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ZeroLocker won't come to your rescue

Secure List feed for B2B - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 11:16

In recent times we've been seeing a lot of file-encrypting ransomware activity.

One of the new ones we've seen pop up in the last couple weeks is called ZeroLocker. There's indication the C&C configuration contains some errors which would prevent successful decryption. This is why we urge people not to pay up even more so than normal.

So far we've observed a limited amount of detections through our Kaspersky Security Network. The actors behind ZeroLocker are initially asking $300 worth of BTC for decrypting the files. This goes up to $500 and $1000 as time passes:

ZeroLocker adds a .encrypt extension to all files it encrypts. Unlike most other ransomware ZeroLocker encrypts virtually all files on the system, rather than using a set of pre-defined filetypes to encrypt. It doesn't encrypt files larger than 20MB in size, or files located in directories containing the words "Windows", "WINDOWS", "Program Files", "ZeroLocker" or "Desktop". The malware gets executed at boot from C:\ZeroLocker\ZeroRescue.exe.

Though there's a Bitcoin wallet hardcoded inside the binary the malware tries to fetch a new wallet address from the C&C. This is most likely done to make it more difficult to trace how successful the operation is and where the money goes.

We've gathered several Bitcoin wallet addresses and at the time of writing none had any transactions associated with them. As the C&C server is providing the Bitcoin wallet information it's possible the attackers are able to use a unique wallet for each victim.

The malware generates one random 160-bit AES key to encrypt all the files with. Due to the way the key is generated the key space is somewhat limited, though still large enough to make general brute forcing unfeasible. After encryption the malware runs the cipher.exe utility to remove all unused data from the drive, making file recovery much harder. The encryption key, together with a CRC32 of the computer's MAC address, and the associated Bitcoin wallet is sent to the server.

Interestingly enough, the encryption key along with the other information is sent through a GET request, rather than a POST. This results in a 404 on the server. This could mean that the server is not storing this information. That means victims who pay up may likely not see their files restored.

Several other URLs that the malware tries to get result in 404s as well, which indicates this particular operation may still be in its infancy. When those errors are fixed we may see ZeroLocker deployed on a larger scale. These operations rely on people paying up. Don't do it. Make sure you have backups instead.

We detect current ZeroLocker samples as Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.Agent.uh.

The Syrian Malware House of Cards

Secure List feed for B2B - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 04:00

 Our full Report

Introduction

The geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East have deepened in the last few years. Syria is no exception, with the crisis there taking many forms, and the cyberspace conflict is intensifying as sides try to tilt the struggle in their favor by exploiting cyber intelligence and using distortion.

The Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky Lab has discovered new malware attacks in Syria, using some techniques to hide and operate malware, in addition to proficient social engineering tricks to deliver malware by tricking and tempting victims to open and launch malicious files. The malware files were found on activist sites and social networking forums, some other files were also reported by local organizations like CyberArabs and Technicians for Freedom.

The full report detailing the attacks and related activities can be found here.

A glance at what was discovered

The number of attacks and malicious files being distributed is constantly increasing as the attackers become more organized and proficient. The samples are all based on Remote Administration Trojan Tools (RATs)
The number of malicious files found: 110
The number of domains linked to the attacks: 20
The number of IP addresses linked to the attacks: 47

The National Security Program - what the malware attacks look like

Masquerading as a reportedly "Government leaked program" that has the names of all wanted people in Syria, the National Security Program conceals a full featured RAT client to steal all sorts of information under one of its buttons.

برنامج الأمن الوطني.exe (The national security program)

Using shockingly disturbing videos to distribute malware

A disturbing video showing injured victims of recent bombings was used on YouTube to appeal to people's fear and prompt them to download a malicious application available on a public file sharing website. After initial analysis, the file named "فضائح.exe" (Scandals.exe) proved to be heavily obfuscated with the commercial utility "MaxToCode" for .NET in order to avoid early detection by antivirus solutions.

Did you install your "Ammazon" Security Suite?

If you thought the era of fake antiviruses was over, here comes this newly developed Syrian sample to challenge your beliefs. With the innocent title of "Ammazon Internet Security", this malicious application tries to mimic a security scanner, even including a quite thorough graphical user interface and some interactive functionality.

Your "Ammazon" is now secure, what about the rest of your network?

Total Network Monitor (which is a legitimate application) is inside another sample found, being used with embedded malware for spying purposes. Offering security applications to protect against surveillance is one of the many techniques used by malware writing groups to get users desperate for privacy to execute these dubious programs.

