Czechs are ‘guinea pigs’ for cybercriminals: analysis

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An analysis of the most common cyber threats suggests that Czechs are “guinea pigs” for cybercriminals who test how users respond to online threats.

As experts from the Eset antivirus software company point out, it is often only after testing their products on Czechs that they spread these insidious computer viruses to other countries around the world.

“For obvious reasons, the cyber-attackers try to hide both their identity and their real location. We register numerous cases of hackers using Czechia to test new types of malicious viruses before launching them globally,” says Martin Jirkal, head of the analytical team at the Czech branch of the Eset antivirus company.

As an example, he mentioned one of the most common threats, Spy.Agent.AES, which has been the most widespread online threat in the Czech Republic, and is now beginning to spread to other countries. The fact that Czechs serve as “guinea pigs” for hackers is also obvious when looking into the second most common threat of the past month, the FormBook backdoor.

“This is a type of malware that can be rented as a certain kind of service on the black market. Even less technically capable hackers can use it,” said Jirkal.

“Currently, we can see a significant expansion of FormBook to other European countries, while in May, it was noted mostly in the Czech Republic, Japan, and Taiwan,” explained the security expert.

FormBook, like Spy.Agent.AES, attacks passwords saved in browsers. It also spreads mainly via attachments in fraudulent e-mails.

Title image: H&R Block Budget Challenge Guntersville Recognition Ceremony, on Friday, January 16, 2014 in Guntersville, Ala. (Photo by Jeff White/Invision for H&R Block/AP Images)

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