Companies are increasingly falling victim to cyber-attacks. According to a recent survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, 9% of the organizations polled were the victims of targeted attacks - carefully planned activity aimed at infecting the network infrastructure of specific organization. The extensive use of digital devices in business has created ideal conditions for cyber-espionage and the deployment of malware capable of stealing corporate data.
The full report is available here.
Spammers actively spread malware using fake notifications on behalf of various financial and banking institutions, booking and delivery services and other companies. The arsenal of tricks used by cybercriminals is constantly being updated. In particular, in recent years we have registered a number of English- and German-language mass mailings in which the attackers try to hide malware under photos and pictures.
In October, the attackers sent out fake notifications claiming to be from T-Mobile, a telecoms operator in Germany, which told users that they had received an MMS. To make the email look legitimate, the sender address contained the official company domain although the email itself was sent from a different address. The body of the email included a contact phone number for sender of the MMS and some general information related to sending and receiving multimedia messages.
The supposed photo named ‘23-10-2013 13_64_09.jpeg.exe’ was not in the body of the email but in the attached archive ’23-10-2013 43_69_10.zip’. The scammers used the popular JPEG image file format in the name of the malicious file in the hope that it would convince recipients that the archive did in fact contain the photo. However, alert users would notice that the file extension is really .exe. This executable file is detected by Kaspersky Lab as Backdoor.Win32.Androm. This bot program allows the fraudsters to remotely execute commands on the infected computer, for example, downloading and running other malware without the owner's knowledge.
Last week, Kaspersky Lab identified a mass mailing of phishing letters sent in the name of leading IT security providers. The messages we detected used the product and service names belonging to Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, ESET NOD32 and many others.
The text and general layout of each letter followed the same template; only the senders’ names and the IT security solutions mentioned in the text were different. In their messages, the cybercriminals invited the reader to install an important security update for his/her security solution to guarantee protection against a new piece of malware supposedly ravaging the web. To do so, the user simply needed to open the attached ZIP archive and launch the executable file in it. Not surprisingly, the writers urged their victims to act immediately rather than spend time thinking about who might be behind this sudden urgent letter.
Once again, it's time for us to deliver our customary retrospective of the key events that have defined the threat landscape in 2013. Let's start by looking back at the things we thought would shape the year ahead, based on the trends we observed in the previous year.
The full report is available here.
It’s december. While it’s getting colder and people prepare and shop for christmas, here in Bergen, a city in Norway, experts from several countries come together talking about Passwords – something you’re using while buying christmas presents online for example – at the PasswordsCon. This one held at the University of Bergen in the Auditorium Pi.
In early November Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, with a catastrophic numbers of victims – several thousand were reported killed, while hundreds of thousands were evacuated. A few days after the typhoon struck we detected the first “Nigerian letters” in which scammers were exploiting the tragedy for their own selfish ends. The author of the letter below pretended to be a driver at a local security company. The tale of how he became a multi-millionaire sounds plausible enough.
The typhoon supposedly left the driver alone with a cargo of $11.5 million. Realizing he had lost his security escort and that the money was probably presumed lost, he decided to make the most of his predicament and conveyed the money to an associate at another security company. In the letter he is asking the recipient to help transfer the valuable cargo out of the Philippines in return for a generous reward. To add a touch of authenticity, the scammer added real links to news about the typhoon – mostly to the BBC. The news articles are the only reliable information provided in the letter. This amazing story of a newly-made millionaire, along with his name and surname are merely trying to deceive an unsuspecting recipient.
This week, Apple has released a small but very important update to their popular mobile operating system - iOS 7.0.4. According to the details provided, by Apple, the update comes with several bug fixes and improvements, including a fix for an issue that causes FaceTime calls to fail in some cases.
But the latest iOS update also comes with an important security fix for CVE-2013-5193, a vulnerability allowing App and In-App purchases to be completed with insufficient authorization - meaning that the password prompt presented to a signed in user before making an App purchase could have been bypassed and the transaction completed without providing a password.
Why are updates so important?
This software update for iOS, just like many other software updates for any platform, shows once again the importance of updating. Updates don’t just fix innocent bugs, they don’t just improve the user’s experience. They do that, yes, but most of the times updates also fix security vulnerabilities which can be exploited in-the-wild.
How to update your iOS device?
The quickest way to update your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is to do it directly from the device. Just make sure you have everything backed up before you proceed, that you are connected to a WiFi network and the device has enough power, then just go to Settings › General › Software Update. If an update is available, tap Download, then Install.
You can also update your device through iTunes, while it’s connected through a cable. For more details and tips, Apple has a complete step-by-step guide available here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4623
In China, start page Trojans have become a popular type of malware because by changing users’ browser start pages to point to some navigation site, the owner of the site can get a large amount of web traffic which can then be converted into large sums of money. In order to spread such Trojans as broadly as possible, Trojan authors have even turned their sights to AutoCAD. This week we found two new AutoCAD Trojans detected as Trojan-Downloader.Acad.Qfas.b and Trojan.Acad.Qfas.o. They are written in AutoLISP mixed with VBA, and are aimed at changing users’ browser start pages and displaying adverts. According to our KSN statistics, this threat appears mainly in China, India and Vietnam.
These two Trojans are compiled AutoLISP files with the file extension .fas. Here is a fragment:
This can cause difficulties during analysis because there is no decompiler as such for .fas files and these Trojans managed to avoid detection by all antivirus programs except Kaspersky’s, which are capable of decompiling such files:
Two days ago FireEye reported that the recent CVE-2013-3906 exploit has begun to be used by new threat actors other than the original ones. The new infected documents share similarities with previously detected exploits but carry a different payload. This time these exploits are being used to deliver Taidoor and PlugX backdoors, according to FireEye.
At Kaspersky Lab we have also detected that yet another APT group has just started spreading malicious MS Word documents exploiting CVE-2013-3906. This APT actor is the Winnti group, which we described in detail here. They have sent spear-phishing emails with an attached document containing the exploit. As usual the Winnti perpetrators are trying to use this technique to deliver 1st stage malware - PlugX.
We became aware of an attack against one gaming company which constantly undergoes attacks from the Winnti group. The MS Word document containing the exploit shows the same TIFF “picture” - 7dd89c99ed7cec0ebc4afa8cd010f1f1 – that triggers the exploitation of the vulnerability, as in the Hangover attacks. If the exploitation is successful, the PlugX backdoor is downloaded from a remote URL: