MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — The spyware of the recently uncovered hackers known as Equation Group is state-sponsored espionage, a security analyst with Symantec Corporation that manufactures Norton anti-virus told Sputnik news agency on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, a Moscow-based antivirus and Internet security software company Kaspersky Lab revealed that spying software has been hidden on some 500 computers in over 30 countries all over the world, targeting members of governments and financial institutions among other victims
The highly sophisticated spying program detected by Kaspersky Lab has been spreading malware on hard drives across the globe for about two decades.
“Whoever is behind it, is well-resourced, it has to be a group,” Wueest said, adding that it was too early to attribute the attack in cyberspace.
Kaspersky Lab has not linked Equation Group to any organization, but pointed at the similarity between the program with the Stuxnet spyware, allegedly used by the US National Security Agency to infiltrate Iranian nuclear reactor systems in 2010. According to Tehran, the virus temporarily disabled about 1,000 of its nuclear enrichment centrifuges.
The victims of the spying software mostly comprise members of governments, telecommunication and energy companies, nuclear researchers, Islamic activists, financial institutions and cryptography companies, Kaspersky Lab said.