The Internet threat alert status is currently normal. At present, no major epidemics or other serious incidents have been recorded by Kaspersky Lab’s monitoring service. Internet threat level: 1
Latest posting
By rating
By popularity

Join our blog

You can contribute to our blog if you have +100 points. Comment on articles and blogposts, and other users will rate your comments. You receive points for positive ratings.


The Parental Control component in our products has already been described in detail. The component’s main task is to help parents safeguard their children from the hidden dangers of uncontrolled use of computers and the Internet. By default the component is not enabled – it has to be activated by the parents themselves.

Parental Control puts parents in charge of all their children’s online activities. This includes scheduling the days and hours the computer can be used and the Internet accessed, restricting how your child can communicate in chat rooms and social networks as well as saving any correspondence, and, importantly, blocking access to websites with harmful or undesirable content.

There are 14 such categories of sites in Kaspersky Lab products. Parents can decide which type of sites their child will not be able to access. When Parental Control is activated, access to the following categories of websites is blocked automatically:

  1. Pornography, erotic materials
  2. Illegal software
  3. Drugs
  4. Violence
  5. Explicit language
  6. Weapons
  7. Gambling
  8. Anonymous proxy servers

Any of the above categories can be unblocked if necessary, while the following categories can also be added to the list:

  1. Forums and chats
  2. Web mail
  3. Online stores
  4. Social networks
  5. Payment systems
  6. Casual games

Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) helps us gather statistics from users of Kaspersky Lab products, including alerts triggered by the Parental Control component.

Breakdown of alerts triggered by the Parental Control component worldwide, March-August 2012

It should be noted that the breakdown depends not only on the number of attempts to access websites from a category blocked by Parental Control but also on the specific categories that have been flagged by parents.

The Top 10 includes those categories of sites that are flagged automatically when the Parental Control component is activated, plus two of the categories that have to be activated by parents – ‘Social networks’ and ‘Online shopping’. Three categories lead the others by a wide margin, with ‘Pornography, erotic materials’ way out in front. Every month KSN registers 60 million attempts to access sites from this category on computers where this category was flagged in Kaspersky Lab’s Parental Control component. ‘Social networks’ is in second place with 16 million alerts per month, followed closely by ‘Illegal software’ (14.3 million alerts per month).

Does the breakdown of Parental Control alerts differ from country to country? To find out, we compared the alerts triggered by the component in countries from different parts of the world, namely Russia, Germany, the UK, the US, Japan, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

Incidents|What was that Wiper thing?

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 29, 13:00  GMT
Tags: Targeted Attacks, Duqu, Flame, Cyber weapon, Gauss, Wiper

In April 2012, several stories were published about a mysterious malware attack shutting down computer systems at businesses throughout Iran.

Several articles mentioned that a virus named Wiper was responsible. Yet, no samples were available from these attacks, causing many to doubt the accuracy of these reports.

Following these incidents, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) asked Kaspersky Lab to investigate the incidents and determine the potentially destructive impact of this new malware.

After several weeks of research, we failed to find any malware that shared any known properties with Wiper. However, we did discover the nation-state cyber-espionage campaign now known as Flame and later Gauss.

It is our firm opinion that Wiper was a separate strain of malware that was not Flame. Although Flame was a highly flexible attack platform, we did not see any evidence of very destructive behavior. Given the complexity of Flame, one would expect it to be used for long-term surveillance of targets instead of direct sabotage attacks on computer systems. Of course, it is possible that one of the last stages of the surveillance was the delivery of a Wiper-related payload, but so far we haven-t seen this anywhere.

Events|The Current Web-Delivered Java 0day

Kurt Baumgartner
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 28, 19:09  GMT
Tags: Sun Java, Zero-day vulnerabilities, Oracle

The Java 0day activity that we have been monitoring and preventing for almost the past week has been irresponsibly reported on other blogs, with early posts publicly linking to known sites serving the 0day. In itself, the race to publish on this 0day that will be assigned CVE-2012-4681 (a problem with processing access control within "protection domains"), has been irresponsible. Would you encourage folks to walk down a mugger's dark alley with no protection or would you work to communicate the muggers' whereabouts to the right folks and work on lighting the alley or giving better directions? Would you provide muggers with some new weapons that they haven't considered? The efforts this time around seem misplaced.

