20 May Jumcar. From Peru with a focus on Latin America [First part] Jorge Mieres
18 May NoSuchCon 2013 Stefano Ortolani
17 May Malicious PACs and Bitcoins Fabio Assolini
13 May Telecom fraud — phishing and Trojans combined Dong Yan
27 Apr CeCOS VII Michael
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Over the past few weeks, we have been busy researching the Command and Control infrastructure used by Duqu.
It is now a well-known fact that the original Duqu samples were using a C&C server in India, located at an ISP called Webwerks. Since then, another Duqu C&C server has been discovered which was hosted on a server at Combell Group Nv, in Belgium.
At Kaspersky Lab we have currently cataloged and identified over 12 different Duqu variants. These connect to the C&C server in India, to the one in Belgium, but also to other C&C servers, notably two servers in Vietnam and one in the Netherlands. Besides these, many other servers were used as part of the infrastructure, some of them used as main C&C proxies while others were used by the attackers to jump around the world and make tracing more difficult. Overall, we estimate there have been more than a dozen Duqu command and control servers active during the past three years.
Before going any further, let us say that we still do not know who is behind Duqu and Stuxnet. Although we have analyzed some of the servers, the attackers have covered their tracks quite effectively. On 20 October 2011 a major cleanup operation of the Duqu network was initiated. The attackers wiped every single server they had used as far back as 2009 – in India, Vietnam, Germany, the UK and so on. Nevertheless, despite the massive cleanup, we can shed some light on how the C&C network worked.
I’m often asked about the real danger of Android malware. This is a difficult question as it has many factors to consider, such as your location, your device, how many apps you install, and how reckless you are with the apps that you choose.
There are two common factions often at odds with each other. There is one side of the argument that states that the threat to Android is overblown, and that because the number of malicious samples discovered so far is so small in comparison with Windows malware, it’s insignificant. In fact when a company discloses their findings and they show any type of marked growth in this sector, they’re often accused of scaremongering to generate sales.
In the middle of July I wrote about porn SMS senders which covertly subscribed users to a range of premium-rate services with the promise of raunchy images. These applications were targeting users from the US, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the UK, Kenya and South Africa. At the end of that blog post I wrote that ‘…the appearance of several applications which use premium rate SMS messages and target users from completely different countries leads us to the conclusion that it’s no longer just a problem in Russia and China, unfortunately’.
Now this problem has evolved to SMS Trojans which target users from a number of European countries and Canada. Yes, these SMS Trojans don’t target either Russian or Chinese smartphone users.
According to the messages we found on Internet forums, the first infections were reported in early September. Somebody downloaded an application to manage and monitor his own SMS/MMS messages, calls and traffic. After launching this application it displayed the message that it was not compatible with the user’s Android version. And then the user’s mobile account was emptied.
We tracked down this application and unsurprisingly it turned up to be an SMS Trojan which sends 4 SMS messages to premium rate numbers. We detect it as Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Foncy.
It was spread via a file hosting website with the name ‘SuiConFo.apk’. After installation, it appears on the main menu of Android smartphones:
Kaspersky Lab malware analyst Dmitry Besthuzhev looks at cybercrime in Latin America and makes a prediction regarding state-sponsored cyber-attacks in the region.
A while back I blogged about “offerwalls” that were collecting leaked user data. But now it seems that not only users are under attack. Recently while browsing Reddit, I found the account of a popular app developer who claims that another developer on the Android Market had stolen his app, added ad spam code to it, and uploaded it under his own account with the same name. After some research I discovered that this was, in fact, the case
Not so long ago we wrote about cybercriminals using infected computers to generate virtual money via Bitcoin. A couple of days ago we discovered a malicious program called Trojan-Downloader.Win32.MQL5Miner.a which also uses the resources of infected computers, but this time to make money in MQL5 Cloud Network, a distributed computing network.
The MQL5 Cloud Network site
MetaQuotes is a developer of software for financial markets. Several weeks ago, information appeared on the net that the company was offering to pay users to participate in distributed computing. Apparently, this is what attracted malicious users to the new cloud service.
