EDGE 2015 is starting in

Find out more EDGE 2015
Menu
Copies of anti-censorship software used in Iran and Syria contain keylogger

Copies of anti-censorship software used in Iran and Syria contain keylogger

Green Simurgh copies distributed from file sharing websites contain a Trojan horse

Rogue copies of Green Simurgh, an Internet proxy software application used in Iran and Syria, have been found to contain malware that records users' activities and keystrokes.

Green Simurgh is an anti-censorship application that routes a computer's outbound connections to a server located in the U.S. This allows the software's users to bypass network filters and access Internet resources that would normally be banned by their ISP.

Green Simurgh doesn't require any installation and can run directly from USB memory sticks, which makes it suitable for users who access the Internet from cafes and public computers.

The software has been used in Iran since 2009 and, according to the Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto laboratory that researches digital media, global security and human rights, Syrian users have also began to rely on it.

"It has recently come to our attention that this software is being recommended and circulated among Syrian Internet users for bypassing censorship in their country," said Citizen Lab technical advisor Morgan Marquis-Boire in a blog post on Friday. "This information led to the discovery and analysis of a back-doored version of this software."

The malicious version is being distributed from file sharing websites like 4shared.com as a package called Simurgh-setup.zip. The archive contains an executable file that masquerades as a Green Simurgh installer.

When run on a Windows machine, the rogue installer drops a legitimate copy of the Green Simurgh software in the Program Files directory, but also installs a computer Trojan horse that runs in the background.

"[The Trojan horse] keeps a log of your username, machine name, every window clicked and keystroke entered," said Chester Wisniewski, a senior security advisor at antivirus vendor Sophos, in a blog post on Tuesday. "It attempts to submit these logs to some servers located in the United States, but registered to an entity that appears to be based in Saudi Arabia."

Considering that thousands of users depend on the legitimate Simurgh software, it's likely that a lot more people have been impacted by this malware than by Flame -- a recently discovered cyberespionage threat that has received a lot of attention in the media -- Wisniewski said.

"Unlike Flame, which is a highly targeted malware that has only been found on a handful of computers globally, this malware is targeting users for whom having their communications compromised could result in imprisonment or worse," he said.

The Green Simurgh developers have posted a warning on their website, urging users to only download the proxy software from the official download page and to verify the MD5 checksums of the package before running it. They also advised users who believe that they might have been infected with this malware to run an up-to-date antivirus scanner in order remove it from their computers.

EDGE 2015:: For all the latest on EDGE 2015 including the keynote speakers visit the EDGE mini-site now

2015 ARN ICT Industry Awards: Nominations for the 2015 ARN ICT Industry Awards close on June 26. NOMINATE NOW!!!

Follow Us

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Upcoming

Slideshows

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance
Tech Hive

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

Cooking, learning language and doing the laundry are a few of the human skills demonstrated by.real humanoid bots featured in the National Geographic movie Robots.

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance
IN PICTURES: OKI Data Australia partner event (+10 photos)
Business Products

IN PICTURES: OKI Data Australia partner event (+10 photos)

OKI recently hosted its ChannelOne dealer forum for its executive series channel partners to get together and learn about the company's new high-performance ES8400 A3 multifunction series printers. After a welcome and business overview from OKI Data Australia managing director, Dennie Kawahara, delegates were given a comprehensive overview of the new product, as well as an update on the latest marketing initiatives and software solutions, before being treated to live demos and a product showcase. Partners were also given a preview of OKI’s upcoming A3 digital LED white toner printer. With more than 60 delegates attending from all over the country, the day concluded with dinner at Casa Ristorante Italiano in Sydney and several delegates also participated in a friendly game of golf the following morning.

IN PICTURES: OKI Data Australia partner event (+10 photos)

iasset.com is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

Show Comments