New Computer Worm Targets AutoCAD Drawings

As if it weren’t enough that The New York Times just wrote a story on computer programs making architects obsolete, now it seems that computers are actually on the Architect-attack.

A new computer worm, known as ”ACAD/Medre.A,” has surfaced, and it has a very specific goal: find AutoCAD drawings, send them to China.

Find out how the worm works, and if you could be affected, after the break…

Tens of thousands of  drawings (versions 14.0 to 19.2) were leaked from Peruvian accounts (architects who had downloaded a “booby-trapped template”) and winded up in a number of email accounts run by Chinese providers. Chinese authorities have helped to block these accounts, so no further leakage should occur.

ESET, the technology security company that first detected and worked to eliminate the malware, described the worm as “a serious example of suspected industrial espionage,” explaining its menace in a blog post:

“Needless to say this can cost the legitimate owner of the intellectual property a lot of money as the cybercriminals will have designs before they even go into production by the original designer. The attacker may even go so far as to get patents on the product before the inventor has registered it at the patent office. The inventor may not know of the security breach until his patent claim is denied due to prior art.”

The worm just further complicates the delicate question of how to maintain intellectual property right in the information age. For now, the worm is contained, but we don’t doubt that another malware will one day take its place…

Story via ESET and Net Security 

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "New Computer Worm Targets AutoCAD Drawings" 22 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 01 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=247264>
  • andrew

    pf autocad…luckily i don’t use it

    • Samuel AB

      The only people who are immune to industrial espionage are the ones with nothing worth stealing.

      It doesn’t matter if you use DWG, DXF, RVT, PLN or whichever format.

      • Michael

        Oh good… safe!

      • KD

        Yea but it sure helps if the software you design in doesn’t have security holes. Autocad is the only design that I know of that has stuff like happen like this

  • Mickey Mao

    I would be less concerned with intellectual property rights and more concerned that highly sensitive and/or top-secret drawings for buildings, infrastructure, transportation, military, and technology are being directed to any group of individuals. Autocad is not just used in architecture.

    Could somebody be compiling data for sale to the highest bidder, from terrorist groups to national militaries?

  • Allan

    I would be very concerned with losing any data in my computer involving architecture.