Google search results for the phrase: “MQL5 Cloud Network money”
There are grounds to believe that the malicious program spreads via email. Having infected a computer, the malicious program first determines if the operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit. It then downloads the appropriate version of the official software from MetaQuotes SoftWare. MQL5Miner then launches the service to participate in the cloud computing network. But the cybercriminals specify their own account data and receive the payments for any distributed computing operations that are performed on an infected machine.
A window from the legitimate MetaQuotes software
When it comes to making money, cybercriminals don’t miss a trick. That includes exploiting the resources of infected computers without their owners’ knowledge or consent.
We have notified MetaQuotes about the account being used by cybercriminals.
A look at the top five database breaches and the technologies that may have helped limit the damage.
The driver is the first component of Duqu to be loaded in the system. As we discovered, the driver and other components of malware are installed with a dropper exploiting a 0-day vulnerability (CVE-2011-3402). The driver is registered in the HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\ registry path. The exact name of the registry key varies in different versions of Duqu drivers.
Once the driver is loaded, it decrypts a small block that contains its registry key and the name of the registry value to be read from that key. It also contains the name of the driver object to create.
All versions of the driver available at the moment have the same registry value name, “FILTER”.
The driver then registers the DriverReinitializationRoutine that queues the WorkerRoutine where actual driver initialization is performed. In the WorkerRoutine the driver reads the “FILTER” value from registry and decrypts it with a hard-coded encryption key. There are two known versions of decryption routine and two corresponding decryption keys. The driver also locates the NTOSKRNL.EXE or NTKRNLPA.EXE module and gets the addresses of API functions for further usage.
The decrypted “FILTER” value from registry contains the list of records that contain the name of the process (“services.exe”), the path to corresponding PNF DLL file that will be injected in that process and the decryption key (0xAE240682) that is used to decrypt the PNF DLL file.
After initialization the driver registers LoadImageNotifyRoutine that will be then called by Windows each time a new module is loaded. The routine checks if the name of image matches one of these specified in “FILTER” value and if it does, starts the injection: it decrypts and copies the PNF DLL file into an allocate memory region on that process. It also builds an copies a stub EXE file into that process that is then used as a loader for the PNF DLL.
As soon as “KERNEL32.DLL” is loaded in the same process, it locates addresses of API functions required by the loader EXE and modifies the original entry point of the main process module so that it passes execution to the loader EXE code.
The loader EXE module performs initial initialization of the PNF DLL module and then executes the export as specified in the configuration (“FILTER”). After that it restores the code of the original entry point and returns execution to the original process module. The loader also interacts with the driver module using a custom IOCTL code to change memory protection of the original entry point code.
This module is stored on disk as an encrypted block of data. As soon as it is decrypted, it turns out to be a DLL packed with UPX. Known versions of PNF DLL modules export 8 or 6 different functions by ordinal numbers.
Export 2 runs export 6 in a separate process.
Export 4 runs export 5 in a separate process.
Export 5 starts a thread in “services.exe” process that loaded the 302 resource (see below) and, if provided with correct information by the callee, installs a complete new set of Duqu components.
Export 6 stops the driver and completely uninstalls all components of Duqu. Export 8 and 1 initialize the PNF DLL module and start main threads.
It seems that ordinal 1 is intended to export primary functionality of the DLL. First, it loads the configuration information from another PNF file, the PNF Config file. If the file is not present, it is created from an encrypted hard-coded copy that is stored in the PNF DLL file.
The name of the configuration file is different for every version of Duqu. The PNF Config contains the name and path to the driver component, to the PNF DLL and PNF Config itself.
When the PNF Config is created, the date of creation is written into the file. The file also contains the TTL (“time to live”) value: a separate thread started by PNF DLL monitors if TTL days passed since the creation date, and after that runs the uninstallation routine.
Some versions of the PNF DLL also start an RPC server similar to the one found in Stuxnet.
The PNF DLL also provides API for manipulating the configuration file from external modules using globally available events.
