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Saturday 23.06.2018 | Name days: Līga

Businesses come under attack from a new malware type that erases all data

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUBusinesses in the Middle East and Europe have been attacked by a new and complex malware type that erases all data on the infected computer and spies on victims, as reported by Kaspersky Lab.

StoneDrill eraser malware uncovered by Kaspersky Lab not only deletes all files on the infected device, but also spies on victims and actively avoids detection, as noted by Kasperky Lab representative.

«StoneDrill’s behaviour is similar to Shamoon (aka Disttrack) uncovered five years ago. In 2012, this malware paralysed 35,000 computers in an oil and gas company in the Middle East, putting at risk a significant portion of the world’s oil industry. After this scandal, the group responsible for Shamoon went underground. It seems this group has returned. Kaspersky Lab Experts have found a new attacker with a more complicated type of malware used for much wider means,» experts say.

Researchers still have no idea how the virus is distributed. However, to remain undetected, it uses two complex anti-emulation methods, making it hard to track it. As soon as StoneDrill infects a computer, it integrates itself using the device’s web browser. Shortly after installation, the virus starts deleting files stored on the hard drive.

«We are very curious about the similarity we have noticed with multiple malicious operations. Analysing the code of both viruses we have noticed the presence of Yemen variant of Arab language in Shamoon and Persian language in StoneDrill. Geopolitical analysts may assume that this whole operation may have been the work of Iran or Yemen, which are interested in harming companies in Saudi Arabia, which is also home to the majority of victims of StoneDrill and Shamoon. Of course, it is also possible that the culprit left all language markers in the code to cover tracks. Attacks by StoneDrill have been noticed in Europe as well. This means the group responsible for the attack is also interested in victims outside of the Middle East region. And although the company that suffered an attack from StoneDrill works in oil chemistry industry, it has nothing in common with oil companies in the Middle East,» says Kaspersky Lab research centre’s senior expert Mohamad Amin Hasbini.

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