From Phil Harrison:

Apparently our intelligence community now has the ability to install super sophisticated spyware on computers that can do more than just rifle through files.  It’s a complete snoop that can actually listen in to what’s going on around an infected machine, among other things.  The system, called “Flame” by researchers who discovered it, has infected computers thoughout the Middle East, particularly in Iran.

This development is documented at:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/05/flame/

Here’s a quote:

“Among Flame’s many modules is one that turns on the internal microphone of an infected machine to secretly record conversations that occur either over Skype or in the computer’s near vicinity; a module that turns Bluetooth-enabled computers into a Bluetooth beacon, which scans for other Bluetooth-enabled devices in the vicinity to siphon names and phone numbers from their contacts folder; and a module that grabs and stores frequent screenshots of activity on the machine, such as instant-messaging and e-mail communications, and sends them via a covert SSL channel to the attackers’ command-and-control servers.”

Given the history of intelligence techniques being applied domestically, how long will it be before our own computers are turned into secret agents?



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