Posts Categorized: Threat Research


This blackhole exploit kit gives you Windows Media Player and a whole lot more

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By Mike Johnson As a follow-up to the Blackhole Exploit posting, I thought I would share one aspect of my job that I truely enjoy: Discovery. While investigating some active urls being served up via a blackhole kit, I noticed something quite odd, as I would end up on sites that had malicious code injected into their webpages. Once the redirection to the blackhole kit was initiated, I saw the usual exploits taking place, first being Internet Explorer and Adobe Flash, then onto Adobe Reader and Java. This time, the kit didn’t stop there. Internet Explorer proceeded to launch Windows Media Player. Since I had never […]

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A look inside the SpyEye Trojan admin console

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By Michael Johnson At Webroot we’ve been researching and chronicling developments with SpyEye since we first saw it in April 2010. This nasty Trojan is the successor to the Zeus Trojan, and it became essentially the main rootkit available for sale after the author of ZeuS left the underground market and sold ZeuS sources to the SpyEye team. Over the last six months, through Webroot’s real-time watch technology and through my own adventures hunting malware proactively in my spare time, I’ve noticed an extreme escalation of SpyEye infections. Last week I came across a URL for a password-protected site and […]

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Non-executable malicious files and code – Thre@t Reply

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.exe, PHP, HTML, and the list goes on. How many different kinds of files and code can potentially infect your PC? Webroot threat research analyst Nathan Collier explains a few of the the types of potentially dangerous files, other than the common executable (.exe) that can be found on a Windows PC and cause harm to it. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFH8VxP7gmY] If you have a question you want answered by one of our threat experts send it to us! Comment below, tweets us (www.twitter.com/webroot), or email it to us (blog@webroot.com).

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Morto Worm Annoyances Outstrip Functionality

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The past couple of days have been very busy for a lot of people, following the announcement by Microsoft that they had discovered a new network worm called Morto. After reading the refreshingly thorough writeup about Morto from both Microsoft and our partner Sophos, we were surprised to find that a few of our customers had been infected — and cleaned up — beginning with some poor schlub in South Africa as early as July 23rd, but the worm kicked into high gear last Thursday and began to propagate rapidly. But, as much as the technical details in these posts […]

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Trojans Employ Misdirection Instead of Obfuscation

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An unusual family of Trojans, apparently of Chinese origin, engages in rootkit-like behavior which seems designed not to hide the presence of the malware on an infected system, but to misdirect or confuse a technical person who might be using system analysis tools on an infected computer. The Trojans all originated from a server operated by a free Web host in China, and each sample we tested sent profiling data about the infected system to a command-and-control server located on yet another free Web host, also located in China. It appears to have capabilities to receive instructions to download other […]

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Black Hat Redux: Botnet Takedown Mistakes to Avoid

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I’ve worked in the security industry for nearly five years, and it was apparent early on that the most successful people in this field bring to their work a passion and a commitment to protecting not only one’s customers, but to providing a certain level of information about security threats to the world at-large, so even your non-customers can help or protect themselves. It can be hard to know where to stop once you get on a roll. Malware infections frequently lead to unexplored, interesting backwaters on the Internet. And, sometimes, those backwaters are where the criminals run those operations. […]

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Targeted Malware Infects Windows-based Cash Registers

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A serious, targeted threat from customized malware that steals credit card magnetic strip track data could literally bankrupt your business. That’s the message two security researchers from Trustwave gave at their talk during the Defcon computer security conference Saturday. The researchers, Jibran Ilyas and Nicholas Percoco of Trustwave Spider Labs, respond to calls for help when businesses find malware in critical systems. When banks field reports of credit card fraud, they try to find the earliest common location or business where all the victims used their card. When they do, the bank calls the business, who then call in the […]

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TDL3 and ZeroAccess: More of the Same?

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By Marco Giuliani In our previous technical analysis of the ZeroAccess rootkit, we highlighted how it acts as a framework by infecting the machine — setting up its own private space in the disk, first through a dedicated file system on the disk, and more recently by using a hidden and locked directory. This is where the rootkit stores the modules it downloads from the command and control servers. Until now, the plugins we’ve monitored have been ad-clickers and search engine hijackers. We have also noted how the ZeroAccess rootkit acts very similar to the TDL3 rootkit, either by infecting […]

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Two Days in Vegas: Black Hat in Brief

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The Black Hat briefings, held Wednesday and Thursday this week, once again brought together some of the best and brightest in the security industry to share knowledge about novel attacks and better defenses against old and new attacks. And, once again, there were some eye opening moments at the conference. Right from the beginning, it was clear the scope of the conference had shifted from the previous year. Conference founder Jeff Moss described a new, more rigorous committee-driven process that Black Hat had begun to employ to scrutinize and vet talk proposals. Talks this year would be more technical, go […]

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New Tool Released: Kiss (or Kick) ZeroAccess Goodbye

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There are fewer types of malware infections more frustrating and annoying than a rootkit with backdoor capabilities. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the emergence of this new, tough-to-fight infectious code, and its transformation from nuisance to severe threat. With the hard work and perseverance of Threat Research Analyst and master reverse-engineer Marco Giuliani, we’re proud to release the latest build of a tool we’ve used internally to clean the infections from the notable ZeroAccess rootkit off of victims’ computers. AntiZeroAccess exploits many of the vulnerabilities that Marco discovered in the rootkit to cleanly remove the rootkit code […]

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