[QODLink]
Americas

US physically hacks 100,000 foreign computers

NSA spies have inserted circuitry into computers in China, Russia, EU, India, Saudi and Pakistan to gain intelligence.

Last updated: 15 Jan 2014 10:50
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The United States has implanted devices in nearly 100,000 computers to spy on institutions such as the Chinese and Russian military, EU trade groups and agencies within Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan.

The New York Times on Tuesday cited documents from the National Security Agency, computer experts and US officials stating that the NSA uses radio wave technology to gain access to otherwise encrypted computers or machines that are not connected to the internet.

The Times reported that the agency has been inserting tiny circuit boards into computers for several years. The technology allows non-internet connected computers to be hacked, and bypasses encryption and anti-spyware systems that otherwise prevent hacking over the world wide web.

The NSA calls the effort an "active defence"' and has used the technology to monitor units of the Chinese and Russian armies, drug cartels, trade institutions inside the European Union, and US allies including Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan, the Times reported.

Among the most frequent targets has been the Chinese army, the Times reported.

The United States has accused the Chinese Army of launching regular attacks on American industrial and military targets, often to steal secrets or intellectual property.

US officials have protested when Chinese attackers have placed similar software on computer systems of US companies or government agencies.

The NSA said the technology has not been used in computers in the US. 

"NSA's activities are focused and specifically deployed against - and only against - valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,'' Vanee Vines, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement to the Times.

"We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of - or give intelligence we collect to - US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.''

279

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Featured
Libya has seen a blossoming of media outlets, but the media landscape is as polarised as the politics on the streets.
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
join our mailing list