

Re:Are the encryption keys for rpms and debs safe? (3, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 7 months ago | (#46467093)

How do we know that the next update on linux is safe?

Nothing is safe, it never was. A "safe" computer is one with no network behind a locked door where the users have to undergo a full body search before entering the locked room.

Everything else is suspect. That's how NSA and their partners have worked for decades, get used to it.

Mr Computer then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466719)

hehe...becoming harder to hide that strong AI...30 thousand staff...billions of messages per day....

Re:Mr Computer then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467233)

I too am starting to put on a tin foil hat with regards to strong AI being out in the wild. A series of really complicated, highly coordinated political takeovers and maneuverings started to happen about 15 years ago, and I think they are just getting more ingenious as time goes on. I'm sorry, I don't believe our politicians/bureaucracy are that nimble/intelligent or that they can keep so many manipulations going on at the same time.

USA - World Capital of Criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466747)

Criminal behaviour rules in USA. Come here criminals, you will be rewarded here. Law abiding citizens and people with integrity will thrown in jails.

cry for help (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466779)

rape... molest... help! for the love of god and all that is holy... HELP!

Plans to? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 7 months ago | (#46466787)

This is from 2009, so they've probably done it by now.

Re:Plans to? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46467111)

This is from 2009, which means it was already done in 2004.

So . . . (0)

hduff (570443) | about 7 months ago | (#46466845)

Has my meemaw's computer been compromised?

Too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466855)

Microsoft beat them to it.

Fight terrorism! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46466945)

By far the most effective way to fight terrorism these days would seem to be by dismantling the NSA. It's the largest terrorist organization in the world.

And what a lot of money would be saved.

Go big or go home (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 7 months ago | (#46466951)

Must be missing something... I can't imagine how one could reasonably intend to infect millions of machines and not expect their stash of 0-days to be discovered and plugged in short order.. unless NSA plans to social engineer all of their victims to run the "fre3 v1agra" installer seems like a great way for NSA to shoot itself in the foot.

Re:Go big or go home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467273)

Who is doing the patching? Where are the patches getting distributed? Shouldn't be too many sources they need to monitor for patches that are against their will.

Re:Go big or go home (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46467385)

Well the following may well have been the NSAs work, and they got away with it for 9 years.

http://arstechnica.com/securit... [arstechnica.com]

Infect millions? (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | about 7 months ago | (#46466981)

Whaddarthey gonna do? Buy Adobe?

LinkSys TheMoon worm? (2)

NuAngel (732572) | about 7 months ago | (#46467013)

Anybody wonder if the plans in these documents (circa 2009?) have maybe adapted and become the recent Linksys worm [sans.edu] ?

How to do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467137)

Get in bed with silicon manufacuters.
Get in bed with a well known website such as google.com

Have a trigger code in the website. or something like that.
Have the processor essentially grep everything it sees for that trigger code. Have it execute the malicious instructions and return back in like a and have it replace xxx with some data.

In this way, you can establish two way communication with the processor itself without it knowing anything about higher level protocols.

Be afraid. There are few ways to avoid this.

Cyber war preparation (1)

Framboise (521772) | about 7 months ago | (#46467173)

Developing massive attack tools like that make a global cyber war more likely.
As with the initial ICBM's the first one to strike may believe to win.
Very dangerous, and foolish.

There is already a name for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467183)

The system manages the applications and functions of the implants and 'decides' what tools they need to best extract data from infected machines."

The rest of the world calls this a "botnet".

Legal reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467333)

Phone Phreaking (i.e. playing tones into a phone) is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, but installing malware on millons of computers, is not.

Let's examine the language...

(5) (A) knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;
(B) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, recklessly causes damage; or
(C) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damage and loss.


A "compromised" computer is by definition a damaged computer, in terms of its original and expected behavior. This damage cannot be considered as anything less than "intentional" in the case of TURBINE.

The Lords On The Hill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467345)

Oh look the gentry and the elite doing what they tell us not to do. My, how times NEVER change.

Duty (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#46467405)

In a world where 90% of desktops can't even display a JPEG securely, to not have this capability would be dereliction of duty.

It's called the Xbox One (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46467509)

How many Xbox One consoles have sold? Microsoft claims 4 million+. That's 4 million homes that have each willing placed the most sophisticated NSA spy device imaginable in prime position to track the household residents 24/7.

Microsoft and their NSA partners, when considering the change of policy that allows (in theory) people to use the console WITHOUT either Kinect of an online connection (both originally compulsory requirements), found that market research indicated a 95%+ likelihood of users choosing to use the console in an NSA optimal fashion.

Essentially, if a person were thick enough to ignore the clear warnings that Microsoft designed the Xbox One to spy on users, they'd actually take a pride in setting up their console according to the NSA guidelines.

Snowden proves over, and over, and over, and over that the GCHQ and NSA are about every aspect of 'full surveillance', and that those people who don't consider themselves as valid targets are exactly the people the NSA are most interested in hitting. A kid screaming the N-word over and over while playing an online game of 'Call of Duty' may one day be a politician whose vote is sought in support of yet another vile war of aggression. Showing him video of his 'racist' outbursts, and asking him how his electorate might respond to such a 'leak' in the press will gain the vote of 90%+ of all people blackmailed this way.

Yet the Xbox One goes so much further. A 'super computer' (by the definition of less than a decade back) connects to a military grade sensor that actually measures the speed of light at each pixel, providing for unprecedented analysis of movement in the room. The Xbox One can be trivially taught to recognise any common pattern of movement (especially the rhythmic movements associated with sexual activity), and begin recording/uploading when such a trigger happens.

Every Xbox One is continually running facial and voice recognition services. And the result of these calculations is uploaded daily to NSA servers in the cloud. NSA computers, mostly using algorithms designed by Google for this purpose, process the facial photographs and voice samples to extract better identification information. The NSA goal is to know who enters/leaves every room with an Xbox One, and when.

The NSA NEVER, EVER, EVER needs hacking or 'trojans' to control the Xbox One computer system. Microsoft provides the NSA with a copy of every Xbox One encryption/authorisation key, so EVERY single online console 'phones home' to NSA servers, and any one of these consoles can be instantly remotely controlled by an NSA agent.

The NSA has far more than its 'fair' share of paedophiles. These individuals have unlimited access to the camera systems of Xbox One consoles located in the bedrooms of children. The video that flows from these cameras is encrypted on-the-fly, so the NSA sex criminal that chooses to use the NSA facility this way can avoid detection if he has even one working braincell.

Snowden is giving a VERY limited snapshot of NSA/GCHQ behaviour in the distant past- 'distant' in the sense that even 5 years back is an eternity when considering the world of computer based surveillance. The owners of Slashdot emphasis, as much as they can, lesser and obsolete abuses by the NSA.

The Xbox One makes all previous forms of full surveillance look like they belong in the Stone Age, and yet Microsoft/NSA reputation management policies on forums and social networks ensure that, even today, those that warn about Xbox One spying are dismissed as "paranoid nut-cases". Every single tech site, this one included, has the official position that no NSA spying occurs via the Xbox One. Every monster in History has followed the principle "if you operate through lies, make your lies as BOLD as possible- the bigger the lie the better it works".

   

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