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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

By Anthony Garreffa on Jan 15, 2013 at 01:32 am CST - 1 min, 38 secs reading time

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

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.

Last updated: Mar 2, 2014 at 12:00 am CST

Anthony Garreffa

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Anthony Garreffa

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games to be built around consoles. With 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 high-end, custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU technology is unwavering, and with next-gen NVIDIA GPUs about to launch alongside 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync gaming monitors and BFGDs (65-inch 4K 120Hz HDR G-Sync TVs) there has never been a time to be more excited about technology.

NEWS SOURCE:techspot.com

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