Ukrainian computers infected by powerful virus

Dozens of computer networks in Ukraine have been infected by an aggressive new cyber weapon called Snake, according to expert analysis.

The cyber weapon has been increasingly used since the start of this year, even before protests that led to the overthrow of president Viktor Yanukovych, British-based BAE Systems said in a report published Friday.

The complex composition of Snake bears similarities with Stuxnet, the malware that disrupted Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2010.

Snake — also known as Ouroboros after the serpent in Greek mythology — gives remote attackers “full remote access to the compromised system”, BAE said.

Because it can stay inactive for a number of days, it is extremely hard to detect.

Although its origins are unclear, its developers appear to operate it in the same timezone as Moscow — GMT plus four hours — and some Russian text is embedded into the code, BAE says.