18 Surprising And Terrifying Things Computer Hackers Can Do That Most People Don’t Know About.


6. A good interpretation of "best computer hackers" would be the NSA (and possibly the best state sponsored Chinese and Russian groups as well).

Among the most recent revelations of the "Equations group" (NSA) was that they have malware that hides in the firmware of your Hard Drive. Not the regular place where files/folders are kept, but the internal storage of the device that tells your hard drive how to function and interact with the rest of your computer. On boot, it infects the operating system. So what happens if you reinstall your OS? You're still infected. What if you try to flash your hard drive's firmware back to something from the manufacturer? Well, the NSA's firmware loaded on the device is responsible for accepting the update, so chances are it will ignore any attempts to change it. Basically, your hard drive is permanently a source of infection.

And while most people have heard of Stuxnet, it seems like the the follow-up malware written by the same authors haven't received as much attention in the public. Duqu, Flame, and Gauss are in the same family, and they are pretty nasty. They have remote kill switches that will leave no trace, which is what you would expect of state level espionage. Gauss has an encrypted payload where the key is the target computer's configuration - meaning that it won't activate (and no one knows what it really is meant to do) unless it infects its intended target. To my knowledge, no one in the public knows what it will attack or what damage it has caused.
- KovaaK

7. it's been 3 years but there was this journalist on Wired whose whole digital life was taken over by a hacker.


It was published at the time but I am not sure if people reflected on it.
- bajaja

8. Due to a security bug and loophole that was found in android not long ago (I'm quite sure it got patched recently) a hacker could gain full access to your phone (from reading your emails and taking all your passwords to making it ring, changing settings, turning it off and back on etc.) bye SENDING an MMS to your phone. All your phone had to do was receive the text and they had full access.

It was called 'StageFright.'
- Burgess237

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