Entries with tag counterfeit software.

New Threat: Computers with Factory-Installed Malware

Cybercriminals are now installing malware before computer systems leave the factory, according to newly released information from Microsoft. The company found botnet malware called Nitol that  lets criminals  steal information that can ultimately be used to steal money from infected users’ online bank accounts. Microsoft says the criminals responsible for Nitol exploited insecure supply chains to have viruses installed as PCs were being built. It says its investigators purchased 20 PCs --10 desktops and 10 laptops -- from different cities in China and found four viruses. The malware was traced to counterfeit software some Chinese PC makers were installing. Nitol is allegedly linked to a web domain that has been involved in cybercrime since 2008. Microsoft was given permission by a US court to seize the domain, blocking any trafficking of stolen data. Nitol infections  aren’t restricted to mainland China. Infected machines have been discovered in the US, Russia, Australia, Germany, and the Cayman Islands. Microsoft claims that this is its second such botnet disruption action in a six-month period. The court documents were unsealed today. (BBC)(Associated Press)(The Official Microsoft Blog)

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