Taiwan police award malware-laced USBs as prizes for cyber-security quiz

News by Robert Abel

Taiwanese police handed out malware-laden USB sticks as prizes for a security quiz given during an infosec conference in December 2017.

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Taiwanese police handed out malware-laden USB sticks as prizes for a security quiz given during an infosec conference in December 2017.

As part of the conference the Bureau gave away 250 8GB drives to people who won a cyber-security quiz only to later learn the devices were infected with an Old Chinese-language virus dubbed “XtbSeDuA.exe” that tries to steal personal data from 32-bit machines.

Of the 250 memory sticks distributed, at least 54 were found to have been infected by a computer used by an employee of supplier Shawo Hwa Industries Co “to transfer an operating system to the drives and test their storage capacity.” Meanwhile, 34 of the drives are still in circulation as all the recipients have yet to come forward.

Fortunately for the authorities, the stolen data was forwarded to a relay IP address in Poland which in 2015 had already been shut down during Europol raids on an electronic funds fraud ring, the country's Criminal Investigation Bureau said.

Although the dongles were manufactured in China, the Taipei Times said there's no suggestion that espionage was a motive, according to The Register.

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