It's not just the National Security Agency that's using hackers to do some scary snooping this time. The U.K.'s Government Communications Headquarters and the NSA worked together to hack Gemalto, a Dutch SIM card manufacturer.
The story originally came from The Intercept, a site that publishes NSA documents originally leaked by Edward Snowden.
The Intercept reports that the pair targeted key staff members in the firm, whose clients include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, in an attempt to figure out their passwords.
The NSA and GCHQ's target was SIM card encryption keys.
The Stuff blog explains what the NSA could do with a smartphone's encryption key:
Stealing the encryption keys makes it possible to eavesdrop on otherwise encrypted communications without undertaking the more difficult challenge of cracking the encryption. It also avoids alerting the wireless company or the person using the phone.
So basically, the two espionage agencies are looking for a way to spy on anyone they want without that person's knowledge.
And if that's not enough, The Intercept report uncovered a GCHQ document saying that the collaboration had harvested "a large number of unrelated items" from the employees that it targeted.
In the wake of the fact that the NSA can now hide snoopware in most hard drives, I'm very worried about what's going to happen to our privacy in the very near future.