Anyway, initial sites hosting the exploit were unique and spreading known APT related toolset components, including a Poison Ivy variant. Here is a somewhat unexpected heat map of early, related PIvy detections.

And here is a heat map of early detections for related web pages and javascript delivering the Java exploit:

All the related malware that I have seen to this point targeted Windows systems. The exploits are effective against Java 7 and since the initial targeted attacks, news and the samples spread throughout the broader security community and the exploits made their way to metasploit developers, who added PoC to the open source framework. In turn, the Blackhole authors added the exploit to their COTS. So the attacks are widespread at this point. The first victim regions to be hit with the Blackhole stuff were the US, the Russian Federation, Belarus, Germany, the Ukraine and Moldova. But, in relation to the other exploits included in the pack, victims are getting hit only a fair number of times with the 0day. Internet Explorer users are being hit the most, followed by Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, and then a variety of other applications that handle URLs within their documents and eventually pass the malicious .jar on to a Java client, like Adobe Reader.

We are using a variety of detections and techniques to identify the malicious sites, the web pages involved, the exploit code, and the backdoor payloads delivered by these sites. Even though this particular Java 0day is getting hyped, other older exploits in the Blackhole exploit pack continue to get hit on victim systems with higher volume. So our community is protected from the Blackhole sites themselves, the Blackhole webpages serving the Blackhole Java 0day, compromised sites redirecting to the Blackhole sites, the more prevalent older Blackhole exploits and their delivery pages, and the trojans being delivered by these Blackhole sites. In addition to all that, Kaspersky "Advanced Exploit Prevention" adds another runtime/behavioral layer of protection against the 0day itself with with "Exploit.Java.Generic". This addition is the most interesting to myself - exploit pack authors have been focused on improving their Java exploit server-side polymorphism, and this AEP feature defeats those efforts. So, our user community will see access denied altogether for current Blackhole sites, individual Blackhole web pages detected with variations on "Trojan-Downloader.JS.Agent", the backdoors detected with "Trojan.Win32.Generic" and others (i.e., 61A3CE517FD8736AA32CAF9081F808B4, DEC9676E97AE998C75A58A02F33A66EA, 175EFFD7546CBC156E59DC42B7B9F969, 0C72DF76E96FA3C2A227F3FE4A9579F3), and the 0day Java exploit code detected with "HEUR:Exploit.Java.Agent.gen" (i.e. E441CF993D0242187898C192B207DC25, 70C555D2C6A09D208F52ACCC4787A4E2, E646B73C29310C01A097AA0330E24E7B, 353FD052F2211168DDC4586CB3A93D9F, 32A80AAE1E134AFB3D5C651948DCCC7D) among others, along with the runtime AEP prevention. So while you may see a few links to Virustotal with the inevitable complaining that a scanner is missing a specific chunk of altered code along with innaccurate claims that "AV is dead!" or "AV can't detect it", you should take them for the grain of salt that they are. The real story about client side mass exploitation is more complex than those claims. Some researchers call the various points in a delivery vector a kill chain, and Kaspersky products are killing it.

Follow me on Twitter

At the same time, Oracle needs to step it up and deliver an OOB patch, which historically they have failed to do. Maybe this event will provide even more pressure to step up their security update delivery process. They have been snapping up some good security research talent and beginning to reach out, which is a start. A very late start.

UPDATE (2012.08.30): Oracle patches CVE-2012-4681 and two other client side RCE vulnerabilities. It is probably a better idea for Windows users to go to their control panel, find the Java applet, and use the Java update software to manually get the latest JRE 7 and 6 releases - the default delay for the Java Update package to check is currently one week for the Java 7 installer.

Comment      Link

On 20th and 21st of August we had our 2nd Latin American Security Analyst Summit here in Quito, Ecuador.

