NSA’s “secret weapon” spies on every personal computer

The National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives, allowing them to monitor and eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers – even when they are not connected to the internet.

The Moscow-based security software maker Kaspersky Lab said it has found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria….

The NSA began infecting computers in 2001 claims Kaspersky….

What’s more, even the makers of these hard drives are unaware that these spying programs have been installed, with the NSA obtaining their source codes by going so far as to pose as software developers according to former intelligence operatives, or telling the companies the government must do a security audit to make sure their source code is safe.

According to Kaspersky, the spies made a technological breakthrough by figuring out how to lodge malicious software in the obscure code called firmware that launches every time a computer is turned on…

The disclosure could hurt the NSA’s surveillance abilities, already damaged by massive leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden’s revelations have upset some U.S. allies and slowed the sales of U.S. technology products abroad.

The exposure of these new spying tools could lead to greater backlash against Western technology, particularly in countries such as China, which is already drafting regulations that would require most bank technology suppliers to proffer copies of their software code for inspection.

Peter Swire, one of five members of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, said the Kaspersky report showed that it is essential for the country to consider the possible impact on trade and diplomatic relations before deciding to use its knowledge of software flaws for intelligence gathering.

‘There can be serious negative effects on other U.S. interests,’ Swire said.

Kaspersky’s reconstructions of the spying programs show that they could work in disk drives sold by more than a dozen companies, comprising essentially the entire market. They include Western Digital Corp, Seagate Technology Plc, Toshiba Corp, IBM, Micron Technology Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Western Digital, Seagate and Micron said they had no knowledge of these spying programs. Toshiba and Samsung declined to comment. IBM did not respond to requests for comment….

By Chris Spargo – Dailymail.com –

Pearl Harbor: How FDR Lied US Into World War II

So we didn’t learn the truth about Pearl Harbor until many years later. The facts are these: the Americans had broken the Japanese diplomatic and military codes and knew all about Tokyo’s war plans. As the Japanese made their way across the Pacific the Americans tracked their every move: they knew the timing and the tactics of the Japanese attack, and yet President Franklin Roosevelt did nothing – he let the fleet sit there, a sitting duck.

Then there is the story of Takeo Yoshikawa, the 27-year-old spy sent by the Japanese to scout out Pearl Harbor. He was discovered almost immediately after he arrived in Hawaii: he was, after all, very suspicious to begin with. The Japanese never sent youngsters abroad on diplomatic missions, and yet here was Yoshikawa – going under the name Morimura – being assigned as an attaché at the Japanese consulate in Honolulu. So they followed him around and intercepted every one of his messages to Tokyo: they knew exactly what he was there for and what he was up to.

Previous efforts by the Japanese government to reach an agreement with Washington had failed due to American intransigence. When Japan’s Prince Konoye offered to travel to Washington on a secret mission to prevent the conflict, FDR refused – and leaked the news to the pro-British pro-war Herald Tribune. Konoye’s government fell shortly afterward due in part to the leak. With the pro-war faction in Tokyo in charge, FDR’s longstanding efforts to get us into the war were finally bearing fruit.

All this is known: indeed, pro-Roosevelt historians make a major point of telling us how necessary it was for FDR to lie us into war – for our own good, and the good of the world, of course. After all, what do we plebeians know about running the world. Best to leave such weighty matters to our betters.

By Justin Raimondo – Anti-War.com –

FBI charges Saudi-born naval engineer over plans to sink aircraft carrier

A Naval engineer is facing federal charges for allegedly giving an undercover FBI agent secret documents on a new aircraft carrier being built in Norfolk, Va.

Saudi-born Mostafa Ahmed Awwad, 35, of Yorktown, Va., was arrested Friday on an FBI affidavit claiming he planned to use a dead-drop location along a secluded hiking trail to hand off secret information about the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, set to be delivered to the Navy in 2016, Fox News reported Saturday.

During a hotel meeting on Oct. 9, Mr. Awwad gave the undercover agent, posing as an Egyptian spy named “Yousef,” secret drawings of the vessel and “discussed where to strike the vessel with a missile in order sink it,” the affidavit says.

By Kellan Howell – The Washington Times –