Russian hackers exploit Microsoft Windows to spy on the West

“Russian hackers have taken advantage of a bug in Microsoft Windows to spy on the Ukrainian government and a scholar living in the United States,” Jose Pagliery reports for CNN Money.

“That’s according to iSight Partners, a cybersecurity intelligence firm that contracts with governments. In a report Tuesday, the firm said it discovered the never-before-seen attack, which has been used by hackers in recent months,” Pagliery reports. “The bug the hackers used exists in all modern versions of the Windows operating system: Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1. It’s also present in 2008 and 2012 versions of Windows used by company servers. That means the vast majority of the world’s computers — nearly 68%, according to NetMarketShare — are vulnerable to this unique type of attack. Microsoft, which first learned of the bug from iSight Partners, released a patch at 1 p.m. EST.”

“The complexity and uniqueness of the attack led iSight to believe Russian hackers with government ties were responsible. Zero-day attacks (identified that way because they are brand new) are costly to develop, making them ‘typically the domain of cyber espionage teams and nation-states,’ said Stephen Ward, an executive at iSight Partners,” Pagliery reports. “‘The types of targets they were after relate to military, foreign policy and critical elements of the Russian GDP,’ Ward said. That included a university researcher in the American Midwest who specializes in Russian culture, Ward said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft’s Windows. The gift that keeps on giving.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Massive data breach: Target’s Windows-based PoS terminals were infected with malware – January 13, 2014
Yahoo on malware from ads: Macintosh unaffected – January 6, 2014
The Microsoft Tax: Malicious worm on Skype lets hackers hold Windows PCs for ransom; Macintosh unaffected – October 10, 2012
The Microsoft Tax: Critical Windows flaw affects millions of high-value PCs with self-replicating attacks – March 13, 2012
The Microsoft Tax: Virus infects Windows PC control systems of US Predator and Reaper drones – October 8, 2011
The Microsoft Tax: ‘Indestructible’ botnet attacks millions of Windows PCs; Macintosh unaffected – July 1, 2011
The Microsoft tax: Stuxnet computer worm infects Microsoft’s porous Windows OS; Mac unaffected – September 27, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: New undetectable Windows trojan empties bank accounts worldwide; Mac unaffected – August 11, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: Windows zero-day flaw exposes users to code execution attack; Mac unaffected – August 09, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: Critical flaw lets hackers take remote control of Windows PCs; Mac unaffected – August 07, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: New attack bypasses every Windows XP security product tested; Mac unaffected – May 11, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: McAfee correctly identifies Windows as malware; Macintosh unaffected – April 21, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: DNS Windows PC Trojan poses as iPhone unlock utility; Mac and iPhone unaffected – April 15, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: 1-in-10 Windows PCs still vulnerable to Conficker worm; Macintosh unaffected – April 08, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: 74,000 Windows PCs in 2,500 companies attacked globally; Mac users unaffected – February 18, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: Widespread attacks exploit Internet Explorer flaw; Macintosh unaffected – January 22, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: Windows 7 zero-day flaw enables attackers to cripple PCs; Macintosh unaffected – November 16, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Windows 7 flaw allows attackers to remotely crash PCs; Macintosh unaffected – November 12, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Windows virus delivers child porn to PCs, users go to jail; Mac users unaffected – November 09, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Worms infest Windows PCs worldwide; Mac users unaffected – November 02, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Banking Trojan horse steals money from Windows sufferers; Mac users unaffected – September 30, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Serious Windows security flaw lets hackers to take over PCs; Macintosh unaffected – July 07, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Windows Conficker worm hits hospital devices; Macintosh unaffected – April 29, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Conficker virus begins to attack Windows PCs; Macintosh unaffected – April 27, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Conficker’s estimated economic cost: $9.1 billion – April 24, 2009


        1. It’s actually true. At least six of those people are from Ballmer’s family. The remainder are Paul Thurrott, John C Dvorak, Brian X Chen, Rob Enderle and a homeless guy in New Jersey.

    1. Hey, think of the shrewd business Microsoft created: become dominant by illegal means so that hackers will target your end-users, discovering flaws which they tell Microsoft how to fix! Note how little Microsoft paid for in that equation?!

  1. Microsoft, why going back to soooooo much traditionalism?
    Of course, one can understand your nostalgia of the past overwhelming monopoly you had over the informatics… (Is it why your XP isn’t touched by these flaws?) Now, the apparent comeback to an amazing “openness” of you (D)OS to whoever wants to get in might be a sign of a glorious return to these powerful days… But, allow me to doubt a bit about the results.
    In fact, this all points towards a serious disaster: Your boat is nearby sinking.

  2. What do you mean “a bug in Microsoft Windows”? That is one “bug” in an infestation in Microsoft Windows! Step on one bug and they will only use another bug to hack your Microsoft system!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.