Cyber surveillance virus Gauss found in region

Dubai: A new cyber surveillance virus, named Gauss, has been found in the Middle East that can spy on financial transactions, email and social networking activity, according to Kaspersky Labs.

“The virus is capable of attacking critical infrastructure and has close relations with Flame, the computer worm used to attack Iran,” Vitaly Kamluk, Chief Malware Expert at Kaspersky Labs told Gulf News.

He said it had infected personal computers in Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian Territories and some infections in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Germany and Egypt.

About 1,660 machines impacted in Lebanon, 483 in Isreal and 261 in Palestine.

Kaspersky Labs declined to speculate on who was behind the virus but said it was related to Flame and two other cyber espionage tools, Stuxnet and Duqu.

“After looking at Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame, we can say with a high degree of certainty that Gauss comes from the same ‘factory’ or ‘factories,’” Kaspersky Lab said.

“All these attack toolkits represent the high end of nation-state-sponsored cyber-espionage and cyber war operations.”

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.

Read More: Gulf News

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