US and British intelligence agencies have been linked to Regin, a top-tier espionage tool ,indentified by Symantec, that enables stealthy surveillance.
Regin was reportedly was used to spy on governments, businesses, researchers and individuals since 2008, Symantec said in its official blog post Monday.
According to news website The Intercept, the malware appeared to be linked to US and British intelligence, and that it was used in attacks on EU government networks and Belgium's telecom network.
The report, citing industry sources and a technical analysis of the malware, said Regin appears to be referenced in documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about broad surveillance programs.
Asked about the report, an NSA spokeswoman told The Intercept, "We are not going to comment on speculation."
In its blog post, Symantec said the malware shares some characteristics with Duqu and Stuxnet.
A back door-type Trojan, Regin is a complex piece of malware whose structure displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen.
Customizable with an extensive range of capabilities depending on the target, it provides its controllers with a powerful framework for mass surveillance and has been used in spying operations against government organizations, infrastructure operators, businesses, researchers, and private individuals, Symantec said.
Regin infections have been observed in a variety of organizations between 2008 and 2011, after which it was abruptly withdrawn. A new version of the malware resurfaced from 2013 onwards. Targets include private companies, government entities and research institutes.
"Regin's developers put considerable effort into making it highly inconspicuous," Symantec said.
"Its low key nature means it can potentially be used in espionage campaigns lasting several years. Even when its presence is detected, it is very difficult to ascertain what it is doing. Symantec was only able to analyze the payloads after it decrypted sample files."
The largest number of infections discovered -- 28 percent -- was in Russia, and Saudi Arabia was second with 24 percent. Other nations mentioned by Symantec include Mexico, Ireland, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Belgium, Austria and Pakistan. There were no reported infections in the United States.
The US State Department has shut down its entire unclassified email system after detecting a breach in its computer network. According to reports, the “activity of concern” was detected in the system concurrently with another cyber attack which hit the network at the White House computer network
NATO launched its largest ever multinational cyber defence exercise, “Cyber Coalition 2014” on 18 November. The three-day training event will test the Alliances ability to defend its networks from the various challenges that exist when operating in the contested cyber domain
General Dynamics C4 Systems' Trusted Network Environment (TNE), version 11-S cyber-defense software, is now being used by the U.S
Russia and China are set to sign an international cyber security agreement in the first half of 2015, Kommersant newspaper reported citing a source familiar with the progress of negotiations. According to the report, the agreement was expected to be signed this week during a state visit to China by Russian premier Vladimir Putin
The Indian government has dedicated a budget of $16. 2 million to increase cyber security and cyber defense in the country
China is implementing stronger cybersecurity measures as cyber attacks grow more rampant and deadly. Lu Wei, minister of cyberspace, told a Beijing press conference last week that in the past month 10,000 websites had been hacked in China, 80 per cent of which were government sites
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