Feed aggregator

Gary McGraw on the IEEE Center for Secure Design

Threatpost for B2B - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 06:44
Dennis Fisher talks with Gary McGraw of Cigital about the IEEE's new Center for Secure Design program, the difficulty of defeating large classes of bugs and the collaborative effort it will take to solve the software security problem.

Home Depot Investigating Possible Massive Data Breach

Threatpost for B2B - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 14:11
Home Depot has brought in law enforcement and banking partners to investigate a possible data breach after credit cards reportedly stolen from the retailer appeared on an underground carder forum.

Web-based attack targeting home routers, the Brazilian way

Secure List feed for B2B - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:53

We spotted an interesting attack from Brazilian bad guys aiming to change the DNS settings of home routers by using a web-based attack, some social engineering, and malicious websites. In these attacks the malicious DNS servers configured in the user's network device are pointed towards phishing pages of Brazilian Banks, programmed to steal financial credentials.

Attacks targeting home routers aren't new at all; in 2011, my colleague Marta described malware targeting network devices like these. In Brazil we documented a long and painful series of remote attacks that started in 2011-2012 that affected more than 4.5 million DSL modems, exploiting a remote vulnerability and changing DNS configurations. But this "web-based" approach was something new to Brazilian bad guys until now and we believe it will spread quickly amongst them as the number of victims increases.

The attack starts with a malicious e-mail and a bit of social engineering, inviting you to click:

"I'm your friend and want to tell you you're being cheated, look at the pics"

How many people believe in it? Well, many: 3.300 clicks in 3 days, with most of the users located in Brazil, US and China, probably Brazilians living there or people that understand Portuguese:

Shortened URLs are a cheap way for the bad guy measure their 'performance'

The website linked in the message is full of adult content, porn pics. While in the background it starts running scripts. Depending on your configuration, at some point the website may ask for the username and password of your wireless access point – if it has, this is a good thing. If not, this may be a problem for you:

The script located in the website will try to guess the password of your home router. It tries several combinations such as "admin:admin":

or "root:root"

or "admin:gvt12345" (GVT is a big Brazilian ISP):

The scripts will continue trying combinations that point to the control panel of your network device such as [your-router-IP].rebootinfo.cgi or [your-router-IP].dnscfg.cgi?. Each script includes the commands to change the primary and secondary DNS servers. If you're using default credentials in your home router, there won't be an interaction and you'll never realize that the attack has occurred. If you're not using default credentials, then the website will pop up a prompt asking you to enter it manually.

We found Brazilian bad guys actively using 5 domains and 9 DNS servers – all of them hosting phishing pages for the biggest Brazilian Banks. The malicious websites used in the attacks are filtering direct access by using HTTP referrers, thus aiming to prevent direct access from security analysts.

So how do you protect yourself? Make sure you're not using the default password in your home router and NEVER enter your credentials into any website asking for them. Our Kaspersky Internet Security is also prepared to block such scripts automatically.

Watering Hole Attack Targets Automotive, Aerospace Industries

Threatpost for B2B - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 11:00
A new watering hole attack is targeting the aerospace, automotive and manufacturing industries with a new reconnaissance malware tool called "Scanbox."

WPS Implementation Issue Exposes Wi-Fi Routers to Attack

Threatpost for B2B - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 10:55
A researcher discovered an issue with the random generation of WPS keys in a number of unnamed routers that could allow an attacker to guess the key in one try.

Apple Fixes Glitch in Find My iPhone App Connected to Celebrity Photo Leak

Threatpost for B2B - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 10:25
UPDATE–Apple has patched the vulnerability in its Find My iPhone app that likely was used in the attack that led to the publication of private photos belonging to dozens of celebrities over the weekend. The victims of the breach included actors, models and athletes such as Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. The photos have appeared […]

Internet predators

Secure List feed for B2B - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 05:30

Anyone using the Internet is at risk, regardless of age and regardless of what they like to do online. Cybercriminals can deploy an impressive arsenal, targeting everyone from schoolchildren to pensioners and following them whether they are logged on to social networks, checking the latest headlines or watching their favorite videos. Internet scammers want access to our money, our personal data and the resources of our computer systems. In short, they want anything that they can profit from.

