Aug 10 2012

More state-sponsored malware discovered.

Having problems with your computer? You may have a virus paid for by taxpayer dollars.

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.

via Wired.com.

Thank goodness we can rely on Russian heroes to defend us from the predations of democracies like the US and Israel.


Skip to comment form

  1. 1

    Just curious, are the Russians selling anti-virus programs?
    A classic way to boost sales is to unleash a virus, “discover” the virus, and then sell the solution –or give it away to score political points. But our buddies the Russians would never do such a thing.

    1. 1.1
      Setár, Elvenkitty

      Kaspersky Lab is a privately-owned multinational corporation, based in Russia, and founded in 1997. The USSR was disbanded in 1991, and even then had been friendly to the US since the late 60s/early 70s (barring Reagan beating the war drums with his “evil empire” bullshit as the USSR was in the midst of enacting the reforms that sealed its demise).

      Nice to know that you’re cribbing foreign policy from the Romney campaign though.

      1. Brian M

        One does not have to be cribbing comments from the Romney campaign to dismiss the possibilities of “market creation”. Look at the anecdotal evidence of unemployed drifters setting forst fires so they can be hired onto the crews.

        Plus…do you really believe the PUTIN regime is all sweetness and light? Really?

  2. 2
    Raging Bee

    Are there any clues about which state is behind this?

  3. 3

    @1: Yes, Kaspersky Labs sells an antivirus product. However, that old canard about viruses being created by antivirus companies is conspiratorial nonsense.

  4. 4
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Just curious, are the Russians selling anti-virus programs?

    Uh, Kaspersky Labs. Does that answer your question?

    A classic way to boost sales is to unleash a virus, “discover” the virus, and then sell the solution –or give it away to score political points.

    That would be a classic, although completely unnecessary way. Evidence, please.

    But our buddies the Russians would never do such a thing.

    Russians. Whatever.

    No. No one makes malware like this to boost sales. Too much work, and not enough sales (if any are even applicable) to admins of targeted systems.

    Certainly, someone else could have written the malware, using the cover of previous US/Israeli operations for camouflage. Also, criminals steal and re-purpose each other’s malware.

  5. 5
    Jesse M.


    Before I switched to Linux, I was a Windows user and loyal customer of Kaspersky Lab because of the quality of their antivirus solution, which has ranked for many years among the best in the world in detecting and removing computer viruses.

    That remains true today, as proven by the file detection report released last April by Av-Comparatives that shows Kaspersky ranking third, ahead of McAfee, Avast, ESET, and others. The two solutions that detected viruses better, G-Data and Avira, are able to do that only by combining two antivirus engines into a single user interface, and even then they are not as successful as Kaspersky in removing the viruses.

    Every antivirus company in the world has a greater incentive than Kaspersky to release a virus into the wild. Even so, no antivirus company has an incentive great enough to warrant the risk involved of being caught red-handed. There are millions of computer viruses, which means that one more virus would have practically no effect on the market, let alone change the relative marketshare of the companies.

    Your conspiracy theory has no plausibility and the act of proposing it without corroboratory evidence would only serve to make people fearful of one of the best antivirus softwares in the world, which would make them defect to worse antivirus software, which would increase the odds that they will be able to detect and remove any viruses that their computer comes to have in the future. As such, your conspiracy theory is implausible and dangerous.

  6. 6
    Jesse M.

    Typo. “increase the odds that they will be able to detect and remove any viruses” should say “increase the odds that they will be UNABLE to detect and remove any viruses”. Apologies for any confusion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: