5 facts about high-risk ‘Gauss’ computer virus
The Virus specifically targets Middle-East
Russia’s Kaspersky Lab has most recently discovered the Gauss virus increasingly spreading and infecting computers in the Middle East region.
At the moment, over 2,500 computers are believed to have been affected most of those belong to the Middle-East states of Palestine, Israel and Lebanon, confirmed Kaspersky.
Lebanese Banks Targeted
As the master-mind behind the Gauss remains unidentified, the virus has been reportedly formed to siphon off highly controversial data from the Lebanese banks, CitiBanks and PayPal accounts.
The modules of the Gauss rootkit are intentionally designed to attack the Lebanese banks such as Fransabank, Bank of Beirut and Byblos Bank.
Machines also hacked via USB drives
However, many servers controlling infected computers were permanently shut down in the month of July to avert any further threats to banks, emails and social networking sites. Officials termed Gauss virus creation as well orchestrated as the virus has the full potential to hack the machines which use either wired internet connection or USB internet device for banking transaction.
The USB can easily retrieve hijacked information of the previous machines which is still stored in the hidden files of the removable drive, said the Lab experts.
Similarities with Flame and Stuxnet
Gauss is specifically formulated to collect maximum data and monitor user sessions in order to accurately hijack login credentials of online banking, social network, email and other IM. Kaspersky also claimed the Gauss to have been manufactured in the same laboratories where high-risk computer worm named Flame and Stuxnet had been created.
Both Flame and Stuxnet computer viruses were allegedly been used by the United Sates and Israel to attack Iran’s much controversial nuclear program, asserted Lab officials.
Homage to mathematicians
Several modules under the rootkit has been named after renowned mathematicians while ‘Gauss’ being the most important one has been named after the famous mathematician and philosopher Johann Friedrich Gauss.
The Gauss module or component refers to the date-stealing competency in the rootkit. Other modules in the operation are named after Kurt Godel and Joseph-Louis Lagrange.