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US-UK Based Surveillance Virus Attacks Top German Aide

Telesurtv.net reported on 29th December, 2014 stating that an aide to the German government has found that the government has been attacked by hackers by discovering a surveillance virus reportedly linked to U.S. and British spy agencies.

According to news item published in a German newspaper Bild on 29th December, 2014, a staffer working in close association with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, penned a summary of a speech on her official computer and then took it home in a USB stick or pen drive which she used it in her personal laptop.

She then saved the draft on her personal pen drive and got it back to her office to use the same on her official laptop. A virus alert emerged and it was found that the USB drive was tainted with spying software known as Regin. However, all other high-security notebooks in the Federal Chancellery were checked and no additional infection was found.

Rt.com published a report on 29th December, 2014 quoting a comment of Christiane Wirtz, German Government Spokesperson, while contradicting the claims, as "Such type of attack has not occurred explicitly." She confirmed that IT systems of the Federal Chancellery were not infected which is the most important statement in this context.

Symantec, a cyber-security company, first warned about Regin at the end of November, 2014. Regin, a back door-type Trojan, can provide its controllers a powerful framework for mass surveillance.

According to Bild's report, the virus demonstrates a very rare degree of technical competence which shows that it may have been developed by a nation state having taken many years. Regin can fulfill a series of customized tasks like controlling the mouse cursor, making screenshots and stealing passwords depending upon the target in a spying operation.

Investigators have still not found the person behind this attack.

Regin is assumed to have been used in online surveillance on citizens and institutions of EU which was detailed in documents released by Edward Snowden who is NSA whistle-blower.

Angela Merkel's government has already been upset with spying attacks after magazine Der Spiegel reported in October 2013 revealing secret documents showing that the National Security Agency may have snooped on cell phone of the Chancellor for more than ten years.

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