Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Viruses & Malware
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Kaspersky Labs Discovers 'Red October' Malware Spy Ring

Kaspersky Labs Discovers 'Red October' Malware Spy Ring
By Barry Levine

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

The leading number of Red October infections discovered -- 35 -- is in the Russian Federation, suggesting Red October is not run by the Russian government. In fact, Kaspersky Labs said although Red October is gathering "classified information and geopolitical intelligence," there is "no evidence linking this with a nation-state sponsored attack."
 


It sounds like a remake of the Tom Clancy novel by the same name, but "Red October" is the name of an advanced cyber espionage network that is targeting governments and other organizations around the world. The network was discovered by the security firm Kaspersky Labs, which announced its findings Monday.

The firm said its researchers have spent several months analyzing malware from the organization, which, since at least 2007, targets organizations primarily in central Asia and in Eastern European countries that were formerly in the Soviet Union, as well as ones in Western Europe and North America.

Hiding the 'True Mothership'

Kaspersky said the attackers have conducted these operations for at least five years, and stolen data, such as security credentials, are reused in later attacks. More than five dozen domain names have been created to control the network of infected machines, utilizing hosting locations in Germany, Russia and other countries.

Targets have included embassies and other diplomatic and governmental locations, research institutions, trade and commerce organizations, nuclear and energy research, oil and gas companies, aerospace and military. Hundreds of infections have been located worldwide.

The firm said that the actual command-and-control infrastructure is a chain of proxy servers that hide the location of the "true mothership command and control server." The network is designed to allow an attacker to recover access to infected machines through other communication channels, if need be. A "resurrection" function enables a malware module to be reinstalled, even if it's been removed.

Red October, which is also called Rocra for short, is designed to steal data from mobile devices, enterprise network equipment, already-deleted files recovered from removable disk drives, e-mail databases from Outlook or POP/IMAP servers, or local FTP servers, in addition to workstations.

'Russian-Speaking Origins'

The observed attacks exploited vulnerabilities in Excel or Word, and, against Tibetan activists and Asia-based military and energy targets, used spear-phishing attacks. Spear phishing is fraudulent e-mail that appears to originate from someone within an organization, and attempts to trick the recipient into revealing confidential data or clicking on a link.

Because of registration data in the command-and-control servers and clues left in executables, Kaspersky, whose world headquarters are in Moscow, said it "strongly" believes the attackers "have Russian-speaking origins." The network was dubbed Red October by Kaspersky because of the use of the Russian language in the code.

Interestingly, the leading number of infections discovered -- 35 -- is in the Russian Federation, suggesting that this operation is not run by the Russian government. In fact, Kaspersky said that there is "no evidence linking this with a nation-state sponsored attack." The main purpose of the attacks appears to be gathering "classified information and geopolitical intelligence," although the use is unknown.

While the malware has been developed by Russian-speaking programmers, the exploits themselves appear to have been handled by Chinese hackers.

The company said it first investigated the Rocra attacks in October of last year at the request of an unnamed "partner," who chooses to remain anonymous. Kaspersky regularly unveils its investigations into major malware attacks, including the Flame virus that apparently attacked computers in Iran. There is no apparent connection between Flame and Red October, the security firm said.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Viruses & Malware
1.   9 Norton Security Products Are Now 1
2.   Data Stolen from U.S. Health Network
3.   Beware Facebook Color Scam
4.   Kaspersky Looks Inside 'Epic' Attack
5.   BadUSB Turns Thumb Drives Evil


advertisement
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
Users: stick to apps from Google Play.
Average Rating:
Data Stolen from U.S. Health Network
Chinese hackers targeted hospital firm.
Average Rating:
9 Norton Security Products Are Now 1
Symantec takes software-as-service tack.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
Businesses everywhere want computing solutions that do more for less money, and Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 
Samsung, B&N Target Amazon with Nook Tablet
They've seen the enemy and it is Amazon. So Samsung and Barnes & Noble are teaming up to combat their common foe with a 7-inch tablet that blends Samsung’s tech, Nook’s content and e-reader platform.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.