Malware attack discovered. What does Kaspersky do? Call in a comic strip artist

Comic stripIt’s not news that rival cybercriminals don’t get along with each other.

For years, botnets have been in a global pissing contest, battling for supremacy in a turf war for hijacked computers.

I remember in 2004, the Netsky worm began to clean-up infections of the MyDoom and Bagel worm as part of its payload, and the rival malware authors began to embed pointed messages to each other in their code.

The following year we saw the Zotob worm – which exploited a Microsoft plug-and-play security hole and famously infected the CNN Newsroom – remove other malware so it could take control of compromised PCs for itself.

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And way back in the early days of PC viruses, Denzuk would detect infections of the primeval Brain virus (circa 1986) on floppy disks and replace them with copies of itself.

Denzuk virus

So, online criminals trying to get “one over” each other is nothing new.

I was bemused then to see the researchers at Kaspersky describe how two rival cyberespionage gangs – Naikon and Hellsing – have been having something of a skirmish.

You can read the full story on the Kaspersky blog (or a condensed version from Ars Technica), but what tickled me is how much thing have changed since I started in the anti-virus industry.

To see an example, check out the following Kaspersky video about the Naikon/Hellsing incident:

In the old days, the most we would do was reach out to the media to tell them about a fast-spreading attack or curious new piece of malware we had encountered. We certainly wouldn’t have made a video, and we definitely would never have hired a comic strip artist to explain to help illustrate the story for those with a low attention span.

In this era when we can only seemingly get the world interested in new vulnerabilities if they have a funky name and snazzy logo, the marketing department is definitely ruling the roost.

I guess we should be somewhat grateful. At least it’s better than some of Kaspersky’s past videos.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

One comment on “Malware attack discovered. What does Kaspersky do? Call in a comic strip artist”

  1. Dinosaur

    Interesting that the next Youtube video shown to me advertised getting a lifetime free copy of Kaspersky 2015.

    The first in the process was to uninstall previous versions of Kaspersky…

    I suspect your readers aren't gullible enough to fall for this, but…

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