New Big Brother Cyber Weapon Can Turn on Your Computer’s Microphone, Take Screen Shots, Copy Data, Record Communications
May 29th, 2012
To the disbelief of many of our readers, in a 2011 report titled Everything You Do Is Monitored, we noted that microphones and cameras on cell phones and computers allow interested parties (translated to mean your respective government) to hear and see everything going on in the direct vicinity of the device without the knowledge of its owner.
That these monitoring features are available on cell phones was a known fact, as FBI surveillance networks already have the ability to turn on any cell phone microphone or camera remotely without tipping off the user. It’s believed that this surveillance technique can work even when the cell phone user has shut down their phone, with the only surefire way to prevent such surveillance being removal of the unit’s battery.
Computers, however, were believed to be secure from these kinds of backdoors, and the majority of computer users believe their PC’s are protected from such intrusive technologies once they install virus and malware protection software.
However, a new virus identified by leading digital security firm Kaspersky Lab, is reportedly capable of not only embedding itself onto computer systems without being identified by traditional anti-virus applications, but able to execute total surveillance and monitoring that includes turning on your camera and microphone, copying your data, and recording emails and chat conversations.
Evidence suggest that the virus, dubbed Flame, may have been built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear program in 2010, according to Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber security software maker that took credit for discovering the infections.
Kaspersky researchers said they have yet to determine whether Flame had a specific mission like Stuxnet, and declined to say who they think built it.
Cyber security experts said the discovery publicly demonstrates what experts privy to classified information have long known: that nations have been using pieces of malicious computer code as weapons to promote their security interests for several years.