Depending on the flags in the PNF Config, the PNF DLL code looks for specific processes: the list of process names in the PNF Config, “explorer.exe”, “svchost.exe” and then injects code in them. The code to be injected is stored in binary resource 302 found in PNF DLL.
Depending on the flag in the PNF configuration file, it is either a DLL loader module or a block of data (equivalent of decompressed “.zdata”, see below). Both configuration have been found in different Duqu versions. The PNF DLL checks a flag in PNF Config and determines whether to pass execution to the DLL loader or to locate the payload DLL and call it directly.
The loader DLL module is similar to PNF DLL. The main purpose of the loader is to decompress its “.zdata” section and pass execution to the main payload that is contained in decompressed data.
The .zdata block contains the header that starts with the magic number 0x48747193. It contains the offsets and sizes of the DLL loader, the payload configuration block and the payload DLL.
The configuration block contains the name of the temporary file to use %TEMP%\~DR0001.tmp, additional binary data controlling the behavior of the payload and information required to connect to the C&C servers. There are two lists of C&C servers, one can contain domain names, IP addresses or names of network shares, and the other contains IP addresses in binary format and is used to connect using Windows HTTP (winhttp) services. Although the configuration blocks we have found so far are similar and are set up to connect to its C&C using HTTP and HTTPS, the payload DLL is able to connect to a network share and even become a server.
We are still analyzing the payload. It contains 256K of C++ code with extensive use of STL and its own complex class hierarchies, probably own framework.
The payload is able to connect to C&C server using either winhttp library or connection to a network share IPC$ endpoint. It is able to connect using proxy server configuration of Internet Explorer. It also contains code for acting as a HTTP server and processing the same requests as served by the C&C. The payload is able to load an external DLL module provided by the C&C and interact with it using a pre-defined API. The most noticeable module discovered so far is the infostealer module. There are also modules for updating the TTL value in the PNF DLL configuration, for reading the network and disk storage configuration from the infected machine.
It also can form a PNF DLL with a configuration block and the payload DLL ready for distribution to other machines.
LANDesk Interchange 2011 is winding down in Las Vegas today. The event gathered partners and displayed newer technologies offered by the decade old systems management company. It was interesting hearing from IT "old-timers" that have worked with the technology, describing the company's impact on the industry - its spinoff from Intel, the original LANDesk AV product that wound up in another vendor’s product, and what they like about Kaspersky Lab technologies integration into the security suite. We were happy to present at our partner's conference with "The Dark Side of Unmanaged Desktops", where I described 2011 incidents that both I and our Global Emergency Response Team have investigated and remediated, some incidents in the news, and some of the IT mismanagement issues that enabled these incidents to occur.
This week I attended the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona. The event is for IT leaders and executives, held in a magnificent venue and superbly organized.
Having the chance of giving a talk there, I wondered what kind of message should I give to such attendees. These people lead big companies and get regular reports from the best analyst in the world. During the conference basically they will get tons of information, and I wanted my message to remain in their minds, so I decided to go for a practical approach.
As we informed you earlier, we’ve recently been conducting an investigation into a number of incidents in connection with a Duqu trojan infection. Thankfully we’ve been able to make some headway in getting to the bottom of Duqu and putting together several of the previously absent components without which it has been difficult to understand what’s actually been going on.
First things first, we would like to express our sincere thanks to the specialists at CERT Sudan. They’ve been providing us with priceless assistance in our investigation, and showed the utmost professionalism - in full accordance with the values and aims of any CERT around the world. Our cooperation with the Sudanese CERT is ongoing and will cover another three incidents found in the country.
Our main achievement has been in the investigation of the incident deemed No.#1, described in my second post about Duqu. We managed to not only locate all the previously undiscovered files of this variant of Duqu, but also to find both the source of the infection and the file dropper that contains the vulnerability exploit in win32k.sys (CVE-2011-3402).
Comparing the data we uncovered with that obtained by other researchers and antivirus companies, we’ve elicited various common traits that have revealed the approximate timeline and overall methods used by Duqu’s authors.
