NSA Had Plans To Spread Malware To Android Devices
The NSA has allegedly tried to hijack Google and Samsung app stores. By doing so, as revealed by a new secret document, the spying agency wanted to infect smartphones through injecting malware. The secret document was published by The Intercept.
According to the details, outlined in the document, NSA had launched a surveillance program called IRRITANT HORN. The mechanism was set to intercept web traffic to and from mobile application servers before injecting the spyware.
As NSA was allegedly malfunctioning Samsung’s update protocol and Google’s Play servers, its injected malware couldn’t be identified easily. More comprehensively, users would trust the files thinking they were coming from credible source but actually NSA would be the generator of the files.
The tactic enabled NSA to get the important data for its surveillance programs. This data could be as personal as user’s contact list or information regarding their location.
The critical breach from NSA raises serious questions about Samsung and Google’s security measures to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks like one from NSA. Both the companies reportedly use TLS encryption for security purposes.
However, NSA’s overcoming these measures may not surprise many cryptographers who have been voicing their doubts that the spying agency has devised certain mechanisms to bypass TLS encryption.
It is important to emphasize over the fact that it’s unclear whether NSA executed its plans — as outlined in the secret document — or not.
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