According to the latest report from the New York Times, the National Security Agency may be using wireless radio wave technology to access and alter data on offline computers. Even more distressingly, it is thought that this invasion of supposedly safe computers has been going on since 2008.
The agency has been using what is being described as “a covert channel of radio waves” to accomplish this task, according to the report by the Times, which is used in conjunction with hardware installed inside the targeted computers. It is estimated that the NSA has already installed surveillance software on almost 100,000 computers around the world, but it is not clear yet how many computers have been affected by the offline radio wave technology.
In order for this radio wave spying to be used, tiny hardware must be inserted into the computer, usually by manufacturers or through a USB device. The surreptitious spyware can be used to gain access to computers which have been kept offline in order to be resistant to cyber-attacks.
In an official statement, the NSA alleged that its use of this hardware has only been used against “valid foreign intelligence targets”.