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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A Cave Monster from Hell Wants Your Financial Data

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A novel and pretty sneaky Trojan designed to steal financial data appeared on our radar screen last week. The Trojan, once installed on a victim’s computer, rootkits itself to prevent detection, then watches the victim’s browser for any attempt to connect to the secured, HTTPS login page of several online banks. When the victim visits the login page the Trojan has been waiting for, the Trojan generates a form that “hovers” over the login page asking for additional verification information. “In order to provide you with extra security, we occasionally need to ask for additional information when you access your […]

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Subscription Renewal Spam Points to Drive-by

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Dear Customers: Please be aware that a crew of Russian malware distributors are circulating a spam message which looks like a subscription renewal confirmation from Best Buy, allegedly for one of our products. The linked text in the message, however, leads to a Web site which performs a drive-by download. Please don’t click the links in the message; If you have any questions about your subscription, please contact support. The spammers appear to have done some homework. Some, but not enough. Best Buy currently sells our products through their online software subscription service. Note to spammers: If you’re going to […]

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Blackhat SEO of Google Images Links to Rogue AV

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Yesterday, a few of the Threat Research folks and I had a little fun playing with a hack that had, for one day at least, pretty much decimated Google’s Image Search feature. One researcher, who stumbled into the attack purely by chance, found that a Google Images link to a map of the United States was, instead, redirecting hapless Web surfers to pages that deliver an installer of a rogue antivirus in the Security Tool family of fine, fraudulent products. What really caught our interest was how the hack behaved, depending on the operating system and browser you used. With […]

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Phishers Want You to Have a Coke and a Drive-by

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As recently as a few months ago, malware distributors went to what looked like great lengths to craft complex, sophisticated Web pages designed to trick visitors into believing they were visiting a page with an embedded video and — oops! — you need to update your copy of Adobe Flash in order to view it. Well, those days of hard work seem to have faded into memory. All we’re left now is this. In a recent attack that came to my attention, the guys behind the attack didn’t bother to build a sophisticated Web page. Well, nothing along the lines […]

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Starcraft 2 Launch Day Piracy Infects Eager Gamers

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While some members of our Threat Research group are attending talks at the Black Hat Briefings, the rest of the team is back at our offices, hard at work watching for novel threats.  That’s good news for gamers, and bad news for malware distributors who might try to take advantage of a confluence of events where many elite members of the security community are temporarily turned away from monitors while they attend the conference. I received a warning about one potential threat facing gamers who might turn to piracy to get a copy of Blizzard’s new real-time-strategy game, Starcraft II. […]

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“Fingerprint” Helps Identify Malware Authors

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The Threat Research group sat in on a talk by HBGary CEO Greg Hoglund yesterday where the regular speaker discussed some research he’s been doing over the past year that he hopes will help connect malware samples to known groups of malware creators. While that sounds promising for law enforcement, it’s actually not as helpful for tracking down originators of malware for prosecution as it is for security researchers to preliminarily group and classify the masses of outwardly-dissimilar Trojans we see every day. In most conventional methods of classification, researchers look for programmatic similarities or behavioral characteristics as a way […]

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Weird Malware on Display at Black Hat

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I’m at the Black Hat Briefings this week, the annual confab of the best and brightest in computer security, catching up on the trends and tricks malware authors and data thieves employ. I just saw an impressive demo by a pair of security researchers who took a deep dive into the behaviors of four pieces of highly targeted malware. The researchers, Nicholas Percoco and Jibran Ilyas of Trustwave, ran a live demonstration of four Trojans designed to steal sensitive information and surreptitiously exfiltrate that data to the criminals. Three of the Trojans had been found installed on the servers of […]

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