The dates of the incident correlate with the history of discovery in Iran of a virus called Stars. At that time Iranian specialists didn’t share samples of the discovered virus with any of the anti-virus companies, and this, it has to be said, was a serious mistake, which gave rise to all subsequent events in this saga. Most probably, the Iranians found a keylogger module that had been loaded onto a system and which contained a photo of the NGC 6745 galaxy. This could explain the title Stars given to it.
It’s possible that the Iranian specialists found just the keylogger, while the main Duqu module and the dropper (including the documents that contained the then-unknown vulnerability) may have gone undetected.
In this edition of Lab Matters, Ryan Naraine interviews Kaspersky Lab CTO Nikolay Nikolay Grebennikov about malicious threats on mobile devices. Grebennikov talks about the taxonomy of threats and explains Kaspersky Lab's vision for protecting data on smart phones. The discussion touches on privacy issues, data protection, anti-theft recovery, social engineering, URL filtering and parental control.
Dark Market was one of the most famous underground forums ever, for several reasons. The most important one was that one of the administrators was an infiltrated FBI agent running a covert operation that ultimately lead to the arrest of 60 people worldwide. The forum was shut down in 2008, when Dark Market was probably the most important carding forum in the world.
Over the weekend, someone wrote to us complaining that Kaspersky Lab was sending spam. Naturally, this came as a bit of a surprise, seeing as how we do nothing of the sort; in fact we do quite the reverse: we combat spam. Of course, we wanted to find out why a user had come to the conclusion that Kaspersky Lab was sending spam to them.
The email that the user complained about had all the hallmarks of a typical online scam: behind the nice pictures reminiscent of Kaspersky Lab’s official advertising there was a link that had absolutely nothing in common with the company’s products. The cybercriminals had done a good job: the email not only looked like an official email from Kaspersky Lab but the “From” field was a good imitation as well.
After clicking the link, a user unwittingly ends up on a website with an offer to buy a program called Best Antivirus Online. It has to be said that the image of the “product box” on the web page was not unlike that of Symantec’s signature design – black font against a predominantly yellow background. To buy the program, the user had to enter their credit card details and email address so they could receive further instructions. We followed these step as part of our investigations, but received no more instructions at the email address we specified. It is quite possible that users could have received more instructions on how to download the fake antivirus at the time the spam was active.
This is not the first time cybercriminals have made use of Kaspersky Lab products. We have noticed on several occasions that the distributors of fake antiviruses have tried to make their “product” interfaces similar to those of KIS or KAV. Spammers distributing offers of cheap software often stress in their emails that Kaspersky Lab’s products are available on their sites at bargain prices.
This level of awareness by the cybercriminals is a clear indication that Kaspersky Lab products are popular and trusted. They are taking advantage of users’ trust in Kaspersky Lab as a social engineering tool, hoping that the familiar green design will lull users into a false sense of security and make them click the malicious link.
It should be noted that not only Kaspersky Lab has attracted the attention of malicious users. A week or so ago, we received similar messages that imitated a mailing from Adobe. The link in the message led to a suspicious-looking “pdf reader”. The site’s template was identical to the template used for Best Antivirus Online, only the color scheme was different. In early October, a similar site was linked to emails with offers to download a new version of iTunes dedicated to Steve Jobs. The color scheme then was completely different, but the site template was the same.
At the time the user wrote to us, Kaspersky Lab products detected both the spam messages and the malicious site distributed in them. But we not only urge users to trust our products but to also be vigilant when surfing the net. And remember: no reputable company would send spam messages!
“Nigerian” spammers are extremely quick to react to the world’s hottest news stories. News of the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had barely even broken before a string of emails from the “relatives of the deceased” began to appear.
Gaddafi’s inconsolable relatives would be amazed if they knew how many emails had been sent in their name to Internet users around the world.
Instead of joining in the funeral rites, it looks like Gaddaffi’s sons and daughters, or his wife, his brothers or even friends, have rushed straight to their PCs to write to people all over the world asking for help in spiriting uncountable millions of dollars out of the country.
