In a shocking reveal, it was found that the NSA has deployed malwares deep within the hard drives that it can spy on almost computer that was made after the year 2001. A recent Kaspersky Labs, a Moscow-based firm, report reflected that the a number of vendors, including Seagate, Toshiba, Western Digital and more, had malwares installed in their products.
There was no information available on who developed this malicious software, and whom NSA contacted for the installation, however, Kaspersky Labs report stated that one of the operatives of the spying agency confirmed NSA involvement in it.
Kaspersky said that NSA used to directly ask the vendors to deploy these malwares, however, in some of the cases it also posed as the software expert to install them. One scary feature about these malwares is that they cannot be removed anyhow. Installing a new operating system or formatting the drive is ineffective in removing the code.
None of the companies shed a word about NSA’s involvement in this case, however, said that they aren’t aware of any such activity in their ecosystem. Seagate spokesman Clive Over said it has “secure measures to prevent tampering or reverse engineering of its firmware and other technologies.” Micron spokesman Daniel Francisco said the company took the security of its products seriously and “we are not aware of any instances of foreign code.”
NSA denied commenting on the Kaspersky’s reports in public. However, the Moscow-based firm also stated that the spying agency took the help of a hacking group called “The Equation”. Kaspersky dubbed this group with this name for their most sophisticated and advanced cryptographic algorithms and tools.
If reports are to be believed, this is the same group that helped the US government in infiltrating the Iran’s uranium base with the assistance of Stuxnet worm that affected the computers running in the facility.