Kazakh citizens are under cyber attack. The attack in question is delivered through phishing emails, and is thought to be driven by an advanced persistent threat (APT) organisation, via software called NetTraveler.
The virus ‘steals sensitive data from victims’ machines, records victims’ keystrokes, and “retrieves” Microsoft Office files or PDF documents, Foreign Policy Blog reports’, according to a report published by Kaspersky Lab, an IT security company. Areas targeted by NetTraveler include ‘space exploration, nanotechnology, energy production, nuclear power, lasers, medicine and communications’ according to the Kaspersky report.
Map of vitctims of NetTravel attacks, via Kaspersky Labs.
Kazakhstan is thought to be the fifth worst affected country, falling behind India, with Mongolia being the worst hit, according to the Kaspersky report. The attack, which is thought to be an act of espionage on the part of a Chinese organization, has affected as many as 350 high profile victims and is targeting government-affiliated organisations in particular.
Between 2008 – 2011, Kazakhstan experienced a huge rise in internet usage, jumping from 1.1% to 49.5%. It also ranks 43rd of 144 countries in ‘connectedness’. Today, according to this report, 56% of Kazakhstan’s computer users could face online assaults from NetTraveler.