Instant messaging, instant infection

It's also the case with other samples, where social engineering does all the heavy work. Instant messaging applications for desktop operating systems have been used in the past to spread malware and it seems Syrian malware authors have jumped on the bandwagon.

Beware of Chemical Attacks

Another of the attacks using social engineering tricks, the sample named Kimawi.exe (Arabic for Chemicals) with a JPG icon, is a RAT file bound to the image Kimawi.jpg. The picture is a previously leaked paper supposedly from the regime in Syria warning military units to prepare for Chemical Attacks. The file is being sent by email to selected victims.

FAQ What is new?

The threat actors are becoming more organized, the number of attacks is increasing and the samples being used are becoming more sophisticated, while also relying extensively on powerful social engineering tricks that many people fall for.

Where are the victims and the attackers?

The victims infected when accessing the hacked forums and social networking sites tend to be ordinary users or activistshey were, or specific targets if they receive the malware via email, Skype, or messages on social networking sites.

The victims are also located outside Syria. We have seen victims of Syrian-based malware in:

  1. Turkey
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. Lebanon
  4. Palestine
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. Israel
  7. Morocco
  8. France
  9. United States

The attackers' command and control centers were tracked to IP addresses in Syria, Russia, Lebanon, the US and Brazil.

How many have fallen victim?

We believe the number of victims exceeds 10,000, with some of the files being downloaded more than 2000 times.

The attackers' malware samples and variations have increased dramatically from only a few in Q1 2013 to around 40 in Q2 2014.

What is the impact on victims?

Remote Administration Trojans tools are used to fully compromise the system on victim devices. RATs are capable of stealing user credentials in addition to activating camera and microphone functionalities...

Are users protected?

Kaspersky detects and blocks all the samples that have been found. They are detected as follows:

  • Trojan.MSIL.Zapchast
  • Backdoor.Win32.Bifrose
  • Backdoor.Win32.Fynloski
  • Backdoor.Win32.Xtreme

More details and analysis of the attacks and malware samples can be found in the full report here.

 

Further reading

If you'd like to read more on the subject, CitizenLab and EFF have published several other good analyses of related malware and attacks:

Supermarkets Nationwide Affected by Albertsons, SUPERVALU Data Breach

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:27
Albertsons and SUPERVALUE, the second and third largest grocery store chains in the U.S., yesterday announced that customer payment information was exposed a month-long data breach earlier this summer.

Cridex Malware Takes Lesson From GameOver Zeus

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:05
Researchers have now identified a new variant of the Cridex malware that has adopted some of the techniques that made GOZ so successful in its day.

Google Fixes 12 Vulnerabilities in Chrome 36

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 09:23
Google patched its Chrome browser this week, fixing 12 vulnerabilities including both a serious information disclosure bug and a use-after-free vulnerability that could let users obtain potentially sensitive information and execute arbitrary code.

Gameover Zeus Botnet Rebuilds

Threatpost for B2B - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 16:58
Research from Arbor Networks points to a rejuvenated GameOver Zeus botnet that has grown more than 1,800 percent, confirming it has been rebuilt from scratch.

Easy Pickings at DEF CON Router Hacking Contest

Threatpost for B2B - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 14:10
Fifteen zero day vulnerabilities were exploited during the SOHOpelessly Broken router hacking contest at DEF CON.

Google Adds Warnings About Deceptive Software to Safe Browsing Service

Threatpost for B2B - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 13:18
The Google Safe Browsing service has become an integral part of most of the major browsers, integrating malware alerts, warnings about malicious Web sites and suspicious content. The company has been expanding the capabilities of the service steadily over the last few years, and now Google is adding warnings about deceptive software to the service. […]

Apple Patches Series of WebKit Flaws in Safari

Threatpost for B2B - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:02
Apple has released a new version of Safari that fixes seven security vulnerabilities, all of which are related to the WebKit framework in the browser. The advisory from Apple is typically bare-bones, with almost no information about the vulnerabilities fixed in Safari 6.1.6 and 7.0.6. Apple said that all of the vulnerabilities in WebKit are […]

Study Confirms Uyghur Remain in Crosshairs of Targeted Attacks

Threatpost for B2B - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:18
A research paper to be delivered next week at USENIX takes a deep look into the reconnaissance nation-states undergo in order to craft email-based attacks against non-governmental organizations.

Disqus Patches CSRF, Other Flaws in Plugin

Threatpost for B2B - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:35
Disqus, the maker of the popular community commenting plugin, has patched a handful of security flaws, including a CSRF bug.

Google Tweaks Gmail to Help Limit Spam

Threatpost for B2B - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:23
Google is making a small, but potentially important, change to the way that Gmail handles some special characters in messages as a way to defeat a common tactic used by spammers to confuse recipients and trick them into opening emails.

