A new map details how many companies across the world have been infected by malware by the National Security Agency's team of hackers, and where the companies are located.
Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad reports the NSA uses malware to infect, infiltrate and steal information from over 50,000 computer networks around the globe. This new, previously unreported scope of the NSA's hacking operation comes from another PowerPoint slide showing a detailed map of every infection leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden.
The practice is called "Computer Network Exploitation," or CNE for short, and it's carried out by the NSA's Tailored Access Operations team. A yellow dot on the map signifies a CNE infection. The NSA plants malware within a network that can flipped on or off at any time. Once a network is infected, the malware gives the NSA unfiltered access to the network's information whenever it's most convenient. The Washington Post previously profiled the team of "elite hackers" who make up the NSA's TAO division.
The British intelligence service liked this strategy too, NRC Handelsblad reports, because they successfully duped a Belgium telecom company with a fake LinkedIn account. A strip at the bottom says the map is relative to relative to the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the "Five Eyes" nations that share intelligence.