British intelligence agency GCHQ used port scanning as part of the “Hacienda” program to find vulnerable systems it and other agencies could compromise across at least 27 countries, German news site Heise Online has revealed.
The use of so-called port scanning has long been a trusty tool used by hackers to find systems they can potentially access. In top-secret documents published by Heise on Friday, it is revealed that in 2009, GCHQ started using the technology against entire nations.
One of the documents states that full scans of network ports of 27 countries and partial scans of another five countries had been carried out. Targets included ports using protocols such as SSH (Secure Shell) and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), which are used for remote access and network administration.
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