In a shocking revealing by the Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs, it was reported that the NSA has been implanting secret malwares on the hard drives manufactured by Seagate, Western Digital and more. The report suggests that since 2001, NSA has been able to access almost any computer in this world.
Kaspersky didn’t shed a word on the software’s origin or companies involved in developing it. However, a former NSA operative has confirmed that the spying agency was using such techniques to infiltrate the computers.
None of the manufacturers have commented about it, and it is yet not clear how the government managed to obtain the source code for the HDDs. Vendors said that they aren’t aware of any such activity in their ecosystem, but reports suggest that NSA used to infect these HDDs by posing as a software expert.
Seagate spokesman Clive Over said it has “secure measures to prevent tampering or reverse engineering of its firmware and other technologies.” Micron spokesman Daniel Francisco said the company took the security of its products seriously and “we are not aware of any instances of foreign code.”
The implementation is such that it lies in a sector that cannot be erased anyhow. The only way to go around this malware is throwing away every computer device, including smartphones. It doesn’t matter whether you format the drive or install a new operating system, the HDD retains that malware forever.
NSA has denied commenting on the Kaspersky reports, however, the Moscow-based security firm believes that the spying agency has taken this software from a hacking group called “The Equation Group”, which has been given this name for their sophisticated encryption formulas.
Reports also state that the same techniques were used with the Stuxnet to infiltrate the uranium bases in the Iran.