Interpol coordinated to take down Simda botnet

The Simda botnet has been taken down on April 9 in a collaborative effort between international law enforcement bodies and private security and technology companies coordinated by Interpol's Global Complex for Innovation.

The botnet, known for spreading banking malware and establishing backdoor for many malware, has exploited more than 770,000 computers in 190 countries. The take down has resulted in seizure of 14 command-and-control servers in the Netherlands, United States, Poland, Luxembourg, and Russia.

According to the researchers, Simda is a mysterious botnet used by cyber criminals for distributing several types of unwanted and malicious software. Due to constant functionality and security updates, it rarely appears on the KSN radars despite a large number of hosts every day.

It uses hardcoded IP addresses to notify the keeper about the various stages of execution. It can modify the system hosts file by downloading and running additional components from its own updated servers, and to point to malicious IP’s, it adds unexpected records for google-analytics.com and connect.facebook.net.

The Kaspersky Lab report says that, “This criminal business model opens up the possibility of exclusive malware distribution. This means that the distributors can guarantee that only the client’s malware is installed on infected machines. And that becomes the case when Simda interprets a response from the C&C server – it can deactivate itself by preventing the bot to start after next reboot, instantly exiting. This deactivation coincides with the modification of the system hosts file. As a farewell touch, Simda replaces the original hosts file with a new one from its own body.”

To analyse the spread of the infection the Digital Crime Centre (IDCC) in Singapore worked with Microsoft, Trend Micro, Kaspersky Lab, and Japan's Cyber Defense. The researcher team also involved officers from the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit in the Netherlands, the Police Grand-Ducale Section Nouvelles Technologies in Luxembourg, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US, and the Russian Ministry of the Interior's Cybercrime Department "K".

Sanjay Virmani, Director of the INTERPOL Digital Crime Centre, said “This successful operation highlights the value of, and need for partnerships involving national and international law enforcement and private industry in the fight against the global threat of cyber crime. The operation has dealt a crippling blow to the Simda botnet. INTERPOL will continue its work to assist member countries in protecting their citizens from cybercriminals and to identify other emerging threats.”

‘Trojan.Laziok’ Malware targets energy sector in Middle East

Image Credits: Symantec
Symantec detected a Trojan.Laziok, which acts as a reconnaissance tool allowing the attackers to gather data about the compromised computers.

Between January and February, Symantec observed a ‘multi-staged, targeted attack campaign’ against energy companies around the world, and the focus  was on the Middle East Countries.

According to the blog post of Symantec’s Christian Tripputi, the attack starts  with spam emails from the moneytrans[.]eu domain,  which acts as an open relay Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server. These mails include a  malicious attachment that contain an exploit for the Microsoft Windows Common Controls ActiveX Control Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2012-0158). The code is executed, If the users opens the attachment, which is Excel file. It leaves Trojan.Laziok on the computer.

To hides itself Trojan creates folder names in the %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle directory, and rename itself with well-known file names such as:

%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\search.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\ati.exe  
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\lsass.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\smss.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\admin.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\key.exe  
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\taskmgr.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\chrome.exe

By collecting system configuration data such as Computer name, Installed software, GPU details, CPU details, Antivirus software, RAM size, Hard disk size, Trojan.Laziok begins its reconnaissance process.


After receiving the system configuration data, attackers infected  the computers with additional malware, and distribute the customized copies of Trojan.Zbot and  Backdoor.Cyberat which are specifically tailored for the compromised computer’s profile.

Symantec and Norton products have protections against this campaign.

Malware infections through spam campaigns can be avoided by not clicking on links in unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails; avoid opening attachments in unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails; use comprehensive security software, such as Symantec Endpoint Protection or Norton Security, to protect yourself from attacks of this kind; take a security layered approach for better protection; keep your security software up to date; apply patches for installed software on a timely basis.

The 64 bit version of NewPosThings malware is here

A new 64 bit version of NewPosThings, a point of sale malware, has come to light. The 32 bit version of NewPos Things was discovered by Arbor systems in September last year.

The recent developments were brought to light by Trend Micro's threat analyst, Jay Yaneza. They found the malware targeting 64 bit and higher systems, rather than the original 32 bit systems that were being affected initially.

According to SC Magazine, Taneza said, “Similar to the previous 32-bit version reported last year, the 64-bit sample is a multifunction Trojan that includes added functionalities and routines,” Yaneza wrote. “These include RAM scraper capabilities, keylogging routines, dumping virtual network computing (VNC) passwords, and information gathering.”

