The existence of a malicious program called “Red October”, a vigorous virus with an unprecedented spread was revealed by Kaspersky Lab on January 14th: this virus has infiltrated computer networks from diplomatic, governmental and scientific organizations in Central Asia, Europe and North America where it managed to collect various data and sensitive information. Thus, more than 60 countries, including France, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Australia and the United Arab Emirates …. have been affected by this virus, which began to spread five years ago and is supposed to be still active.
The operation seems to be designed to gather classified information and geopolitical sensitive data, through abusing hundreds of victims, via targeted phishing also called “spearphishing.” Red October is a dangerous malware.
Besides traditional attacks to desktop computers, this smart virus is indeed able to steal data on smartphones, USB keys (including deleted documents from these keys), email databases, and local FTP servers, says Kaspersky. One of the modules of the system of red october even allows cybercriminals to infect a machine again if another of their modules is detected and destroyed by a virus.
It is thought to have been set up by an international organization: “in recent months, we have identified hundreds of infections worldwide,” the researchers said Kaspersky. Thirty-five of them were recorded in Russia and twenty-one in Kazakhstan. For Kasperky Lab, Chinese hackers may be the cause of the exploitation of the vulnerability and malware my have been developed by Russian-speaking hackers.
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