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A security software firm has revealed that spyware has been hidden within the firmware of hard drives.

LNM Radio Network

LNM Radio Network

According to researchers at Kaspersky Lab, a security firm based in Moscow which produces anti-virus software, the NSA has developed an effective new way to install spyware on to computers in countries all over the world by embedding it in to the firmware of popular big brand hard drives.

A study revealed that the spyware was present on computers in more than 30 countries, most notably in Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Yemen, Algeria and Syria.

Targets included telecommunications companies, government employees, military institutions, energy companies, research laboratories, banks and even nuclear power facilities.

The spyware is particularly effective because it is located within the code that executes whenever the device is turned on, allowing it to stay hidden and capable of infecting a computer over and over.

Two former NSA employees have already come forward to confirm the company’s findings.