Saturday, 6 December 2014

Spy Net Malware Steals Info


With the development of IT technology and software, the desktop, laptop, tablets and smart phones are not safe anymore; they are vulnerable to malwares and their newer versions. Malwares are used to steal information and data from your computers and devices of individuals, companies and government departments. And it does without anyone knowing it.


While malware is a generic term for malicious software, the fact is all malware slows your computer down and brings potential security risks along with it. What does malware look like? In most cases an unusual window will open up, something you do not recognize. Malware can be anything from viruses, Trojans and spyware to PC Optimization programmes that really do your computer more harm than good.

In recent years a highly sophisticated cyber-spying tool has been used since 2008 to steal information from government departments, business and others, researchers at security firm Symantec have found. While the infections first occurred between 2008 and 2011, the most recent version surfaced in 2013. And the damage was done.

Researchers suspect many components of Regin are still probably undiscovered and that there could be newer versions that have yet not been detected. Even when its presence is detected, it is very difficult to ascertain what it is doing. What does the malware do? It takes control of the mouse’s point-and-click functions. Allows attackers to capture screen shots, steals password, monitors traffic, recover deleted files and data. It tricks targets into visiting spoofed versions of well-known websites.

Known as Regin, the malware was seen in systematic spying campaigns against a range of international targets, including government infrastructure operations, businesses, and researchers, professional and private individuals. It is a ‘multi-staged threat’, with each stage hidden and encrypted. The malware shares some characteristics with the Stuxnet worm – a tool believed to have been used by the US and Israeli governments to attack computer networks involved in Iran’s nuclear programme.

The malware has targeted computers in countries around the world. India is one of the few countries where the infection was discovered. The highest infections were discovered in Russia (28%), and this was followed by Saudi Arabia (24%). And other countries where the malware was found included Mexico, Ireland, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Belgium, Austria and Pakistan. There were no reported infections in USA.

Because of its complexity, the Symantec researchers said the malware ‘would have a significant investment of time and resources, indicating that a nation is responsible. Further, it may have taken months, if not years, to develop the malware. And it does its job quietly of stealing information and data, harming the individuals, professionals, organizations and government departments around the world.

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