Magic Lantern: The FBI’s version of XKeyscore?

If you’ve been following the news since Edward Snowden broke the news about governments spying on their citizens you’ve heard names such as Prism and XKeyscore for several of the programs the NSA has initiated.

Well, it turns out the FBI isn’t entirely innocent in this pursuit. The fine folks over at MobiStealth have created an infographic showing the development and deployment of the FBI’s Magic Lantern program. Magic Lantern is malware capable of keyboard recording and many more nefarious actions.  The most interesting aspect of this new revelation are rumors that popular anti-virus companies have agreed to allow a backdoor into their AV software and/or not include definitions to detect the malware in their products! Very interesting indeed.

Below is the infographic. Click the image and then click the arrow at the top of the popup to see full size or download.

magic lantern program

Magic Lantern infographic


Posted in:
About the Author

David Hartsock

Executive Editor/Owner/Admin of Daves Computer Tips and all-around good guy - Dave's interest in computers began in the early 1980's during the Apple II era. In the early 1990's the PC began to replace proprietary and mainframe devices in Dave's industry so he began to learn and experiment with the PC. Through DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and now Windows 10. Dave became the "go to" guy for friends, family, and coworkers with computer problems. Daves Computer Tips was born in 2006 in an effort to share these experiences with others in an easy to understand, plain English, form.


  1. Now, somebody should raid their premises and take hold of their servers. Doing anything illegal is bad, even if it is done by the FBI.

  2. I wonder what’s going on behind closed doors here in the UK. We don’t seem to have had quite the same quantity of revelations in this country but I wouldn’t mind betting there’s a lot of similar sneaky shenanigans afoot – probably “inspired” by the USA spooks. OUR so-called government is well known for being technically inept, so it would doubtless go pear-shaped anyway. I’d like to know who snoops on the snoopers and watches the watchers.