‘Sophisticated’ cyber-bandits compromise three UAE firms: Symantec

Morpho group targets global firms for corporate secrets; victims include Facebook, Microsoft, Apple

Tags: Cyber crimeSymantec CorporationUnited Arab Emirates
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‘Sophisticated’ cyber-bandits compromise three UAE firms: Symantec Morpho is not thought to be state-sponsored, but Symantec speculated that its members could be hackers for hire.
By  Stephen McBride Published  July 9, 2015

A sophisticated cyber group that concentrates on stealing intellectual property from large enterprises has compromised "a string of major corporations" in recent years, including three organisations "located or headquartered" in the UAE, cyber-security company Symantec claimed today.

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The group, named "Morpho" by Symantec researchers, is not interested in credit-card or bank theft, the company said, despite referring to the gang as "financially motivated". Instead, Morpho focuses on the exfiltration of sensitive information that it can sell to corporate rivals.

Symantec said the gang is "technically proficient and well-resourced", and is in possession of several zero-day exploits. It has also developed its own exploit kits, which work on both Windows and MacOS. The group is not thought to be state-sponsored, but Symantec speculated that its members could be hackers for hire.

ALSO READ: Watch how easily your email can be hijacked using SMS

Morpho's victims, according to Symantec, include US giants Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter and a number of banking, pharmaceutical and law firms. The targets were spread over several countries, including US, Canada, the UAE, the UK, France, Finland, and Egypt.

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