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  1. #1
    Neo
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    State sponsored computer spyware targets bank customers

    Recently a powerful computer virus linked to US/Israeli sources called Stuxnet caused significant damage to the Iranian nuclear programme.

    Now a variant of that malware has been found in the computer systems of Middle Eastern Banks based in Lebanon.

    The virus is thought to collect data on customers and monitor transactions, but it also has a dormant payload whose purpose is unknown due to the complex nature of it's encryption.

    So what you may ask? These are potential enemies and must be spied upon.

    Beside the legal, moral and ethical boundaries that are being broken, this marks a significant change in the direction of cyberwarfare, one which we must all consider potentially harmful.

    Here is an excerpt from the article and I'll put a link after for you to read the whole article at source.


    Flame and Stuxnet Cousin Targets Lebanese Bank Customers, Carries Mysterious Payload
    A newly uncovered espionage tool, apparently designed by the same people behind the state-sponsored Flame malware that infiltrated machines in Iran, has been found infecting systems in other countries in the Middle East, according to researchers.

    The malware, which steals system information but also has a mysterious payload that could be destructive against critical infrastructure, has been found infecting at least 2,500 machines, most of them in Lebanon, according to Russia-based security firm Kaspersky Lab, which discovered the malware in June and published an extensive analysis of it on Thursday.

    The spyware, dubbed Gauss after a name found in one of its main files, also has a module that targets bank accounts in order to capture login credentials. The malware targets accounts at several banks in Lebanon, including the Bank of Beirut, EBLF, BlomBank, ByblosBank, FransaBank and Credit Libanais. It also targets customers of Citibank and PayPal.

    The discovery appears to add to the steadily growing arsenal of malware created by the U.S. and Israeli governments. That list includes the groundbreaking Stuxnet cyberweapon that is believed to have infiltrated and caused physical damage to Iran’s uranium enrichment program, as well as the spyware tools known as Flame and DuQu. But Gauss marks the first time that apparently nation-state-created malware has been found stealing banking credentials, something that is commonly seen in malware distributed by criminal hacking groups.

    The varied functionality of Gauss suggests a toolkit used for multiple operations.
    “When you look at Stuxnet and DuQu, they were obviously single-goal operations. But here I think what you see is a broader operation happening all in one,” says Roel Schouwenberg, senior researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

    The researchers don’t know if the attackers used the bank component in Gauss simply to spy on account transactions, or to steal money from targets. But given that the malware was almost certainly created by nation-state actors, its goal is likely not to steal for economic gain, but rather for counterintelligence purposes. Its aim, for instance, might be to monitor and trace the source of funding going to individuals or groups, or to sabotage political or other efforts by draining money from their accounts.

    While the banking component adds a new element to state-sponsored malware, the mysterious payload may prove to be the most interesting part of Gauss, since this part of the malware has been carefully encrypted by the attackers and so far remains uncracked by Kaspersky.

    Source and further reading here: Flame and Stuxnet Cousin Targets Lebanese Bank Customers, Carries Mysterious Payload | Threat Level | Wired.com
    Last edited by Neo; 10-08-2012 at 02:54 PM.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

  2. #2
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    So is that how Standard Chartered Bank was discovered helping money launderers by wire stripping ?

  3. #3
    Neo
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    Well the US claim that's down to the system of accountability they use for all dollar transactions.. but hell yeah, this thing is real and active at this time in Middle Eastern systems, not much of a stretch to surmise that it will be used to target other regions also.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
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    Nothing to do with the Indian electricity blackout, the two refinery fires in the US, a plane mishap in California, the US exchange surge or the glitches in the EU banks then? The trouble is it is now the acceptable way of waging war.

  5. #5
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    Why do they need software viruses to fuck up a country? All they need is greedy bankers, vast corporations beyond the reach of the law and complicit politicians hell-bent on deregulation.

  6. #6
    I am in Jail
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    ^ agree, doubt a virus alone could achieve the shutdown of a nuclear plant, even the Iranian drone story by a virus is "doubtful"

    upgrading the Pentagon systems to a Mac would do more damages than those virus,

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