New virus does just about everything except steal the lint from your pockets
If Gauss, the virus Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab has just discovered, was a person, you probably would have to guard your pockets to protect your lint. The virus follows the path of Stuxnet Flame, and Duqu, and it’s thought to be government sponsored due to its complexity.
The Moscow-based firm said it found Gauss had infected more than 2,500 personal computers, the bulk of them in Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Targets included Lebanon’s BlomBank, ByblosBank and Credit Libanais, as well as Citigroup Inc’s Citibank and eBay’s PayPal online payment system.
Got that? It goes after bank accounts. But there’s more – lots more. Gauss can also snoop and steal passwords for social networks, email, and chat services. Maybe it’s time to start building that bunker in the back yard.
Why banks? Why Lebanon? Again from Reuters:
Jeffrey Carr, an expert on cyber warfare who runs a small security firm known as Taia Global, said the U.S. government has long monitored Lebanese banks for clues about the activities of militant groups and drug cartels. He said Gauss was likely built by adapting technology deployed in Flame.
Kaspersky researchers say the virus has traits of other complex pieces of malware in that it is capable of corrupting large, industrial infrastructure, like the Iranian nuclear facility Stuxnet took down in 2010.
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