There are a huge range of different attacks facing us on the net: users can get caught by ransomware like Gimeno or Foreign, become part of the Andromeda botnet, see ZeuS/Zbot drain the cash from their bank accounts, or have their passwords compromised by Fareit spyware. Usually web attacks try to download and install an infected executable file on the target computer, but there are some exceptions, for instance XSS or CSRF, which execute embedded HTML code.

Attack mechanism

For an attack to succeed, first of all users need to connect to a malicious site that downloads an executable file onto their computers. To tempt users to the resource, scammers might send them a link by email, SMS or via a social network. They might also try to promote their site via search engines. One further technique is to hack a popular legitimate resource and turn it into an instrument to attack its visitors.

Downloading and installing malware can be done in one of two ways. The first, a hidden drive-by download, relies on using a vulnerability in the user's software. The user of the infected site is often completely unaware that the computer is installing the malware, as usually there are no indications that this is happening.

The second method uses social engineering, where users are tricked into downloading and installing malware themselves, believing it is an updated flash player or some similar popular software.

Diagram of Internet attacks showing how executable malware files can be downloaded

Malicious links and banners

The simplest way to lure victims to malicious sites is simply to display an attractive banner with a link. As a rule sites with illegal content, pornography, unlicensed software, films etc. are used as a host. Such sites can work "honestly" for a long time to build up an audience before they start hosting banners with links to malicious resources.

One popular infection method is malvertising, or the redirecting the user to a malicious site with the help of hidden banners. Dubious banner networks attract site administrators with high payments for 'click-throughs' on their ads and frequently earn money "on-the-side" by spreading malware.

When users enter the site displaying these banners, a so-called "pop-under" opens in the victim's browser. This is similar to a pop-up window, but it appears either under the main window of the site, or on an otherwise inactive neighboring tab. The contents of these "pop-unders" often depend on the location of the visitor to the site - the inhabitants of different countries are redirected to different resources. The visitors of one country might simply be shown an advert for example

Site sends American visitors to the resource watchmygf[]net

Site sends Russian visitors to the resource runetki[]tv\

…whereas visitors from other countries will be attacked by exploit packs.

An inhabitant of Japan is attacked by an exploit and infected with the Zbot spyware Trojan

On occasion these malicious banners can even penetrate into honest banner networks, despite careful scrutiny by administrators. Cases like this have affected the Yahoo Advertising banner network and even YouTube.

Spam

Spam is one of the most popular means of attracting victims to malicious resources. It includes messages sent by email, SMS and instant communications systems, via social networks, private messages on forums and comments in blogs.

A dangerous message might contain a malicious file or a link to an infected site. To encourage the user to click on a link or a file social engineering is used, for example:

  • the name of a real organization or person is used as the sender's name,
  • the letter pretends to be part of a legitimate mailshot or even a personal communication,
  • the file is presented as a useful program or document.

During targeted attacks, when cybercriminals specifically attack a certain organization, the malicious letter might mimic a letter from a regular correspondent: the return address, content and signature could be the same as a genuine letter, for example from a partner of the company. By opening the attached document with a name like "invoice.docx" users put their computers at risk of infection.

Black Search Engine Optimization

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a collection of techniques to raise the position of a site in the results given by search engines. Modern users often go to search engines to find necessary information or services, so the easier it is to find a given site the more visitors it will get.

In addition to legitimate methods of optimization, those that are permissible in the eyes of the search engines, there are forbidden techniques that fool search engines. A site might "promote itself" with the help of a botnet - thousands of bots make certain search requests and select the malicious site, raising its rating. The site itself may adopt a different appearance depending on who has entered it: if it is a search robot it will be shown a page relevant to the request, if it is a normal user it will be redirected to a malicious site.

