One Mil­lion ASUS Users Hacked Through An Up­date

Distinguished Magazine - - CYBERCRIME - NAMRATA GULATI SAPRA

The Kasper­sky Lab said that the harm­ful au­to­mated ASUS up­date had af­fected 1 mil­lion users. It has been stated by se­cu­rity re­searchers that hack­ers have in­fected al­most thou­sands of com­put­ers from the Taiwanese ven­dor ASUS with a cor­rupted soft­ware in be­tween the months of June and Novem­ber 2018 through the com­pany’s on­line au­to­matic up­date ser­vice. The Kasper­sky Lab said on March 25, 2019 that the harm­ful up­date had af­fected 1 mil­lion users.

WHAT RE­ALLY HAP­PENED?

Hack­ers had at­tacked the com­pany’s soft­ware up­date sys­tem, which was used to de­liver a soft­ware up­date with a “back­door” which gave the hack­ers the ac­cess to the hi­jacked com­put­ers. Dur­ing Fe­bru­ary, 2019, one of the com­put­ers at ASUS Com­put­ers in Jer­sey City, N.J, the ASUS logo was found to be in­fected by the hack­ers’ soft­ware though it is claimed that the soft­ware was de­signed for in­stal­la­tion in fewer com­put­ers or ma­chines.

The users had no knowl­edge about the de­liv­ery of the in­fected soft­ware and they had no rea­son not to up­date the ma­chines, as it was an auto-up­date soft­ware.

CY­BER­SE­CU­RITY

In a blog post, the Moscow-based cy­ber­se­cu­rity provider Kasper­sky Lab stated that it was not be­ing able to cal­cu­late the ex­act num­ber of hacked and cor­rupted ma­chines based on their data, but the es­ti­ma­tion of the is­sue had spread world­wide af­fect­ing at least 1 mil­lion users or more and since Kasper­sky had in­formed the com­pany about the hack­ing, it has been in contact with ASUS and is also as­sist­ing them with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the whole mat­ter since Jan­uary 2019.

A spokes­woman claimed that cy­ber­se­cu­rity com­pany Sy­man­tec was able to track the at­tack on ASUS users through the ‘‘back­door’’ auto-up­date soft­ware which was in­fected by the hack­ers a year ago.

Tech­nol­ogy news web­site Mother­board was the first one to have re­ported against and shown how the hack­ers reached the top tech­nol­ogy based com­pa­nies and the users who were vic­tim­ized by it. Kasper­sky stated that the hack­ers might have in­tended to tar­get a small group of users or (vic­tims-tobe), how­ever there were at least more than 57,000 users who had ended up down­load­ing and in­stalling the ASUS up­date.

ASUS has also said that it would present the soft­ware state­ment. Mean­while, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion with the as­sis­tance of Kasper­sky con­tin­ues.

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