" />
Technology

Stolen Goods: CIA may be the reason you had to reinstall Windows after BSOD

Stolen Goods: CIA may be the reason you had to reinstall Windows after BSOD

Have you ever encountered a blue screen that crashed your computer and you were forced to reinstall Windows? That is what could happen if the CIA tried to hack your computer.

Some call it the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). Others simply refer to it as “my computer crapped out.” Whatever you call it, if you’ve been around computers long enough, chances are you’ve encountered this screen or something similar to it, and had to reinstall your Operating System, be it Windows, Mac, or Linux.

If you have ever had to reinstall Windows after a mysterious crash, that would be characteristic of an attempted hack by the CIA using a software code-named “Stolen Goods” and “Grasshopper.”

“Grasshopper is a software tool used to build custom installers for target computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems,” according to documents released in the latest Vault 7 dump by WikiLeaks.

Read More: CIA physically installed NightSkies tracking beacon in factory-fresh iPhones: Assange

Stolen Goods is a persistence module for Grasshopper based on components taken from malware known as Carberp, a suspected Russian rootkit used by organized crime. If you want to read more on Carbep, check out Lucian Constantin’s 2013 piece on PC World.

According to the leaked User’s Guide for Stolen Goods v 2.1, the risks for botching a hacking attempt were “high” and would force “targets” to reinstall Windows.

“There are plenty of ways to easily misconfigure Stolen Goods 2.1 for a target OS. Most mistakes will cause the system to constantly fail to boot or constantly blue screen during start up. The target would then need to reinstall their OS to fix the issue most likely (or use some kind of recovery CD),” the manual reads.

cia windows

This of course, does not confirm that the CIA is behind every glitch that forces users to reinstall Windows, but it would be exactly what would happen if the intelligence agency were unsuccessful in trying to hack you.

If you visit shady sites on the web that try to get you to download viruses disguised as software, your computer may become infected without the help of the CIA.

For the most part, “Blue screens [crashes] are generally caused by problems with your computer’s hardware or issues with its hardware driver software,” according to How to Geek.

On a more personal note, this author encountered the infamous BSOD last year within minutes after publishing this piece:

CIA-backed, NSA-approved Pokemon GO users give away all privacy rights

But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Technology
@TimHinchliffe

Tim Hinchliffe is a veteran journalist whose passions include writing about how technology impacts society and Artificial Intelligence. He prefers writing in-depth, interesting features that people actually want to read. Previously, he worked as a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa, and Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co

More in Technology

perennial millennials

Media, Sports & Fashion Open-Learning Platform Helps Turn Millennials into Perennials

Tim HinchliffeJune 28, 2017
exploding iot

Sensoro is Exploding the IoT With Cutting-Edge Sensor, Beacon Technology

Tim HinchliffeJune 27, 2017
virtual reality consciousness

Virtual Reality Takes Consciousness Research into Mystic Realms of the Divine Play

Tim HinchliffeJune 25, 2017
self-driving cars

Self-Driving Cars Might Not Be Just Around The Corner After All

Rob TeitelmanJune 24, 2017
sleepwear

High-tech sleepwear offers solution to a good night’s sleep: getting scientific on PJs

Hannah LindstadtJune 23, 2017
ottawa tech scene

Ottawa tech scene still booming with $1M raised by membership management platform

Tim HinchliffeJune 22, 2017
betakit 150

BetaKit 150 Speakers Will Highlight AI, Innovation and How Canada Can Beat Silicon Valley

Tim HinchliffeJune 20, 2017

How Mixed Reality is Transforming Collaborative Cancer Research

Tim HinchliffeJune 14, 2017
vaping

Tobacco-flavored e-liquid gives aficionados an alternative vaping choice: review

Tim HinchliffeJune 13, 2017