Also links to the site are distributed in forums and other sites known to search engines using special utilities, which raise the rating of the site and, consequently, its position in search results.

As a rule, sites that use black search optimization are actively blocked by search engine administrators. For this reason they are created by the hundred using automatic instruments.

Infected legitimate sites

Sometimes cybercriminals infect popular legitimate sites in order to spread their programs. These might be high-traffic news resources, internet shops or portals and news aggregators.

There are two common ways to infect sites. If a software vulnerability was detected on the target site, malicious code can be inserted (for instance an SQL injection). In other cases the malefactors obtain authentication data from the site administrator's computer using one of the many Trojan spyware programs or using phishing and social engineering and seize control of the site. Once under the control of the criminals, the site can be infected in one way or another. The simplest approach is to use a hidden iframe tag with a link to the malicious resource added to the HTML code of the page.

Kaspersky Lab registers thousands of legitimate sites every day that download malicious code to their visitors with them being aware of it. Among the most prominent cases were the Lurk Trojan found on the site of the RIA Novosti news agency and gazeta.ru and the infection of PHP.Net

Visitors to an infected site are attacked with the use of hidden drive-by-downloads. The infection goes unnoticed by the users and does not require them to download or activate anything. An exploit, or set of exploits, is automatically downloaded from the page and, if the targeted machine has vulnerable software, a malicious executable is launched.

Exploit packs

The most effective tool to infect a victim's computer is an exploit pack, such as Blackhole. These are hot products on the black market: exploit packs are developed to order or for widespread sale and are supported and updated. The price depends on the quantity and "freshness" of the exploits included, the ease of administration, the quality of the support, the regularity of updates and the greed of the seller.

As these attacks take place through the browser, the exploits have to use a vulnerability in either the browser itself, add-ons to it or third party software loaded by the browser to handle content. If one of these exploits is used successfully, a malicious file will be launched on the victim's machine.

Typical set of add-ons for the Internet Explorer browser that have permission to run by default. Add-ons the vulnerabilities in which are often used to attack a system are underlined in red.

An effective pack will contain exploits for useful vulnerabilities in popular browsers and their add-ons, and also for Adobe Flash Player and other popular programs. Often exploit packs have tools for fine tuning and collecting infection statistics.

Styx exploit pack control panel

Direct download by users

Quite often cybercriminals don't need ingenious and expensive tools to insert their malicious programs onto users' computers. Users can simply be fooled into downloading and running malware themselves.

For instance, on entering a malicious site a user sees a preview video "for adults only". Clicking on this brings up a message to update Adobe Flash Player, and at the same time the site immediately offers him a file to download with an authentic sounding name. By installing the "update" the user infects the computer with a Trojan.

Message appearing when trying to view an "adult" video on a malicious site

Or a web-page might appear imitating the "My Computer" window, saying that a large number of viruses have been detected on the computer. And nearby a window opens offering a free "antivirus" program to cure the problems.

An apparent offer to install a free antivirus program hiding a Trojan

Infection via social networks

Inexperienced users of social networks are open to attack by so-called semi-automatic worms. The future victim receives a message apparently from a virtual acquaintance with the offer of some attractive feature that is missing from the social network (to "dislike" a post, obtain confidential data on other users, etc.). To obtain this attractive feature the user is told to open a JavaScript terminal and enter certain code there.

Instructions for the installation of a semi-automatic Facebook worm

After these actions are carried out the worm activates and begins collecting data on the user, sending links to itself to the victim's contacts, awarding "likes" to various posts. This last option is a paid service that the owner of the worm offers to customers. And so we come to the reason why cybercriminals go to all this trouble and break the law.

Money, money, money

Naturally nobody is attacking our computers for the intellectual challenge — the aim is money. One very popular way of illegally making money from victims is the use of Trojan ransom-ware, making it impossible to use the computer until a certain sum has been paid.

