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Kaspersky Lab's "Red October" cyber-espionage saga leaves lots of questions unanswered

Is this Russian vs. Russian espionage? Is cyber-war a good marketing tool?

By , Network World
January 16, 2013 03:42 PM ET

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Sullivan says so far the technical descriptions of Red October supplied by Kaspersky Lab do not make it that unusual from any other botnet-controlled effort to compromise victim computers or mobile devices.

But as Kaspersky unwinds its tale of Red October — there was a blog item today about more technical aspects with a full report expected out within the next few days -- there is one aspect of it that should be no surprise. Like many other anti-malware firms that have garnered headlines due to botnets they uncovered — McAfee, for instance, has done much the same in the past — there's the benefit in boosting the brand name in the public eye as headlines appear. Kaspersky says its discovery came from someone who asked the security firm last October to look into a spear-phishing campaign.

Eugene Kaspersky
Eugene Kaspersky

At the end of January at the Dream Downtown Hotel in New York City, Kaspersky Lab's founder Eugene Kaspersky is expected to be on hand to participate in an event called "How Cyber-Warfare Impacts Corporate Security," where Howard Schmidt, former cyber-security coordinator for the Obama Administration is also expected to attend. The event is also expected to include a Kaspersky endpoint product announcement — which only shows cyber-war can be a good tie-in to marketing.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail:

Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

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