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South Korea Cyber Attacks Remain a Mystery

South Korea Cyber Attacks Remain a Mystery
By Jennifer LeClaire

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"Malware that looks for certain conditions [like that used in the South Korean hacking], whether that be keywords contained in documents or actions being taken by security solutions, is nothing new [even for South Korea]. Infecting a public social networking site to distribute super-secret government spyware seems more than a touch unlikely as well."
 


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Casting a Wide Net

We turned to Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos, to get his take on McAfee's report. Although he hasn't seen or analyzed the malware in question, he told us it's encouraging to see the South Korean's response, especially the segregation of networks and the 'don't panic!' attitude.

"Malware that looks for certain conditions, whether that be keywords contained in documents or actions being taken by security solutions, is nothing new. Infecting a public social networking site to distribute super-secret government spyware seems more than a touch unlikely as well," Wisniewski said.

"Successful intelligence operations must cast a wide net as we have seen in the NSA dragnet drama. While this could certainly be an intelligence gathering exercise, I think I agree with the South Korean government. Stand down from red alert."

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