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RATs abandoning sinking Syria

- The Washington Times - Monday, July 9, 2012

Even the RATs are trying to distance themselves from the Syrian regime's brutal crackdown against protesters and armed insurgents.

A Remote Access Tool (RAT) is a specialized software program designed to allow remote control of a computer. Widely used by hackers, such programs recently have been employed to spy on pro-democracy Syrian activists and others trying to organize opposition to the regime in Damascus.

The author of one of the best known such tools, DarkComet RAT, said on his website he is abandoning the development of the tool because of its use by hackers. He specifically singled out its use against Syrian activists, which he said "totally disgusted" him.

DarkComet allows an attacker to capture webcam activity, disable anti-virus programs, record keystrokes and steal passwords.

Versions of the program that sent stolen data to a Syrian Internet address were found earlier this year on the computers of anti-government organizers, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

"I never supported the small or large groups of hackers who wrongly used" my software, French security researcher Jean-Pierre Lesueur, known as DarkCoderSc, wrote over the weekend.

He provided software programs that can be used to detect and remove copies of DarkComet from infected computers.

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