That annoying and potentially dangerous malware that you hate -- turns out the National Security Agency finds it useful. It helps the spy agency to hack into target computers, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
The NSA monitors malware that ends up millions of computers around the world. When they see a malware program that they find value, they surreptitiously piggyback their own program to syphon off the information they want.
According to the documents released by Der Spiegel, the NSA also effectively hijack the compromised computers. Those computers infected with botnet malware do the NSA’s bidding and attack other target computers to which the agency wants access.
One of the leaked documents contains an NSA worker’s account of how the NSA infiltrated a South Korean program that targeted North Korea.
“We found a few instances where there were NK officials with SK implants on their boxes, so we got on the exfil [data exfiltration] points, and sucked back the data,” the staffer wrote. “However, some of the individuals that SK was targeting were also part of the NK CNE program. So I guess that would be the fifth party collect you were talking about.”
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