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Malware Mining Civil Aviation Data

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A computer security company, TrendMicro, Thursday reported that it has found a particular family of malware gathering information "related to the civil aviation sector." The company says that the intentions of the latest targeted information gathering are not clear, but the programs are "now being used to gather intelligence about the civil aviation sector in the United States." The particular malicious program is called Sykipot, a "malware" program that has been known since 2007, according to the company, and has traditionally attacked other industries including telecommunications. The new attacks "indicate a certain level of expertise and funding," says TrendMicro, which offered basic advice for self-defense.

The best defense against the Sykipot malware is to keep your computer systems updated with the most current security software. Sykipot attacks normally arrive via email attachments that exploit applications like Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office but has evolved to use a target's operating system, web browsers and Java scripts. The security company says that the new attacks are not especially more sophisticated than older attacks associated with the same malware. But they campaign is "just sophisticated enough to be effective." It has been targeting U.S.-based entities and outside of civil aviation the company advises that "other U.S. sectors should also be aware and able to identify it."

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