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  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 2:54am
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HACKING

Computer virus targets East European countries using Nato, EU encryption

Users of ‘Red October’ spyware have Russian-speaking origins, software maker says

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 January, 2013, 4:20am
 

Kaspersky Lab said it had identified a new computer virus it dubbed "Red October" targeting eastern European countries that appeared to be collecting classified files using Nato and EU encryption.

"The primary focus of this campaign targets countries in Eastern Europe, former USSR Republics, and countries in Central Asia, although victims can be found everywhere, including Western Europe and North America," the maker of antivirus software said.

Kaspersky Lab added "there is strong technical evidence to indicate the attackers have Russian-speaking origins".

Red October, which has been active since at least 2007, appears to collect files encrypted with software used by several entities in the European Union and Nato.

Kaspersky said Red October also infected smartphones and collected login information.

Red October has what Kaspersky Lab called a unique "resurrection" module that hid in Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office programmes that allowed the attackers to regain access if the virus was discovered and removed.

In addition to diplomatic and governmental agencies of various countries across the world, Red October also targeted research institutions, energy and nuclear groups, and trade and aerospace targets.

Founded in 1997, Kaspersky Lab employs more than 2,300 specialists. It is an information technology security and anti-virus software company.

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