The Stack Archive

UK businesses at risk from ‘undetectable’ Peter Pan virus

Tue 9 Sep 2014

A hacking attack claiming to be from ticket agency BH Live has raised concern over a new wave of undetectable eastern European viruses which are targeting UK businesses.

The email claims to be an invoice of £145 for the Peter Pan pantomime at the Bournemouth Pavilion theatre, taking place from 6th December to 4th January. The message contained an attachment that once opened installs a sophisticated computer virus.

The virus is then able to access and capture the recipient’s personal and commercial data, including passwords to Facebook and email accounts. It is also capable of spreading itself to other computers across shared networks. The particular strain of malware is currently ‘undetectable’ by anti-virus software, with a detection rate of only 3/55, according to Comodo, a leading online security provider.

Specifically targeting small to medium-sized UK businesses, the virus has successfully hacked organisations’ spam filters and security defences. Victims of the attack have claimed that the emails felt authentic and in some cases have noted that the last four digits of their credit card had been quoted.

The attacks are thought to have originated from the Belarus National Academy of Sciences, and have also been connected to a number of French servers.

“You see a lot of attacks coming out of Russia and the old Soviet Republics, out of Eastern Europe, partly because they have a great educational system, turning out a lot of smart people who know all about computers, but not that many employment opportunities for them,” explained Andrew Conway, systems analyst at Cloudmark internet security.

“They don’t have the high-tech sector. A lot of these people are turning to computer crime because that’s just a way to use their expertise,” he added.



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