Feeds

Chemical giant foils infected USB stick espionage bid

Malware-laden drive falls into the right hands

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

An attempt to infiltrate the corporate systems of Dutch chemical giant DSM by leaving malware-riddled USB sticks in the corporation's car park has failed.

Instead of plugging the discarded drives into a workstation, which would have infected the machine, the worker who first found one of the devices handed it in to DSM's IT department.

Sysadmins subsequently found an unspecified password-stealing keylogger, according to local reports by Elsevier.nl (Google translation here).

The spyware was designed to upload stolen usernames and passwords to a server under the control of hackers. This site was blocked by DSM's sysadmins, effectively thwarting the password-snatching object of the attack, so the company would be protected even should any other workers find and use the infected USB sticks on corporate laptops.

It's unclear who was behind the plan, but regular cybercriminals or industrial spies are two strong possibilities. It's even possible the infected keystroke logger was planted there by a firm hired to test DSM's cyber-defences, which on the basis of this case are better than those of many other firms.

Using infected USB sticks as a method of smuggling malware into firms has become a regular occurrence over recent years, security researchers note, especially since they featured as the presumed delivery mechanism of the infamous Stuxnet worm. Penetration testers might regard the ruse as too easy, akin to shooting fish in a barrel, a blog post by net security firm Sophos comments. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.