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Do you remember the national "terror about cyber-terrorism" that was elicited as a result of the publication of this story on February 19th? “NYT Lead: 'Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S.’” As we’re now learning in today’s Washington Post, there’s just a wee bit more to it than that…

U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show

By Barton Gellman and Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post
August 31, 2013 (edition)

U.S. intelligence services carried out 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, the leading edge of a clandestine campaign that embraces the Internet as a theater of spying, sabotage and war, according to top-secret documents obtained by The Washington Post.

That disclosure, in a classified intelligence budget provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, provides new evidence that the Obama administration’s growing ranks of cyberwarriors infiltrate and disrupt foreign computer networks.

Additionally, under an extensive effort code-named GENIE, U.S. computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious U.S. control. Budget documents say the $652 million project has placed “covert implants,” sophisticated malware transmitted from far away, in computers, routers and firewalls on tens of thousands of machines every year, with plans to expand those numbers into the millions.

The documents provided by Snowden and interviews with former U.S. officials describe a campaign of computer intrusions that is far broader and more aggressive than previously understood. The Obama administration treats all such cyber-operations as clandestine and declines to acknowledge them…

For more links to the WaPo's excellent efforts to get this latest story's source material out to the public in a manner that's easily understood by non-intelligence types (pun intended) such as yours truly, here's a link to yesterday's post: "New WaPo Snowden Stunner: NSA Docs Detail $52.6 Billion 'Black Budget' Summary for Fiscal 2013."

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Checkout Kossack CharlesII's post on this story: "NSA plans Mega Malware distribution."

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