A Study By Microsoft Reveals Malware Installed On Computers At The Factory
According to a study by Microsoft, cyberciminals have a new avenue of attack. Apparently PCs coming direct from the factory can come preloaded with malware. One such virus found by Microsoft, named Nitol, is used to steal personal information so criminals can access online bank accounts. Microsoft had received U.S. court approval to take down the Nitol botnet. In the report detailing its work to disrupt said botnet Microsoft made a discovery, criminals had been exploiting various insecure supply chains in order to get viruses installed on PCs as they were built. The Redmond giant's digital crime investigators bought 10 laptops and 10 desktops from various places in China. What they discovered was that 4 of the PCs were infected straight from the factory. It will come as no surprise however that the infections usually came from counterfeit software Chinese PC makers were installing. That said Nitol was just one major threat, in a blogpost a lawyer in Microsoft's digital crimes unit, Richard Boscovich, said "We found malware capable of remotely turning on an infected computer's microphone and video camera, potentially giving a cybercriminal eyes and ears into a victim's home or business." Talk about severe security risk, these kinds of infections are a serious problem, hopefully one that can be can be solved quickly.
Microsoft set up and ran Operation b70 to investigate and found that the four viruses were included in counterfeit software some Chinese PC makers were installing on computers. Nitol was the most pernicious of the viruses Microsoft caught because, as soon as the computer was turned on, it tried to contact the command and control system set up by Nitol's makers to steal data from infected machines.
Posted by | Fri, Sep 14, 2012 - 03:39 PM