Posts Categorized: Threat Research


A peek inside the Smoke Malware Loader

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The competitive arms race between security vendors and malicious cybercriminals constantly produces new defensive mechanisms, next to new attack platforms and malicious tools aiming to efficiently exploit and infect as many people as possible. Continuing the “A peek inside…” series, in this post I will profile yet another malware loader. This time it’s the Smoke Malware Loader.

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Research: Google’s reCAPTCHA under fire

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Who needs automated bots solving CAPTCHAs, when you have teams of low-waged humans recognizing them for pennies? In an underground cybercrime ecosystem dominated by managed services and countless outsourcing opportunities, it’s fairly logical to assume that Google’s reCAPTCHA is under constant fire. Just how easy is it to recognize reCAPTCHA images for malicious account registration and service abuse purposes? Let’s find out.

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Cybercriminals generate malicious Java applets using DIY tools

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Who said there’s such a thing as a trusted Java applet? In situations where malicious attackers cannot directly exploit client-side vulnerabilities on the targeted host, they will turn to social engineering tricks, like legitimate-looking Java Applets, which will on the other hand silently download the malicious payload of the attacker, once the user confirms he trusts the Applet. Let’s profile a DIY (do-it-yourself) malicious Java Applet generator currently available for download at selected cybercrime-friendly online communities:

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A peek inside the uBot malware bot

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Participants in the dynamic cybercrime underground ecosystem are constantly working on new cybercrime-friendly releases in the form of malware bots, Remote Access Tools (RATs) and malware loaders. Continuing the “A peek inside…” series, in this post I will profile yet another DIY (do-it-yourself) malware bot, available at the disposal of cybercriminals at selected cybercrime-friendly online communities.

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Researchers intercept a client-side exploits serving malware campaign

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Security researchers from Webroot have intercepted a currently active, client-side exploits-serving malicious campaign that has already managed to infect 18,544 computers across the globe, through the BlackHole web malware exploitation kit. More details:

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How phishers launch phishing attacks

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Just like in every other industry, participants in the cybercrime ecosystem are no strangers to the concept of standardization. Standardization results in efficiencies, which on the other hand results in economies of scale. In this case, malicious economies of scale. Just how easy is it to launch a phishing attack nowadays? What tools, and tactics are at the disposal of phishers aiming to efficiently socially engineer hundreds of thousands of users? In this post, I will profile the Ninja V0.4 Social Engineering Phishing Framework – an advanced platform  for executing phishing attacks in a DIY (do-it-yourself) fashion.

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A peek inside the Umbra malware loader

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The thriving cybercrime underground marketplace has a lot to offer. From DIY botnet builders, DIY DDoS platforms, to platforms for executing clickjacking and likejacking campaigns, next to drive-by malware attacks, the ecosystem is always a step ahead of the industry established to fight back. Continuing the “A peek inside…” series, in this post I will profile yet another freely available DIY Botnet building tool – the Umbra Malware Loader.

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A peek inside the Cythosia v2 DDoS Bot

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by Dancho Danchev With DDoS extortion and DDoS for hire attacks proliferating, next to the ever decreasing price for renting a botnet, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that cybercriminals are constantly experimenting with new DDoS tools. In this post, I’ll profile a newly released DDoS bot, namely v2 of the Cythosia DDoS bot.

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A peek inside the PickPocket Botnet

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by Dancho Danchev Malicious attackers quickly adapt to emerging trends, and therefore constantly produce new malicious releases. One of these recently released underground tools, is the PickPocket Botnet, a web-based command and control interface for controlling a botnet. Let’s review its core features, and find out just how easy it is to purchase it within the cybercrime ecosystem.

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Mass SQL injection attack affects over 200,000 URLs

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by Dancho Danchev Security researchers from the Internet Storm Center, have intercepted a currently ongoing SQL injection attack, that has already affected over 200,000 URLs. The attack was originally detected in early December, 2011. It currently affects ASP sites and Coldfusion, as well as all versions of MSSQL.

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