03:56 GMT05 July 2020
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    Ex-CIA Employee Discloses US Secret Surveillance Programs (254)

    The US National Security Agency (NSA) and its allies tried to hijack Google and Samsung app stores via software vulnerabilities to launch a massive data harvest campaign putting millions of users at risk, new Snowden revelations show.

    The NSA, assisted by spy agencies of the Five Eyes alliance, comprising Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, sought to implant spyware on smartphones, distribute misinformation and gather user data as part of the project dubbed IRRITANT HORN, a new secret document revealed.

    The initiative was launched following the Arab Spring for the purpose of monitoring any similar events in the future, should they occur. The spy agencies were primarily interested in three African nations, Senegal, Sudan and Congo, according to the Intercept that analyzed the document obtained by CBC News.

    Infected app store servers were located all over the world, including Bahamas, Cuba, France, Russia and Switzerland. The spy agencies exploited app store vulnerabilities but failed to report them to IT-companies, leaving millions of users exposed to government surveillance as well as possible cyberattacks, including cyberfraud.

    Apart from Google and Samsung app stores, the agencies also planned to gather data through flaws in UC Browser, used by over 500 million people primarily in Asia.

    The top secret document, detailing operation IRRITANT HORN, is part of the data leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden, who exposed unlawful global surveillance in June 2013 sparking international outrage.

    Ex-CIA Employee Discloses US Secret Surveillance Programs (254)


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    privacy, data leaks, leaked documents, software, mass surveillance, NSA Surveillance, surveillance, Five Eyes, National Security Agency (NSA)
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