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Kaspersky Identified a New Cyber-espionage known as ‘Machete’

Kaspersky, a security firm, recently discovered a new cyber-espionage operation code-named Machete.

Securityweek.com published a report on 20th August, 2014 quoting Kaspersky as saying "sometime ago , a customer of Kaspersky Lab in Latin America told us that his machine might have been infected with an unknown and undetected malware during his visit to China. We found a very interesting file in the system while assisting the customer which contained no Chinese coding traces and is completely unrelated to China. At first look, it pretends to be an application related to Java but if you analyze it quickly, you will find it more than just a Java file."

The malware at the center of attacks is capable of many actions including capturing audio and screenshots, logging keystrokes, taking photos from the webcam of victim and capturing geo-location data. The malware, if inserted, can also copy files to a USB device and can also copy files to a remote server and it can also hijack the clipboard and capture information from the infected machine.

Kaspersky observed that attackers targeted high-profile organizations like government institutions and military and intelligence services in Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Cuba and Russia (where an embassy for one of the named countries was targeted).

Kaspersky explained that the cybercriminals used social engineering for spreading malware and sometimes they employed spear-phishing electronic mails together with web-based contamination to distribute via specially-drafted bogus blogs.

The campaign has an odd technical feature which is the usage of Python language code compiled into Windows executable files.

Scmagazineuk.com reported on 20th August quoting Troy Gill, Manager of Security Research of AppRiver as saying "The origin of this attack is still unknown but as per the targets, it can be assumed safely that the attack was initiated by a nation state or some group acting on their behalf. The design and longevity of Machete is attractive but this is just the tip of an iceberg when it comes to these kind of advanced espionage attacks. We simply don't know that what kind of cyber-weapons like Machete is being deployed by each nation which is creating alarming situation."

» SPAMfighter News - 8/29/2014

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