Having penetrated the user's computer the Trojan determines the country where the infected computer is and shows the victim the corresponding disable screen, containing threats and instructions on how to pay the ransom. The language of the message and the payment method suggested by the cybercriminals both depend on the user's country.

Usually the evildoers accuse the user of looking at child pornography or some other illegal action and then threaten a criminal investigation or to make the matter public. The assumption is that the victim will take these threats seriously and won't risk seeking help from law enforcement agencies. In some cases the Trojan ransom-ware may threaten to destroy the contents of the hard disk if the ransom is not paid quickly.

The disable screen that Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Foreign shows users in the USA

The cybercriminals offer the option of paying this "fine" by sending an SMS to a premium number or making a money transfer using one of the payment systems. In return the user should receive an unblocking key to deactivate the Trojan, but in practice this doesn't always happen.

Maintaining a communication channel with the victim can lead law enforcement agencies to the criminals and they frequently prefer not to take the risk, leaving the victim with a practically useless computer.

Another common method of illegal moneymaking is the collection and sale of users' confidential data. Contact details and personal data are tradable commodities that can be sold on the black market, albeit not for a great deal of money. However, it can be a profitable sideline, especially as the collection of information does not necessarily require any malware infection. Often the victims themselves supply all the necessary information — the important thing is for the site hosting the form for the entry of data to appear reliable and authentic.

A false site collecting contact details and personal information of visitors and then signing them up for paid mobile services

Banking Trojans bring their operators large profits. These programs are designed to steal money from users' bank accounts using distance banking systems. Malware of this type steals users' authentication data for online banking systems. Usually this is not enough as almost all banks and payment systems require authentication using several factors - entering an SMS code, inserting a USB key etc. In these cases the Trojan waits until the user makes a payment using internet banking and then changes the payment details, diverting the money to special accounts from which the criminal can cash out. There are other ways around two factor authentication: the Trojan might intercept messages with single use passwords or freeze the system at the moment the USB key is inserted, leaving the user powerless while the criminals hijack the operation and steal the money.

Finally, another profitable business is running botnets. The infected computers in a botnet can, unnoticed, be used by the evildoers for various money-making activities: mining bitcoins, sending spam, carrying out DDOS attacks, and boosting sites' ratings through search requests.

Counteracting threats

As we have already shown, internet threats are diverse and can threaten users almost anywhere — when reading their mail, interacting on social networks, checking the news or simply surfing. There are also many ways to protect against these threats, but they can be summarized in four keys pieces of advice:

  • Always pay attention to what you are doing on the Internet: which sites you visit, which files you download and what you run on your computer.
  • Do not trust messages from unknown users and organizations, do not click on links and do not open attachments.
  • Regularly update frequently-used software, especially software that works with your browser
  • Install up-to-date defenses and keep anti-virus databases current.

It all sounds very simple, but the growing number of infections clearly demonstrates that too many users fail to take their safety seriously and neglect to follow this advice. We hope that our overview of current internet threats will help improve the situation.

Robert Hansen on Aviator, Search Revenue and the $250,000 Security Guarantee

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:43
Dennis Fisher talks with Robert Hansen of WhiteHat Security about the company's decision to change default search providers to Disconnect and the $250,000 guarantee for users of the Sentinel Elite product.​

Backoff Sinkhole Reveals Sorry Point-of-Sale Security

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 13:25
A new analysis of sinkholes Backoff point-of-sale malware paints a bleak picture of the state of point-of-sale security.

CryptoWall’s Haul: $1M in Six Months

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:41
The CryptoWall ransomware has proven to be a profitable criminal enterprise, netting more than $1.1 million in six months. More than 1,600 victims have surfaced and more than 5 billion files have been encrypted.