It was not a closed-door event; we had guests from 13 countries of the region including our panelists from law enforcement agencies who work every day in the fight against cybercrime:

Emerson Wendt from the civil police of Brazil @EmersonWendt
Segundo Mansilla from the Police of investigations of Chile @s_mansilla
Fausto Estrella from Cyber police of Jalisco, Mexico
Santiago Acurio from Catholic University of Ecuador / Lawyer and Doctor of cybercrime Jurisprudence.

Incidents|Shamoon the Wiper in details

Dmitry Tarakanov
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 21, 22:30  GMT
Tags: Targeted Attacks, Wiper

We continue to analyse the Shamoon malware. This blog contains information about the internals of the malicious samples involved in this campaign.

Samples nesting

The main executable (dropper) includes 3 resources, each maintains a ciphered program. The cipher is pretty simple v xor by dword. This was mentioned in our first blog-post.

Resource PKCS12:112 maintains an encoded executable, xor-ed with key value 0xFB5D7F25. It is saved to disk using a name taken from a hardcoded list in the %WINDIR%\System32 folder during the dropper execution. In turn, this module maintains resource READONE :101 (xor key: 0xF052AF15), a driver decoded and saved to disk as %WINDIR%\System32\Drivers\DRDISK.SYS.

Resource PKCS7:113 maintains an executable, xor-ed with key 0x00BAD417 and saved to disk as %WINDIR%\System32\NETINIT.EXE during dropper execution.

Resource X509:116 maintains an AMD64 version of main the Shamoon executable (dropper) xor-ed with key 0xBB1AC25C. This in turn contains almost the same set of resources as its Win32 counterpart: PKCS12:112 v this file is the AMD64 version of the 1st executable dropped, with an AMD64 version of a driver, and PKCS7:113 v the AMD64 version of NETINIT.EXE. So, 112 and 113 resources have the same xor keys in x86 and AMD64 versions of the dropper, but the drivers- keys are different: the AMD64 version is xored by 0x10CAFFA0 value when x86 is ciphered with 0xF052AF15. This picture is worth a thousand words and sums up these on disk files:

Shamoon samples nesting

So, the Shamoon main executable has been coded to work in 3 modes:

1. the sample is run as a typical program in a 32-bit OS (argument-dependent)
2. the sample is run in a 64-bit OS
3. the sample is run as a service in a 32-bit OS

64-bit environment

First, the program checks if it has been launched in a 64-bit operating system. If so, it drops the AMD64 version of the main executable by decrypting the X509:116 resource and saving the decrypted data to disk as %WINDIR%\System32\trksrv.exe. Then it creates and starts the service ?TrkSvr using the following command line:

%WINDIR%\System32\cmd.exe /c "ping -n 30 >nul && sc config TrkSvr binpath= system32\trksrv.exe && ping -n 10 >nul && sc start TrkSvr "

This branch comes to an end and the program exits.

Let-s take a look what the program does if it runs as a typical program in a 32-bit operating system.

Events|Thoughts from the IDC Security Roadshow in South Africa

David Jacoby
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 21, 11:35  GMT

Greetings from the IDC Security Roadshow in Johannesburg, South Africa! I am sitting here in the hotel lobby looking out at the Nelson Mandela Square listening to the explosive track from DJ Fresh - The Feeling (Ft. RaVaughn) (Metrik Remix), reflecting on the last couple of days and the discussions I’ve had with various people.

I have been giving a few interviews and I was also presenting at the IDC security conference; my presentation is called “The Diary of a Security Geek” and it includes material from a one year long research project I have had. It basically contains observations made during these conferences and some really interesting facts on how security managers see IT security, how they prioritize and some interesting false perceptions on IT security and risks. I know that some of you might be interested in this research, so don’t worry - I will publish my research at a later date and I will also be giving the same presentation on quite a few conferences around the world this year.

Incidents|Shamoon the Wiper - Copycats at Work

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 16, 16:05  GMT
Tags: Targeted Attacks, Microsoft, Wiper

Earlier today, we received an interesting collection of samples from colleagues at another anti-malware company.

