Webroot Contributing Threat Researcher - Dancho Danchev

Dancho Danchev

Role: Contributing Threat Researcher
Threat Blog Posts: 454

Dancho Danchev is an internationally recognized security blogger, cybercrime researcher, and a public speaker.  He’s been an active security blogger since 2006, maintaining a popular security blog, where he shares detailed analyses of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) of malicious and fraudulent adversaries.

You can find out more about Dancho’s expertise and experience at his LinkedIn Profile, or at Wikipedia.

You can also follow him on  TwitterGoogle+ or Facebook.



Posts by Dancho Danchev:

Managed Web-based 300 GB/s capable DNS amplification enabled malware bot spotted in the wild

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Opportunistic cybercriminals continue ‘innovating’ through the systematic release of DIY (do-it-yourself), Web-based, botnet/malware generating tools, seeking to monetize their coding ‘know-how’ and overall understanding of abusive/fraudulent/malicious TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures) - all for the purpose of achieving a positive ROI with each new release. We’ve recently spotted a newly released, Web-based DNS amplification enabled DDoS bot, and not only managed to connect it to what was once an active DDoS attack, but also, to the abuse of a publicly accessible open DNS resolver which has been set up for research purposes. Let’s discuss some of its features and take a peek at the […]

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Deceptive ads expose users to PUA.InstallBrain/PC Performer PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)

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Deceptive ads continue to represent the primary distribution vector for the vast majority of Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) that we track. Primarily relying on ‘visual social engineering’ tactics, gullible end users fall victims to these privacy-violating applications, largely due to the fact that they instantaneously agree to the terms in the End User’s Agreement presented to them. We’ve recently spotted yet another variant of the InstallBrain family of Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA’s), tricking users into installing a bogus PC performance boosting application. Let’s assess this campaign and provide actionable intelligence on the domains/IPs and related privacy-violating MD5s known to have shared the […]

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Spamvertised ‘You received a new message from Skype voicemail service’ themed emails lead to Angler exploit kit

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We’ve just intercepted a currently circulating malicious spam campaign that’s attempting to trick potential botnet victims into thinking that they’ve received a legitimate Voice Message Notification from Skype. In reality though, once socially engineered users click on the malicious link found in the bogus emails, they’re automatically exposed to the client-side exploits served by the Angler exploit kit. More details:

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Spamvertised ‘Image has been sent’ Evernote themed campaign serves client-side exploits

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Cybercriminals continue to populate their botnets, with new infected hosts, through the persistent and systematic spamvertising of tens of thousands of fake emails which impersonate popular and well known brands – all in an attempt to socially engineer prospective victims into interacting with the scam. We’ve recently intercepted a currently circulating malicious spam campaign, impersonating Evernote, serving client-side exploits to prospective victims who click on the links found in the fake emails. More details:

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DoubleClick malvertising campaign exposes long-run beneath the radar malvertising infrastructure

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Today, at 2014-02-12 12:16:20 (CET), we became aware of a possible evasive/beneath the radar malvertising based g01pack exploit kit attack, taking place through the DoubleClick ad network using an advertisement featured at About.com.  Investigating further, we were able to identify the actual domains/IPs involved in the campaign, and perhaps most interestingly, managed to establish a rather interesting connection between the name servers of one of the domains involved in the attacks, and what appears to be a fully operational and running Ukrainian-based ad platform, Epom in this particular case.

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‘Hacking for hire’ teams occupy multiple underground market segments, monetize their malicious ‘know how’

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In a series of blog posts published throughout 2012, we’ve been highlighting the existence of a vibrant underground market segment, namely, that of ‘hacking for hire’ services, email hacking in particular. Commercially available as a service for years, the practice’s growth was once largely fueled by the release of DIY Web-based popular email provider hacking tools, which once acquired by prospective cybercriminals, quickly became the foundation for a successful business model. How have things changed nowadays, in terms of tactics, techniques and procedures? Profoundly. Case in point, we’ve been tracking two such ‘hacking for hire’ services, both of which offer […]

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Malicious campaign relies on rogue WordPress sites, leads to client-side exploits through the Magnitude exploit kit

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In a cybercrime ecosystem populated by commercially available WordPress brute-forcing and mass vulnerable WordPress installation scanning tools, cybercriminals continue actively capitalizing on the platform’s leading market share within the Content Management System’s market segment. Successfully exploiting tens of thousands of installations on a daily basis, for the purpose of utilizing the legitimate infrastructure to achieve their fraudulent/malicious campaign objectives, the tactic is also largely driven by the over-supply of compromised/accounting data, usually embedded within sophisticated Web-based attack platforms like the ones we’ve profiled in the past. We’ve recently intercepted a malicious campaign exclusively relying on rogue WordPress sites, ultimately serving client-side exploits to users […]

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Managed TeamViewer based anti-forensics capable virtual machines offered as a service

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Operational Security (OPSEC) has always been an inseparable part of the cybercrime ecosystem, especially in the context of preventing law enforcement agencies from tracking down the activities of fraudulent and malicious adversaries online. Throughout the years, the industry has witnessed active utilization of malware-infected hosts (Socks4/Socks5) as anonymization ‘stepping stones’ and the use of cybercrime-friendly VPN providers, bypassing internationally accepted data retention regulations, as some of the primary anonymization tactics used by cybercriminals. Nowadays, this set of tactics has evolved into a diversified mix of legitimate and purely malicious infrastructure that provides value-added services such as APIs supporting Socks4/Socks5 services, DIY real-time […]

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Market leading ‘standardized cybercrime-friendly E-shop’ service brings 2500+ boutique E-shops online

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The rise of boutique cybercrime-friendly E-shops, which we’ve extensively profiled in our “A Peek Inside a Boutique Cybercrime-Friendly E-Shop” series, continues further expanding as a market segment within the underground marketplace. Driven by the proliferation of public/commercially obtainable DIY (do it yourself) type of malware/botnet generating tools along side the ongoing standardization of the monetization process offered by opportunistic cybercriminals acting as intermediaries between those possessing the fraudulently obtained assets and their prospective customers, the market segment is prone to expand. Having already profiled a managed hosting service, empowering novice cybercriminals possessing compromised/hacked accounting information with efficient ways to monetize the stolen […]

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Cybercriminals release Socks4/Socks5 based Alexa PageRank boosting application

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Since its inception in 1996, Alexa has positioned itself as primary Web metrics data portal, empowering Web masters, potential investors, and marketers with access to free analytics based on data gathered from toolbars installed on millions of PCs across the world. Successfully establishing itself as the most popular, publicly accessible Web site performance benchmarking tool, throughout the years, the Alexa PageRank has acted as a key indicator for the measurement of a Web site’s popularity, growth and overall performance, often used in presentations, competitive intelligence campaigns, and comparative reviews measuring the performance/popularity of particular Web sites. Operating in a world […]

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