Webroot Retired ThreatBlog Member - Andrew Brandt

Andrew Brandt

Role: Retired ThreatBlog Member
Threat Blog Posts: 149



Posts by Andrew Brandt:

Five Reasons You Should Always “Stop. Think. Connect.”

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Today’s the official kickoff for National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the organizations supporting the event, including the National Cyber Security Alliance, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, and dozens of corporate citizens including Webroot, want you to protect your computer and your personal information. So they’ve come up with a three word campaign slogan they hope will become conventional wisdom for every Internet user: Stop. Think. Connect. Think of it as the 21st century equivalent of looking both ways before crossing the street. In my case, they’re preaching to the choir. For years, I’ve advocated that people treat everything they see […]

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Newsflash: HTML Spammers are Not So Bright

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It’s been more than a week that we at Webroot, and countless others, have been getting floods of bogus messages with HTML attachments. I thought I’d give the curious readers of this blog a quick glance at one of the drive-by sites that load in the browser if you try to open the file. As I’d mentioned previously, the HTML files themselves simply contain highly obfuscated Javascript (code that’s hard for humans to read but easy for machines to interpret). When you try to load those malicious scripts into a browser, the script instructs the browser to load a page […]

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Civilization 5 Torrent Bonus: Uncivilized Malware

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Bootlegged copies of Civilization 5, the highly anticipated, just-released real time strategy game, are already popping up in file sharing services. And, as we’ve come to expect, some of the pirated copies of the game come with that little something special — malicious components. One of our Threat Research Analysts, who also happens to be an avid gamer, started looking for pirated copies of the game Friday morning and, within five minutes of looking, found Trojans in some of the torrents in circulation. I’ve chosen to focus on one of these files, not only because it was the first we […]

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Malicious HTML Mail Attachments Flood Inboxes

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If you hadn’t already noticed, an ongoing spam campaign where someone is sending email messages with attached HTML files continues to be a problem. The current campaign appears to be a new wave of spam similar to the one I reported about in July. The messages, which began arriving a week ago, have subject lines pulled from news headlines (“Cops kill shooter at Johns Hopkins Hospital,” “America’s Got Talent Judges Were They Shocked,” “Daniel Covington”) and with a financial angle (“Apartment for rent,” “Invoice for Floor replacement,” “credit card,” and the ever-popular “Shipping Notification”). The messages themselves are brief, such […]

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Epic Malware Dropper Makes No Attempt to Hide

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In the world of first-person shooter games, getting the most headshots – hits on the opponent which instantly take the opponent’s avatar out of the game — is a prized goal. The headshot is the quickest way to dispatch a foe in virtually every shooter, which is why the file name of a malware sample, currently in circulation, stood out. The file, yogetheadshot.php.exe (VT), is a dropper, a glorified bucket designed to tip over and spill other malware all over a PC. But where other droppers might leave behind a handful of payloads, this one utterly decimated a testbed PC […]

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New Rogue Is Actually Five Rogues in One

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For years, the makers of those snake oil security programs we call Rogue Security Products have spent considerable effort making up new names, developing unique graphic design standards, and inventing backstories for their utterly useless, expensive scam products. Now a new rogue has taken this never ending shell game one step further, releasing a single program that calls itself one of five different names, depending on what button an unfortunate victim clicks in a highly deceptive dialog box. Let’s call it what it really is, though: A malicious play in five acts. The rogue’s delivery method, or Act 1 in […]

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Cracked Trojan-Maker Infects Prospective Criminals

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In what seems to be a trend in my September blog posts, the research team has run across a program meant for criminally-minded people which has a nasty surprise inside. The program in question is called the ZombieM Bot Builder, which is used by the kind of upstanding citizens who spread Trojans in order to build up botnets — a collective of infected computers that can act as one entity. The creators of this program, an Argentinian group called Arhack, sell it for 180 euros. But don’t pull out your stolen credit cards just yet, because Arhack doesn’t take Visa: […]

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Fake Flash Update Needs Flash to Work

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If you live in the US, you may have played sports, barbequed, or enjoyed the last long weekend of the summer outside doing something fun outdoors. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option here in Boulder, where a large wildfire generated a thick plume of smoke and ash. So, what’s a malware analyst to do indoors on a beautiful day with toxic smoke outside? Why, spend some quality time with Koobface, of course. I took a closer look at the worm’s behavior and also noted that, since the Migdal keylogger site went dark for the Koobface crew, they’ve switched to using a […]

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PHP Backdoor Has Another Backdoor Inside

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Is there no honor among thieves anymore? The other day I was looking at a remote access Trojan written in the PHP scripting language. The bot loads into memory on a victim’s computer when an unsuspecting user, for example, stumbles upon an iframe pointing to the PHP script embedded in a Web page. The code is  nicely appointed with such desirable features as the ability to execute shell commands on the host server, send a flood of data packets at another computer, and scan remote computers. Once loaded into a victim’s browser, the bot connects to, and is capable of […]

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Pro-Israel Website Receives Passwords Stolen by Koobface

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Is the team behind the Koobface worm taking a stance on the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, or is this notorious worm’s most recent, bizarre twist just a coincidence? We’ve seen Koobface hijack legitimate Web sites for more than a year, using them not only to host malicious payload files, but also to work as proxy command-and-control servers for the botnet. One such hijacked Web domain, migdal.org.il, popped up in a number of blog posts and on Web sites which list the domains used to host malware, as far back as this past May, when the Koobface crew began using a slew […]

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