The samples are especially interesting because they contain a module with the following string:


Of course, the ?wiper reference immediately reminds us of the Iranian computer-wiping incidents from April 2012 that led to the discovery of Flame.

The malware is a 900KB PE file that contains a number of encrypted resources:

Shamoon resources

Incidents|The Mystery of the Encrypted Gauss Payload

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 14, 13:00  GMT
Tags: Data Encryption, Cyber espionage, Gauss

There are many remaining mysteries in the Gauss and Flame stories. For instance, how do people get infected with the malware? Or, what is the purpose of the uniquely named “Palida Narrow” font that Gauss installs?

Perhaps the most interesting mystery is Gauss’ encrypted warhead. Gauss contains a module named “Godel” that features an encrypted payload. The malware tries to decrypt this payload using several strings from the system and, upon success, executes it. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to break the encryption. So today we are presenting all the available information about the payload in the hope that someone can find a solution and unlock its secrets. We are asking anyone interested in cryptology and mathematics to join us in solving the mystery and extracting the hidden payload.

The containers

Infected USB sticks have two files that contain several encrypted sections. Named “System32.dat” and “System32.bin”, they are 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the same code. These files are loaded from infected drives using the well-known LNK exploit introduced by Stuxnet. Their primary goal is to extract a lot of information about the victim system and write it back to a file on the drive named “.thumbs.db”. Several known versions of the files contain three encrypted sections (one code section, two data sections).

The decryption key for these sections is generated dynamically and depends on the features of the victim system, preventing anyone except the designated target(s) from extracting the contents of the sections.

By the way, the 64-bit version of the module has some debug information left in it. The module contains debug assertion strings and names of the modules:

NULL != encSection
NULL != pathVar && curPos < pathVarSize
NULL != progFilesDirs && curPos < progFilesDirsSize
NULL != isExpected
NULL != key
(NULL != result) && (NULL !=str1) && (NULL != str2)

The data

The mysterious encrypted data is stored in three sections:

The files also contain an encrypted resource “100” that seems to be the actual payload, given the relatively small size of the encrypted sections. It is most likely that the section “.exsdat” contains the code for decrypting the resource and executing its contents.

Incidents|Online detection of Gauss

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 10, 14:23  GMT
Tags: Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame, Gauss

After the publication of our whitepaper about the Gauss cyber-attack, we have been asked if there is an easy way for users to check their system for infection. Of course the most reliable way is to download and install our antivirus solution or use the free Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool.

If someone needs to double-check or for some reason cannot download full antivirus package, we offer a quick and easy way to check for the presence of Gauss component.

The idea of checking the system using a webpage comes from the wellknown Hungarian research lab, known as CrySyS. They have also introduced a web-based method to check your system for Palida Narrow. Their test webpage is currently available here: http://gauss.crysys.hu.

We used the same idea and tried to improve the detection method. Now it works without server interaction.


Yesterday it was a dark day for many companies in Europe, but especially in the Netherlands. A piece of malware known as Worm.Win32.Dorifel infected over 3000 machines globally, and 90% of infected users were both from public and business sector organizations based in the Netherlands. We have seen government departments and hospitals being victims. The other countries with a large amount of infections were detected in Denmark, the Philippines, Germany, the United States and Spain. All users running Kaspersky Lab’s Products are protected from this threat.

The malware is initially distributed via email to victims. It uses a “Right To Left” vulnerability to hide its original file extension. The malware then downloads another malware which encrypts documents and executes them on the infected computer. Dorifel also attempts to encrypt files found on network shares.

When I was sitting down and investigating the Dorifel malware I noticed that the servers hosting the Dorifel malware was not configured properly and allowed for example directory listing in certain directories. This triggered me to search for more interesting directories, which I did and to my surprise I noticed that the server was hosting a lot more malicious “components” and not just the Dorifel malware. It is very difficult to say if this scam is complex and advanced since it uses many different components with different complexity level. Some of the interesting things I found includes:



Gauss is the most recent cyber-surveillance operation in the Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame saga.

