Menu
Germany probes Regin-powered cyberespionage

Germany probes Regin-powered cyberespionage

The malware program was found on the laptop of a German federal official

It looks like Chancellor Angela Merkel is not the only German official who might have been spied on by the nation's allies. The head of a German Federal Chancellery unit reportedly had his laptop infected with Regin, a cyberespionage program believed to be used by the U.S. National Security Agency and its closest intelligence partners.

The German federal prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into the breach, which came to light in 2014, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported Friday. The Chancellery is the federal agency that serves Merkel's office.

Regin is one of the most sophisticated malware programs ever discovered. It has over 75 modules that enable a range of functionality, including password theft, network traffic capture, screen shot grabbing, recovery of deleted files and data exfiltration.

According to reports from several security companies, it was used to spy on Internet service providers, telecommunications backbone operators, energy firms, airlines, government entities, research institutes and private individuals around the world.

There are strong indications that Regin is a computer network exploitation (CNE) platform referred to as WARRIORPRIDE in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and which is used by the intelligence agencies of the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- known as the Five Eyes intelligence partnership.

In January, Der Spiegel released a keylogger program dubbed QWERTY from the trove of files leaked by Snowden that the magazine believed was part of WARRIORPRIDE. Researchers from antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab later analyzed the program and concluded that it was identical to a known Regin plug-in and even had code referencing a different Regin module.

Previous reports that the NSA tapped Angela Merkel's mobile phone strained relations between Germany and the U.S. Prosecutors in Germany launched an investigation into that claim, which was also based on documents leaked by Snowden, but it was later dropped due to insufficient evidence.

If Regin is indeed WARRIORPRIDE, as many security experts believe, the program's presence on a German Chancellery official's laptop is unlikely to be a coincidence. However, since the tool is used by the intelligence agencies of five different countries, identifying the perpetrator in this case might prove difficult.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments