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Internet predators

Secure List feed for B2B - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 06:30

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 - 15:43
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 - 14:25
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 - 12:41
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 - 11:12
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 - 09:31
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 - 05:55

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

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Software Design

Threatpost for B2B - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:18
The IEEE's Center for Secure Design's new guidance for software architects called "Avoiding the Top 10 Software Security Design Flaws" debuted this week.

Windows XP-Heavy Turkey Overrun with GameOver Zeus Infections

Threatpost for B2B - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 08:50
GameOver Zeus and Sality banking malware infections are rampant in emerging countries such as Turkey where older, unpatched computers are prevalent, and security awareness is low.

Spam in July 2014

Secure List feed for B2B - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
Spam in the spotlight

Festive spam in July was largely dedicated to the holy month of Ramadan. Unwanted correspondence also included offers to send promotional messages to users' phones and email boxes. We also came across fraudulent emails asking for help with investments. There were offers of beauty products and services too.

Ramadan

In July, spammers continued to exploit the holy month of Ramadan by offering mass mailing services. The emails were written in English. The subject and the text of the emails attracted readers with special offers and discounts in honor of the main Muslim holiday. Mass mailings advertising SMS distribution to residents of the United Arab Emirates were sent from free email services and designed in the same style. The emails used different text fonts and provided different contact details: for example, the phone numbers in the body of the message and in the subject of the email were different. Some emails indicated the site of a company engaged in SMS-marketing.

"Nigerian" scammers did not bother to invent anything new either and tried to attract users' attention by wishing them a Happy Ramadan both in the subject of the email and in the body of the message. Fraudulent emails that offered impressive rewards for help in investing money in a business project were circulated in both English and Arabic.

Current spam flows often include emails in different languages. In particular there has been an increase in the number of messages in Semitic languages, including Arabic, over the year. At the same time the scammers use English in the subject of the emails rather than Arabic. This is probably because English is more widespread and they hope an English subject will attract more readers.

One of the emails was written allegedly on behalf of a Muslim mother. It mentioned the complicated political situation in Syria and explained that this made it impossible to safely invest money at home. In this case, the content of the message suggests the author must know Arabic so a text in this language can be used to make it look more credible.

Spam beautiful

Among July's major mailings there was a notable campaign offering a variety of skin care products for women as well as promotions for beauty clinics. Spam mailings were used to sell different cleansers, anti-wrinkle creams, "elixirs of youth" and other cosmetic products. The scammers offered product samples to convince the user of their merits and promised to return the money if the results were unsatisfactory. The fraudsters tried to encourage potential customers by promising quick and free shipping to any country.

Beauty clinics were actively offering laser hair removal procedures at considerable discounts or even free of charge to supposed lottery winners. The sales pitch, complete with pictures, focused on the pressing need for this procedure before relaxing on the beach. Sometimes these emails were "noised" with texts that had nothing to do with the advertised goods and services. In some cases, this "noise" took up half the message (see the example below). The senders' names in these emails were a randomly generated combination of letters and numbers. The names of advertised centers and clinics were also mentioned in the body of the message to make it easier to find them via the search engine. However the links in the emails led to spammer parked sites registered on newly created domains. Sometimes they offered similar goods or services; sometimes they promoted completely different ones.

Heat-busting spam

The heat of the summer has warmed up the market for products that help us to cool down: spam traffic actively promoted sun-protected foil for windows, fans and air conditioners, including repair and maintenance services. We often came across emails advertising water coolers and bottled water. Water was offered with special summer discounts and free delivery to homes and offices, while an extra bonus promised a free basket of fruit with every order in July or August. Making an order is as simple as calling the number in the advert.