Researchers have noticed recently that the malware has been evolving continuously affecting more and more security based function in a POS machine.

Delving into PoSeidon malware

News of data breaches that have been occurring through card usage at infected point of sale (PoS) systems at retailers has become common now-a-days. There being a huge market for stolen credit card information, the companies are being targeted with newer and sophisticated malwares.

How do these malwares exactly work? During investigation of the cases of breaches, CISCO security solutions have discovered the working mechanism a new malware family which has been nicknamed PoSeidon malware.

The infection of the PoS system possibly arises from a keylogger which after getting installed deletes the profile log in information i.e passwords stored on the system. This forces the user to type down the information which gets recorded by the keylogger and sent back to the server which can then access the system remotely to infiltrate it with the Loader malware to steal card information.

What the Loader does is, it tries to get itself installed in the PoS system as a service that is run as Winhost, so that it can survive reboots of the system. This step is called persistence by which it maintains hold on the system. It then connects to the hardcoded command and control servers, which then sends the second executable part of the malware called the FindStr.

It also simultaneously installs another keylogger. FindStr goes through data on the infected system to look for number sequences that start with 6, 5, 4 with a length of 16 digits (Discover, Visa, Mastercard) or 3 with a length of 15 digits (AMEX).

It then runs the Luhn algorithm to verify whether its card information or not and sends the information along with data from keylogger to the exfiltration servers from where it can be harvested for further usage.

The malware can also update itself depending on communication from external server. Further investigation shows that developers are working to use these in other newer projects.Faced with such persistent threats organizations need to be vigilant and adopt a threat-centric approach to provide security during the full attack continuum – before, during, and after an attack.

Gift from Amazon, beware it can be Malware


In recent times, if you received this message, "Hey [NAME], I am sending you $200 Amazon Gift Card You can Claim it here", on your phone, if yes, then you have became the victim of one of the single largest messaging-initiated mobile malware, as discovered by AdaptiveMobile.

This malware access all your contacts  on the phone and sends a spam message to each of them with the URL that promises an Amazon gift card if you install an APK file hosted on the page.

Thousands of people around the world have installed this malware and been a victim, alone in North America, there is around 4K devices that are infected  by this malware. According to VirusTotal, none of the Anti Virus engines detect this malware, but can be easily removed by using standard Android app uninstall utilities.

The shortened URL account of this malicious URL was actually connected to a FB account, which seems to be owned by a real person. It seems that this spam campaign is not new for the owner of the profile. Previous WhatsApp spam can be related to this, as there was a link which redirects users to a scam page, which shows close link between the author of both the spams.

AdaptiveMobile is the  mobile security protecting  company, that protects all services on both fixed and mobile networks through in-network and cloud solutions.

New Mac OS X Botnet uses Reddit's Search function to get CNC servers list


Security Researchers at Russian Antivirus company Dr.Web have published
details of a new botnet that targets Mac OS X.

What is very interesting is that this malware uses the search function of Reddit to acquire the Command and control(C&C) servers list from comments posted in a 'Mine Craft Server Lists' sub reddit.

The malware calculates MD5 hash of the current date and uses the first 8 bytes of the hash to search in reddit.  The result contains the Server IPs with port numbers.

The malware dubbed as 'iWorm' has reportedly infected more than 17,000 Mac computers - 4,610 of which are in the US.

The reddit account used by the cyber criminals appears to be removed.  However, it is not going to stop the bad guys from controlling their botnet, they either create a new account or use any other online services.

"Xsser mRAT", an Advanced iOS spyware targets Hong Kong protesters


Security researchers from Lacoon Mobile Security company identified an advanced iOS Trojan targeting protesters in Hong Kong.

The trojan dubbed as 'Xsser mRAT", is related to similar Android malware found last month targeting the protesters.

The android version of this malware is distributed via whatsapp messages disguised as an application to help coordinate Occupy Central protest.

"The fact that this attack is being used against protesters and is being executed by Chinese-speaking attackers suggests it’s first iOS trojan linked to Chinese government cyber activity." the company wrote.

The malware is capable of stealing text messages, contact list, call logs, location information, photos and other information.  It also steals passwords from the iOS keychains.

The good news is that the malware can run only if the user's device is jailbroken.  You can find lot more information and technical information in their blog post.

