Iain Thomson of The Register on the latest from the Snowden treasure trove. This time the report is about surreptitious malware implants by the NSA in Android app stores:
According to a presentation released from the Snowden archive to The Intercept the so-called “5 Eyes” nation’s intelligence agencies – from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – spent 2011 and 2012 working out ways to subvert connections to popular app stores, such as those run by Google and Samsung, in a project dubbed IRRITANT HORN.
That the intelligence services are working on software that can subvert iOS, Android and other smartphone operating systems isn’t new. But the presentation details how operatives could intercept communications between app servers and customers to install code that could harvest personal information and even display disinformation on handsets.
The spur for this effort was the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and Africa. The intelligence agencies reasoned that in such a situation then it needed to be able to put out software that could influence actions on the ground.
Just another day at Ft. Meade, MD.