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“Gauss What!?” – Another CyberWeapon Discovered August 14, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in cyberespionage, Risk & Risk Management, terrorism.
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According to Kaspersky labs, yet another cyberweapon was discovered last week.  On August 9, 2012 Kaspersky labs released a press release stating that they had identified another cyber-weapon dubbed Gauss.  According to the press release:

“…‘Gauss’, a new cyber-threat targeting users in the Middle East. Gauss is a complex, nation-state sponsored cyber-espionage toolkit designed to steal sensitive data, with a specific focus on browser passwords, online banking account credentials, cookies, and specific configurations of infected machines. The online banking Trojan functionality found in Gauss is a unique characteristic that was not found in any previously known cyber-weapons.”

Some quick facts about Gauss:

Quick facts:

  • “Analysis indicates that Gauss began operations in the September 2011 timeframe.
  • It was first discovered in June 2012, resulting from the knowledge gained by the in-depth analysis and research conducted on the Flame malware.
  • This discovery was made possible due to strong resemblances and correlations between Flame and Gauss.
  • The Gauss C&C infrastructure was shutdown in July 2012 shortly after its discovery. Currently the malware is in a dormant state, waiting for its C&C servers to become active.
  • Since late May 2012, more than 2,500 infections were recorded by Kaspersky Lab’s cloud-based security system, with the estimated total number of victims of Gauss probably being in the tens of thousands. This number is lower compared to the case of Stuxnet but it’s significantly higher than the number of attacks in Flame and Duqu.
  • Gauss steals detailed information about infected PCs including browser history, cookies, passwords, and system configurations. It is also capable of stealing access credentials for various online banking systems and payment methods.
  • Analysis of Gauss shows it was designed to steal data from several Lebanese banks including the Bank of Beirut, EBLF, BlomBank, ByblosBank, FransaBank and Credit Libanais. In addition, it targets users of Citibank and PayPal.”

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