Mercenary Hackers Target Android, Windows Phone, iPhone in Operation ‘Red October’
Like something right out of a movie, a comprehensive, global cyber espionage hack campaign has been discovered by Russia’s Kaspersky Labs. Kaspersky’s report says “Red October’s” configuration rivals the Flame malware that made headlines last year, when it was discovered to have infected computers in Iran.
After months of research, Kaspersky Labs determined 8 sectors of proprietary or government classified information was targeted in several counties:
- Diplomatic / embassies
- Research institutions
- Trade and commerce
- Nuclear / energy research
- Oil and gas companies
“The main purpose of the operation appears to be the gathering of classified information and geopolitical intelligence … that [sic] information-gathering scope is quite wide,” Kaspersky’s report states. ”It’s a professional, multi-year cyber-espionage campaign,” Kurt Baumgartner, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Labs, told CBSNews.com. “Five years, to be exact.”
The trail is so convoluted, it is hard to pinpoint one target. ”[There are] entire little villages dedicated to malware in Russia, villages in China, very sophisticated very organized, very well-funded,” Steve Sacks of Fireeye, a cyber security firm, told Business Insider. “It’ll be 50 guys in a room, changing the attack [as it happens].”
The hack targeted cell phones, enterprise networks, deleted files and even resurrected once-dead computer hard drives. The espionage ranged from stealing of files to logging every key stroke and taking periodical screengrabs. Sources include everything from diplomatic to infrastructure to military to commerce.
In today’s digital age, security must be a priority. Luckily, BlackBerry 10 is already FIPS certified. Operation “Red October” can only be yet another reason why anyone who is privacy conscious should choose BlackBerry.