Equation Group Spying Software Found on Hard Drives Across the World
A research team has announced some rather interesting findings that show a sophisticated spy software has been installed on hard drives across the world. Researchers at Kaspersky Lab in Moscow, Russia, released their findings that show "the most advanced threat actor" they've ever seen embedded in the hard drives of personal computers. The spying software, dubbed Equation Group, is linked to the National Security Agency and has been found in hard drives from Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, Hitachi, and more. The infected hard drives are most prevalent in Iran, but also show up in Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, and at least 21 other countries. Even more countries could have the spying software on its computers, but given Equation Group's self-destructive habit when found, there's no exact way to be sure.
Equation Group is supposedly in computers of government and military installations, telecoms, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists. While the software is simply linked to the NSA and not actively tied to it, Kaspersky says it is similar to Stuxnet, which was used to attack Iran's uranium enrichment facility in 2007. The new software can monitor activities on computers, even ones disconnected from the Internet, and even take full control of high-profile targets. The hard drive can even be reprogrammed by the software to become a slave, which is something Kaspersky has not seen before.
Kaspersky Lab will release more information about Equation Group in the near future, with something that may even directly tie the software to the NSA.