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Thu 18 Aug 2016 12:50 PM

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UAE companies at risk from 'new wave' of cyber attacks

Emails appearing to be from UAE bank contain malware, says Kaspersky Lab

UAE companies at risk from 'new wave' of cyber attacks

The business date of UAE companies could be at risk from a new wave of cyber criminals, warned a global cybersecurity company.

A “new wave of targeted attacks” could hit countries including the emirates, according to Kaspersky Lab.

“Using spear-phishing emails and malware based on commercial spyware kit, criminals hunt for valuable business related data stored in their victims’ networks,” said the company in a statement. More than 130 organisations in 30 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UK and India, have been successfully attacked by a group of cyber-criminals, it said.

A wave of emails that appeared to be coming from a UAE bank were spotted by Kaspersky researchers in June. The emails, sent mainly to top and middle managers, contain attachments that appear to contain payment advice, but attachments in fact contain malware.

Dubbed Operation Ghoul by Kaspersky Lab researchers, it is one of several campaigns by the group, which is still active.

“In ancient Folklore, the ghoul is an evil spirit associated with consuming human flesh and hunting kids, originally a Mesopotamian demon,” said Mohammad Amin Hasbini, security expert at Kaspersky Lab. “Today, the term is sometimes used to describe a greedy or materialistic individual. This is quite a precise description of the group behind Operation Ghoul.

“Their main motivation is financial gain resulting either from sales of stolen intellectual property and business intelligence, or from attacks on their victim’s banking accounts. Unlike state-sponsored actors, which choose targets carefully, this group and similar groups might attack any company. Even though they use rather simple malicious tools, they are very effective in their attacks. Thus companies that are not prepared to spot the attacks, will sadly suffer.”

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company owner 3 years ago

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