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Meet Red October: The Global Cyber-Espionage Ring That Spent 5 Years in the Shadows

Published: January 15, 2013
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Source: Gizmodo

Meet Red October: The Global Cyber-Espionage Ring That Spent 5 Years in the Shadows

There are plenty of cyberweapons floating around out there, like Stuxnet, Flame, and that whole gang. Now, Kaspersky has turned upa cyber-espoinage operation its dubbed "Red October," and it's up there in the big leagues. But unlike its cohorts, it doesn't look state-sponsored. This is a freelance job, and it's professional grade.

While Red October has only recently been discovered, it's been working behind the scenes for a long time. According to its domain names and various details dug up from the executable code, it's been doing its thing since 2007, if not earlier. And what is its thing? Harvesting loads of classified information from high-profile targets across the globe—including the United States, but mostly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. And it's got quite the stash.

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Part of the reason it's especially dangerous is that it's not confined to infecting, stealing from, and keylogging workstations. The malware also has to capability to get into mobile phones (iOS, Windows Mobile, and Nokia) connected to infected machines and snag a copy of their contacts, calls, messages, and browsing history. It can also scrub enterprise network equipment and removable disk drives, copy entire email databases from Outlook storage and POP/IMAP servers, and it can even take deleted files off USB sticks using its own recovery mechanism. Red October doesn't mess around.

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