Adding to the ever growing reasons why it’s a bad idea not to have security on your computer, the smart security specialists over at Russia’s Kaspersky Labs have found a doozy of an attack, and it can hit pretty much anything it wants.
The security exploit found by Kaspersky isn’t terribly new, we’re told, but it’s the first time anyone has actually seen it, with expectations that the exploit has been in use since 2007, for what is apparently “global espionage operations.”
Named “Mask,” the main espionage target doesn’t mean it won’t show up on your parent’s computer, but it always could, and so far 31 countries have been affected by this infection. None in Australia yet, but the infections have occurred in Morocco, Brazil, the UK, Switzerland, Iran, South Africa, France, and the USA.
According to Kaspersky, the name comes from the word “Careto” which is Spanish slang for “ugly face” or “mask” and is used in the code by the creators of the exploit.
As to what this attack does, Kaspersky suggests its a very complex piece of code, primarily targeted at diplomatic offices, governments, utility companies, research organisations, and more high up places, taking documents, encryption keys, and remote desktop access. It can be used to break into Windows computers, but also Mac OS X, Linux, and there could even be versions used for breaking into Android and iOS devices, including smartphones and tablets across the operating systems.
The good news is that security products should be able to remove the Mask malware, with Kaspersky telling us its software can remove the infection from computers.
We suspect this will be reflected with other security programs, and given that this can infect pretty much anything out there, more or less enforces that we all need security on our computers, regardless of if we’ve been told the platform isn’t hackable.