GAUSSA new computer virus, dubbed Gauss, has been discovered in the Middle East.Cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab said Gauss is the work of the same "factory" or "factories" that built the Stuxnet worm.There is a mysterious module, known as Godel, that copies malicious code onto USB drives when they are plugged into infected PCs. Godels purpose is unknown because some of its code is compressed and scrambled using a sophisticated encryption method. It only activates when it infects a predetermined target.
GAUSSIt estimates the total number of victims is in the tens of thousands. The largest number of infections were found were in Lebanon, followed by Israel and the Palestinian Territories.The virus is built using modules with internal names that appear to be inspired by famous mathematicians and philosophers, including Kurt Godel, Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss and Joseph-Louis Lagrange. Kaspersky named the entire operation after the Gauss component as it implements the data-stealing capabilities .
What is its purpose?Gauss is a surveillance tool.It steals credentials for hacking online banking systems, social networking sites and email accounts; it also gathers information about infected PCs, including web browsing history, system passwords and the contents of disk drives.
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