Malicious Ad Network "Kyle and Stan" serves Windows and Mac Malware


Cyber Criminals have been placing malicious ads on a number of popular websites including YouTube, Yahoo that serves malicious software.  The campaign also targets Mac users.

The malicious network, uncovered by Cisco Researchers comprise of over 700 domains.  They observed nearly 10,000 connections to the malicious domains.

The operation has been dubbed "Kyle and Stan" because most of the domains used in this campaign for distributing malicious software contain "kyle" and "stan" strings in the sub-domain name.

The users website who visit the websites containing malicious ad will be redirected to another website.  Users will then be redirected to another page that will serve mac or windows malware based on their user agent.

"The attackers are purely relying on social engineering techniques, in order to get the user to install the software package. No drive-by exploits are being used thus far" Armin Pelkmann, Cisco researcher, wrote in a blog post.

Alleged Author of Android "Heart App" virus arrested

 
An Android Virus spotted by security researchers at Sophos Labs spreads by sending SMS containing a download link to the first 99 contacts of victims.

The malware goes by the name XXshenqi in Chinese and being called as "Heart App" in English.

After sending SMS to the first 99 entries of victim's contact list, the malware sends a confirmation message to the attacker's number.

The malware also asks victims to register and asks them to enter their personal details including Resident Identity card number, Full name. Once the victim clicks the register button, the data entered by victim will be SMSed to the attacker's number.

It also tricks victims into installing a secondary component (com.android.Trogoogle) that doesn't show up on the regular "Apps" page.  Trogoogle is capable of reading your incoming messages.

An unnamed 19 year old Software engineering student was arrested by by police in Shenzhen accused of being author of the "Heart App" malware.

To remove this virus completely, go to "Settings -> Apps -> Downloaded" and Uninstall both 'com.android.Trogoogle' and 'XX神器'

New Crypto-Ransomware variants spotted


Security Researchers have come across a new variants of the Crypto-Ransomware that is designed to encrypt files on infected machines.

One of the variants spotted by Trend Micro, dubbed as CryptoBlocker, infects only files smaller than 100Mb in size and will not infect system and application files. 

TrendMicro said this new variant does not use CryptoAPIs and uses Advanced Encryption Standard(AES) to encrypt files instead of RSA.

Researchers believe the author of this variant might be new to creation of ransomware because the compiler notes haven't been removed from this binary.

Another variant spotted by both Symantec and TrendMicro Researchers uses GnuPG, an open source implementation of the OpenPGP standard, to encrypt files.

"The threat downloads the 1024-bit RSA public key and imports this key through an option in GnuPG. The malware then encrypts the victims’ files by using GnuPG’s Encrypt Files option with the public key." Symantec researchers wrote.

The victims won't be able to decrypt the encrypted files without the private key which is in the hands of cyber criminals.  The malware asks users to pay about $200 to get the key.

One more variant of the Ransomware spotted by TrendMicro as Critroni or Curve-Tor-Bitcoin (CTB) Locker, uses TOR to mask its command and control server(C&C) communications.

New variant of Android Ransomware 'SimpLocker' spotted


A New variant of the Android Ransomware known as 'SimpLocker' has been spotted by Security researchers at ESET.

This new variant has a few significant improvements including the language in which the fake warning message is written, it is now in English rather than Russian.

The malware is masquerading as a flash player for the Android and tricks users into installing it with administrator privileges .

Once the device is infected, it will show a ransom message saying that your device is locked because you were doing illegal things and demands you to pay around $300.

One of the variant attaches the photo of the victim taken by the front camera in the ransom message.  This trick will definitely scare victims into paying the ransom.

One of the worst features added to this variant is now it encrypts the compressed files such as ZIP, RAR and 7ZIP.  It means even your backup files are being encrypted by this trojan.

ESET has released a tool to decrypt the files that have been encrypted by Simplocker.  The say prevention is better than cure, so better focus on prevention - Be careful while installing apps from unknown sources.

Kronos: A new Banking Trojan for sale in Underground forums

Researchers from Trusteer have discovered a new Banking Trojan dubbed as "Kronos" which is being sold in the Underground forum.

The malware is being sold for $7,000 and the cyber criminals are offering one week test for the price of $1,000 with full access to the command and control server without any limitation.

Similar to other banking Trojans, this new malware also capable of doing form grabbing and HTML Injection.

Kronos has user-mode rootkit(ring3) capabilities that will help this trojan to defend itself from other pieces of malware, will work in both 32bit and 64 bit Operating systems.