ZeuS GameOver, Brazilian Trojans and Boletos: an explosive combination

Secure List feed for B2B - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:00

I'm sure you've read or heard about the malware attacking boletos – the popular Brazilian payment system – and how lots of malicious code is able to modify it, redirecting the amount paid to an account owned by criminals. Despite the fact that some numbers were overestimated by some companies and media outlets, these attacks are of particular interest and the Brazilian bad guys are quickly developing and adopting new techniques. Trust me: everything you read about boleto malware was only the tip of the iceberg; our complete research into this topic will be presented at the next Virus Bulletin conference.

The boleto malware campaigns combine several new tricks to infect and steal from more users. One of the most recent is the use of non-executable and encrypted malware payloads XORed with a 32-bit key and compressed by ZLIB. It's no coincidence that a very similar technique was used by ZeuS GameOver some months ago, but this time the files are using extensions such as .BCK and .JMP, instead of .ENC.

We have evidence of Brazilian criminals cooperating with western European gangs involved with ZeuS and its variants; it's not unusual to find them on underground forums looking for samples, buying new crimeware and ATM/PoS malware. The first results of this cooperation can be seen in the development of new attacks such the one affecting boletos payments in Brazil.

A typical Brazilian boleto: using web-injection to change the numbers in the ID field is enough to redirect the payment

In February, security expert Gary Warner wrote about a new version of ZeuS campaign that downloads some strange and non-executable .ENC files to the infected machine. Our colleagues at CrySys did a very detailed analysis showing how this is an effective technique for passing through your firewall, webfilters, network intrusion detection systems and many other defenses you may have in place, as a tiny Trojan downloads these encrypted (.ENC) files and decrypts them to complete the infection.

Brazilian cybercriminals decided to use the .JMP extension in files encrypted in the same way, and downloaded by several small Trojans used in boletos and Trojan banker campaigns. This is what an encrypted file looks in the beginning:

After removing the encryption we can see it as a normal PE executable:

The criminals tend to encrypt the big payload files using this technique, as well as some removal tools such as Partizan and big Delphi Trojan bankers that include images of Internet banking pages. The aim is always to encrypt the payload and make it undetectable, so that it's not recognized as a normal portable executable.

Other files of interest are those with .BCK extensions – they are packed with an as yet unknown application that appears to be a commercial backup app. Just checking the head of the encrypted file is enough to see what's inside - in this case it is a malicious CPL file used in the boletos campaigns:

"refazboleto" is Portuguese for "rebuild boleto". It points to a CPL file

Our antivirus engines are prepared to unpack and detect .JMP and .BCK files like these. These facts show how Brazilian cybercriminals are adopting new techniques as a result of the collaboration with their European counterparts.

Thanks to my colleague Alexander Liskin for help with the analysis.

Microsoft Keeps Focus on IE Security With Patch Tuesday Updates

Threatpost for B2B - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 15:09
Microsoft released nine security bulletins today, including a critical Internet Explorer update, as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday release.

August Update Tuesday - OneNote's First RCE, IE Memory Corruption

Secure List feed for B2B - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 14:34

The second Tuesday of the month is here along with Microsoft's August security updates, and with it brings interesting updates of OneNote and Internet Explorer. The full list is nine security bulletins long.

OneNote has been a part of Microsoft's drive into mobile and cloud technologies, away from traditional Wintel computing, providing Office-integrated note-taking multi-user collaborative functionality across tablets and mobile devices. I noticed a bunch of Blackhat attendees using this software. While the vulnerability is limited to all versions of Microsoft OneNote 2007,, and there have been a couple of releases since, I believe that this vulnerability is the first RCE enabled by a component exclusively delivered with the OneNote software. In this case, it is the file parser that reads onenote (.ONE) files that enables remote code execution attacks. This software package now is available for Windows, Mac, Windows RT, Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Symbian, but the vulnerable OneNote code appears to be available only for TabletPCs and the Windows platform. cve-2014-2815 was privately reported to Microsoft.

Another big Bulletin pushed today for Internet Explorer addresses 25 critical RCE vulnerabilities(!) across IE 6 - 11 on Windows clients Vista through 8.1, all memory corruption issues. The browsers on related server installs are rated moderate. Some of these vulnerabilities have been actively exploited ItW, so it is an urgent update issue.

 

And Adobe released their own patch separately from the Microsoft update process to fix an extraordinary sandbox vulnerability abused by APT that we reported a while back.      Be sure to check out those details. It effects fairly recent versions of Reader sandboxes.

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