NSA Has Been Hijacking the Botnets of Other Hackers


The NSA doesn’t just hack foreign computers. It also piggybacks on the work of professional for-profit hackers, taking over entire networks of already-hacked machines and using them for their own purposes.

That’s one of the surprising details to emerge from the latest Edward Snowden leaks.

The big disclosure in today’s story from The Intercept is that the NSA, by July 2010, had built a system called TURBINE designed to scale up its sophisticated computer-hacking operations. The NSA has infected between 85,000 and 100,000 machines with “implants,” according to previous Snowden stories. With TURBINE as its new command-and-control platform, the NSA can potentially boost that to handle “millions of implants” at once.