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Sunday, 14 May 2017 09:01

Vault 7: WikiLeaks releases details of malware frameworks

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WikiLeaks has released details about two malware frameworks which it says were designed by the CIA, as part of its Vault 7 document dump.

The whistle-blower organisation started releasing the Vault 7 documents on 7 March.

The latest documents, named AfterMidnight and Assassin, are both for the Windows platform.

AfterMidnight allows the user to dynamically load and execute malware on a target machine, according to a WikiLeaks statement.

The main controller is disguised as a dynamic link library and offers secure execution of malware through a secure listening post system known as Octopus.

"Once installed on a target machine AfterMidnight will call back to a configured listening post on a configurable schedule, checking to see if there is a new plan for it to execute," the WikiLeaks statement said.

"If there is, it downloads and stores all needed components before loading all new gremlins in memory.

"Gremlins are small AfterMidnight payloads that are meant to run hidden on the target and either subvert the functionality of targeted software, survey the target (including data exfiltration) or provide internal services for other gremlins."

The other document released deals with Assassin, an automated implant that provides a simple collection platform on remote computers running Windows.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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