Sunglasses were among the most popular summer offers. Knock-offs of designer sunglasses were offered at huge discounts compared to the original. Such emails often contained the designer logos and included icons of different social networks where the company is officially represented. However, these icons were merely decorative and offered no link to these sites. They were simply intended to make the email seem more realistic. Once users clicked on the link in the email, they were redirected to a newly created online sunglasses store. The names of the sites often included the words 'glasses' or 'sunglasses'. Sometimes you could even visually identify the distorted name of the glasses brand in the random set of letters and numbers which comprised the address of the site.

Statistics The percentage of spam in email traffic

The percentage of spam in email traffic averaged 67%, which is 2.2 percentage points up from June. The highest spam levels were seen during the second week of the month (67.6%), and the lowest levels were seen in the first week (66%).

Percentage of spam in email traffic

The geographical distribution of spam sources

In July, the list of the most popular sources of spam around the world looked like this:

Sources of spam around the world

The USA took first place (15.3%) after its percentage increased 2.2 percentage points from the previous month. Next, Russia came in second place with 5.6%; the amount of spam originating in that country was down 1.4 percentage points. China was in third place with 5.3% having produced 0.3 pp less spam than in June.

Argentina was in 4th position with 4.2% of all distributed spam; its contribution remained practically unchanged but the country still climbed one place in the rankings. It is followed by Ukraine (4.1%) with a 0.9 pp rise compared to June.

In July, we saw the 1.8 pp reduction in the amount of spam from Vietnam (3.5%) which pushed this country from 4th to 8th place.

France rounded up the Top 10 with 2.63% of all distributed spam having pushed India (2.59%) to 11th position.

Malicious attachments in email

The graphic below shows the Top 10 malicious programs spread by email in July.

The Top 10 malicious programs spread by email

This time the rating was topped by Trojan.Win32.Yakes.fize, the Trojan downloader Dofoil. This program downloads a malicious file on the victim computer, runs it, steals the user's personal information (especially passwords) and forwards it to the fraudsters.

The notorious Trojan-Spy.HTML.Fraud.gen dropped out of top spot for the first time in many months. Readers may remember that this is the threat that appears as an HTML phishing website and sends emails disguised as important notifications from banks, online stores, and other services.

Next came Trojan.JS.Redirector.adf which is the HTML page containing code to redirect users to a scammer site offering downloads of Binbot, the service for automatic sales of binary options which are currently very popular in the Internet. This malicious program is distributed via email attachments.

It is followed by Backdoor.Win32.Androm.enji. This malicious program is a modification of Andromeda – Gamarue, a universal modular bot which is a basis for building a botnet with a variety of features. The functionality of the bot can be expanded using a system of plugins that are loaded by the criminals as required.

Fifth position is occupied by Trojan-Banker.Win32.ChePro.ink. This downloader appears in the form of a CPL applet (a component of the control panel) and, as is typical for this type of malware, it downloads Trojans developed to steal bank information and passwords. These banking Trojans mainly target online customers of Brazilian and Portuguese banks.

Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Cryptodef.ny ended 8th in July. This malicious program encrypts files on computers, blocks the screen and asks the user to pay to restore the files.

Rounding off the Top 10 was Trojan.Win32.Bublik.cran. The main functionality of the Bublik malware family is the unauthorized download and installation of new versions of malware onto victim computers.

Distribution of email antivirus detections by country

July's Top 3 remained unchanged from June. Germany accounted for 11.7% of all antivirus detections and topped the rating (+4.71 percentage points). The USA was second with 9.82% (+0.28 pp). The UK was third with 6.9% (+0.10 percentage points).

India (5.16%) overtook Brazil (3.94%) and came fourth having increased its share by 0.54 percentage points. Italy moved up two steps to 5th in the rating (+1.2 pp).

Russia increased its contribution by 1.37 percentage points averaging 3.40% of all antivirus detections and climbing from 13th to 8th position.

The UAE saw a noticeable drop in antivirus detections – a 1.09 pp fall saw it lose six places on the ranking.

The July Top 20's newcomer was Poland which occupied 19th place with 1.42% of all antivirus detections.

The percentage of email antivirus detections in other countries did not change significantly in June.

Special features of malicious spam

In July, we saw an increase in the number of fake Portuguese language notifications = sent on behalf of the popular smartphone messenger WhatsApp.

One example featured messages warning users that they had violated the terms of use and were in danger of having their accounts blocked. The message claimed another user had reported prohibited content coming from the recipients' accounts. The authors of the email claimed that in response to an increasing number of these complaints they could temporarily suspend the offending account for up to 90 days while the sender's IP address was confirmed. At the end of the email the user was invited to view the terms and conditions of using the application by clicking on the appropriate button. This link downloaded Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Genome.a , a downloader appearing in the form of a .cpl applet (a component of the control panel) which in turn downloaded a Trojan-Banker.Win32.ChePro modification. In addition, the banker could download Virus.Win32.Hidrag.a to infect executable files in the system.

In another case, the fake message notified the recipient that after months of hard work WhatsApp for PC could now enable users to chat with friends in real time via their computer. To add to the intrigue the message claimed that 11 people had already sent friend request to the recipient. To find out who these 11 people were, the user had to download the latest version of the Messenger for PC by clicking on the link in the email. Noticeably, we have been registering different versions of this message since the beginning of 2014.

As in the previous cases, instead of the desired program the user received a ZIP-archive which contained the dropper Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Dapato.egel. Its task is to connect to a remote Brazilian host then download and run a Trojan banker designed to steal the user's financial data. The dropper also copies itself to C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\ under the name of BaRbEcuE.exe. There it creates a file called windataup.inf, in which it indicates its presence and states the current date. Finally it writes itself into the AutoRun, ensuring it is launched automatically.

Phishing

In July 2014, Kaspersky Lab's anti-phishing component registered 20,157,877 detections.

Phishers attacked users in Brazil most often: at least once during the month the Anti-Phishing component of the system was activated on computers of 18.17% of Brazilian users. This surge in activity is probably related to the football World Cup that took place in the country in June and July.

The geography of phishing attacks*, June 2014

* The percentage of users on whose computers the Anti-Phishing component was activated, from the total number of all Kaspersky Lab users

Top 10 countries by the percentage of attacked users:

  Country % of users 1 Brazil 18.17 2 India 12.99 3 Australia 11.10 4 France 10.73 5 Kazakhstan 10.62 6 UK 10.15 7 UAE 10.14 8 Dominican Republic 10.11 9 Canada 9.61 10 Ukraine 9.53 Targets of attacks by organization

The statistics on phishing targets is based on detections of Kaspersky Lab's anti-phishing component. It is activated every time a user enters a phishing page while information about it is not included in Kaspersky Lab databases. It does not matter how the user enters this page – by clicking the link contained in a phishing email or in the message in a social network or, for example, as a result of malware activity. After the activation of the security system, the user sees a banner in the browser warning about a potential threat.

In our previous reports we referred to the Top 100 organizations when analyzing the most attractive targets for phishing attacks. In July, we analyzed the statistics for all organizations that were attacked.

In July, the Global Internet portals category continued to top the rating of organizations most often attacked by phishers (29.49%) although its share decreased by 2.67 pp. Social networks came second with 14.61%, a 3.2 pp decline from the previous month.

Organizations most frequently targeted by phishers, by category – July 2014

Below is a similar chart for the previous month:

Organizations most frequently targeted by phishers, by category – June 2014

Financial phishing accounted for 41.85% of all attacks, a 7.86 pp growth compared with the previous month. The percentage of detections affecting Banks, Online stores and E-payment systems was up 2.25, 2.64 and 2.29 pp respectively. The most significant spike affected PayPal (3.24%) up 2.27 pp in July.

We came across an interesting example of PayPal phishing at the end of the month. The fraudulent email informed the recipient about an incoming payment from a Craiglist user (most likely, it is the incorrect spelling of Craigslist, the site of e-ads) but the money could not be transferred because of an error with a PayPal account.

