It's Time to Scan Your PC for Government-Funded Malware

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It's Time to Scan Your PC for Government-Funded Malware

Detekt 310x

Amnesty International's free new Detekt tool scans for government-level malware on your PC.

It's Cybersecurity Friday here at The Escapist (not really), so when you're not busy freaking out about the possibility that some hacker trolls stole your PlayStation Network login info, you can scan your PC for government-funded malware.

Amnesty International is behind Detekt, a new (and free) malware scanner that specifically looks for bugs attached to government-backed cyberwarfare programs. The scanner comes from AI, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Once you download the Detekt executable, [Note from the Writer: You are downloading and running a program, so the usual "try at your own risk," warning applies here.] the GUI guides you through a typical-looking malware scan, which can take up to 30 minutes (depending on PC speed and drive size). You'll need to run the program as an Administrator in order for it to work.

You, me, and virtually everyone else on here likely has nothing to worry about, and the scan will finish empty-handed. For the unlucky few that do find something? This tool is a scanner, and not a removal program, so you're up Hacker Creek without a paddle, I'm afraid. (Translation: it's hard drive reformatting time!)

Government-sponsored cyberattacks are nothing new; China does it, the United States does it, and so do a number of other nations across the globe. At least now you can find out if you're an innocent casualty in this "war" happening in those Internet tubes.

Source: Amnesty International | The Verge

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If it turns out this is why my laptop has been fucking up recently (unlikely), I am going to be quite pissed.

(although I think it's far more likely that it's just the heat dispersal devices running into trouble)

turns out windows 8.1 is an unsupported version...

robert022614:
turns out windows 8.1 is an unsupported version...

Too many government-level malware bundled into 8.1 perhaps? :)

Interesting. I remember a program named DECAF that stopped a police USB program COFFEE that was meant to extract vital information during raids. Always nice to know you have to fight off your own people from hacking into your PC.

robert022614:
turns out windows 8.1 is an unsupported version...

It says to use version 1.3 for that OS.
https://github.com/botherder/detekt/releases/tag/v1.3

Man, it would be pretty funny if installing that plants some more malware on the pile.

But I already installed a free trial of Malwarebytes on my PC earlier today.... Do I really need another one?

SKBPinkie:
Man, it would be pretty funny if installing that plants some more malware on the pile.

Tested it out, it doesn't.

RatGouf:
But I already installed a free trial of Malwarebytes on my PC earlier today.... Do I really need another one?

No, think you're al-right.

But if you have too much malware on your computer it's best to reformat anyway.

RatGouf:
But I already installed a free trial of Malwarebytes on my PC earlier today.... Do I really need another one?

You can never have too many kewl-sauce loading bars. They are quite simply the bomb-diggity, my quadruped amigo.

OT: It's a good thing we live in a pretty cold and boring part of the country. Even if the government found something in one of their snooping sessions, I doubt any of them would care enough to drive all the way out here. They could get one of the local police officers to intervene, but they're luckily all alcoholics to a man.

"You can't trust those other programs, they're government espeeyonaaj. But you can trust MEEEEEEEEeeee..."

I hope nobody actually planning something reads this...

You realize, of course, that the tinfoil hat brigade is going to go absolutely mental, right?

Yeah, I'm aware of one already
It's called Windows

Sounds suspicious, Escapist..

So anyone use this and get a hit yet?

I'll check this out, useful that such a thing exists really. The issue for some things is that there is supposedly government malware built into the Bios of some hard drives. Meaning that no amount of formatting would fix that, you would need to buy a brand you know does not use it.

Post scan - clean. Not surprised.

Edit: Part of me wants to run this on the servers at work. I feel like a multinational corporation is far more likely to be the average target of such things rather than a few users.

It requires you to run this scanner as an administrator. hence nope nope its not getting on my PC.

RatGouf:
But I already installed a free trial of Malwarebytes on my PC earlier today.... Do I really need another one?

Seriously, when looking for malicious software, I install 8 or so programs. Scan with them all overnight, and then return the next morning.

When working with a customer's computer, this is what I do. I normally advise that if things are fucked, a format is recommended, but some adamantly refuse a format. So I run my programs, and then just hand it back to them.

So, yes. MBAM is pretty good, but there is no AV program out there that will catch absolutely everything. I also find that "watchguard" programs, like AVG, Mcafee, and Norton are pretty fucking shit in terms of what they find, in addition to hogging resources.

FalloutJack:
You realize, of course, that the tinfoil hat brigade is going to go absolutely mental, right?

They're after my cupcakes.

Fuckin' Government wants MY CUPCAKES!

