NSA Taps 100,000 Computers Worldwide

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  • National Security Agency headquarter. Nymag.com

    National Security Agency headquarter. Nymag.com

    TEMPO.CO, New York - Espionage by the National Security Agency (NSA) has been uncovered once more. The NSA allegedly installed tapping devices on nearly 100,000 computers sent abroad, particularly to China, Russia, Europe, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and India. The latest leak was uncovered by The New York Times last Tuesday.

    With this technology, the NSA could not only access personal computers, but also create a ‘virtual highway’ for a cyber strike. “The new thing about this is the scale and sophistication of intelligence capabilities to hack into a computer and network that has never been accessed by anyone before,” said James Andrew Lewis, a cyber security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, as quoted by The New York Times.

    The technology, in use since 2008, uses hidden radio waves transmitted through a tiny circuit board and an obscure USB card attached to the computer. This technology enables tapping of computers that are not even connected to the internet, and breaching the encryption and spyware, which normally should protect computers from hacking on the internet.

    According to The New York Times, the Chinese Military is the most favored target. The NSA said the technology is not similar to the ones used on American computers. “NSA activities are focused and exclusive in targeting known foreign intelligence,” said Vannee Vines, NSA spokesperson, in a statement quoted by The New York Times. She also denied that intelligence data is given out to companies in the United States.

    The program codenamed ‘Quantum’ is also used on Russian Military networks, the system used by the police and drug cartels in Mexico, European trade institutions, and even the allies of the US such as Saudi Arabia, India, and Pakistan. The NSA would not comment on Quantum. All they said was that what they do is nowhere as huge as China. 

    USA TODAY | AL-JAZEERA | NATALIA SANTI