Speed Reads

Spy Games

U.S. spyware found on thumb drive of Angela Merkel's top aide

Following the revelation from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone was under American surveillance (which Obama himself may or may not have approved in advance), the president promised that mass spying on the German people — and monitoring of the chancellor's office — would cease.

Calling into question that promise, American spyware was reportedly found recently on a USB drive belonging to a top Merkel aide. The drive, which only contained an in-progress speech and no sensitive information, was infected with an NSA-developed virus called Regin which is built to steal information from governments and other high-security institutions.

At this point, it's unclear if the virus was intentionally deployed by American (or even British) intelligence agencies, or if the program has been commandeered by private hackers.