China had declared that they have uncovered a spy tool developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA). According to a new report by the Chinese government newspaper, Global Times, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center in China found that the NSA has deployed a virus that can get into a person’s computer and access sensitive information. They also declared that this spy tool can control the global internet equipment and steal massive amounts of information from users.
The Global Times reported that NOPEN is a remote-controlled Trojan horse tool for Unix/Linux computer systems. It is being used to steal files and get access to systems. It can also divert network communication and focus on information on a target device. The report described complex technology and functionality. It can run on multiple operating systems and is was found to be a tool for cyber espionage. The NOPEN Trojan horse can also be used with cyber weapons.
The recent report revealed other findings by a group called Shadow Brokers that first appeared in 2016. They wrote the NOPEN is a “formidable weapon” that is used by the TSA to “attack and collect secrets.” The Shadow Brokers had stolen confidential NSA papers and leaked a large amount of NSA-developed attack tools in the Spring of 2017.
Due to the link between the NSA and the Department of Defense, the purpose of NOPEN is assumed to be cyber-weapons for military objectives. China’s Global Times wrote that an anonymous expert said, “The vast majority of the NSA’s arsenal consists of stealth fighters and submarines that can easily attack victims without their knowledge.” That expert also said that the findings should be a “wake-up call” to the world. The Chinese media declared that the NSA had been conducting cyberattacks against 47 countries and regions, and they have been doing it for decades.
But this is not the first time these allegations have been made against the TSA. Another report was published about an NSA hacking tool by Qi’an Pangu Lab, based in Beijing. They accused the American agency of being behind a spying tool that targeted several countries including India.
Needless to say, there are significant doubts about the truthfulness of the Global Times story. It was just over a year ago that it was reported that the Chinese government had obtained another hacking tool called “EpMe.” They apparently copied it to use themselves against America calling it “Jian.”
The truth is that China has been leading its own campaign of cyber hacks against the United States for years. Just last year, the FBI accused China of going after Microsoft Exchange. This action may have caused harm to up to 250,000 servers. The United States has also accused China of trying to swipe U.S. COVID-19 research on vaccinations.
There are reports that Russia is trying to have greater control over their internet since they began the war on Ukraine. They are looking to China to emulate what they have provided for their citizens.
While Russia’s internet has been getting more and more controlled, the Russian people could still access global services that gave them information not being revealed by state-backed media. China has completely blocked services from Google, Meta, Twitter, and foreign news organizations.
A spokesperson for the NSA was asked about China’s allegations, but they simply responded, “We don’t have anything for you on this today.”
The fact that there have been two reports from China on this issue is rare, this rarely discloses details about malware from other countries.