24 Apr Changing characters: something exotic in place of regular Latin script Maria Rubinstein
24 Apr CeCOS VIII - Hong Kong Michael
23 Apr Easter bunnies for all occasions Tatiana Kulikova
23 Apr An SMS Trojan with global ambitions Roman Unuchek
17 Apr New threat: Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Stealer.a Victor Chebyshev
16 Apr Would you like some Zeus with your coffee? Maria Vergelis
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Google Chrome users are being targeted these days by a wave of attacks that uses malicious extensions hosted in the official Chrome Web Store. The attack appears to be of Turkish origin and is using Facebook to spread. We saw users of different nationalities infected with the malicious extensions, which the cybercriminals are sending to the official store regularly, in a cat-and-mouse game.
As we already reported in March 2012, Brazilian cybercriminals were able at that time to host a malicious extension in the Chrome Web Store. Since then in June 2012 Google has changed the way users can add third party browser extensions i.e. not allowing the installation that are not hosted on the official Web Store. More recently Google removed the possibility of silent installations, which has been widely abused by third parties.
Maybe for these reasons bad guys started to concentrate their efforts to upload bad extensions to the official store. Now it’s the turn of Turkish cybercriminals; they were able to host several extensions there in the last few days.
In China these days, e-commerce has become an important part of daily life, especially among young people. According to a report from CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center), the number of Chinese e-commerce users reached 242 million at the end of the December 2012. This is nearly half of all Chinese internet users.
Because of this, many Chinese cyber-criminals changed their business from stealing QQ numbers or virtual assets in online games to stealing money during the online trading. In October, People-s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, reported that a group of cybercriminals were arrested in connection with a Trojan targeting the e-commerce users. The Trojan, detected by Kaspersky Lab as trojan-Banker.Win32.Bancyn.a, was named -Floating Cloud-, and was used to steal several millions of dollars from e-commerce users.
The name -Floating Cloud-, -浮云- in Chinese, comes from a very popular saying among Chinese internet users -神马都是浮云-. The direct translation is -God horses are always floating clouds-, which means everything flows away in haste like floating clouds. But here, the floating cloud is not a God horse but a Trojan horse. And the -Floating Cloud- was written in EAZY programming language in which programs can be written totally in Chinese.
To distribute the Trojan, cyber-criminals often masquerade as sellers. When the customer/target asks for information about the merchandise, they send a zip archive with the names like -detail information- which purports to contain a few pictures depicting the merchandise. But among these pictures, there is an executable file with the icon of image files. If the customer wants to take a look at this -picture- file and double clicks it, the Trojan will run.
Brazilian cybercrime is based primarily on the spread of Trojan bankers. For some time now the country’s bad guys have been investing their efforts in new monetization schemes, the latest includes the use of adware. And the perfect place for distributing this sort of malware? Yes, that’s right – social networks. This is how "PimpMyWindow", an adware and click-fraud scheme that has infected several Brazilian Facebook users in recent days, works.
To spread quickly among innocent users the adware uses a "change the color of your profile" option that recently surfaced. The infected profiles are used to spread automatic messages to your Facebook contacts:
Since our announcement about "Red October", we've received a lot of questions on how to quickly identify compromised systems.
That's why together with our partner Alienvault we've decided to put together a small whitepaper for CERTs and system administrators which can help identify and mitigate the attack.
Earlier this week, we published our report on “Red October”, a high-level cyber-espionage campaign that during the past five years has successfully infiltrated computer networks at diplomatic, governmental and scientific research organizations.
In part one, we covered the most important parts of the campaign: the anatomy of the attack, a timeline of the attacker’s operation, the geographical distribution of the victims, sinkhole information and presented a high level overview of the C&C infrastructure.
Today we are publishing part two of our research, which comprises over 140 pages of technical analysis of the modules used in the operation.
When analyzing targeted attacks, sometimes researchers focus on the superficial system infection and how that occurred. Sometimes, that is sufficient, but in the case of Kaspersky Lab, we have higher standards. This is why our philosophy is that it’s important to analyze not just the infection, but to answer three very important questions:
According to our knowledge, never before in the history of ITSec has an cyber-espionage operation been analyzed in such deep detail, with a focus on the modules used for attack and data exfiltration. In most cases, the analysis is compromised by the lack of access to the victim’s data; the researchers see only some of the modules and do not understand the full purpose of the attack or what was stolen.