It was probably created in mid-2011 and deployed for the first time in August-September 2011.

Gauss was discovered during the course of the ongoing effort initiated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), following the discovery of Flame. The effort is aimed at mitigating the risks posed by cyber-weapons, which is a key component in achieving the overall objective of global cyber-peace.

In 140 chars or less, “Gauss is a nation state sponsored banking Trojan which carries a warhead of unknown designation”. Besides stealing various kinds of data from infected Windows machines, it also includes an unknown, encrypted payload which is activated on certain specific system configurations.

Just like Duqu was based on the “Tilded” platform on which Stuxnet was developed, Gauss is based on the “Flame” platform. It shares some functionalities with Flame, such as the USB infection subroutines.

In this FAQ, we answer some of the main questions about this operation. In addition to this, we are also releasing a full technical paper (HTML version and PDF version) about the malware’s functionalities.

What is Gauss? Where does the name come from?

Gauss is a complex cyber-espionage toolkit created by the same actors behind the Flame malware platform. It is highly modular and supports new functions which can be deployed remotely by the operators in the form of plugins. The currently known plugins perform the following functions:

  • Intercept browser cookies and passwords.
  • Harvest and send system configuration data to attackers.
  • Infect USB sticks with a data stealing module.
  • List the content of the system drives and folders
  • Steal credentials for various banking systems in the Middle East.
  • Hijack account information for social network, email and IM accounts.

The modules have internal names which appear to pay tribute to famous mathematicians and philosophers, such as Kurt Godel, Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss and Joseph-Louis Lagrange.

The module named “Gauss” is the most important in the malware as it implements the data stealing capabilities and we have therefore named the malware toolkit by this most important component.

Gauss Architecture

In addition, the authors forgot to remove debugging information from some of the Gauss samples, which contain the paths where the project resides. The paths are:

Variant Path to project files
August 2011 d:\projects\gauss
October 2011 d:\projects\gauss_for_macis_2
Dec 2011-Jan 2012 c:\documents and settings\flamer\desktop\gauss_white_1

One immediately notices “projects\gauss”.

In regards to the “white” part - we believe this is a reference to Lebanon, the country with the most Gauss infections. According to Wikipedia, “The name Lebanon comes from the Semitic root LBN, meaning "white", likely a reference to the snow-capped Mount Lebanon.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon#Etymology

Virus Watch|New ZitMo for Android and Blackberry

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 07, 12:54  GMT
Tags: Mobile Malware, ZeuS, Google Android

Ten months ago we’ve published an article about ZeuS-in-the-Mobile which contains an overview of everything we knew about ZitMo at that moment. The paper finishes with the following prediction: ‘they [attacks involving ZitMo] will become more specifically targeted against a smaller number of victims’. This prediction appears to have been correct. It’s not that often when we hear/find new wave of ZeuS-in-the-Mobile (or SpyEye-in-the-Mobile) attack. So every new piece of information about these types of malware and/or attacks involving them is very important and helps to understand the evolution of one of the most interesting threats in mobile space so far. Just a small reminder: ZeuS-in-the-Mobile is almost 2 years old. And this blog is about new samples (and probably new wave of attack)) of ZitMo for Android and Blackberry.

New samples overview

We’ve got 5 new files of ZitMo: 4 for Blackberry and 1 for Android. As you may know, the Blackberry platform has never been actively targeted by malware. And here we have 4 different samples of ZeuS-in-the-Mobile for Blackberry at once: 3 .cod files and 1 .jar file (with one more .cod inside). Yes, finally we’ve got a ZitMo dropper file for Blackberry.

As for Android, there is only one .apk dropper. But this ZeuS-in-the-Mobile for Android has been modified and now looks like a ‘classic’ ZitMo with same commands and logic.

Countries and C&C numbers

All samples of ZitMo we’ve seen so far target users from various European countries (Spain, Poland, Germany, etc). This case is no exception. Here is a list of countries from which users are threatened by new ZeuS-in-the-Mobile with C&C number from the sample.


