The Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab announced late Monday that it had uncovered what it calls “The Mask”, a bundle of cyber-nastiness that was apparently used to spy on people for as much as 7 years.
Here’s a primer on what The Mask was apparently capable of, and the hints we have as to its origins.
What’s in the box?
The Mask was what is classified as an “advanced persistent threat” (APT). Other examples of APTs include Stuxnet, an Israeli-American worm (according to many sources including Edward Snowden) that was used to sabotage Iran’s uranium-enrichment efforts, and related malware such as Duqu and Flame.
According to Kaspersky, The Mask included “an extremely sophisticated malware, a rootkit, a bootkit, Mac OS X and Linux versions and possibly versions for Android(S goog) and iOS(s aapl).” Versions for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows(s msft) were also in there.
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