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Thread: NSA Software in Hard Drives

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    Default NSA Software in Hard Drives

    (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.


    That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.


    Kaspersky said it 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, Kaspersky said.

    A former NSA employee told Reuters that Kaspersky's analysis was correct, and that people still in the intelligence agency valued these spying programs as highly as Stuxnet. Another former intelligence operative confirmed that the NSA had developed the prized technique of concealing spyware in hard drives, but said he did not know which spy efforts relied on it.

    According to Kaspersky, 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 hardware will be able to infect the computer over and over," lead Kaspersky researcher Costin Raiu said in an interview.

    Kaspersky's reconstructions of the spying programs show that they could work in disk drives sold by more than a dozen companies, comprising essentially the entire market. They include Western Digital Corp, Seagate Technology Plc, Toshiba Corp, IBM, Micron Technology Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.


    Western Digital, Seagate and Micron said they had no knowledge of these spying programs. Toshiba and Samsung declined to comment. IBM did not respond to requests for comment.

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    অনুগ্রহ করে কেউ কি আমাকে বলতে পারবেন, আমরা যে পিসি স্লো হয়ে গেসে এই কথা বলে পিসি ফরম্যাট করি, ঐ স্লো কি এই ভাইরাস এর কারনে হয়নাইতো?
    Can anyone kindly explain that if the slowness of the OS after a certain period of time could be for this exact reason mentioned on this article?
    Last edited by Rubab; February 18th, 2015 at 22:43.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubab View Post
    অনুগ্রহ করে কেউ কি আমাকে বলতে পারবেন, আমরা যে পিসি স্লো হয়ে গেসে এই কথা বলে পিসি ফরম্যাট করি, ঐ স্লো কি এই ভাইরাস এর কারনে হয়নাইতো?
    Can anyone kindly explain that if the slowness of the OS after a certain period of time could be for this exact reason mentioned on this article?
    Nope. It is a backdoor trojan. If NSA targets your PC and wants to access it's data, then they would be able to use it to do that. So, if you don't think NSA is specifically interested in your data every few months, then it does not slow your pc, even if you are infected.

    Also, considering the timing of this finding and Kaspersky being russian, I would not take this claim seriously. You know, not only US has propaganda.

    And finally, the OS never slows down with time. I used to think that too, but now after running one installation of OS for 1.8 years, with automatic updates enabled, tons of software installed and uninstalled, and not facing any slowdown, I find this claim baseless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swapnil View Post
    Nope. It is a backdoor trojan. If NSA targets your PC and wants to access it's data, then they would be able to use it to do that. So, if you don't think NSA is specifically interested in your data every few months, then it does not slow your pc, even if you are infected.

    Also, considering the timing of this finding and Kaspersky being russian, I would not take this claim seriously. You know, not only US has propaganda.

    And finally, the OS never slows down with time. I used to think that too, but now after running one installation of OS for 1.8 years, with automatic updates enabled, tons of software installed and uninstalled, and not facing any slowdown, I find this claim baseless.
    I too didn't need to format my Windows 7 installation for about a year and I only did it cause I bought a SSD. But my last Windows XP pc did get horribly slow after 12 months or so. Then again it was a pretty OLD configuration.

    Thanks for the answer.

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    God :S I use Western Digital Hard disk
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    Who gives a ¤¤¤¤ unless u r terrorist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swapnil View Post
    You know, not only US has propaganda.
    If only this was said more often....

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    Ah does this explain the virus in my PC, where it affects my mouse sensitivity and making degrading slow performance also BSODs?

    I've seen the same in some of my friend's PC as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trave160 View Post
    Ah does this explain the virus in my PC, where it affects my mouse sensitivity and making degrading slow performance also BSODs?

    I've seen the same in some of my friend's PC as well
    No it doesn't.

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    So.... it only affects the terrorists..
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