Regin on Roll – World’s Most Advanced Hacking Spyware

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According to a report by Financial Times, a malware called “Regin” has been involved in stealing information from individuals, business groups and the governments of Russia, Saudi Arab, Ireland and Mexico for more than half a decade.  

How bad is Regin?

Remember the Stuxnet worm? It was beyond bad and had the power to mess up entire industrial plants. Symantec was quoted as saying that this malware is more advanced in each and every aspect than the Stuxnet worm, which was rumored to have been designed and developed by hackers on orders from the Israeli and US governments to spy on the Iranian nuclear program.

 

Data loss is only the tip of the ice berg with Regin. It has the power to capture and send screenshots, steal sensitive information (including the entered credit card numbers), listen to conversations on phone and restore deleted files.

According to Symantec this type of malware takes years to develop. The malware incorporates a domino effect in which only the first stage demands external assistance and all subsequent stages are triggered in automatic succession.

regin

Image: Symantec’s Illustration of Regin’s Modular Deployment and Execution

 

The Origin of the Malware

The malware is believed to have emerged in 2008 for the first time and lasted till 2011 before it disappeared only to make a re-entry in 2013. There is no confirmed report about how computers were initially exposed to this malware but it is clear that it was designed to target telecom companies and ISPs all over the world.

 

The Damage

The malware has been most impactful in Russian where it was discovered to have infected 28% of the computers, while Saudi Arab was the second most affected country with 24% devices affected.

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Image: Sectors Affected by Regin (Left) and Regions affected by Regin (right)

 

Symantec has exposed a very interesting fact about the virus, revealing that Regin is not targeting companies. Instead, it is focusing on the customers. In this regard, Regin is

 

How can I Protect myself

The problem with Regin is that it utilizes a stealth technology that is hard to track and terminate. As Telecom companies get caught up in a blame game, the general user is bleeding data.

According to the official Symantec Security Response Report on Regin:

The initial Stage 1 driver is the only plainly visible code on the computer. All other stages are stored as encrypted data blobs.

Until a security protocol for Regin can be created, the only potentially viable solution is to fight encryption with encryption. Fortunately, using a VPN tunnels and encrypts your data, keeping you safe from any malware and/or cyber criminals looking to steal your data.

Good VPN services are compatible with a variety of internet-enable devices and have strong encryption and tunneling to ensure complete online protection for users.

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Humayoun Khan

Humayoun Khan

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Humayoun Khan's Biography :


When Humayoun Ahmed Khan is not busy daydreaming about his ideal vacations, he likes to keep himself busy by learning and writing about latest technologies. New to the world of IT, still better than many who have been in this industry for years. Just kidding. He blogs here to bring the latest news from the virtual world.


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