Stealthy Malware Spying Since 2008 Unearthed

  • Antivirus software maker Symantec Corp said :Targeted Govts, Cos, Individuals In 10 Nations advanced malicious software application has been uncovered that since 2008 was used to spy on private companies, governments, research institutes and individuals in 10 countries
  • The Mountain View, California-based maker of Norton antivirus products said its research showed that a “nation state” was likely the developer of the malware called Regin, or Backdoor.
  • Symantec said Regin’s design “makes it highly suited for persistent, long-term surveillance operations against targets,”
  • Regin was withdrawn in 2011, but resurfaced from 2013 onward.
  • The malware uses several “stealth” features “and even when its presence is detected, it is very difficult to ascertain what it is doing
  • It said “many components of Regin remain undiscovered and additional functionality and versions may exist.
  • Almost half of all infections occurred at addresses of Internet service providers
  • It said the targets were customers of the companies rather than the companies themselves.
  • About 28% of targets were in telecoms while other victims were in the energy, airline, hospitality and research sectors.
  • Symantec described the malware as having five stages, each “hidden and encrypted, with the exception of the first stage.”
  • It saideach individual stage provides little information on the complete package.
  • Only by acquiring all five stages is it possible to analyse and understand the threat.
  • Cybersecurity is a sensitive topic for businesses in the United States, where there have been several breaches of major companies and customer information.
  • The US government and private cyber intelligence firms have said they suspect state-backed hackers in China or Russia may be responsible.
  • Symantec said Russia and Saudi Arabia accounted for about half of the confirmed infections of the Regin malware and the other countries were Mexico, Ireland, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Belgium, Austria and Pakistan.