It is also designed to evade antivirus software and bypass Sandbox. The malware use encryption to communicate with the C&C server.

Trusteer said it has not yet analyzed the malware sample in order to validate the seller’s claims, all the information provided are based on the advertisement in the underground forum.

Researchers say GameOver malware is back

Last month, DOJ announced that International law enforcement agencies disrupted the Game Over Botnet.   However, Researchers at Sophos say the GameOver malware is back.

Researchers spotted several spam campaign and analyzed a few samples of the new version.

The new version has few modifications.  One of them is removing Necurs rootkit part from the malware.

The second modification is using Domain generation algorithm(DGA) as the primary command and control mechanism instead of Peer-to-Peer protocol.

"We do not know if it is being operated by the same people that were indicted last month, or a subset of them, or indeed a different group altogether that has obtained the Gameover source code." researcher said.

Dailymotion website visitors redirected to malicious web page


Attackers managed to compromise the popular video sharing website dailymotion and redirected visitors to malicious web page that installs malware in victim's machine.

On June 28, Symantec researchers identified an iframe in Dailymotion.com which sends users to different website hosting Sweet Orange Exploit kit.

Sweet Orange Exploit Kit is a malware toolkit used by attackers to infect victim's machine with malware by exploiting software vulnerabilities on their machine.

The vulnerabilities that Sweet Orange attempts to exploit are : Java Vulnerability(CVE-2013-2460), Adobe Flash Player vulnerability(CVE-2014-0515), Internet Explorer Vulnerability(CVE-2013-2551).

If the user's machine is vulnerable, then Trojan.Adclicker was downloaded onto the victim’s computer.

"This malware forces the compromised computer to artificially generate traffic to pay-per-click Web advertisements in order to generate revenue for the attackers" the symantec researchers said.

South Korean Bank Customers targeted by Android Malware


A Mobile software company Cheetah Mobile has identified a malicious piece of Android malware that replaces the legitimate banking apps with fake versions.

According to the Cheetah Mobile report, the Trojan disguises itself as popular game or application on third party android application markets in Korea and tricks users into installing the app.

Once it is installed, the Trojan searches for the official online banking applications of south Korean Banks including Nong Hyup Bank, Sinhan Bank, Woori, Kookmin, Hana N Bank, Busan Bank and Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives.

If one of these banking apps is found to be installed on the victim's device, the malware displays an alert saying that the banking app needs to be updated.  Once the update is approved,  the legitimate banking app will be replaced with the fake one.

The fake version then asks victims to enter the password to their security certificate(which is required by the South Korean government in order to access many online services).

The app then asks victims to provide their bank account number, passwords and bank security number.

At the end, the malware simply displays a fake error message informing victims that there is no Internet connection.  The malware then deletes itself from the device.

"With the information that they stole, the hackers can apply for a new certificate, which they then use to freely access the victim's bank account."says Cheetah Mobile.

The company said more than 3,000 devices have been infected in the last week alone.

Simplocker : First Android Ransomware that Encrypts files in Your Device

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks you out of your computer until you pay a ransom.  In some cases, it can actually cause more serious problems by encrypting the files on your system's hard drive.

Last year, Symantec discovered an android malware with hybrid characteristics of Fake AV and Ransomware. Last month, Bitdefender identified an android version of Ransomware which was being sold in the underground market.  The malware bluffed victims into paying a ransom but didn't actually encrypt the files.

Until now, there have been no reports of android malware that encrypts the files.

Security researchers at ESET say they have spotted the first variant of Ransomware that encrypts files in your Android Device.

The malware, dubbed as Simplocker, shows a ransom message written in Russian which informs victims that their device is locked for  viewing and distribution child porn.

It scans the SD card for certain file types such as image, document or videos, encrypts them using Advanced Encryption Standard(AES), and demands money in order to decrypt them.


It also gathers information about the infected device and sends to a command and control server.  The server is located in Tor ".onion" domain for purposes of anonymity.

Don't Pay:
"We strongly recommend against paying up – not only because that will only motivate other malware authors to continue these kinds of filthy operations, but also because there is no guarantee that the crook will keep their part of the deal and actually decrypt them" Researchers at ESET say. 

Game Over for GameOver Zeus and Cryptolocker malware that stole millions

Image Credits: Symantec

The U.S Department of Justice announced that FBI and other international Law enforcements have disrupted two of the world's most notorious botnets: GameOver Zeus and Cryptolocker ransomware.

