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Operation ‘Red October’ Cyber-Spy Network unveiled by Kaspersky

The widespread spyware campaign dubbed “Red October.”, may be linked to a cyber-spy network. It was revealed today (Jan. 14) by Kaspersky Lab, which said the campaign had been in functioning since at least 2007.

Red October “is currently still active with data being sent to multiple command-and-control servers, through a configuration which rivals in complexity theinfrastructure of the Flame malware. Registration data used for the purchase of C&C domain names and PE timestamps from collected executables suggest that these attacks date as far back as May 2007.”, said Kaspersky in a blog post.

“The main objective of the attackers was to gather sensitive documents from the compromised organizations, which included geopolitical intelligence, credentials to access classified computer systems and data from personal mobile devices and network equipment,” Kaspersky Lab said in a statement.

Opposed to other known highly automated cyber-espionage campaigns like Flame and Gauss, this campaign appears to be carefully choose it’s victims.

Each process is seemingly driven by the configuration of the victim’s hardware and software, native language and even habit of document usage.

The hackers behind the malware have produced more than 60 domain names and several server hosting locations in different countries many of the servers are used as proxies in order to hide the location of the “mothership” control server.  That server’s location is currently unknown.

The first cases of Red October malware were identified in October 2012, but it’s been tainting computers since at least 2007, according to Kaspersky. The Kaspersky Lab worked with many global organizations while carrying out the investigation including the US, Romanian and Belorusian Computer Emergency Readiness Teams.

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