Just when we think we’ve heard about everything the NSA is up to, a new report from The Intercept claims the security agency is disguising itself as Facebook.
Codenamed QUANTUMHAND, it’s one of many techniques the NSA reportedly uses to get access to data on a target’s computer.
In layman’s terms, here’s how it works:
- The NSA creates a fake Facebook server
- Target logs into Facebook
- “Malicious data packets” are transmitted and trick target into thinking nothing is out of the ordinary
- Malware is transmitted through the data packets, granting them access to target’s computer
The Intercept uploaded an alleged PowerPoint animation of the top secret initiative:
From surveillance and cryptography expert Matt Blaze:
“As soon as you put this capability in the backbone infrastructure, the software and security engineer in me says that’s terrifying. Forget about how the NSA is intending to use it. How do we know it is working correctly and only targeting who the NSA wants? And even if it does work correctly, which is itself a really dubious assumption, how is it controlled?”
They are mighty good questions, and according to Facebook spokesman Jay Nancarrow, the social network has “no evidence of this alleged activity.”
Photo credit: Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth