News Bits for Cipher E110

Gauss, the funds transfer monitor
CNN MoneyTech
August 9, 2012

The "Gauss" malware is a spy interested in tracking funds: It collects banking login information, sends it back to a server, and quickly self-destructs. It seems to target Lebanese bank accounts. Its design has disturbing similarities to Stuxnet and Flame.

Shamoom, Once Sinister, Now Amateurish
David Jeffers, PCWorld
Aug 17, 2012
IDG News Service
September 17, 2012

The two articles referenced above, a month apart, present two different views of the "Shamoom" malware. The first says: "Shamoon--along with Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame, and Gauss--represents a new era of malware that is designed with specific goals in mind, and programmed to fly under the radar and evade detection in most cases." The second says that the malware, which targeted Saudi Arabian national oil company Aramco, has silly programming errors. Nonetheless, its intended purpose, to steal sensitive data and then self-destruct, seems to have been achieved.

Dissidents Targeted by Malware
New York Times, Nicole Perlroth
August 30, 2012

Political dissidents in 14 countries around the world may have been monitored by commercial spyware called "FinSpy". Ostensibly marketed for tracking criminals, the software can be turned against anyone, and its use by governments with "questionable" records on human rights caught the attention of two US researchers.