All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


MiniDuke spying malware found on EU government networks

28 Feb 2013
Security padlock image

A cyber spying tool dubbed MiniDuke has been discovered targeting government and critical infrastructures systems.

Secuity firm Kaspersky Labs and Hungarian researchers at Crysys Lab reported unearthing the MiniDuke, which has hit government bodies in Ukraine, Belgium, Portugal, Romania, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

The malware was hidden in corrupted PDF documents, which were used to infect numerous targets.

A research institute, two think tanks and healthcare provider in the US and an unspecified research foundation in Hungary are also thought to have fallen victim to MiniDuke.

The attacks were reportedly targeted with the malicious files masquerading as items such as fabricated human rights seminar information, Ukrainian foreign policy and Nato membership plans.

The file infected machines using a recently discovered PDF exploit in Adobe Reader versions 9, 10, and 11.

The malware lets the hackers carry out several basic actions including copying, moving and removing files, making new directories, activating a kill process and downloading and executing new malware to the machine.

Chief executive and founder Eugene Kaspersky said the malware is notable as it has similar evasion features to older long thought extinct malware variants.

"This is a very unusual cyberattack. I remember this style of malicious programming from the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s. I wonder if these types of malware writers, who have been in hibernation for more than a decade, have suddenly awoken and joined the sophisticated group of threat actors active in the cyberworld," said Kaspersky.

"These elite, ‘old school' malware writers were extremely effective in the past at creating highly complex viruses, and are now combining these skills with the newly advanced sandbox-evading exploits to target government entities or research institutions in several countries."

Kaspersky reported that it had traced the backdoor connects to two servers, the first in Panama and the second in Turkey.

MiniDuke is one of many cyber spying tools to have been uncovered by Kaspersky in the recent months.

Previously, the security firm unearthed the Red October cyber espionage campaign.

Red October was a global cyber campaign caught targeting numerous European government institutions in January 2013.

The campaign is believed to have stemmed from a Russian-speaking group and been active since at least five years.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

Windows 10 poll

What are your first impressions of Windows 10?
13%
4%
10%
4%
21%
4%
44%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
V3 Sungard roundtable event - Cloud computing security reliability and scalability discussion

CIOs debate how to overhaul businesses for the digital era

V3 hosts roundtable with Sungard Availability Services

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

IT Development Manager

This is a unique and senior opportunity to establish...

IT Infrastructure Manager

Closing Date: 13/10/2014 Working within a diverse and...

C# / WPF Developer - MVVM / IoC, CI, ORM, XUnit

C#, WPF, MVVM (MVVMLight a big bonus) Contract available...

ICT Programme Manager

Hounslow Civic Centre, London We are looking for...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.