International security agencies warn of Russian “Snake” malware threat

Security agencies from five countries have issued a joint advisory revealing technical details about a sophisticated espionage tool used by Russian cyber actors against their targets. “Snake malware” and its variants have been a core component in Russian espionage operations carried out by Center 16 of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) for nearly two decades, according to the security notice.

Identified in infrastructure in over 50 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, Snake’s custom communications protocols employ encryption and fragmentation for confidentiality and are designed to hamper detection and collection efforts. Globally, the FSB has used Snake to collect sensitive intelligence from high-priority targets such as government networks, research facilities, and journalists.

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