‘Russian malware attacks European governments’

Hundreds of government networks in Europe and the United States have fallen prey to malware allegedly originating from Russia. It concerns the so-called Turla malware, which has been researched for some time.

The Turla malware, which came to light last year, has infected hundreds of government networks in both Europe and the United States, according to Reuters. It is not known exactly which European countries are involved. Reuters calls the malware “one of the most complex cyber-espionage programs discovered to date.”

The properties of the malware would indicate that it is Russian malware, although it is not clear which indicators are involved. Moreover, security researchers and employees of the security services suspect that it is not an independent group of attackers, but the Russian government. However, they also note that the person responsible for the attack cannot be identified with certainty.

Symantec estimates that 1,000 computer networks have been infected with the malware, most of which belong to governments. A British company working for the British military has managed to collect 100 samples of the malware, including 32 from Ukraine, 11 from Lithuania and four from Britain. According to that company, the malware is more advanced than what has been discovered so far.

According to security firm AlienVault, the malware includes a rootkit and a hidden, encrypted file system where attackers store data and their executables. These include tools that steal passwords, loot documents, and collect information about the system.

The malware is said to be linked to Red October, a malware attack on governments, scientific institutions and companies that has been going on for five years and came to light last year. There would also be a connection with Agent.BTZ, spy malware that hit the US military in 2008. Countries are increasingly using malware for espionage and sabotage: Russia, China, the United States and Great Britain, among others, are said to have used malware.