Game Over Zeus is one of the most notorious botnets which first emerged in September 2011 responsible for millions of infections worldwide.  It is based on the original Zeus malware, attempts to steal financial information from the victim.

According to the United States Department of Justice report, the cybercriminals behind the GameOver Zeus have stolen more than $100 million.

Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, 30-year-old Russian, has been charged for his alleged role as an admin of the Gameover Zeus botnet.

Cryptolocker is a particularly nasty piece of malware that encrypts all files on the infected machine, then demands a ransom to unlock it.  If the files are important one and no backup is there, victims don't have choice other than paying ransom to get a key to unlock.

DOJ report suggests that more than 200k computers have been infected by this ransomware as of April.  The malware appeared in September 2013, within two months cyber criminals collected more than $27 million.

Symantec has also released a tool to remove GameOver malware completely from your computer.  You can download it from here.

Be careful when You Browse Adult contents in your Android phone

CryptoLocker Ransomware which is so far making trouble for Desktop users by scaring them into pay a fine to unlock their locked hard devices is now started to target Android users.

BitDefender have identified a new mobile version of the Ransomware which is being sold by the same group responsible for the Desktop version of Ransomware malware.

The malware dubbed as 'Android.Trojan. Koler.A' is being served to the mobile devices, when the users are browsing certain adult content websites.

The malware disguise itself as badoink, a video player that needs to be installed to get premium access to porn and tricks users into installing the app.

Once installed, the malware finds the location of victims and shows a fake warning message in their local language.

"Attention! Your Phone has been blocked up for safety reasons listed below.  All the action peformed on this phone are fixed.  All your files are encrypted.  Conducted Audio and Video" The fake message reads.

The warning message informs the victims that their files have been encrypted and they have to pay $300 ransom in order to unlock their device. 

But, No Need to Panic ! The files stored on the device are not actually encrypted as the warning message claims.  By pressing Home button, you can return to Home screen. You will have 5 seconds to Uninstall the app from your device.

Safe Mode to Remove the malicious app:
This malicious app is Not Sophisticated one, you can uninstall the app by booting the device in Safe Mode.

"The group behind this exploit is falsely and egregiously using the BaDoink
brand and logo, a brand that adult consumers have trusted for 8 years, to
spread this Ransomware."In an email sent to EHN, the company behind the legitimate version of Badoink, has clarified that they've nothing to do with this ransomware.

New Android malware 'Samsapo' spreads via Text Messages

If you get a SMS from your friend asking "is this your photo?" with a link, will you open the link or not? We want a honest answer.  Most of the people will do click the link.

If you do so, your device might get infected by a new type of Android worm!

Malware analyst from security firm ESET have discovered an interesting piece of malware, called "Android/Samsapo.A" that spreads via Text messages.

So far, the malware appears to be targeting Russian users.  Once your device is infected with this worm, it will attempt to send SMS with a malware-link to your contact list in an attempt to infect your friends.

Cyber Criminals use the old social engineering trick to lure users into install the malware.  It sends a message that says "is this your photo" in Russian language(Это твои фото?) with a link to Android application package(APK).

The malware is capable of downloading additional malicious files.  It is also capable of stealing phone numbers, text messages, personal data, device info from the infected device.  It doesn't stop with spying, it also register the victim's number to premium-rate services.  So, the victims will lose money. 

Bitcoin-Mining android malware found on Google Play Store

No matter how much Security mechanism Google try to implement to keep the malware from getting placed in Google Play store, Cyber Criminals are still able to upload their malicious apps.

We recently learned a 'fake' android anti-virus application found on Play Store and tricked more than 10,000 users into buying it.  But, Google which doesn't want to lose its reputation gave refund and $5 promo credit to those individuals scammed by this app.

Now, Researchers from Security firm LookOut have spotted another set of malicious apps on Google's Play store which turns the infected devices into a distributed bitcoin mining system.

Dubbed as 'BadLepricon', the malware disguise itself as a Live wallpaper app for android.  These five malicious apps had been downloaded between 100-500 times before Google removed them.

It seems like cybercriminals' interest in using the infected android devices to mine cryptocurrencies is increasing day by day.

Last month, LookOut reported that CoinKrypt malware hijacked mobile phones in order to use it to generate digital currency.  Few days back, TrendMicro also discovered a Java RAT which is capable of abusing the android devices to mine Litecoin.