Cyber criminals have targeted government officials in more than 20 countries in a complex online assault rarely seen since the turn of the millennium. The attack, dubbed ‘MiniDuke’ by researchers, has infected government computers in an attempt to steal geopolitical intelligence, according to security experts.
Facebook and Apple have become the latest companies to reveal they had been the target of a “sophisticated cyber-attack” by hackers last month. Although security was breached both companies confirmed that they had found no evidence any user data had been compromised.
In a blog post on its website Facebook explained what it knew of the cyber-attack:
A botnet that was believed to have illegally infected somewhere between 300,000 and 8 million machines and was raking in an estimated $1 million a year has been shut down by security experts. The Bamital botnet was shut down when teams working with Microsoft and Symantec anti-virus specialists raided several data centres in the US. Microsoft and Symantec claim that the computers infected by the Bamital botnet were being used illegally for identity theft. Thousands of affected users have been offered free tools to help to clean up infected machines.
The hunt for a major cyber-attack that could have been stealing confidential documents since 2007 is finally over after the Red October malware was discovered by researchers at Russia’s Kaspersky Labs. The malware had been targeting government institutions, embassies, oil and gas institutions and nuclear research centres. Red October, named after the Russian submarine featured in the Tom Clancy novel The Hunt For Red October, was designed to steal encrypted files, and was so sophisticated that it was even able to recover files that had been deleted. Experts are hailing the discovery as ‘very significant’.
If you ever wanted proof that website security is a major issue, or that hacking and cyber-attacks are a serious global problem, then you need look no further than the statement issued by Microsoft recently. Microsoft, the world’s largest software producer, has admitted that hackers have uploaded viruses and malware which can help them steal people’s personal data on to millions of new PCs and laptops. After an investigation the company revealed that it had found malware in counterfeit copies of Microsoft Windows which would allow hackers to remotely switch on and control devices like microphones and cameras on machines that were still factory-sealed.