They're always holding me back. But I'm onto them! They want to take mt 2 hour long showers from me![1]

[1] I don't know if this joke is still funny after hearing my neighbor say this out loud in a serious light.

An addenum to the title:
"... with this govern funded program."

SKBPinkie:
Man, it would be pretty funny if installing that plants some more malware on the pile.

Source code is available for the paranoid. It's written in Python so anybody can compile it for free without the need for much technical skill. I've looked over the source code and it seems that it only detects two different pieces of spyware. That's not very impressive.

Strazdas:
It requires you to run this scanner as an administrator. hence nope nope its not getting on my PC.

So then do not bother with anti virus, firewall or any type of protective software.In fact do not bother updating the OS as it adds to the potential of something going wrong.......

Or you could check around and see who vets the program and see if its legit or halfbake or a scam.

DoctorM:
So anyone use this and get a hit yet?

I downloaded it just so that if the government is tracking downloads, they have one more thing to check out. I found "nothing" on mine as well. I love the disclaimer that there are malware that the thing doesn't check for.

I was thinking this was some kind of Anti-NSA thing. I'm pretty sure I've never done anything to put myself in the government spotlight. The Jellybean mishap maybe, but nothing else.

Why is this advertisement on the escapist anyway? It's not news at all, if anything it's a download trap.

o.o;

ZippyDSMlee:

Strazdas:
It requires you to run this scanner as an administrator. hence nope nope its not getting on my PC.

So then do not bother with anti virus, firewall or any type of protective software.In fact do not bother updating the OS as it adds to the potential of something going wrong.......

Or you could check around and see who vets the program and see if its legit or halfbake or a scam.

there is a difference between giving admin access to windows updates or known antivirus programs and some random program from internet. Its not about potential of going wrong, its about not being gullible.

Yeah, this seems like sending a dog to catch a fish...

VoidWanderer:
Yeah, this seems like sending a dog to catch a fish...

So... quite effective then? xD

Strazdas:

ZippyDSMlee:

Strazdas:
It requires you to run this scanner as an administrator. hence nope nope its not getting on my PC.

So then do not bother with anti virus, firewall or any type of protective software.In fact do not bother updating the OS as it adds to the potential of something going wrong.......

Or you could check around and see who vets the program and see if its legit or halfbake or a scam.

there is a difference between giving admin access to windows updates or known antivirus programs and some random program from internet. Its not about potential of going wrong, its about not being gullible.

So the EFF vetting it means nothing? Can't be worse than the top 5-15 anti virus or top 4-10 maleware programs....

reverse_rpm:
An addenum to the title:
"... with this govern funded program."

Well, yes, if you think a privately run organization that has a 50 year old history of fighting against human rights violations is a government.

The supporters behind this program is Amnesty International (the aforementioned group) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (best know for their fight against SOPA and PIPA and if you ever bought something through Humble Bundle, you've probably inadvertently donated to them).

FalloutJack:
You realize, of course, that the tinfoil hat brigade is going to go absolutely mental, right?

So thanks to Amnesty International registered sex offenders can detect and remove government tracer programs from their machines allowing them to re-offend undetected? What about the human rights of the victims, A.I? It's political correctness gone MAD!!! #DailyMailOutrage

*rolls eyes*

I'm taking the piss, but the sad thing is I can see the Mail running a story like that.

Grouchy Imp:
-snip-

Joke aside, I'm sure that registered sex offenders have some sort of regulation that requires them to have a tracking program installed on their computer and removing it would be a breach of parole.

It wouldn't be the craziest thing, considering that they're supposed to have their current address registered in an public database, at all times, can never live within a certain radius from a public school or a similar institute and are even required in some states to inform their neighbors of their past crimes. Hell, in some cases, I believe that they're not even allowed to own a computer.

Product Placement:

Grouchy Imp:
-snip-

Joke aside, I'm sure that registered sex offenders have some sort of regulation that requires them to have a tracking program installed on their computer and removing it would be a breach of parole.

It wouldn't be the craziest thing, considering that they're supposed to have their current address registered in an public database, at all times, can never live within a certain radius from a public school or a similar institute and are even required in some states to inform their neighbors of their past crimes. Hell, in some cases, I believe that they're not even allowed to own a computer.

Oh, I imaging there's all sorts of checks in place - plus there's no way in hell anyone would ever write a program to remove such precautions. But we're talking about Daily Mail readers here. Those folks be crazy. They possess the tinniest of all the hats.

Grouchy Imp:
They possess the tinniest of all the hats.

Well... as long as they can do it with some style.

image

So it's less of a "news" article and more of a "download this random program from the internet and give it administrator access"?

Yeah, no.

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