The email arrived from the address which does not belong to PayPal. In addition, it is impersonal which is a typical feature of a phishing email

To solve the problem, the user was asked to immediately download the attached form, open it and fill it in.

The form was created using the design elements of the PayPal site

The attackers are phishing for the user's email address and a password for it, his full name and date of birth, his mother's maiden name, his address, his credit card number, its expiry date and CVV as well as any passwords for Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode. This detailed personal information would make it easy for fraudsters to rob the user of all electronic savings.

If you look at the HTML code of the page, you can see that all the data entered in the form will be sent to a page that has nothing to do with PayPal.

Top 3 most organizations most frequently targeted by phishers   Organization % detections 1 Google Inc 11.64% 2 Facebook 9.64% 3 Windows Live 6.28%

In July, Google services were most heavily targeted by phishing links: their share made up 11.64% of all Anti-Phishing component detections.

The number of fraudulent links to Windows Live, the global portal of the Microsoft services (including Outlook), grew significantly in July. The attractiveness of this resource for fraudsters is easily explained because of the popularity of the MS services and especially with the fact that they are accessed from a single account. Phishing pages are usually designed as an entry page to Outlook (currently there is also a fake login page to live.com).

An example of the phishing page imitating the Outlook entry page

Interestingly, many recent phishing pages still use the old Hotmail design despite the fact that Outlook replaced it as far back as the beginning of 2012. However, it does not seem to worry users very much: they still jump at the bait of such phishing pages.

An example of phishing on live.com using the outdated Hotmail design

Conclusion

The proportion of spam in global email traffic in July increased 2.2 percentage points and averaged 67%.

Spam emails advertising services that would send messages to users' phones and emails tried to capitalize on the Ramadan festivities while new customers were lured with holiday discounts and favorable offers. "Nigerian" scammers spread emails in English and Arabic asking for assistance in investing money. There were also offers of beauty products and services.

In July, the list of the most popular sources of spam around the world was topped by the US (15.3%), Russia (%5.6%) and China (5.3%).

In July 2014, Kaspersky Lab's anti-phishing component registered 20,157,877 detections. Phishers attacked users in Brazil most often: 18.2% Brazilian computers flagged at least one phishing alert during the month. The Global Internet portals category continued to top the rating of organizations most often attacked by phishers (29.5%). Financial phishing accounted for 41.85% of all attacks, a 7.86 pp growth compared with the previous month.

The rating of the most popular malicious attachments distributed via email was topped by Trojan.Win32.Yakes.fize. Germany remains the country with the highest number of antivirus detections (11.7%).

A significant number of malicious attachments imitated fake notifications in Portuguese allegedly sent on behalf of the popular smartphone messenger WhatsApp. These attachments targeted the financial data of users in Brazil and Portugal.

Microsoft Fixes Broken Security Patch MS14-045

Threatpost for B2B - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 14:08
Microsoft re-released MS14-045 today two weeks after pulling it from Windows Update because the patch was causing system crashes and blue screens of death.

Verizon Bolsters User Authentication With QR Codes

Threatpost for B2B - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 14:04
Verizon announced Tuesday it will soon begin using QR codes to allow users to log in to sites and programs in its Universal Identity Services portfolio.

4th Latin American Security Analysts Summit in Cartagena

Secure List feed for B2B - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 12:45

Casco Historico, Cartagena, Colombia

Last week, GReAT LatAm had the pleasure of participating in the Fourth Latin American Security Analysts Summit in Cartagena, Colombia. We were joined by 29 journalists from 12 different countries throughout the region and a guest speaker. This is one of our favorite events as it presents a rare opportunity to discuss ongoing research with journalists one-on-one and address security concerns at a regional level. The LatAm focus of the event allows us to examine the 'latin flavor' of cybercrime and cyberespionage originating within our borders.

