“This just in from the Edward Snowden vault of government secrets: The National Security Agency is breaking into ‘potentially millions of computers worldwide’ and infecting them with malware “implants” as part of an effort that is increasingly relying on automated systems and not human oversight, according to a by First Look Media report published Wednesday,” Dustin Volz reports for National Journal. “And the NSA is pretending to be Facebook to get the job done.”

“‘In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social-media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive,’ First Look reported on Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept channel, citing a classified slide presentation from 2009,” Volz reports. “As part of the ‘industrial-scale exploitation,’ the agency is leveraging Facebook’s global appeal to trick targets into logging in to a doppelganger version of the site, a technique dubbed ‘Quantumhand.’ The agency was able to trick target computers by transmitting ‘malicious data packets’ that disguise it as the real Facebook.”

“Facebook denied any knowledge of the NSA’s malware infection program, and said its site is now protected against such attacks,” Volz reports. “But the company suggested that, if the allegations are true, other social networks could also have been compromised.”

Read more in the full article here.

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