According to Kaspersky Lab, for the last 14 years a group of hackers they dubbed the Equation Group because of its predilection for strong encryption methods, has been using sophisticated technology to secretly hack into companies’ and governments’ IT systems worldwide.
Kaspersky Lab also stated the Equation Group are responsible for approximately 500 malware infections in 42 countries. Interestingly, they were doing so in ways that was previously thought impossible.
Many believe this is the group responsible for the Stuxnet worm that was designed to attack industrial programmable IT systems that control everything from factory assembly lines to centrifuges used to separate nuclear material. Stuxnet was discovered in June 2010.
Alarmingly, Kaspersky Lab hinted that the Equation Group might be linked to the National Security Agency given the sophisticated algorithms it was using, and the level of funding it had to infiltrate corporations, foreign powers, universities, military systems, telecommunications companies and the list goes on. That countries such as Russia, Pakistan, India and China were subject to these sophisticated hacks has cast the United States as the likely culprit.
The Equation Group was able to alter the firmware on millions of hard drives from several different manufacturers to create repositories hidden from view where data would be stored and uploaded to a server somewhere. Even if you were running top-of-the-line scanning tools on one of those systems you’d never be able to detect it.
What led to Kaspersky Lab outing them was over time was similar signature patterns the Equation Group were using, and through information shared by Edward Snowden. The security firm realized the infections that were once thought to be unique from one another were in fact tied together.
Cybersecurity-related horror stories have been splashed across news websites lately. Hopefully that raises awareness in individuals and business owners to ensure they don’t fall victim to a cyberattack by keeping their security software updated, and adhering to recommended best practices to limit their exposure from being hacked.
Are your company’s IT systems completely secured? Want to learn more about how you can protect your mission-critical data, employees, customers and partners? Give us a call at <PHONE> or email us at <EMAIL HERE>. Alvarez Technology Group is the leading IT consulting firm for computer and business IT support throughout Monterey, Salinas, and the Bay Area.
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