Los Angeles Times story:
NSA posed as Facebook to infect computers with malware
By Salvador Rodriguez
March 12, 2014, 11:34 a.m.
The National Security Agency has reportedly used automated systems to infect user computers with malware since 2010, according to a Wednesday report. And at times the agency pretended to be Facebook to install its malware.
The NSA has been using a program codenamed TURBINE to contaminate computers and networks with malware "implants" capable of spying on users, according to The Intercept, which cited documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Between 85,000 and 100,000 of these implants have been deployed worldwide thus far, the report said.
To infect computers with malware, the NSA has relied on various tactics, including posing as Facebook.
The federal agency performed what is known as a "man-on-the-side" attack in which it tricked users computers into thinking that they were accessing real Facebook servers. Once the user had been fooled, the NSA hacked into the user's computer and extracted data from their hard drive.
Facebook said it had no knowledge of the NSA"s TURBINE program, according to the National Journal. However, the social network said it is no longer possible for the NSA or hackers to attack users that way, but Facebook warned that other websites and social networks may still be vulnerable to those types of attacks. ...
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