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Windows Intruded by CIA

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  • Athena

    Today, May 19th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the "Athena" project of the CIA. "Athena" - like the related "Hera" system - provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system (from Windows XP to Windows 10). Once installed, the malware provides a beaconing capability (including configuration and task handling), the memory loading/unloading of malicious payloads for specific tasks and the delivery and retrieval of files to/from a specified directory on the target system. It allows the operator to configure settings during runtime (while the implant is on target) to customize it to an operation.

    According to the documentation (see Athena Technology Overview), the malware was developed by the CIA in cooperation with Siege Technologies, a self-proclaimed cyber security company based in New Hampshire, US. On their website, Siege Technologies states that the company "... focuses on leveraging offensive cyberwar technologies and methodologies to develop predictive cyber security solutions for insurance, government and other targeted markets.". On November 15th, 2016 Nehemiah Security announced the acquisition of Siege Technologies.

  • WikiLeaks Reveals 'Athena' CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows

    WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak, detailing a spyware framework – which "provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers" – allegedly being used by the CIA that works against every version of Microsoft's Windows operating systems, from Windows XP to Windows 10.

    Dubbed Athena/Hera, the spyware has been designed to take full control over the infected Windows PCs remotely, allowing the agency to perform all sorts of things on the target machine, including deleting data or uploading malicious software, and stealing data and send them to CIA server.

  • Microsoft held back free patch that could have slowed WannaCry

More in Tux Machines

Games: HTC VIVE, GOG, Ray-Tracing, Android and More

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  • The dark comedy strategy game Attack of the Earthlings is now on GOG
    For those who needs their fix of strategy games, Attack of the Earthlings is definitely one to look at and it's now on GOG. I took a look at it previously, you can see my original thoughts here. Essentially, it's like a slimmed down XCOM-like and it's surprisingly great. I do hope they bring out a big expansion for it, as it's a game that deserves plenty of extra to play through.
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    The latest immersion pack, or small piece of thematic DLC, has been released for the massive grand strategy title. I got to try my hand at ruling the British Isles and have a few thoughts to share.
  • Unity Game Engine Plans For Rendering & Performance Improvements In 2018
    Unity Tech made public at the Game Developers Conference their game engine plans for the year. This year the game engine developers will be focusing on "next level rendering" with support for better visuals via their lightweight rendering pipeline and high-definition rendering pipeline, a GPU-based progressive lightmapper, and other efforts to increase the visual intensity of games powered by Unity 2018.
  • Ray-Tracing Is All The Rage At This Year's Game Developers Conference
    The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC 18) kicked off yesterday in San Francisco and one of the most popular topics this year is ray-tracing. Microsoft announced their new DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API for DirectX 12. DXR is an extension of the rasterization-based Direct3D API and provides for new shader types suitable for a world of ray-tracing, etc. The end goal is obviously to produce more realistic and life-like video games while DXR is a supplemental approach towards the grand vision of ray-tracing. Microsoft developers are promising that their DXR ray-tracing API will work with current generation hardware. There has been interesting ray-tracing game experiments going back many years, but it's always been too computationally intensive for being able to perform well in real-time for games on PC hardware.
  • Play Android Games In Play Store Without Downloading Them, Here Is How
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Porting Fedora to RISC-V

In my previous article, I gave an introduction to the open architecture of RISC-V. This article looks at how I and a small team of Fedora users ported a large part of the Fedora package set to RISC-V. It was a daunting task, especially when there is no real hardware or existing infrastructure, but we were able to get there in a part-time effort over a year and a half or so. Read more

First impressions of the Gemini PDA

Last March I discovered the IndieGoGo campaign for the Gemini PDA, a plan to produce a modern PDA with a decent keyboard inspired by the Psion 5. At that point in time the estimated delivery date was November 2017, and it wasn’t clear they were going to meet their goals. As someone has owned a variety of phones with keyboards, from a Nokia 9000i to a T-Mobile G1 I’ve been disappointed about the lack of mobile devices with keyboards. The Gemini seemed like a potential option, so I backed it, paying a total of $369 including delivery. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, one year and a day after I backed the project, I received my Gemini PDA. Now, I don’t get as much use out of such a device as I would have in the past. The Gemini is definitely not a primary phone replacement. It’s not much bigger than my aging Honor 7 but there’s no external display to indicate who’s calling and it’s a bit clunky to have to open it to dial (I don’t trust Google Assistant to cope with my accent enough to have it ring random people). The 9000i did this well with an external keypad and LCD screen, but then it was a brick so it had the real estate to do such things. Anyway. I have a laptop at home, a laptop at work and I cycle between the 2. So I’m mostly either in close proximity to something portable enough to move around the building, or travelling in a way that doesn’t mean I could use one. Read more

Openwashing: Attivio, Networking, and Black Duck