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Russia reports malware in its government IT systems

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August 1, 2016

Russia is reporting today that some malware designed to steal data has been found in its government IT systems at about twenty-four of its various agencies and a few critical institutions.

For now, the Kremlin didn't reveal the names of the targeted agencies nor which attacks were successful and what data if any was stolen, but we are waiting to hear more from Moscow.

Overall, military, scientific and critical infrastructure organizations were targeted with malware, based on Russia's statement, and it's highly likely that victim-specific remote access trojans were released.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says it found evidence of malicious software designed to commit cyber espionage against the computer networks of some twenty organizations and various agencies located in Russia.

"The malware is made for each individual victim based on the unique characteristics of the targeted PC. It spreads itself through targeted attacks on personal computers through e-mails containing malicious attachments or viruses."

The security agency says it loads modules that capture snapshots of the victim's PC before customizing further attacks to help intercept traffic, turn on and monitor microphones, capture screenshots and keystrokes, and siphon a wide variety of data files.

Russian government agencies rarely publish details of any attacks, and the Kremlin says it is working to contain the security threats and identify its victims.

Malware writers in the country typically avoid attacking systems located in Russia in what is assumed to be an effort to avoid drawing local heat. It would be among the boldest of attacks should local hacking groups be behind the Moscow trojan attacks.

Source: The Kremlin.

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