Mozilla to Support Key Pinning in Firefox 32

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:12
Mozilla is planning to add support for public-key pinning in its Firefox browser in an upcoming version. In version 32, which would be the next stable version of the browser, Firefox will have key pins for a long list of sites, including many of Mozilla’s own sites, all of the sites pinned in Google Chrome […]

Nearly 100k Bugzilla Users Affected by Data Disclosure

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 08:31
The email addresses and encrypted passwords of nearly 100,000 users of Mozilla’s Bugzilla system were left on a publicly accessible server for several months earlier this year, the company said. The disclosure comes just a few weeks after Mozilla advised members of its Mozilla Developer Network to change their passwords because of a similar incident. On […]

Sinkholing the Backoff POS Trojan

Secure List feed for B2B - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 04:55

There is currently a lot of buzz about the Backoff point-of-sale Trojan that is designed to steal credit card information from computers that have POS terminals attached.

Trustwave SpiderLab, which originally discovered this malware, posted a very thorough analysis in July.  The U.S. Secret Service, in partnership with DHS, followed up with an advisory.

Although very thorough, the existing public analyses of Backoff are missing a very relevant piece of information: the command-and-control (C&C) servers. However, if you have access to the samples it isn't hard to extract this information. At the end of this document, you can find a full list together with other IOCs (indicators of compromise).

Backoff malware configuration, with C&Cs

We sinkholed two C&C servers that Backoff samples used to communicate with their masters. These C&C servers are used by certain samples that were compiled from January - March 2014. Over the past few days, we observed over 100 victims in several countries connecting to the sinkhole.

Statistics:

There were several interesting victims among them:

  • A global freight shipping and transport logistics company with headquarters in North America.
  • A U.K.-based charitable organization that provides support, advice and information to local voluntary organizations and community groups.
  • A payroll association in North America.
  • A state institute connected with information technology and communication in Eastern Europe.
  • A liquor store chain in the U.S.
  • An ISP in Alabama, U.S.
  • A U.S.-based Mexican food chain.
  • A company that owns and manages office buildings in California, U.S.
  • A Canadian company that owns and operates a massive chain of restaurants.

There are also a lot of home user lines, mostly in the U.S. and Canada, connecting to the sinkhole. This is to be expected as many smaller businesses generally tend to run those rather than dedicated corporate connections.

Conclusions

The success of Backoff paints a very bleak picture of the state of point-of-sale security. Our sinkhole covers less than 5% of the C&C channels and the sinkholed domains only apply to certain Backoff samples that were created in the first quarter of this year. Yet, we've seen more than 85 victims connecting to our sinkhole.

Most of these victims are located in North America and some of them are high profile. Taking into account the U.S. Secret Service statement, it's a pretty safe bet that the number of Backoff infections at businesses in North America is well north of 1,000.

Since its appearance last year, Backoff has not changed dramatically. The author created both non-obfuscated and obfuscated samples. This was likely done to defeat the security controls on the targeted networks. However, the defenses running on a PoS terminal and/or network should not have been affected by this. This speaks volumes about the current state of PoS security, and other cybercriminals are sure to have taken note.

It's very clear that PoS networks are prime targets for malware attacks. This is especially true in the US, which still doesn't support EMV chip-enabled cards. Unlike magnetic strips, EMV chips on credit cards can't be easily cloned, making them more resilient. Unfortunately, the US is adopting chip and signature, rather than chip and PIN. This effectively negates some of the added security EMV can bring.

This may prove another costly mistake. Not adopting EMV along with the rest of the world is really haunting retail in the U.S. and the situation is not likely to change anytime soon.