To get around these hiccups, we set up several fake victims around the world and monitored how the attackers handled them over the course of several months. This allowed us to collect hundreds of attack modules and tools. In addition to these, we identified many other modules used in other attacks, which allowed us to gain a unique insight into the attack.
Since the publication of our report, our colleagues from Seculert have discovered and posted a blog about the usage of another delivery vector in the Red October attacks.
In addition to Office documents (CVE-2009-3129, CVE-2010-3333, CVE-2012-0158), it appears that the attackers also infiltrated victim network(s) via Java exploitation (MD5: 35f1572eb7759cb7a66ca459c093e8a1 - 'NewsFinder.jar'), known as the 'Rhino' exploit (CVE-2011-3544).We know the early February 2012 timeframe that they would have used this technique, and this exploit use is consistent with their approach in that it's not 0-day. Most likely, a link to the site was emailed to potential victims, and the victim systems were running an outdated version of Java. However, it seems that this vector was not heavily used by the group. When we downloaded the php responsible for serving the '.jar' malcode archive, the line of code delivering the java exploit was commented out. Also, the related links, java, and the executable payload are proving difficult to track down to this point. The domain involved in the attack is presented only once in a public sandbox at malwr.com (http://malwr.com/analysis/c3b0d1403ba35c3aba8f4529f43fb300/), and only on February 14th, the very same day that they registered the domain hotinfonews.com:
Domain Name: HOTINFONEWS.COM
Denis Gozolov (email@example.com)
Narva mnt 27
Creation Date: 14-Feb-2012
Expiration Date: 14-Feb-2013
Following that quick public disclosure, related MD5s and links do not show up in public or private repositories, unlike the many other Red October components.We could speculate that the group successfully delivered their malware payload to the appropriate target(s) for a few days, then didn't need the effort any longer. Which may also tell us that this group, which meticulously adapted and developed their infiltration and collection toolset to their victims' environment, had a need to shift to Java from their usual spearphishing techniques in early February 2012. And then they went back to their spear phishing. Also of note, there was a log recording three separate victim systems behind an IP address in the US, each connecting with a governmental economic research institute in the Middle East.
Here's a link to the full paper (part 1) about our Red October research. During the next days, we'll be publishing Part 2, which contains a detailed technical analysis of all the known modules. Please stay tuned.
During the past five years, a high-level cyber-espionage campaign has successfully infiltrated computer networks at diplomatic, governmental and scientific research organizations, gathering data and intelligence from mobile devices, computer systems and network equipment.
Kaspersky Lab's researchers have spent several months analyzing this malware, which targets specific organizations mostly in Eastern Europe, former USSR members and countries in Central Asia, but also in Western Europe and North America.
The campaign, identified as "Rocra", short for "Red October", is currently still active with data being sent to multiple command-and-control servers, through a configuration which rivals in complexity the infrastructure of the Flame malware. Registration data used for the purchase of C&C domain names and PE timestamps from collected executables suggest that these attacks date as far back as May 2007.
Just a quick note, it's only the second week of January, but early 2013 brings with it the first Java 0day mass exploit distribution of the year.
There appears to be multiple ad networks redirecting to Blackhole sites, amplifying the mass exploitation problem. We have seen ads from legitimate sites, especially in the UK, Brazil, and Russia, redirecting to domains hosting the current Blackhole implementation delivering the Java 0day. These sites include weather sites, news sites, and of course, adult sites. A few obfuscated files are being delivered to victim systems with names like Stretch.jar, Edit.jar, UTTER-OFFEND.JAR, and more. The first appearance of the exploit's prevention in our KSN community seemed to be January 6th. But as we dig back further, we find related samples from mid-December. So, we have been preventing this 0day in particular for quite some time. At this point, it seems that the first instance of the particular 0day jar file contents ITW is 7550ce423b2981ad5d3aaa5691832aa6. Filenames for the class files remain the same until recently. It would be interesting to see an earlier instance.
Update (2012.01.10 3:30 p.m. MT) - Metasploit developers have added an exploit module targeting this vulnerability CVE-2013-0422.
