One of the leading computer companies claims to have discovered the most sophisticated malicious software in computer history. Symantec named the computer bug Regin and believes it was probably created by a government. The computer company also thinks that the Regin virus may have been around for six years, attacking computers worldwide.
Once the Regin virus gets into a computer, it can do steal passwords, capture screenshots or even recover deleted files. The computer experts say that the Regin bug has attacked computers from Ireland, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The experts believe these countries have been hit the most by the computer bug. They say the virus was created mostly for spying on governmental organizations, private individuals and businesses.
Because the virus is so sophisticated, the scientists believe it was developed by a nation state, trying to make some kind of cyber espionage tool to keep an eye on others. They also said it probably took many months, even years, to build this kind of computer bug. Also, the computer experts believe the creators of the bug have done their best to cover their tracks.
One of the security strategist people at Symantec said about the Regin computer bug that:
“It looks like it comes from a Western organization. It’s the level of skill and expertise, the length of time over which it was developed.”
Symantec said that the recently discovered Regin bug resembles the Stuxnet computer virus, which was thought to have been created by the United States and Israel in order to hack into Iran’s nuclear program. The purpose of the Stuxnet virus was to damage computers, while Regin’s is to collect information.
Another security company, F-Secure stated that it first encountered the Regin virus in 2009, investigating the reason behind their customers’ computer crashes.
Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure said:
“Finding malware of this calibre is very rare. We’re still missing big parts of the puzzle. Nevertheless, it’s obvious this is a very complicated malware written by a well-equipped nation-state.”
Symantec said that they first found the Regin virus in a small organizations between the years 2008 and 2011.