'60 Minutes' BIOS Plot May Be NSA Invention

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dalethepcman

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LOL @ this story. I'm sure the Chinese are attempting to destroy every computer in the world, because everyone everywhere knows they own stock in the abacus...
 

DREGstudios

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The dystopian fantasies of yesteryear are now a reality. We’ve allowed the coming of an age where the civil liberties our forefathers fought so hard for are being eroded by the day. Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly are mere ghostly images of their original intent. We’ve woken up to an Orwellian Society of Fear where anyone is at the mercy of being labeled a terrorist for standing up for rights we took for granted just over a decade ago. Read about how we’re waging war against ourselves at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-in-society-of-fear-ten-years.html
 

danwat1234

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10:20 in the "part 1, inside the NSA" video, that data wasn't taken, it was copied. If Snowden did remove data from the NSA's servers (if he had the proper administrative privileges), they surely would have found out soon.

3:30 in the "part 2, a Snowden affair" video, a BIOS attack? The NSA believes it would have worked if they didn't stop it?
Firstly, the virus could not get on a computer unless it was not behind a firewall. Most computers are behind not only a firewall in the device that acts as the gateway to the internet on the network, but also there is a firewall running on the computer itself. So in other words, the user would have to download this virus and accidentally run it.

Second, the computer would only get this virus if they didn't have proper virus protection with proper heuristic analysis to detect unknown viruses, such as ones trying to modify the BIOS.

Thirdly, this virus would need to gain administrative privileges of the Operating System in order to have the ability to inject the corruption in to the CMOS chip where the BIOS is stored. Yes it is possible it could gain access through a backdoor in some software but that is unlikely and very unlikely that this backdoor would be present in all the computers in the world!Yes, Windows XP runs user accounts with administrative privileges by default, so the virus would not need permission there. BTW, I notice the computer she is using is running Windows XP! The NSA had better upgrade before Microsoft stops patching XP, which will occur April 8th 2014. Because then future patches to newer Operating Systems will inform hackers of vulnerabilities in XP, that Microsoft will not patch.

Fourth, computers use BIOSes from different manufactures, the virus would need to be able to detect this to know what to inject into the CMOS chip in order to brick the computer.

Fifth, most modern computers have a way to recover the BIOS, by inserting a USB stick with the original BIOS that you can easily download from the computer's support website. So you could turn that brick into a computer again.Cheap shot, NSA.
The NSA uses Windows XP, OMG!
 

Bobs Your Uncle

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Anything publicly disseminated by any of the 3 Letter Shadow-Ops Agencies must be assumed to be false, based simply upon their own pattern of confronting verifiable fact with a litany of lies. We reached that realization some time ago.

What I find most disturbing about this episode is that 60 Minutes was so easily co-opted into playing the role of a paid shill for these "Alpha Agencies". While the credibility of 60 minutes has certainly been questionable for quite some time, this shreds any basis for continued trust.

The integration of corporate oligarchy throughout the mechanisms of federal governance continues unabated. It would be time for an evil laugh (muahahaha) if it wern't so tragic.
 

coolitic

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Guys dont judge them YET. However, the NSA should of gave more details (assuming they are not lying) to not get a negative response. Without HARD proof, don't judge someone.
 

TeraMedia

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Is this just a simplistic attempt to redirect us away from some of Snowden's revelations, or are they trying to cover up something even more embarrassing?
 

alextheblue

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CBS knew this was a bull story when they rolled with it. But they also knew that the primary audience of 60 minutes is old people who have no idea how computers work, so they would never question it. Good PR for the NSA, free exclusive story for CBS.
 

canadianvice

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This is something I always like about Toms, for any one article on something they mention some interesting subject matter (BIOS attacks) and you can bet the next header they follow it up with is "So, how does X really work?". Sometimes the info is nice and detailed, but even then, they like to make the world learn.
 

techguy911

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I have been a computer tech for over 30 years and yes this story is possible i have already seen this type of attack 14 years ago CIH virus it would brick bios i tired every trick in book to re-flash and had to resort to buying a bios flasher.
This is nothing new although many new motherboards have dual bios now and can flash though usb.
Just think people millions of people old computers suddenly become bricked what do consumers do when computer stops working they buy new ones.
The computer market atm is horrible sales are at an all time low something like this would boost computer sales to crazy amounts.
The CIH virus in it's day bricked over to half a million pc's most bioses atm are UEFI they have a HUGE security flaw that would allow all new pc's to be bricked very easily.
 

Marisa Louisa

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Whether or not this whole thing is true, I'd rather see the US in charge of global security than China, Russia, Brazil, etc. There is little doubt that the US is a benevolent superpower and we all know that China would be a global bully and authoritarian dictatorship if ever it were to gain the upper hand in any security deal. Why is it that China has no real military alliances with any other functioning country while the US has such alliances with many highly developed countries? Finally, the US is using dirty tricks against those who use dirty tricks on us - I'm all for it!
 
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