Posts Categorized: Smart Malware Tricks


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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Cybercrime Trends 2013 – Year in Review

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It’s that time of the year! The moment when we reflect back on the cybercrime tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) that shaped 2013, in order to constructively speculate on what’s to come for 2014 in terms of fraudulent and malicious campaigns, orchestrated by opportunistic cybercriminal adversaries across the globe. Throughout 2013, we continued to observe and profile TTPs, which were crucial for the success, profitability and growth of the cybercrime ecosystem internationally, such as, for instance, widespread proliferation of the campaigns, professionalism and the implementation of basic business/economic/marketing concepts, improved QA (Quality Assurance), vertical integration in an attempt to occupy […]

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A peek inside the booming underground market for stealth Bitcoin/Litecoin mining tools

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The over-hyped market valuation of the buzzing P2P E-currency, Bitcoin, quickly gained the attention of cybercriminals internationally who promptly adapted to its sky rocketing valuation by releasing commercially available stealth Bitcoin miners, Bitcoin wallet stealing malware, as well as actually starting to offer the source code for their releases in an attempt to monetize their know-how and expertise in this area. Throughout 2013, we profiled several subscription based stealth Bitcoin mining tools, and predicted that it’s only a matter of time before this still developing market segment starts proliferating with more cybercriminals offering their stealth Bitcoin releases to prospective customers. […]

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Popular French torrent portal tricks users into installing the BubbleDock/Downware/DownloadWare PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)

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A typical campaign attempting to trick users into installing Potentially Unwanted Software (PUA), would usually consist of a single social engineering vector, which on the majority of cases would represent something in the lines of a catchy “Play Now/Missing Video Plugin” type of advertisement. Not the one we’ll discuss in this blog post. Relying on deceptive “visual social engineering” practices, a popular French torrent portal is knowingly — the actual directory structure explicitly says /fakeplayer — enticing users into installing the BubbleDock/Downware/DownloadWare PUA. What kind of social engineering tactics is the portal relying on? Let’s find out.

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Affiliate network for mobile malware impersonates Google Play, tricks users into installing premium-rate SMS sending rogue apps

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Affiliate networks are an inseparable part of the cybercrime ecosystem. Largely based on their win-win revenue sharing model, throughout the years, they’ve successfully established themselves as a crucial part of the cybercrime growth model, further ensuring that a cybercriminal will indeed receive a financial incentive for his fraudulent/malicious activities online. From pharmaceutical affiliate networks, iPhone selling affiliate networks, to affiliate networks for pirated music and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) software, cybercriminals continue to professionally monetize each and every aspect of the underground marketplace, on their way to harness the experience, know-how and traffic acquisitions capabilities of fellow cybercriminals. In this […]

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Cybercrime-friendly underground traffic exchange helps facilitate fraudulent and malicious activity

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Throughout the last couple of years, the persistent demand for geolocated traffic coming from both legitimate traffic exchanges or purely malicious ones — think traffic acquisition through illegally embedded iFrames — has been contributing to the growing market segment where traffic is bought, sold and re-sold, for the sole purpose of monetizing it through illegal means. The ultimately objective? Expose users visiting compromised, or blackhat SEO-friendly automatically generated sites with bogus content, to fraudulent or malicious content in the form of impersonations of legitimate Web sites seeking accounting data, or client-side exploits silently served in an attempt to have an […]

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Newly launched managed ‘malware dropping’ service spotted in the wild

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Among the most common misconceptions about the way a novice cybercriminal would approach his potential victims has to do with the practice of having him looking for a ‘seed’ population to infect, so that he can then use the initially infected users as platform to scale his campaign. In reality though, that used to be the case for cybercriminals, years ago, when managed cybercrime-as-a-service types of underground market propositions were just beginning to materialize. In 2013, the only thing a novice cybercriminal wanting to gain access to thousands of PCs located in a specific country has to do is to make […]

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Custom USB sticks bypassing Windows 7/8′s AutoRun protection measure going mainstream

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When Microsoft disabled AutoRun on XP and Vista back in February, 2011, everyone thought this was game over for the bad guys who were abusing the removable media distribution/infection vector in particular. However, pragmatic and market demand-driven opportunistic cybercrime-friendly vendors quickly realized that this has opened up a new business opportunity, that is, if they ever manage to find a way to bypass Microsoft’s AutoRun protection measures. Apparently, they seem to have a found a way to bypass the protection measure by tricking Windows into thinking that the connected USB memory stick is actually a ‘Human Interface Device’ (keyboard for instance), allowing them to (physically) […]

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How cybercriminals create and operate Android-based botnets

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On their way to acquire the latest and coolest Android game or application, end users with outdated situational awareness on the latest threats facing them often not only undermine the confidentiality and integrity of their devices, but also, can unknowingly expose critical business data to the cybercriminals who managed to infect their devices. How are cybercriminals achieving this in times when Google is automatically scanning all submissions to the Google Play store, and is also verifying the applications to prevent the abuse of potential installations from untrusted third-party stores/application download locations? Easier than you to think, especially with the recent […]

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New subscription-based ‘stealth Bitcoin miner’ spotted in the wild

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By Dancho Danchev Bitcoin, the digital peer-to-peer based currency, is an attractive target for cybercriminals, who persistently look for new monetization tactics to apply to their massive, but easily generated botnets. Not surprisingly, thanks to the buzz surrounding it, fraudulent Internet actors have begun to look for efficient ways to take advantage of the momentum. A logical question emerges – how are market oriented cybercriminals capitalizing on the digital currency? Instead of having to personally infect tens of thousands of hosts, some take advantage of basic pricing schemes such subscription-based pricing, and have others do all the infecting, with them securing a […]

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