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Cyber Espionage Tools

Wed 23 December 2015
Stuxnet
June 2009. Computer worm that attacked SCADA and PLC (programmable logic controllers) targeted Iranian nuclear capabilities. The first cyber weapon targeting centerfuges with Siemens Step7 software. It was first introduced via USB flash drive and then spread peer-to-peer.
Duqu
Sept 2011. New worm nearly identical to Stuxnet but with different targets (keystrokes and system info). One of Duqu's actions is to steal digital certificates (and corresponding private keys, as used in public-key cryptography) from attacked computers to help future viruses appear as secure software. Duqu uses a 54×54 pixel jpeg file and encrypted dummy files as containers to smuggle data to its command and control center. Duqu got its name from the prefix "~DQ" it gives to the names of files it creates. Kaspersky Labs said Duqu and Stuxnet both originated from 2007 and both contained a "~d" at the beginning of the file, thus naming them part of the Tilded platform.
Flame
Mar 2012. Attacks Microsoft Windows computers in the Middle East for cyber espionage. Flame can spread to other systems over a local network (LAN) or via USB stick. It can record audio, screenshots, keyboard activity and network traffic. The program also records Skype conversations and can turn infected computers into Bluetooth beacons which attempt to download contact information from nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices.[7] This data, along with locally stored documents, is sent on to one of several command and control servers that are scattered around the world. The program then awaits further instructions from these servers. Named because the text "flame" was found in one of its modules. Kaspersky Labs analysed the code and said there was a strong relationship between Flame and Stuxnet.
Gauss
2012. Another Duqu, Flame, Stuxnet derivative. Its mission appears to target Lebanese financial institutions perhaps to track banking transactions and accounts.
Duqu 2.0
Jun 2015. This is an upgraded version of the original Duqu code. It lives entirely in memory and uses various new encryption techniques not found in previous versions of the code base. Because it lives in memory, it can be removed by rebooting, however, if there is one infected computer on your network, then it will spread again. Thus you need to reboot all computers at once in order to clear your network. This is also notable, because this is the first time a network security company, Kaspersky Labs, was the target of an attack. The attack appears to be focused on their technology, research and internal processes.
Great Cannon
Mar 2015. The Great Cannon of China is an attack tool that is used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks on websites by intercepting massive amounts of web traffic and redirecting them to targeted websites. While it is co-located with the Great Firewall, the Great Cannon is a separate offensive system, with different capabilities and design.
Shamoon
2012. Targeting recent NT kernel-based versions of Microsoft Windows. The virus has been used for cyber espionage in the energy sector. The virus has been noted to have behaviour differing from other malware attacks, intended for cyber espionage. Shamoon can spread from an infected machine to other computers on the network. Once a system is infected, the virus continues to compile a list of files from specific locations on the system, upload them to the attacker, and erase them. Finally the virus overwrites the master boot record of the infected computer, making it unbootable.
Wiper
2012. Wiper is the section of the Shamoon agent responsible for destroying data on the target's hard disk (or similar storage) on systems running Microsoft Windows. Wiper is significant on its own, as it appears to have been incorporated into more than one agent, is difficult to detect, and resulted in the indirect detection of the Flame agent. The name shamoon in fact comes from a substring detected in what appears to be one of Wiper's search tables.
Tilded Platform Flame Platform
Stuxnet 2009 Flame
Stuxnet 2010 Gauss
Duqu  
Duqu 2.0  

Hacking Groups and Incidents

LulzSec
2011. HBGary Federal attacked by anonymous because Aaron Barr tried to out them. LulzSec uncovered questionable activities/tactics of HBGary Fed.Hacked Sony, exposing their poor protection (plain text) of PSN user's credit cards numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, etc.
AntiSec
2011. Attacks tied to the passing of Arizona's immigration reform bill. They attacked US law enforcement around the country and Stratfor, a US based intelligence company.
Lizard Squad
Dec 2014. Another off shoot of Anonymous attacked gaming services (XBox Live & PSN) over Christmas.
Equation Group
2015. Believed to have existed since 2001 and really part of the NSA, or at least tied to them. Kaspersky Labs has identified numerous malware created by them, EquationDrug, EquationLaser and GrayFish. These are capable of reprogramming hard disk drive firmware (both HDD and SDD) which is non-trivial.
Animal Farm
See arstechnica.com
United States' Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
Jun 2015. Largest US gov't hack exposing PII of gov't workers.

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