NSA and Allies Planned to Infect Your Phone via App Stores

The official app stores are considered to be a safe haven where malware and spyware can’t reach but it seems our judgement and trust were misplaced. NSA and several of its allies’ secret agencies planned to spy on users by releasing spy software using the official app stores from Samsung and Google.

Official documents dating back to 2011 and 2012 were shared by Edward Snowden. The documents revealed how NSA planned with five of its allies to infect users’ phones with spyware by hacking the connection between a user and app stores. Meaning this was not limited to just one or two apps and any app transfer could have been “interjected” with spy code. The group worked in quite a few workshops in Australia to develop methods of achieving the aforementioned target.

According to the document

The main purpose of the workshops was to find new ways to exploit smartphone technology for surveillance. The agencies used the Internet spying system XKEYSCORE to identify smartphone traffic flowing across Internet cables and then to track down smartphone connections to app marketplace servers operated by Samsung and Google.

The spyware was codenamed Irritant Horn and it was programmed to share user data from smartphones with the agencies without user consent. This is not new, Snowden and Wikileaks have previously revealed how agencies designed spywares for iPhones and Android smartphones and the new documents are further insight to how they planned to implement this. The loopholes were revealed thanks to activist groups so that the developers can patch their software and the companies could ensure proper security in their app stores.

The spyware was codenamed Irritant Horn and it was programmed to share user data from smartphones with the agencies without user consent.

The leaked documents names Samsung’s appstore and the UC browser as potential victims as well. It should be noted that Google says chances of infection from Play Store while installing apps almost non-existent thanks to new security protocols. This should make you feel a little safe though who is to stay that the agencies aren’t working on new strategies to work around the loopholes and spy on the people of the world.

The agencies that partnered with NSA are from UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand or commonly referred to as the “Five Eyes” countries. The documents do not contain the information if the plan is still under works or it was ever implemented but no matter what happened after, the agencies’ propaganda has been revealed and should keep us on high alert.

IrritantHorn

Do read the detailed document provided by the Intercept. The link is given at the bottom.

via The Intercept

He is the Editor at ProPakistani.


  • Ghulam.e.Ahmed

    dream to capture whole world is horrible …

  • Muhammad Aamir

    I’m unable to understand the mystery of being spied. If you are an innocent then what the NSA will do with you. If you use your mobile for text messaging what is the disadvantage. If you say through sms, “Aate Hoye Dahi Lety Ana” what do you think the NSA is interested to make a delicious dish of Dahi Bally?. If a terrorist or a common person spies on you then it makes sense but the NSA, the what?

    • Wolverine

      You are absolutely right, I used to do exactly this type of comment on all previous articles about NSA. But today you did this. :)
      I don’t know why media create hype. Yes they are doing that without our concent but why it is wrong for an innocent person, a common man?
      What If they are just trying to protect their people. Terrorists should get worried about this but why us..??

      • Muhammad Aamir

        Agree, brother! I think it is the best way to gain the traffic!!

    • Aadil

      How would you feel if some stranger is sitting in your house the whole day listening to everything. Listening to everything and anything you do. If that’s fine with you than that’s you personal choice but not everyone likes there privacy being hijacked.
      Consider it from there point of view and you will see that most people prefer to keep even little and useless things to themselves and private.

    • Ejaz Shah

      Bro… such kind of spying is not for common people it usually used to get data about key government officials, decision makers in multinational companies and local companies… if necessary also used for specific common people… these information can be sold at big big price to government intelligence agencies like CIA etc and think tanks. and other private intelligence providing companies or other intelligence agencies or competitors companies. it depends on nature of data which data they have to use just for NSA or CIA or american think tanks and which data they can sell to other agencies or companies.
      in short… poori dunya ki politics, economy aur finance dunya ka chand intelligence agencies mai bethay chand logon k ungliyon k ishare pay ghoom rahi hai..
      there is a Grand Chess Game between top intelligence agencies or economic or political super and mini super powers…

    • Hazim Faisal

      i kind of agree with you, this is for security reasons anyways lol

  • Confuse

    In this article, there is no “THE” with “NSA”. Isn’t it important to follow “NSA” with “THE”? It’s a typo or I’m wrong. I think “the NSA” is true, I have seen on many websites. Thanks in advance for explaining.

    • Aadil

      When considering an acronym as a noun there’s no need to write “the” before it, if I am right. But if it’s written, there’s nothing wrong with it. Though “the” should be written if acronym is written like “N.S.A”.

      • Taha Najam

        Where the hell did you come up with that logic? NSA is a proper noun, addressing a singular body. There is no other like it. Therefore, it is essential to precede it with “the”. Go read the Wikipedia article on the NSA and see how they address it with the throughout.

  • Ejaz Shah

    such kind of spying is not for common people it usually used to get data about key government officials, decision makers in multinational companies and local companies… if necessary also used for specific common people… such information are used by CIA or NSA to make key decision about world politics and economics even America’s multinational companies are backed by these NSA and CIA, providing them intelligence about world’s finance, economics and politics… and they also share these data with other think tanks if necessary (of course NSA will is part of CIA and american government so intelligence is shared without price with CIA and other american think tanks).. and also these information can be sold at big big price to other private intelligence providing companies or other intelligence agencies (of other countries) or competitors companies or rivals. it depends on nature of data which data they have to use just for NSA or CIA or american think tanks and which data they can sell to other agencies (of other countries) or companies or rivals.

    in short… poori dunya ki politics, economy aur finance dunya k chand intelligence agencies mai bethay chand logon k ungliyon k ishare pay ghoom rahi hai..
    there is a “Grand Chess Game” among top intelligence agencies, economic, political, super powers, mini super powers and regional powers…

  • Aadil

    First of all, N.S.A is not a proper noun. It’s an acronym. And acronyms are preceded by “the”.
    Nouns DO NOT have “the” before them. E.g no one would say The Taha since its a noun.
    What you are trying to explain is the opposite of what you are trying to imply.