Malware Used To Attack More Than 500,000 Computers Daily After 25,000 UNIX Servers Hijacked By Backdoor Trojan

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San Diego, CA

"Windigo has been gathering strength, largely unnoticed by the security community, for more than two and a half years and currently has 10,000 servers under its control," said Pierre-Marc Bureau, security intelligence program manager, ESET. “This number is significant if you consider each of these systems have access to significant bandwidth, storage, computing power and memory."

The attack, which has been dubbed "Operation Windigo" by security experts, hijacks servers, infects the computers that visit them and steals information from victims. The infected servers are then used to redirect half a million web visitors to malicious content on a daily basis. Servers located throughout the U.S., Germany, France and the UK are all among those infected.

With more than 60 percent of the world's websites running on Linux servers, ESET researchers are warning webmasters and system administrators to check their systems to see if they have been compromised. The company published a detailed technical report today presenting the findings of the teams’ investigations and malware analysis. The report also provides guidance on how businesses can determine if their systems are affected and instructions for removing the malicious code. Operating systems altered by the spam component include Linux™, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, OS X® and Windows®.

If IT administrators discover their systems are infected, they are advised to wipe affected computers and reinstall the operating system and software. For a higher level of protection in the future, technology such as two-factor authentication should be considered.

To download the full "Operation Windigo," report, please visit welivesecurity.com/windigo. To follow the developing story on Facebook®, Google+™ or Twitter®, please use #windigo.

About ESET 
ESET®, the pioneer of proactive protection and the maker of the award-winning ESET NOD32® technology, is a global provider of security solutions for businesses and consumers. For over 26 years, the Company continues to lead the industry in proactive threat detection. By obtaining the 80th VB100 award in June 2013, ESET NOD32 technology holds the record number of Virus Bulletin "VB100” Awards, and has never missed a single “In-the-Wild” worm or virus since the inception of testing in 1998. In addition, ESET NOD32 technology holds the longest consecutive string of the VB100 awards of any AV vendor. ESET has also received a number of accolades from AV-Comparatives, AV-TEST and other testing organizations and reviews. ESET NOD32® Antivirus, ESET Smart Security®, ESET Cyber Security® (solution for Mac), ESET® Mobile Security and IT Security for Business are trusted by millions of global users and are among the most recommended security solutions in the world.

The Company has global headquarters in Bratislava (Slovakia), with regional distribution centers in San Diego (U.S.), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Singapore; with offices in Jena (Germany), Prague (Czech Republic) and Sao Paulo (Brazil). ESET has malware research centers in Bratislava, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Prague, Košice (Slovakia), Krakow (Poland), Montreal (Canada), Moscow (Russia) and an extensive partner network for more than 180 countries. More information is available via About ESET and Press Center.

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