BOSTON (CBS) – You know the rap on federal workers – stereotypical bureaucrats who do nothing all day. But they’ve apparently been very busy at the National Security Agency.
Not that they want you to know that.
But indeed this latest leak lands on the pages of The New York Times. News the NSA has implanted software in almost 100,000 computers in other countries to spy and even stage a cyber attack.
This is real James Bond kind of stuff. The program even has the ominous code name Quantum. It uses a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from inside a computer, which means a person had to physically place tiny circuit boards or USB cards inside them. Likely an agent or some unknowing manufacturer.
They are reportedly targeting everything from the Chinese and Russian armies to Mexican drug cartels and even our trade and security partners in Europe and the Middle East. But officials say there is no evidence this technology is being used inside the U.S.
This report hits as new efforts get underway in Washington to better control the NSA.
In fact, President Obama is scheduled Friday to announce recommendations from an advisory panel which wants to ban some forms of computer spying.
And Congress is pursuing its own angle in its new $1.1 trillion spending plan with items that call for the NSA to brief lawmakers on its spying programs and detail the number of phone records it has collected.
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