Evil Jane Austin recruited by hackers

Jane_AustenIt is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single hacker in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a classic English writer.

Hackers are nicking text from the 19th century classic novel writer Jane Austin to spread malicious software.

According to Cisco, literary passages are becoming a new way to hide malicious code that allow hackers unlawful entry into computers and networks. We are not sure why, reading Jane Austin is not something one does willingly.

But clearly Cisco thinks that adding passages of classic text to an exploit kit landing page is a more effective confusion technique than the traditional approach of using random text.

We do not know much about him as to all that. But he is a pleasant, good humoured fellow, and has got the nicest little black bitch of a pointer I ever saw, someone once said.

“The use of text from more contemporary works such as magazines and blogs is another effective strategy. Antivirus and other security solutions are more likely to categorise the webpage as legitimate after ‘reading’ such text.”

Cisco researchers said facing references to Austen characters normally from Sense and Sensibly on a webpage “may be perplexing but not a cause for immediate concern.””

Jason Brvenik, a Cisco engineer, said it remains a mystery about who is behind the literary hacking or why that novel was chosen over others.

“It is a seemingly random selection but it always from that book,” he told AFP.

Hackers can deliver various malicious “payloads” through these tools, according to Cisco, including “ransomware,” a growing technique that locks a user’s files unless a ransom is paid.