“Disappearing malware” has been detected by researchers from ESKNZ Security, which affects computers physically.
Researchers believe cyber criminals are using this to target computers at banks, global enterprises and Governments. Unlike other security threats, the ‘disappearing malware’ puts a virtual cloak on machines which then renders them completely invisible to the human eye.
It is believed cyber criminals are targeting their victims via phishing scams and, once their target clicks on the malicious email link, their computer literally disappears before their eyes. Under this shroud, an invisible gateway is opened at the back of the machine allowing a Trojan horse, also invisible to the naked eye, to enter the shielded machine.
Once inside it snoops about collecting files that can be used by its controllers before galloping back along the cables and leaving the door unbolted. Experts from some of the world’s leading security vendors have been left shocked by this discovery, with many saying the ‘disappearing malware’ will change the cyber world in ways previously never thought possible.
Mike Spykerman, vice president of product management at OPSWAT, said: “This attack brings malware to a whole different level. Until now it was believed that the invisible computer gateway was impossible to open and that only harmless Trojan ponies could be used. The fact that these attackers are now using horses is a truly ominous sign that we are facing an extremely sophisticated and dangerous opponent.”
TK Keanini, CTO of Lancope, said: “We believe that this capability has either Klingon or Romulan origins. The exact same toolkit used by Harry Potters ‘The Internet’ connects everything, and everyone and it was only a matter of time before we are dealing with an interplanetary threat.”
Amichai Shulman, CTO of Imperva, said: “I think that this threat shows how advanced hackers have become, by being able to harness techniques of quantum computing, they have been able to create the necessary worm holes that take computers into a different dimension.”
However Kevin Epstein, VP of advanced security and governance at Proofpoint, said that there is a possibility that this report may be a hoax, as its best researchers viewed a lab of supposedly infected machines, and couldn’t see traces of anything; malware, keyboards, even cables. “It’s like we were looking at an empty room,” he said.