The MIT Technology Review brings to attention research done by security company FireEye which, by monitoring "millions of malware messages sent over the past 18 months," discovered spikes in malware activity prior to the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas conflicts.
The FireEye study drew on data collected from more than 5,000 corporate and government clients around the world. FireEye’s software captures “callback” messages sent by malware inside a network—either reporting its status to its operators or picking up new commands. Those messages were used to determine the location of the computer controlling the malware.
The patterns were most likely caused by government agencies ramping up efforts to gather intelligence or attack their adversaries, says Kenneth Geers, who worked on the project. “In the run-up to the Crimea crisis, you saw a rise of malware callbacks in both Russia and Ukraine,” he said at the Black Hat computer security conference Thursday.
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