Anyone who is remotely familiar with computers and how they work knows what malware is, and also how irritating it can be when something like that infects your system.
But no matter how irritating malware is, we often don’t think of it as something dangerous or sinister, as regular people don’t really have interactions with heavy duty malware on a daily basis.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said for professional computer security firms and government agencies, as their entire job revolves around hunting extremely malicious pieces of code.
So, it becomes a really big deal when suddenly they are the ones who say that there is a special type of advanced malware that has been roaming around the internet for the last 5 years.
This malware is called ProjectSauron, aka Remsec, and it is a very specific type of creature that’s been attacking a very specific type of system.
According to sources, the malware has been active since 2011, and has been exclusively targeting high-profile networks in Russia, China, Sweden and other countries.
The targets so far have been computers being run by governments, military sites, scientific research centers, and corporate IT systems.
Once infected, the systems would then be scoured for information that could prove valuable to whoever was controlling the virus at the time.
However, this isn’t really what makes the malware so dangerous. What does make it so, is the fact that it is designed specifically to evade all known means of malware detection.
It works by using unique codes for each target, as well as making sure all tracks of it’s work are removed, so that security programs don’t have any pattern to recognize and identify.
This was a very smart move on the part of the hackers, which seem to be connected to a hacking group called Strider. It is what has helped the group remain anonymous for such a long time.
In fact, it took the combined effort of researchers at computer security firms Symantec and Kaspersky Lab to detect the malware in the first place.
This is one of those instances that remind us how vulnerable our systems are to outside attacks. Although we can’t really use it as an excuse to advocate against using computers. All we can do is hope that we aren’t the next target.