Security // Vulnerabilities & Threats
News
2/11/2014
09:58 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Mask Spyware Outdoes Flame

Rare Spanish-speaking cyberespionage campaign uses spyware and malware tools that researchers call the most sophisticated yet.

KASPERSKY LAB SECURITY ANALYST SUMMIT -- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -- Move over, Flame and Duqu: A newly discovered cyberespionage operation waged by Spanish-speaking attackers against government, energy, oil, and gas organizations around the globe employs the most sophisticated array of tools seen yet, according to researchers here.

Kaspersky Lab researchers disclosed "The Mask" here Monday, an advanced cyberespionage operation that went undetected for about five years, using a rootkit, bootkit, and Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux versions of the malware. There is evidence pointing to Android and iOS versions of the malware, as well, and The Mask also targets government entities, diplomatic offices, and embassies, research institutions, and activists across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, including victims in the US.

Costin Raiu, director of the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky Lab, says a Spanish-speaking cyberespionage attack is unusual. The Mask has all the earmarks of an elite nation-state campaign; sophistication-wise, it basically usurps the Flame campaign associated with Stuxnet. "This is one of the best I have seen. Previously, the best APT group was the one behind Flame, but now that changes my opinion because of the way [Mask operators] manage the infrastructure and the way they react to threats and the speed of reaction and professionalism ... beyond Flame and anything else we have seen so far," he says.

The Mask, a.k.a. Careto, steals documents and encryption keys, VPN configuration information, SSH keys, and Remote Desktop Client files, and wipes log traces of its activity. Another unique feature: It exploits an older vulnerability in Kaspersky's antivirus software.

Read the rest of this story on Dark Reading.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Senior Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise Magazine, ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Security Job #1 For Feds
Security Job #1 For Feds
The 2014 InformationWeek Government IT Priorities Survey shows federal IT pros care about security - itís rated as very important by 69% of respondents, 30 percentage points ahead of the No. 2 priority, disaster recovery. Will the upcoming NIST cyber-security framework help manage risk?
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.