  • Germany +46769436094
  • Spain +46769436073
  • Italy +46769436073
  • Spain +46769436073


  • Germany +46769436094

To summarize, there are 3 countries (Germany, Spain and Italy) and 2 C&C numbers (both are Swedish). We found out that these cell phone numbers belong to Tele2 mobile operator in Sweden.

Incidents|Trying to unmask the fake Microsoft support scammers!

David Jacoby
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 04, 08:27  GMT

I’m pretty sure that most of you guys know about the recent phone scam which is circulating right now. They have been calling a lot of people in countries such as Germany, Sweden, the UK and probably more. The scam is pretty simple; they pretend to be from a department within Microsoft which has received indications that your computer is infected with some malware. They will then offer (for free) to verify if this is the case. If the victim agrees on this, they will ask the victim to perform certain actions, and also type certain commands, which will trick a non-experienced user that the output is actually showing that the computer is infected.

I just want to mention that there is no such department at Microsoft, and they would never call up customers offering this. So if you ever get a call ‘from Microsoft’ stating that there are some indications that your computer is broken or infected - please hang up!

Well, they have called me several times, and finally Ii got fed up with this and started to play along. At the same time I had my virtual machines running and was recording everything that they were doing. The goal was to find out who they were and exactly what the scam was. Luckily I was able to get hold of information such as their internal IP addresses, the PayPal accounts used to wire money and the numbers they are calling from.

Events|5 takeaways from Las Vegas

Vicente Diaz
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 03, 05:35  GMT
Tags: Conferences

Probably the two most important security conferences in the world are held in Las Vegas during the same week, gathering more than 15,000 attendees and offering dozens of talks. Even if you are here, you will find a situation where you want to attend 2 or 3 talks at the same time, or the frustration of attending one talk only to find there is no room left for you in the next one you wanted to attend.

So I thought it would be useful, whether you were in Las Vegas or not, to highlight the most relevant things that happened there during these 2 weeks, in my opinion:

Events|Television Fraud of Olympic proportions

Dmitry Bestuzhev
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 03, 01:07  GMT
Tags: Social Engineering, Campaigns

    Whenever an important event takes place, new opportunities for cyber criminals, especially for those who develop attacks based on social engineering, arise.  Currently, the whole world has its eyes glued to TV screens watching the London 2012 Olympic Games. Worldwide interest on this event is so strong that cyber criminals were quick to take advantage of this opportunity and launched multiple campaigns promoting alleged paid online TV programming that would allow users to see live broadcasts of the Olympic Games via the Internet.  Several fake pages were found with titles such as:

Best way to watch London 2012 Olympics online live stream HD
London 2012 Live Streaming

Virus Watch|Vidro: How deep and mobile is the rabbit hole?

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted August 02, 08:52  GMT
Tags: Mobile Malware, Google Android

The appearance of a new Android malware family is not that surprising at all today. Especially when we talk about SMS Trojans which are one of the most popular and oldest type of threats created for extracting money from users. A new family of SMS Trojans named Vidro appeared a few days ago but we’ve already collected a lot of APK files with very similar functionality. At the moment all the samples we have found target users only from Poland.


Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Vidro is spread via porn sites. The mechanism is very similar to the way the very first Android malware (Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer) spread. If the user visits a porn site with a desktop browser he will see something similar to this:

But if the potential victim somehow visits the same website using an Android device, a porn web site will be ‘optimized’ for the smartphone:


Recently, we came across web malware that – instead of injecting an iframe pointing to a fixed existing address – generates a pseudo-random domain name, depending on the current date. This approach is not new and is widely used by botnets in C&C domain name generation, yet it's not very common for the web malware we’ve seen so far.

After deobfuscation, we can see that the iframe redirecting to the malicious URL with generated domain name is appended to the HTML file. All URLs consist of 16 pseudo-random letters, belonging to the ru domain and execute PHP script on the server side with the sid=botnet2 as argument: