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UK Intelligence Organisation On Trail of Far-East Hi-Tech Gang

The National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre, which is part of MI5 (a U.K. Intelligence organisation), has warned that a highly sophisticated high-tech gang has been trying to place bugging programs inside sensitive computer systems in a bid to steal Government and business secrets.

The gang’s modus operandi is highly targeted: first particular individuals in a company or organisation are identified and their email addresses are obtained. Then an email designed to appeal to their interests is sent to the victim. The message contains tailored Trojan, which installs itself without the users knowledge and them gathers and sends out information. The gang then either blackmails the person (by threatening to make them appear as a willing accomplice in the information theft) or the company or organisation (by threatening to send the information to a competitor).

Alex Ship, a senior virus analyst with MessageLabs explained, "[The Trojans] are different every time and must put around one to two days to put together. They are very well crafted, often look as though they come from a news organisation and all of the sources indicate that they are coming from the same place in Asia."

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