American based cyber-security firm Symantec have recently published findings that an extraordinarily sophisticated data-gathering tool, also known as a trojan virus, has been discovered operating against governments, research institutions, businesses and private individuals.
Most complex discovered
The trojan virus named ‘Regin’ is said to be the most complex piece of malware ever discovered with its powerful, covert operating platform primarily designed to carry out a wide range of mass surveillance operations.
Symantec have stated that due to the complexity of the discovered software it more than likely originates from a technologically advanced western nation state as some of its characteristics mirror that of other western cyber-espionage tools previously found, not to mention the massive amount of apparent time and resources ploughed into its construction.
Regin has been targeting numerous businesses with a keen interest in telecommunication hubs as well as private individuals based mainly in Saudi Arabia, Russia and Ireland.
It is believed that some targets were duped into thinking that they were accessing legitimate websites where in actual fact the sites presented were indeed fake. The malware is then able to capture screen shots, take control of the mouse, stealing passwords, monitoring traffic and even recovering deleted files.
The virus’s modus operandi is one of stealth and confusion. Regin acts inconspicuously, sometimes lying dormant for months at a time collecting data slowly and methodically. Even when discovered it can be extremely difficult to work out exactly what its done and where it’s doing it.
Experts understand Regin to be solely used for spying operations and is most probably still operating undetected in many instances, they say.