If you have a problem with a Trojan Horse you might be relieved to know that it comes with the blessing of the US government.
According to the latest Snowden release, the American intelligence service infected more than 50,000 computer networks worldwide with malicious software designed to steal sensitive information.
According to a management presentation the NSA uses something it calls ‘Computer Network Exploitation’ (CNE) in more than 50,000 locations. This is spyspeak for the secret infiltration of computer systems achieved by installing malware, malicious software.
Apparently the NSA employs more than a thousand hackers called TAO (Tailored Access Operations) to carry out the attacks.
Computer hacks are cheap and provide the NSA with opportunities to obtain information that they otherwise would not have access. The NSA-presentation shows their CNE-operations in Venezuela where the malware installed in these countries can remain active for years without being detected.
The malware can be controlled remotely and be turned on and off at will.
Snowden also revealed how the Dutch intelligence services – AIVD and MIVD – have displayed interest in hacking and has created its Joint Sigint Cyber Unit. But the new unit is prohibited by law from performing the type of operations carried out by the NSA as Dutch law does not allow this type of internet searches.