According to the “Nigerians”, the family of the Libyan leader is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The emails which fell into my hands cited a minimum figure of $300 million.
Most of these emails purport to come from “Gaddafi’s wife”. The spammers seem to think their heart-rending stories about her hard life in her husband’s family could explain her sudden desire to share his money with her close friends. Or even with distant strangers, depending on the recipient of the email.
She’s not alone, though: an unlikely coalition of “opposition forces”, “lawyers” and “bank clerks who have access to Gaddafi’s accounts” also share the general desire to transfer the Colonel’s money abroad.
“Nigerian” spam is, of course, pure fraud. None of Gaddafi’s wives or even his lawyers will ever send emails to someone they do not know asking for help in getting millions of dollars out of the country and offering an unknown agent the commission for doing so. If a user takes the bait the fraudsters will extort money from him to allegedly cover different “expenses” until no more money is left. One should be realistic about the many offers received via the Internet from an unverified source calling himself Colonel Gaddafi’s son (ALL OF A SUDDEN!).
Below are the screenshots of several “Nigerian letters” sent on behalf of Gaddafi’s family:
In the past few days several Brazilian ISPs have fallen victim to a series of DNS cache poisoning attacks. These attacks see users being redirected to install malware before connecting to popular sites. Some incidents have also featured attacks on network devices, where routers or modems are compromised remotely.
Brazil has some big ISPs. Official statistics suggest the country has 73 million computers connected to the Internet, and the major ISPs average 3 or 4 million customers each. If a cybercriminal can change the DNS cache in just one server, the number of potential victims is huge.
Last week Brazil’s web forums were alive with desperate cries for help from users who faced malicious redirections when trying to access websites such as YouTube, Gmail and Hotmail, as well as local market leaders including Uol, Terra and Globo. In all cases, users were asked to run a malicious file as soon as the website opened.
We monitored one attack which saw a clean machine displaying this warning when opening Google:
As we continue to investigate the Duqu targeted attack, there is new information that suggests the malware was created to spy on Iran's nuclear program.
Some background and facts:
We can now confirm that some of the targets of Duqu were hit on April 21, using the same method involving CVE-2011-3402, a kernel level exploit in win32k.sys via embedded True Type Font (TTF) file.
According to analysis by IrCERT (Iran's Computer Emergency Response Team) Duqu is an upgraded version of "Stars":
If we are to believe these reports, then it means that Duqu was created in order to spy on Iran's nuclear program.
Just yesterday (November 4), the United Nations announced it was in possession of plans from Iran to make computer models of a nuclear warheads.
"The annex will also say that more than 10 nations have supplied intelligence suggesting Iran is secretly developing components of a nuclear arms program - among them an implosion-type."
It would not be surprising that Stars and Duqu were used to collect such information.
Dutch Certificate Authority KPN/Getronics has announced the suspension of the issuance of digital certificates.
The reason for this is that a breach has been discovered on a KPN web server related to PKI. The attack dates back no less than four years.
KPN, best known for its telecom business, acquired Getronics four years ago. Former Getronics has a certificate authority similar to Diginotar. Like Diginotar, KPN is allowed to issue 'special' certificates for the Dutch government and public services. In fact, many organizations affected by the Diginotar incident switched to KPN certificates.
The SSL PKI has been in use and implemented for 15 years now to secure online communications. From its initial proprosals and immediate growth, the need for secured online communications has been met with challenges. The infrastructure and protocol itself is showing signs of wear, with multiple attacks and corrections to the scheme itself. And in its 15th year, an alternative to the Cerificate Authority infrastructure is finally being given some competition with the release and debate around Convergence, an open source alternative to the current system of Certificate Authorities. Feel free to right click and download for the full sized version; the graphic below provides a list of some of the major events for SSL/TLS PKI in the past 15 years.
