Information based on “secret documents leaked by former United States National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden” has again exposed how the agency has been “building a better command-and-control infrastructure” to “expanding its ability to infect computers“, according to a recent article published by PC World. A recent discovery, according to the article, shines a brighter light on the capabilities of some specific tools the agency had developed.
According to the article, the NSA‘s code named “TURBINE” was planned to perform “automated control [of] implants by groups instead of individually” and “was supposed to include an ‘Expert System’ capable of managing malware implants with limited or no human input.” The article goes on to indicate that the agency referred to TURBINE as “a brain that would automatically decide which tools should be provided to a given implant and how the implant should be used based on preset rules.”
It is reported that TURBINE was needed by the NSA since “one of the greatest challenges for Active SIGINT/attack is scale” and that “human ‘drivers’ limit ability for large-scale exploitation (humans tend to operate within their own environment, not taking into account the bigger picture)“, according to the article. The article states that a “NSA hacker” was quoted in one of the leaked documents to say “If we can get the target to visit us in some sort of web browser, we can probably own them.”