Cyber-attacks are the preferred weapon these days by lone wolf attackers and even orchestrated by one nation against another. Another wave of cyber-attacks has been hitting the Middle East with over 800 victims unknowingly downloading a piece of malware that spies on their Web activity.
The attack is being called “Madi,” and the culprits behind it are believed to be a group of Iranians who operate off a location in Canada. The hackers stole mostly email and Facebook accounts belonging primarily to businessmen and government officials in Israel, Iran and Afghanistan.
The victim’s computer becomes infected when a malicious malware, usually disguised as a harmless file, is downloaded. Once downloaded, the malware can spy on the user and record everything from keystrokes to login information. It can also monitor messages exchanged via email and social network as well as record audio activity of meetings that take place through Skype.
The email containing the downloadable malware was sent specifically to the intended targets and were not spam emails sent to thousands of random people at a time. The downloadable content often came with videos of missile tests or religious pictures, anything designed to lure the person into clicking on the material.
Madi is actually less sophisticated than other types of malware that has been implemented in the past. In fact, some experts are puzzled at how such a basic Trojan virus was capable of successfully making its way into the computers of high profile people.
Madi is just one of the many cyber-attacks that have been taking place in the past year. Two other attacks known as Stuxnet and Flame sent a malware that was intended to sabotage Iran’s nuclear facilities. It has been speculated that Israel and the U.S. have been behind these attacks, though neither country has ever confirmed or denied involvement.