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NSA Hides Spying Backdoors into Hard Drive Firmware

NSA Hides Spying Backdoors into Hard Drive Firmware

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Russian cyber-security company Kaspersky Labs exposed a breakthrough U.S. spying program, which taps into one of the most widely proliferated PC components – hard drives. With the last 5 years seeing the number of hard drive manufacturing nations reduce from three (Korean Samsung, Japanese Hitachi and Toshiba, and American Seagate and WD) to one (American Seagate or WD), swallowing-up or partnering with Japanese and Korean businesses as US-based subsidiaries or spin-offs such as HGST, a shadow of suspicion has been cast on Seagate and WD.

follow url According to Kaspersky, American cyber-surveillance agency, the NSA, is taking advantage of the centralization of hard-drive manufacturing to the US, by making WD and Seagate embed its spying back-doors straight into the hard-drive firmware, which lets the agency directly access raw data, agnostic of partition method (low-level format), file-system (high-level format), operating system, or even user access-level. Kaspersky says it found PCs in 30 countries 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.

follow Kaspersky claims that the HDD firmware backdoors are already being used to spy on foreign governments, military organizations, telecom companies, banks, nuclear researchers, the media, and Islamic activities. Kaspersky declined to name the company which designed the malware, but said that it has close ties to the development of Stuxnet, the cyber-weapon used by NSA to destabilize Iran’s uranium-enrichment facilities.

Read More/Source: Yahoo.

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