Menu
Kaspersky Lab “unmasks” long-running cyber-espionage operation

Kaspersky Lab “unmasks” long-running cyber-espionage operation

Security vendor is tipped off to malware campaign following unsuccessful attack on its own products

Kaspersky Lab has discovered a new threat vector involved in global cyber-espionage operations since at least 2007.

Dubbed “The Mask”, or in some cases Careto, the malware comes the way of a cross-platform malware toolkit that includes at least one zero-day exploit.

PCs are not the only ones in the sight of the malware, with Mac OS X, Linux, and potentially even iOS and Android in the line of fire.

The security vendor has already dubbed Mask as “one of the most advanced global cyber-espionage operations to date” for the high degree of sophistication it contains.

Nowhere safe

Mask has so far been collecting sensitive data from the infected systems, and Kaspersky Lab has traced victims of the attack to 31 countries around the world.

Kaspersky Lab A/NZ managing director, Andrew Mamonitis, said no country can be ruled out as a target for the attack, including Australia.

“The total number of affected countries and unique victims could in fact be much higher than those analysed in the report,” he said.

To illustrate his point, Mamonitis points to how Australia was not been immune to previous targeted campaigns such as NetTraveler, which went after local diplomatic missions.

So far the security vendor has found that governments and strategic institutions of all persuasions have been targeted by Mask.

“Coupled with the difficulty with attribution, the motive behind such a wide-ranging attack is difficult to ascertain,” Mamonitis said.

Sign of things to come

Kaspersky Lab was tipped off to the Mask campaign after hackers attempted to exploit a vulnerability in the company’s products fixed five years ago.

As for whether the discovery of Mask will set a precedent for future malware attacks, Mamonitis said the versatility and sophistication of the campaign demonstrates how hackers are becoming "more adept" at pursuing higher level targets.

“The fact that it stands as one of the most advanced campaigns shows that there is potentially growing investment in cyber-espionage attacks,” he said.

“One would have to assume that rather than a one-off incident, it may, unfortunately, be a sign of further things to come.”

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags kaspersky labsmalware

Featured

Slideshows

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

From new extortion schemes, outside threats and rising cyber attacks, the art of securing the enterprise has seldom been so complex or challenging. With distance no longer a viable defence, Kiwi businesses are fighting to stay ahead of the security curve. In total, 28 per cent of local businesses faced a cyber attack last year, with the number in New Zealand set to rise in 2017. Yet amidst the sensationalism, media headlines and ongoing high profile breaches, confusion floods the channel, as partners seek strategic methods to combat rising sophistication from attackers. In sizing up the security spectrum, this Reseller News roundtable - in association with F5 Networks, Kaspersky Lab, Tech Data, Sophos and SonicWall - assessed where the channel sweet spot is within the New Zealand channel. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?
Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Show Comments