(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – New documents have been leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that provides detailed information regarding the NSA’s use of botnets for spying purposes, Reuters reports.
According to the documents, the agency had “co-opted” more than 140,000 computers with spying software since August of 2007, with a “highly successful” program called QUANTUMBOT, a program that “finds computers belonging to botnets, and hijacks the command and control channel.”
This program was meant to be distributed to the “Five Eyes” intelligence agency, which includes Britain and the United States.
“As the President affirmed on 17 January, signals intelligence shall be collected exclusively where there is a foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose to support national and departmental missions, and not for any other purposes,” stated a NSA spokeswoman. “Moreover, Presidential Policy Directive 28 affirms that all persons – regardless of nationality – have legitimate privacy interests in the handling of their personal information, and that privacy and civil liberties shall be integral considerations in the planning of U.S. signals intelligence activities.”
The NSA reportedly used these botnets to obtain users browsing history, email, and other various information.