Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Espionage malware may be state-sponsored: researchers
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Feb 10, 2014

Security researchers said Monday they discovered cyber-espionage malware which has hit governments and companies in 31 countries and is likely state-sponsored.

Kaspersky Lab researchers said the Spanish-language malware known as "The Mask" or "Careto" has been used since at least 2007 and is unusually complex, with versions that may infect mobile phones and tablets, including those running Apple or Google operating systems.

The researchers said the authors who appear to be Spanish speakers may use the virus to steal sensitive documents as well as encryption keys.

The main targets appear to be government and diplomatic offices, energy companies, research organizations, private equity firms and political activists, according to a white paper from Kaspersky.

"For the victims, an infection with Careto can be disastrous," the security firm said in a statement.

"Careto intercepts all communication channels and collects the most vital information from the victim's machine. Detection is extremely difficult because of stealth rootkit capabilities, built-in functionalities and additional cyber-espionage modules."

Once a device is infected, the malware authors can intercept network traffic, keystrokes, Skype conversations and steal information from devices connected to the networks.

The researchers said in their report they detected "traces of Linux versions, and possibly versions for iPad/iPhone and Android, however we have not been able to retrieve the samples."

The malware was active from 2007 until last month, when the command servers were shut down during Kaspersky's investigation, the researchers said.

"Several reasons make us believe this could be a nation-state sponsored campaign," Kaspersky researcher Costin Raiu said.

Raiu said the authors showed a high degree of technical sophistication and have been able to hide their activities so far.

"This level of operational security is not normal for cyber-criminal groups," he said.

"The fact that the Careto attackers appear to be speaking the Spanish language is perhaps the most unusual feature," the research paper said.

"While most of the known attacks nowadays are filled with Chinese comments, languages such as German, French or Spanish appear very rarely in APT (advanced persistent threat) attacks."

The investigation found 380 victims in 31 countries, the most infected of which were Morocco, Brazil, Britain, Spain, France, Switzerland, Libya, the United States, Iran and Venezuela.


Related Links
Cyberwar - Internet Security News - Systems and Policy Issues

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Internet titans shine light on secret US requests
San Francisco (AFP) Feb 03, 2014
Internet titans eager to regain the trust of users for the first time on Monday provided insight into numbers of secret requests for user data made by the US government. Disclosures from Google, Facebook and others came a week after US authorities agreed to give technology firms the ability to publish broad details of how their customer data has been targeted by US spy agencies. The agre ... read more

NASA bets on private companies to exploit moon's resources

Astrobotic Begins Testing at Masten Space Systems

NASA Extends Moon Exploring Satellite Mission

NASA's LRO Snaps a Picture of NASA's LADEE Spacecraft

Mars rover successfully negotiates risky move over sand dune

MAVEN on Track to Carry Out its Science Mission

NASA Mars Orbiter Examines Dramatic New Crater

Russia proposes water-hunting instrument for future Mars rover

Report: U.S. science and technology lead diminishing as Asia competes

Tech products can turn uncool when they become too popular

New scientific field looks at the big picture

Future interplanetary spacecraft to be equipped with 'plantations'

Moon plays trick on Jade Rabbit

Waiting for Yutu

'Goodnight, humans': Says Yutu As The Sun Sets

Extra Time for Tiangong

Russian Resupply Spacecraft Begins Expedited Flight to Station

NASA Selects Physical Science Research Proposals for the ISS

Russian Cargo Craft Departure Clears Way for Next Delivery

NASA Extends Reliance on Russian Spacecraft Until 2018

58th successful launch in a row of Ariane 5

The go-ahead is given for Arianespace's February 6 flight with Ariane 5

SpaceX's next cargo mission to space station is Mar 16

Both payloads for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 flight are mated to the launcher

Kepler Finds a Very Wobbly Planet

One planet, two stars: new research shows how circumbinary planets form

First Weather Map of Brown Dwarf

NASA-Sponsored 'Disk Detective' Lets Public Search for New Planetary Nurseries

Scientists use 'voting' and 'penalties' to overcome quantum errors

China gold consumption leaps 41% in 2013

Theorists predict new forms of exotic insulating materials

MDA announces Canada's DND Sapphire satellite completes commissioning

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement