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Canada’s Cyberspy Agency, CSEC, Hijacks Computers Worldwide to Build Their Spynet

Canada’s Cyberspy Agency, CSEC, Hijacks Computers Worldwide to Build Their Spynet:

One key part of the HACIENDA infrastructure, however, is a Canadian program called LANDMARK, which looks for “ORBS” (Operational Relay Box) that were recently defined by Colin Freeze in the Globe and Mail as “computers [the Five Eyes spy agencies] compromise in third-party countries.” I spoke to Chris Parsons from the Citizen Lab, who explained that these ORBs are quite possibly the property of innocent citizens, and not exclusively intelligence targets:

“CSEC seemingly regards unsecured devices (their ‘ORBs’) as valid intelligence targets in order to launch deniable attacks and reconnaissance practices. We don’t know whether there is some effort to ascertain civilian vs non-civilian intermediary computers to take over, but the slides suggest that civilians and their equipment can be targeted.”

“CSEC operates using the same techniques as organized crime and foreign intelligence services… CSEC uses these techniques for nation-state aims, similar reconnoissance techniques are used by criminals, academics, and interested internet sleuths. The tools of reconnaissance and offence are depressingly affordable, whereas secure code is expensive and hard to come by.”