The attack pages, the Java exploit itself and even the URL for the malware payload contained strings referencing "news," Raff said. In fact, after the attack page loaded the Java exploit, the victims' browsers were being redirected to legitimate news sites, including one based in Turkey, he said.
Interestingly enough, command and control servers used in the Flame cyberespionage campaign also contained a "NewsForYou" string, suggesting that a news theme was used in those attacks. It's not clear at this time if this is just a coincidence or if there's a connection between the two campaigns, Raff said.
Raff believes that Red October is the work of a group of hackers trying to obtain high-value information which they can later sell to interested parties, rather than the result of a nation state's cyberespionage efforts. Researchers from Kaspersky Lab, who first uncovered this cyberespionage operation, favor the same theory.