Kaspersky uncovers five-year cyber espionage network, makes the Flame malware look like a wimp

A five-year espionage campaign dubbed 'Red October' has been found by Kaspersky.

@anthony256
Published Tue, Jan 15 2013 1:32 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:25 PM CST

Kaspersky of all companies have found something utterly shocking, an advanced cyber espionage network that makes last year's infamous Flame malware look like a joke. Dubbed Operation Red October, each attack is handcrafted for its victim in order to make sure it 100% works.

Kaspersky uncovers five-year cyber espionage network, makes the Flame malware look like a wimp 03 | TweakTown.com
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Red October has been hitting systems across the world since at least May 2007 and carefully chooses its victims spanning over two dozen countries who hold positions in government, military, aerospace, research, trade and commerce, nuclear, oil and other important, vital industries. Investigators aren't sure who is behind the attacks, but it is being reported that Chinese hackers may have created the exploit, while the various malware modules deployed seem to have been created by those who speak Russian.

Kaspersky can't put their finger on the source, as it is currently being run through at least two layers of proxy servers across Russia, Germany and Austria. Whoever is involved has some skill, as they've been silently sitting, unknown to the user, in major government and industry computers.

Kaspersky uncovers five-year cyber espionage network, makes the Flame malware look like a wimp 04 | TweakTown.com

While this exploit has been going, the hackers involved have been using two different exploits through Microsoft Word and Excel to infect targets through spear phishing schemes. After the system had been infected, the attackers would take whatever data they could through a bunch of persistent and one-time tasks that would take place with over a thousand modules (malicious files).

Kaspersky uncovers five-year cyber espionage network, makes the Flame malware look like a wimp 05 | TweakTown.com

This could include quickly grabbing information from USB drives, recording keystrokes, taking screenshots, retrieving email from Outlook and various mail servers, collecting browsing history and saved passwords, scanning networks to find more potential victims and much more. Who knows what the end goal of this was, but this information could easily be on the black market.

What I don't understand is Kaspersky found this, what the hell were the NSA, CIA, DHS and other various government agencies doing? They all had no idea their networks were infiltrated? I find this very hard to believe.

NEWS SOURCE:techspot.com

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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