Kaspersky Lab publishes details about the Equation Hacker group’s arsenal, including “nls_933w.dll” which can reprogram the hard drive firmware of over a dozen different hard drive brands

Kaspersky Lab presented at their Security Analysts Summit something even more scary than the details about the Carbanak Bank Cyber Heist. Per Karspersky the Carbanak group ripped off about 100 banks around the globe of about $1 Billion Dollars (and in my opinion very likely still counting).

Kaspersky Lab Experts referred to the Equation group as the “God” or the “Death Star” of Malware. Part of the huge arsenal of code which the Equation group has been developing over what looks like decades is nls_933w.dll“. “It allows them to reprogram the hard drive firmware of over a dozen different hard drive brands“.

Oncenls_933w.dll installs the Malware into the Hard Disk’s firmware, there is no way to remove it. Repartitioning will not affect it. Reformatting has no effect. The only way to get rid of this Malware from the targeted computer, is to physically destroy the Hard Disk.

Kaspersky Lab goes on to report that the Equation group seems to have existed long before the Stuxnet group.

The word “Elite” is part of the lexicon of Hackers. The Equation group therefore can be called the Elite of the Elite of the Elite of the Elite of the Elite and so on of Uber Hackers. To be able to hack and modify a Hard Drive’s firmware is unheard of. To be able to do so for Hard Drives of over a dozen different brands is insanely impossible. Yet the Equation group did it and very likely much more, that has yet to come to light. In comparison, this makes things like the REGIN Malware group’s incredible capabilities seem like no big deal.

Ok, enough of my rambling.

Click on this line to view the Kaspersky Lab report about the Equation group and their arsenal of jaw dropping Malware. On that page you will find a link to a downloadable PDF of the Question and Answer session from their presentation at the Security Analysts Summit.

Wow, this has turned into a CyberSecurity long weekend. Very impressive and rather scary stuff has been revealed by Kaspersky Lab.

Click on this link to view other CyberSecurity related posts found on Uniquely Toronto.


Posted by: Vincent Banial

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