The NSA has reportedly used automated systems to infect user computers with malware since 2010, according to a Wednesday report. And at times the agency pretended to be Facebook to install its malware. The NSA has been using a program codenamed TURBINE to contaminate computers and networks with malware “implants” capable of spying on users, according to The Intercept, which cited documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
So the NSA is spying on you. You’ve known that for quite some time now. What you might not know much about is exactly how they’re doing, and a new report from Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald offers up some pretty grizzly details about the agency’s worldwide, automated malware network. Did you know, for instance, that the NSA pretends to be Facebook sometimes? As Gallagher and Greenwald report, “In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive.” That’s a little extra worrisome when you consider the fact that Facebook has Like buttons spread across the entire internet, giving the NSA that many more chances for its malware to burrow into your hard drive.