The Summit was divided into two days. The first day involved presentations ranging from the evolution of the threat landscape to issues involving wearable devices, the disturbing trend of 'camfecting', and new tendencies in Brazilian trojan bankers now aided by cooperation with Eastern European cybercriminals. The second day largely revolved around APTs and cyberespionage campaigns as well as mobile threats affecting integration with the cloud.

Hyperconnected Threats

The ever-charismatic Fabio Assolini discussed a favorite topic of his, the development of banking trojans in his native Brazil. The country is known for its carder culture and widespread cybercrime. Interesting figures presented included the correlation between the cost of Zeus and Caberp and their infection rates in the region, as we witness an exhorbitant rise in the rate of infection once their respective source codes leak and effectively eliminate the initial investment on the part of the criminals. Fabio also unveiled the link between Brazilian and Eastern European cybercriminals who are now exchanging knowledge through online resources to enhance their crimes.

Our very own Santiago Pontiroli took to the stage to discuss mobile- and cloud-based attack vectors in a presentation rife with Orwellian parallels and forewarnings. Santiago discussed Latin America's proclivity for piracy and pornography as presenting massive opportunities for cybercriminals fully willing to exploit them.

Android, a platform enjoying wide-adoption in the region is also an increasingly appealing target for cybercriminals as evidenced by the fact that 98% of mobile malware detected in 2013 were aimed at Android devices –a number that doubled in the first quarter of 2014! Many of these devices are now integrated with the cloud which breathes new life into old phishing schemes whose pay-off now includes extensive access to personal data, storage, and even real-time location information. Some criminals have gone so far as to misuse manufacturer recovery services to act as pre-installed ransomware.

Roberto Martinez and I took on the topic of wearable technologies, increasingly popular devices that collect all kinds of stats about their users, store personal information, and are designed to be worn continuously. I focused on the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch and the ease with which it can be misused by deviants in the 'creepshots' community, as rooting and executing a handful of commands disables camera alerts and recording limitations. Roberto focused on Google Glass whose integrated wifi capability leaves it susceptible to tried-and-true sniffing to expose some of the traffic being relayed to the device.

Emphasizing that the design itself of wearable devices has a propensity to embolden well-known methods of attack as users have limited access to information regarding altered applications or suspicious connections. As wearable devices function by linking with a mobile device, they can eventually become an interesting means for persistent attacks as they are capable of interacting with the information on our phones without being subject to the security measures of their master devices.

Evolving Threats in Cyberespionage

On the cyberespionage front, we saw two thought-provoking and exciting presentations:

We were joined by Jaime Blasco, Director of Research at Alienvault and a close friend of GReAT. Jaime discussed an overview of APT campaigns over the past decade, the measures developed to understand them, and traits that help categorize the work of recurring nationstate players.

Dmitry Bestuzhev announced GReAT's discovery of the first ever cyberespionage campaign of Latin American origin! The Machete campaign affected military, diplomatic, and governmental institutions in 15 countries, primarily Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia. Interestingly, though LatAm has been considered by many as lacking the infrastructure for sustained cyberespionage, research revealed that the campaign has been active since 2010.

Finally, no Kaspersky event would be complete without an active entertainment day for all participants. We retreated to the Cartagena Golf Club for an afternoon of activities ranging from kayaking and beach volleyball to cocktail-making, dance lessons, and guided flower arrangements, as well as a massage area. The evening concluded with a gala dinner accompanied by the traditional music and dances of Colombia and closing words from our thoughtful organizers. I hope you can join us next year!

For more follow me on twitter: @juanandres_gs

Java.com, TMZ Serving Malvertising Redirects to Angler Exploit Kit

Threatpost for B2B - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:48
Popular websites TMZ and Java.com are among a handful serving malicious ads redirecting visitors to the Angler Exploit Kit.

IBM: Heartbleed Attacks Thousands of Servers Daily

Threatpost for B2B - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:23
The 2014 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Quarterly takes a look back at Heartbleed and how organizations were affected by it.
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