IOCs / C&Cs: Trojan file paths:

%APPDATA%\AdobeFlashPlayer\mswinsvc.exe
%APPDATA%\AdobeFlashPlayer\mswinhost.exe
%APPDATA%\AdobeFlashPlayer\Local.dat
%APPDATA%\AdobeFlashPlayer\Log.txt
%APPDATA%\mskrnl
%APPDATA%\nsskrnl
%APPDATA%\winserv.exe
%APPDATA%\OracleJava\javaw.exe
%APPDATA%\OracleJava\javaw.exe
%APPDATA%\OracleJava\Local.dat
%APPDATA%\OracleJava\Log.txt

Kaspersky names for the Trojans:

HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Invader
HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic
Backdoor.Win32.Backoff
Trojan.Win32.Agent.ahhia
Trojan.Win32.Agent.agvmh
Trojan.Win32.Agent.aeyfj
Trojan-Spy.Win32.Recam.qq
Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Sysn.ajci
Trojan.Win32.Bublik.covz
Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Dapato.dddq
Trojan.Win32.Agent.agufs
Trojan.Win32.Agent.ahbhh
Trojan.Win32.Agent.agigp
Trojan.Win32.Agent.aeqsu
Trojan.Win32.Agent.ahgxs
Trojan.Win32.Inject.mhjl
Trojan.Win32.Agent.ahbhh
Trojan.Win32.Agent.ahhee
Trojan.Win32.Agent.ahgxs

MD5s:

684e03daaffa02ffecd6c7747ffa030e
3ff0f444ef4196f2a47a16eeec506e93
12c9c0bc18fdf98189457a9d112eebfc
14cca3ad6365cb50751638d35bdb84ec
d0f3bf7abbe65b91434905b6955203fe
38e8ed887e725339615b28e60f3271e4
7b027599ae15512256bb5bc52e58e811
5cdc9d5998635e2b91c0324465c6018f
821ac2580843cb0c0f4baff57db8962e
b08d4847c370f79af006d113b3d8f6cf
17e1173f6fc7e920405f8dbde8c9ecac
874cd0b7b22ae1521fd0a7d405d6fa12
ea0c354f61ba0d88a422721caefad394
6a0e49c5e332df3af78823ca4a655ae8
8a019351b0b145ee3abe097922f0d4f6
337058dca8e6cbcb0bc02a85c823a003
842e903b955e134ae281d09a467e420a
d1d544dbf6b3867d758a5e7e7c3554bf
01f0d20a1a32e535b950428f5b5d6e72
fc041bda43a3067a0836dca2e6093c25
4956cf9ddd905ac3258f9605cf85332b
f5b4786c28ccf43e569cb21a6122a97e
cc640ad87befba89b440edca9ae5d235
0b464c9bebd10f02575b9d9d3a771db3
d0c74483f20c608a0a89c5ba05c2197f
b1661862db623e05a2694c483dce6e91
ffe53fb9280bf3a8ceb366997488486e
c0d0b7ffaec38de642bf6ff6971f4f9e
05f2c7675ff5cda1bee6a168bdbecac0
9ee4c29c95ed435644e6273b1ae3da58
0607ce9793eea0a42819957528d92b02
97fa64dfaa27d4b236e4a76417ab51c1
82d811a8a76df0cda3f34fdcd0e26e27
0b7732129b46ed15ff73f72886946220
30c5592a133137a84f61898993e513db
aa68ecf6f097ffb01c981f09a21aef32
bbe534abcc0a907f3c18cfe207a5dfca
29e0259b4ea971c72fd7fcad54a0f8d0

C&C domains and hostnames:

00000000000.888[.]ru
10000000000.888[.]ru
adobephotoshop11111[.]com
adobephotoshop22222[.]com
domain12827312[.]com
helloflashplayers12345[.]com
hellojavaplayers12345[.]com
ilovereservdom213ada2[.]ru
iownacarservice[.]ru
iownacarservice1[.]com
msframework1[.]com
msframework1[.]ru
msframeworkx64[.]com
msframeworkx86[.]com
msframeworkx86[.]ru
msoffice365net[.]com
nullllllllllll[.]com
ollygo030233[.]com
ollygo030233[.]ru
pop3smtp5imap2[.]com
pop3smtp5imap3[.]com
pop3smtp5imap4[.]ru
reservedomain12312[.]ru
total-updates[.]com

C&C IPs:

146.185.233.32
81.4.111.176
95.211.228.249
217.174.105.86

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