Pinball Corp’s Appbundler Employs Malware-like Techniques

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For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been noticing a curious (and increasingly prevalent) phenomenon: Some of the free Web hosts popular among those who engage in phishing are popping new types of multimedia ads over the tops of the pages they host. Not only does the victim, in this case, risk having their login credentials to banks or social media sites phished, but many of those ads behave almost identically to “missing codec” social engineering scams that have been popular among malware distributors for years. The ads — and I use the term very loosely, because these contrivances fall […]

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Shipping Confirmations Back on the Radar

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After a prolonged absence, waves of Trojans distributed as Zipped email attachments have been showing up in our spam traps for a few weeks. The spam messages employ the same hackneyed shipping confirmation pretext as many previous iterations of this scam. This technique’s emergence as a common malware distribution method correlates with the emergence of Trojan-Downloader-Tacticlol. The messages claim to come from various express shippers, including DHL, UPS, and FedEx, as well as one that may have originated in a malware guy’s imagination: Post Express. And even though the distribution method mimics those used by Tacticlol, the payloads haven’t been […]

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Spammed YouTube Comments Promote Adware – Successfully

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(Update, July 11, 2011:  On May 25, 2011, we were contacted by representatives of Future Ads, LLC, the parent company of both Playsushi and Gamevance.  Future Ads informed us that they, too, had been victims of a scam perpetrated by rogue affiliates who seemed to be involved with the malicious campaigns we described in this post.  Future Ads claims that it has taken action to prevent this type of abuse from happening in the future.) By Curtis Fechner and Andrew Brandt I was poking around at the end of the work day last week, checking out the newly-released trailer for […]

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Shorty Worm Spams Links, Hijacks Browsers

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A novel worm we’re calling Worm-IM-Shorty appears to be winding its way through Facebook and some instant messaging services, with its come-on disguised as a link to a photograph hosted elsewhere. But when recipients click the link, they receive an executable Trojan instead, dressed up with the name and icon of a JPEG image. If one double-clicks the file, the Trojan turns the computer into an advertising cash cow for some enterprising malware distributor. The Trojan modifies the active browser’s home page setting to a malicious page on domredi.com, which in turn redirects the browser, at random, to one of […]

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New Bank Phisher Brings Added Functionality, Problems

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I didn’t want to let too much time pass before I wrote about a new Zbot-like bank phishing Trojan variant that came across my desk last week. The keylogger started arriving the first week of February as an attachment to a spam email designed to look like it came from United Parcel Service. No, the old malware trope of spammed shipping invoices is not dead yet, Alice, but we’re going to follow this one down the rabbit hole anyhow. The brief message had a Subject line of “United Parcel Service notification” followed by a random, five-digit number, and a file […]

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Fishing for Phishers is a Full-Time Job

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By Ian Moyse, EMEA Channel Director We seem to take phishing attacks for granted these days, in much the same way that we’ve accepted spam as a natural, and inevitable, by-product of email. Some experts believe that one of the best solutions to thwart phishing attacks is end-user training, but I doubt training alone can be a viable solution. Can we really train every computer user to be sufficiently security literate, such that anyone can distinguish a phishing message from a genuine bank email? I doubt that it is possible, especially given how specific the details in spear phishing (phishing […]

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Malicious PHP Scripts on the Rise

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Last week, I gave a talk at the RSA Security Conference about malicious PHP scripts. For those who can’t attend the conference, I wanted to give you a glimpse into this world to which, until last year, I hadn’t paid much attention. My normal week begins with a quick scan of malware lists — URLs that point to new samples — that come from a variety of public sources. I started noticing an increasing number of non-executable PHP and Perl scripts appearing on those lists and decided to dig a little deeper. In a lot of ways, PHP is an […]

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

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By Ian Moyse, EMEA Channel Director The cloud delivery model gives vendors a great amount of power. It is easier to create, deploy, maintain and enhance a service than it has been at any other point in computing history. Just look at Facebook, which grew to 500 million members in a very short period of time. People readily share within it, many with a limited understanding of the potential risks to their private information. The ability to make an enhancement and almost instantly put it into the customer’s hands is immensely powerful – and immensely dangerous. If you’re a software […]

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A Cryptogram a Day Keeps the Malware Away

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As a child, one of my favorite daily pastimes was solving the cryptogram puzzle published in the LA Times (after my mom finished the crossword puzzle, of course). I used to plow through paperback word puzzle books obsessively, finishing them in days. Appropriately, a Trojan that popped onto my radar last week had me flexing my cryptogram muscles yet again. The Trojan is a fairly common game password stealer, and it wouldn’t have merited a second look except that it also runs through a few routines to disable various antivirus products sold exclusively in Korea. Most game phishing Trojans we […]

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Tips to Avoid Tax Season Scams

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By Jeff Horne, Director, Threat Research As tax season rolls around again in the US and UK, it seems like a good time to revisit the perils taxpayers face seemingly every year at around this time. Phishing attacks against taxpayers are already in full swing — not that they haven’t been going continuously since last year. But this is high season for scams involving Web pages that look like the IRS or HMRC’s own Web site. Scam messages typically contain dire warnings or outrageously large promises for a refund. The messages often are presented as if they originate from a […]

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