If you work for a government institution, you need to look out for Skipper. This malware was actively attacking operating systems in 2016, but the cybercriminals behind it could always resume attacks without any warning. These cybercriminals belong to the Turla APT group, and so they are completely unpredictable. This group employs various hacking tools – sometimes, several at the same time – to invade the targeted operating system and perform various malicious actions. It is hard to say what exactly the attackers would do using the backdoor Trojan for, but they definitely could personalize their attacks and do as little as record information about the infected system or as much as leak confidential information to the enemies of a targeted government. Can the malicious Trojan attack regular users? That is unlikely to happen, but when it comes to cybercriminals, you just never know. This is why we suggest that you read this report and learn how to remove Skipper.
Did you know that browser extensions can be used to distribute malware? That is how the devious Skipper was invading operating systems in 2016. The infection specifically went after Mozilla Firefox users, and, considering that it is one of the most popular web browsers in the world, it could have had plenty of targets. “HTML5 Encoding” and “langpack-en-GB” were the two extensions that were linked to the devious Trojan. The first extension was not used actively, and so it is believed that it was used for tests only. However, it is known that it was introduced to the visitors of a Swiss security company that was compromised beforehand. The second extension did not have a direct connection to the Turla APT group, but it was spreading a version of Skipper, and so it is possible that the same attackers were standing behind it also. This is proof that all extensions have to be vetted and analyzed before installation. If you take your time to do your research, your chances of letting in malware and then dealing with its removal will be minimized.
The main goal for Skipper is to open a backdoor. A backdoor is a way for cybercriminals to access the system without alerting security safeguards. Of course, if this Trojan slithers in, the reliability and effectiveness of the existing security software must be questioned. Using a backdoor, the attackers can drop, execute, and control different files, and that, unfortunately, means that new infections could be introduced. These could be used to capture screenshots, record mouse-clicks, destroy data, steal extremely sensitive and confidential data, disable large networks, perform massive attacks using the disguise of the victims, and so on. While we cannot know for sure how the attackers behind Skipper would act, we know that nothing good would come out of it. Therefore, even if you are ready to delete the malicious Trojan from the system, in fact, there could be a bunch of other malicious infections that you might have to take care of. Install a trusted malware scanner to figure this out.
According to the malware researchers who have dedicated many months to track the activity of hackers from the Turla group, countries in the Southeastern Europe and countries that disengaged from the Soviet Union in 1991 are the likeliest to be targeted by it. Unfortunately, if Skipper slithers in, it is likely to pave a way for other hacking tools created or operated by the group, as well as other infections. Therefore, the detection of this malware needs to be taken seriously. We cannot know whether or not it will be enough for you to erase malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox, and since identifying malware can be tough, we strongly recommend employing anti-malware software right away. Besides ensuring a complete removal of Skipper and other potentially active infections, it also could improve the security levels of your system. Of course, if it is part of a government-related network, the security team needs to overhaul the security from the ground up.