McAfee's 'Shady RAT' report called alarmist, flawed

August 18, 2011

John P. Mello Jr. / PCWorld

McAfee's report on Operation Shady RAT, a five-year hacker attack against a broad swath of industries, is facing renewed criticism, this time from the head of the Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky, a man also known as the "Virus Pope."

The report, from Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee's vice president of threat research, has drawn fire from members of the security community since its release. In a blog posting, Kaspersky wrote that "We conducted detailed analysis of the Shady RAT botnet and its related malware, and can conclude that the reality of the matter (especially the technical specifics) differs greatly from the conclusions made by Mr. Alperovitch."

"We consider those conclusions to be largely unfounded and not a good measure of the real threat level," he added.

Alperovitch has warned in his report that "every company in every conceivable industry with significant size and valuable intellectual property and trade secrets has been compromised (or will be shortly), with the great majority of the victims rarely discovering the intrusion or its impact."


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