In April, the .co.cc and .cz.cc sub-domains were absolutely littered with malware distributing web sites, and the unusually telling DNS registration setup on .co.cc and .cz.cc had forecast the previously upcoming Apple FakeAv. That DNS setup later led to FakeAv downloads for the Mac as forecast. But FakeAv distribution has been steadily declining since the beginning of the year, and a few related major events have occurred over the past six months. Blackhole operators have migrated to .info domains, along with other related malicious site operators. Have they pushed .info to become the new .cc?
So, what has this dispersion looked like? Well, let's look back to the beginning of the year. .co.cc and .cz.cc domain registrars offered free dns registration and cheap or free hosting. Malware distributors abused these cheap resources and staged the Blackhole exploit pack using these URL names, serving up FakeAv and other nastiness. Java exploits became the most effective and most popular in the Blackhole set, followed by exploits targeting vulnerable Adobe Reader and Microsoft HCP software. Traffic was directed to these kits by Google Image Search Poisoning, by compromising legitimate sites and redirecting browsers to the kit sites with injected iframe and img src tags, and by successful malvertizing campaigns on major webmail providers. But, what goes up must come down.
First things first, I have to point out a mistake in the previous text.
When analyzing the fourth incident in Iran, we stated that there were two network attacks on a victim machine from the IP address 184.108.40.206. It could have been an exclusive version of Duqu, but it turned out to be a big mistake.
Judge for yourself – Duqu checks for Internet connections and attempts to reach the server kasperskychk.dyndns.org which should be located at 220.127.116.11. An analysis of the information at this address shows that it is located at the same data center as the 18.104.22.168 IP address that we “discovered”!
In actual fact, however, I made a mistake when converting the address, which was the result of a single missing ‘minus’ sign: the numbers “1062731669” and “-1062731669”. In the first case, converting to an IP address we get 22.214.171.124, but in the second we get the local address 192.168.0.107, which, of course, is of no interest to our research whatsoever :(
Dropper and 0-day.Now, for some much more interesting news. It turned out that the continuing research by the Hungarian lab Crysys has led to the detection of the main missing link – a dropper that performed the initial system infection.
As we expected, a vulnerability was to blame. An MS Word doc file was detected that was sent to one of the victims by the people behind Duqu. The file contained an exploit for a previously unknown vulnerability in Windows that extracted and launched components of Duqu.Symantec and Microsoft still haven’t made the actual dropper file available to other antivirus companies yet, nor have they provided information about which Windows component contains the vulnerability that results in privilege escalation. However, indirect evidence suggests that the vulnerability is in win32k.sys.
We discovered a similar vulnerability (see MS10-073) a year ago when analyzing the Stuxnet worm. Another interesting problem in win32k.sys (MS11-077) was fixed by Microsoft on 11 October this year – a code execution vulnerability than can be exploited through font files.
Microsoft said it was working on the vulnerability used by Duqu, although it looks like a patch won’t be available in November’s updates.
The detection of the dropper and the route used to penetrate the system (a targeted attack against a specific victim conducted via email) proves our theory that the Duqu attacks are directed against a very small number of victims and in each case, they can employ unique sets of files.
To infect other computers in the network, Duqu seems to be using scheduled jobs, a technique that we’ve also seen in Stuxnet and is a preferred choice of APTs. These, together with other previously known details reinforce the theory that Stuxnet and Duqu were created by the same people.
Additional information shows that the attackers worked meticulously with the affected systems, carefully gathering data from every computer, penetrating deeper and deeper into the local network of the victims. As well as a unique set of Duqu files for each victim, there may well be a unique command server (C2) for each entity that was attacked.
Our research shows that the incidents we detected involving Duqu in Sudan and Iran are actually bigger than initially thought. At the current time, we have recorded three victims in Sudan and four in Iran. We are already working with some of them to uncover all the Duqu components and to determine the path of the initial infection.
We expect to have those results in the very near future and will publish them in the next installment of ‘The Mystery of Duqu’.
Tim Armstrong looks at the timeline of the Sony breach and pieces together the relevant details at each point in time. He discusses the known facts of the case and the potential future fallout.
Google has recently announced the forthcoming availability of Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0. In such a short time, Android has seemingly come so far. I’d like to stop and take a look at the security improvements and additions featured in this release.