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Indian Diplomats, Military Personnel Face Continuous Cyber-Espionage Attacks


From the middle of February this year (2016), according to security researchers in India, a wave of Internet attacks has been ongoing within one highly startling and rare happening. Known as Operation Transparent Vibe, the incident endangers critical security information associated with well-being of the country. Top officials have been getting spear phishing electronic mails at the Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia based Indian embassies. The attacks at both these places are reported to have originated from a common Internet Protocol address.

Following this development, security investigators from Proofpoint closely examined the e-mails and reported that the attacks were coming within one bigger operation targeting one huge group of Indian officers apart from embassy staff.

Those targeted in the attack are chiefly military staff while the technique used are chiefly watering hole and spear phishing tactics. To infect the victims, RATs (remote access Trojans) are used which give the hacker complete hold over the user's PC remotely. RATs are a highly sophisticated and comparatively freshly uncovered cyber espionage programs that are really difficult to remove once they contaminate any device. Mobpicker.com posted this online dated March 7, 2016.

Proofpoint hasn't been able to identify the person responsible for the above mentioned threat, which being a pretty sophisticated tool for cyber espionage can steal different kinds of data stored on host PC, as well as transmit the same onto a remote CnC server. This could be because the researchers do not possess sufficient data to refer to. Answering an interview from Threat Post, Vice President of Threat Operations Center Kevin Epstein for Proofpoint stated that the current assault was ongoing even as he spoke.

The situation was unique since the majority of likewise cyber-espionage schemes were routinely discovered years after their happenings, while cyber security agencies had immeasurable log data for referring to.

Security researchers' team at Proofpoint elaborate that whilst their probe into the current threat continues, it works to be a vital reminder that it isn't any more that wars happen just on or above ground, instead cyber crooks will employ different kinds of online tools for attaining personal objectives.

» SPAMfighter News - 15-03-2016

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