Monday 22 July 2019

Ireland 'among worst hit by PC spying virus'

Ireland is one of the countries worst hit globally by a dangerous new computer virus that spies on governments and companies, according to a leading technology firm
Ireland is one of the countries worst hit globally by a dangerous new computer virus that spies on governments and companies, according to a leading technology firm

Grant McCool

IRELAND is one of the countries worst hit globally by a dangerous new computer virus that spies on governments and companies, according to a leading technology firm.

US antivirus company Symantec claims that 9pc of computers infected worldwide by the Regin virus are based in Ireland. Russia, Saudi Arabia and Mexico are the only other nations worse affected.

Symantec, best known for its Norton antivirus software, said its research showed that a "nation state" was likely the developer of the "malware".

The firm said Regin's design "makes it highly suited for persistent, long-term surveillance operations against targets". It first appeared in 2008, was withdrawn in 2011 but resurfaced from 2013 onward.

The targets were customers of the companies rather than the companies themselves. About 28pc of targets were in telecoms while other victims were in the energy, airline, hospitality and research sectors.

Symantec said Russia and Saudi Arabia accounted for about half of the confirmed infections of the Regin malware and the other countries were Mexico, Ireland, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Belgium, Austria and Pakistan.

Irish Independent

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