An advanced and well-orchestrated computer spy operation that targeted diplomats, governments and research institutions for at least five years has been uncovered by security researchers in Russia.
The highly targeted campaign, which focuses primarily on victims in Eastern Europe and Central Asia based on existing data, is still live, harvesting documents and data from computers, smartphones and removable storage devices, such as USB sticks, according to Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based antivirus firm that uncovered the campaign. Kaspersky has dubbed the operation “Red October.”[more inside]
An unauthorized certificate could be used to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks. This issue affects all supported releases of Microsoft Windows.
"Flame" is the name of a newly-identified malware program which utilizes a previously unknown MD5 collision attack to successfully spoof Microsoft Terminal Services, and install itself as a trusted program using Windows Update, Microsoft has confirmed. The program appears to have targeted computers in the Middle East, and specifically Iran; analysts have alleged it is likely created by the same entity that designed Stuxnet. Flame has been live and actively spying since 2010, but went undetected until recently, due to sophisticated anti-detection measures. [more inside]
A year after the infrastructure-attacking Stuxnet worm was discovered in Iran, a new piece of malware using some of the same techniques (but apparently with different goals) has been found infecting systems in Europe. The new malware, dubbed “Duqu” [dü-kyü], appears to have been written by someone with direct access to the Stuxnet source code.
The dry, technical language of Microsoft's October update did not indicate anything particularly untoward.
Its reach is impossible to measure precisely, but more than 3 million vulnerable machines may ultimately have been infected. : The inside story on the Conficker Worm at New Scientist.