When it comes to cybersecurity issues, hackers from China, Russia, and North Korea take the maximum attention due to their notorious activities over the years. But now some latest analyses are highlighting that another country may also be behind such data safety issues.

According to a new report by the Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center in China stated that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had deployed a spy tool capable of lurking in a victim’s computer and accessing sensitive information, as well as controlling global internet equipment and stealing large amounts of data from users.

It was reported that NOPEN—a remote-controlled tool for Trojan horse for Unix/Linux computer systems—has been found. It is mostly used to steal files, get access to systems, divert network communication and examine information on a target device.

Additionally, the report highlighted the fact that complex technology, comprehensive functionalities, and strong concealment define the NOPEN Trojan horse, which can run on a number of processor architectures and operating systems. It was also noted that this is a common tool for cyber espionage and can work with other cyberweapons.

Most existing network servers and terminals, which may be manually installed by attackers or cyberattack platforms by the NSA, can be controlled remotely by NOPEN, noted the report, citing findings and added that it can carry out a wide range of commands, including data theft and destruction.

The Global Times report also pointed out the findings by a hacking group called Shadow Brokers, which apparently first appeared in 2016.

NOPEN is one of the more formidable weapons employed by the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) to attack and collect secrets, said the report, pointing to confidential NSA papers that were stolen by Shadow Brokers.

The hacker group leaked a huge number of NSA-developed cyberattack tools in April 2017. Because the American agency is linked to the Department of Defense, the capabilities are widely assumed to be utilised as “cyber weapons” for military objectives.

According to the Global Times, an unnamed expert said: “The vast majority of the NSA’s arsenal consists of stealth fighters and submarines that can easily attack victims without their knowledge.”

Apparently, the expert also stated that the centre’s findings should serve as a wake-up call to the rest of the world because there are certainly many unknown victims online who face long-term and major cybersecurity dangers.

However, this is not the first time such claims have been made against the American agency.

Just a few weeks ago another similar report was published about an NSA hacking tool by Beijing-based Qi’an Pangu Lab.

The threat report also accused the agency of being behind a spying mechanism that targeted several countries and institutions including India’s Banaras Hindu University, as well as the Indian Academy of Sciences. It specifically noted that there have been over 287 targets in 45 affected countries and the operation lasted for over a decade.

The malware, according to the report, was found during an investigation into a cyberattack on a significant domestic department.

Despite doubts over Global Times’ credibility, these recent research reports are suggesting that Chinese cybersecurity experts are beginning to follow in the footsteps of their Western counterparts by performing greater attribution.

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