Opinion

To be there, or to be aware?

There seems to have been a bit of a negative reaction to my last post, ‘A few thoughts on virus writing’, suggesting that it has been misunderstood. Let me be plain. I was not encouraging teenagers to write viruses, nor have I ever done so. Nor was I suggesting that all teenagers do today is play games. Rather, I was saying that I think there has been a significant switch from one to the other. And the very things that motivated some teenagers to write ‘classic’ or ‘true’ viruses in the past (asserting their personality, etc.) are much more likely today to lead them towards gaming. Again, let me be plain. I’m not saying that writing viruses is good, or that gaming is bad for all of them. I simply wanted to highlight the fact that it’s one of the important factors that has changed the malware landscape.

On the other hand, playing games too much may lead kids to serious problems. I’m talking about the fact that computers can alter kids’ minds. When this happens, there is the risk that it will “catch” them and they’ll never return. I recall incidents with “silent kids” in Japan and the USA about 10-15 years ago, when some kids spent all their time with computers. What about highly aggressive online / computer games? And what about those cases when playing games for too long has had lethal consequences?

Thus, Mary may have misunderstood my comments. I was talking about some kids who don’t write ‘true viruses’ because they are gaming (or because they joined criminal groups to develop ‘commercial’ malware). I wasn’t talking about Mary’s kids — neither was I talking about my children. But when I read in Mary’s comment that the kids ‘are also … playing paintball on weekends’, I wondered: when they play paintball which roles do they play? Whom do they target and fight – Viet Kong soldiers, Iraqi rebels or do they train themselves for future military conflicts?

To be there, or to be aware?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Reports

Lazarus targets defense industry with ThreatNeedle

In mid-2020, we realized that Lazarus was launching attacks on the defense industry using the ThreatNeedle cluster, an advanced malware cluster of Manuscrypt (a.k.a. NukeSped). While investigating this activity, we were able to observe the complete life cycle of an attack, uncovering more technical details and links to the group’s other campaigns.

Sunburst backdoor – code overlaps with Kazuar

While looking at the Sunburst backdoor, we discovered several features that overlap with a previously identified backdoor known as Kazuar. Our observations shows that Kazuar was used together with Turla tools during multiple breaches in past years.

Lazarus covets COVID-19-related intelligence

As the COVID-19 crisis grinds on, some threat actors are trying to speed up vaccine development by any means available. We have found evidence that the Lazarus group is going after intelligence that could help these efforts by attacking entities related to COVID-19 research.

Sunburst: connecting the dots in the DNS requests

We matched private and public DNS data for the SUNBURST-malware root C2 domain with the CNAME records, to identify who was targeted for further exploitation. In total, we analyzed 1722 DNS records, leading to 1026 unique target name parts and 964 unique UIDs.

Subscribe to our weekly e-mails

The hottest research right in your inbox