skype4beta_videochatA programmer named Ruben Unteregger has released the source code behind a malware program that he created specifically to record Skype voice conversations on the sly.

Unteregger, who used to work for a company called ERA IT solutions, created MiniPanzer and MegaPanzer. Both of these programs were originally created and sold to Swiss authorities to be used as surveillance tools. The programs were designed to hook into the Window XP’s audio drivers to record victims VoIP calls as MP3s. Afterward, these MP3 records are automatically sent to a remote server for an eavesdropper to collect.

Unteregger stated that he had retained copyright for the programs and has decided to release the source code and two compiled binaries so that signatures to detect the malware could be created. Just days after Unteregger released his code, Symantec and TrendMicro stated that their anti-virus programs had already detected Trojans in the wild similar to that of Unteregger’s.

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Cyber spying is no longer the work of movie fiction. Recently, a Canadian research security group has discovered a network of spies called GhostNet which were linked to government computers. It has infiltrated over 1,000 computers in more than 100 countries. These cyber spies gained information through spyware installed on computers of politicians, diplomats, and journalists. Targets included the Associated Press and the Dalai Lama.

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