Webroot Retired ThreatBlog Member - Andrew Brandt

Andrew Brandt

Role: Retired ThreatBlog Member
Threat Blog Posts: 149



Posts by Andrew Brandt:

Chinese Trojan Turns Infected PCs Into Web Servers

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A complex and elaborately conceived family of malware that originates in China installs the Apache Web server, as well as half a dozen keylogger and downloader payloads, disguised as components of legitimate apps. We and a few other antivirus vendors are calling this type of malware Taobatuo. It just so happens that I’ve been setting up a Windows virtual machine with the latest versions of Apache, MySQL, and PHP for an unrelated project. I hadn’t installed these apps onto a Windows box before, and Apache in particular is notoriously finicky about Windows installations, so after several days of trial and […]

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Troublesome Trojan Trammels Torrent Sites

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We spotted an interesting behavior from a Trojan dropper that belongs to a family of malware named Ponmocup. The file, update.exe (MD5 89f4ea9f0240239e0d97f202d22af325) leaves behind a payload that, among other things, modifies the Hosts file on infected computers to prevent users from visiting popular Bittorrent sites, including The Pirate Bay. It’s an odd behavior for several reasons. We don’t see many Trojans modify the Hosts file anymore because such modifications are so easily reversed. But more to the point: Why would a criminal care whether anyone else be able to browse The Pirate Bay, a Web site known to host […]

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Karagany Isn’t a Doctor, but Plays One on Your PC

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A Trojan that pulls a sly performance of now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t disguises itself on an infected system as the Adobe Updater, a real program that’s installed alongside such mainstay applications as the Adobe Reader. This method of hiding in plain sight means the downloader, Trojan-Downloader-Karagany, may remain active on an infected system for an extended period of time, reinfecting PCs even after the more obvious payloads have been cleared up. During the initial infection, subtlety is this Karagany’s strong suit. When executed, it pulls an act I find slightly more interesting than the conventional file copies itself from one place to another, […]

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Rogue AV Spam Invades Multiply, Yahoo Mail

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While nowhere near the size of the mammoth Facebook, the social network Multiply is no slouch. Based in Boca Raton, Florida, the site is designed around not only sharing photos and videos with friends and family, but also a relatively novel concept called social shopping, which permits users of the site to shop together in a virtual marketplace, or even set up an Internet storefront. At last count, according to Multiply’s blog, the site has over 12 million users, which means that the Multiply Market may be one of the largest single shopping Web sites in Southeast Asia, where most […]

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Search Hijacker Adds Files to Firefox Profile

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In September, I posted an item about a dropper which we call Trojan-Dropper-Headshot. This malware delivers everything including the kitchen sink when it infects your system. It has an absolute ton of payloads, any of which on their own constitute a serious problem. All together, they’re a nightmare. Among the payloads, we’ve seen this monstrosity drop downloaders (Trojan-Agent-TDSS and Trojan-Downloader-Ncahp, aka Bubnix), adware (Virtumonde, Street-Ads, and Sky-banners), keyloggers (Zbot and LDpinch), clickfraud Trojans (Trojan-Clicker-Vesloruki and at least three other generic clickers), and a Rogue AV called Antivir Solution Pro. So this is one nasty beast that has no qualms about using […]

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Game Trojans’ Biggest Tricks in 2010

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By Andrew Brandt and Curtis Fechner It’s appropriate that this year’s Blizzcon, the two-day celebration of all things World of Warcraft, takes place during National Cyber Security Awareness Month. No other game is as heavily targeted by thieves as WoW, so we thought this would be as good a time as any to run down some of the malware threats that face gamers. 2010 has been a big year for Trojans that steal game passwords or license keys. The people who create malware targeting online games show no signs of relenting, nor are they laying down on the job. Innovation […]

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WoW Patch Brings Out the Malware Trolls

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Last week, Activision/Blizzard released a long-anticipated patch for its immensely popular game, World of Warcraft. While I don’t play this game, a number of our Threat Researchers do, and they’ve been on the lookout for shenanigans. Curtis Fechner found a doozy. The update comprises a major overhaul of many core systems within the game, affecting the graphics engine, game rules, player abilities, and also the interface. Many players use downloadable, player-created add-ons to further customize the appearance of the user interface; Patches as comprehensive as this one mean that many of the old add-ons simply won’t work until the add-on’s […]

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Hey Malware Guy: Just What the Heck Am I Supposed to Do With This?

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The Tacticlol downloader, responsible for a lot of infections over the past year, propagates in two ways: via drive-by downloads, and as a .zip archive attached to messages. Maybe the spam filtering companies finally caught on to the trick, or maybe the Tacticlol distributors are just trying to mix it up, but the latest sample to come over the transom has me scratching my head. Like most others, this sample came attached to an email made to look like a message that UPS would never send. Once again, the message tries to convince the recipient that the attached file is […]

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Your Federal Tax Payment Has Not Been Rejected

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It’s been more than a week since we started seeing spam email, supposedly sent by the EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, a division of the US Department of the Treasury), informing recipients in dire, bolded text that Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 01037513 has been rejected. I had hoped it would be a faded memory by now, but apparently it just won’t die. Spam, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a lie, cooked up in a criminal’s troubled mind, with the goal of convincing signficant numbers of people to click a link in the message. It’s a pretty contrived message, which […]

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Patchy Phisher Forces Firefox to Forego Forgetting Passwords

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Every browser can, at the user’s discretion, be set up to remember passwords. In general, Webroot advises most users not to set the browser to store login credentials, because they’re so easily extracted by password-stealing Trojans like Zbot. In Firefox, for example, you can click Tools, Options, then open the Security tab, and uncheck a box that tells the browser to remember passwords entered into Web forms. (The box is checked by default.) But in the course of taking a more thorough look at a Trojan that came to our attention in July, we were surprised to see the Trojan […]

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