Microsoft starts the new year with a January Security Bulletin Release of seven Security Bulletins. These seven bulletins cover at least 11 CVE. Three of the vulnerabilities need to be addressed immediately with two of the Bulletins. These three vulnerabilities effect XML Core Service components (MS13-001) that can be abused using Internet Explorer as a vector of attack, and a Print Spooler component (MS13-002) that could be abused once an attacker has infiltrated a network, as described in this Microsoft SRD post. This flaw is important to address for organizations that are victims of targeted attacks. Now that Pass-the-Hash techniques are becoming better understood and mitigated, attackers will look to lateral movement alternatives like these. So, while it's doubtful that we would see a fast-spreading worm resulting from this one, but as with Ramnit, it's important for small and medium businesses to understand what ports and services are exposed to the internet and avoid becoming a victim. Either way, these two Bulletins should be addressed immediately.
It's interesting to note that Microsoft is attending to these vulnerabilities, even though they are not yet being publicly exploited according to the company.
Other Bulletins this month patch SCOM components, .NET, and OData Services, as well as a Windows kernel EoP effecting all versions of Windows and an interesting SSL bypass. SCOM is interesting because it is the Microsoft Security Center Operations Manager, and the patch isn't available as it isn't fully tested just yet. On one hand, Microsoft's testing capabilities are unbelieveably complex and thorough, so it's a surprise that this release isn't delivered alongside the others. On the other hand, it's an XSS vulnerability that would require some unusual scenarios to exploit, and the Internet Explorer XSS filter can be enable to mitigate the issue. So this one is a bit obscure to be widely hit. The .NET vulnerability set is a bit more dangerous, because these vulnerabilities can be exploited in combination via web browsers. These vulnerabilities effect versions 1.1 through 4.5 of the Microsoft .NET framework on all versions of Windows, including Windows Server 2012. And finally, OData (Open Data Protocol) services components support fairly newer network exchange protocols used in business and other backend applications as a part of the Windows Communication Framework Data Services. These services are simply available to a denial of service attack.
The last week of 2012 marked the 29th installment of the Chaos Communication Congress. Organized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), the congress is an annual conference on technology and its impact on society. Although the scope may look quite loose, both lectures and workshops typically revolve around privacy, freedom of information, data security and other hacking issues. Needless to say, it has always been a great success; huge, considering that black-hat sized events here in Europe are not that common. Take, for instance, the fact that this year the congress had to be held in Hamburg, as Berlin could not offer a congress center fit enough to host more than 6000 attendees. Trust me, this number was not an exaggeration at all!
I admit my expectations were quite high: after four long years of scientific symposia going back to more technical venues was indeed putting my brain in hunger-mode. However, having experienced what it means organizing events for medium sized scientific conferences, I was honestly puzzled about turning a huge building such as the Congress Center of Hamburg in a functional place ready to host lectures, workshops, and hack spaces. Boy I was wrong to be worried about it. The event lasted 4 whole days (from the 27th to the 30th) with an impeccable organization: not only were all lectures and workshops flawlessly organized, streamed, and chaired; but also all open spaces were collectivized and used for all kind of hacking purposes, from playing CTF to entry-level courses on the Arduino platform.
The speakers on the other hand could take advantage of extremely well-sized rooms, with the most important talks having available an auditorium able to host more than 2000 people. Nevertheless, I have to say I was forced to learn one thing pretty fast: if you are interested in a topic, and that topic happens to be quite a hot one, well, be ready to get to the room at least 15 minutes before show-time; seriously, being on time never worked; any room, regardless of the capacity, was liable to get full. Believe me, I was really thankful for the flawless streaming infrastructure (watching a talk on my laptop that was taking place just few meters away was indeed paradoxical :) ).
The first day's line up was respectable. The keynote was given by Jacob Appelbaum, known for his contributions to "The Tor Project", and also former spokesperson for WikiLeaks. After the usual introductions, he explained the reasons of this year's congress' zeitgeist "Not My Department". We all have heard this sentence at least once in our lives; usually uttered to belittle other people's arguments, it has always been used as an example of a closed mindset at work. Jacob's point was that this attitude is even more detrimental in an inter-connected world. What is the use of a privacy-preserving bill if our data flows through the routers of oppressive governments potentially assembling huge data sets about our lives? A new level of awareness is therefore suggested.
Microsoft just publicly announced a release to actively "untrust" three certificates issued by Certificate Authority TURKTRUST and its Intermediate CAs, a subsidiary of the Turkish Armed Forces ELELE Foundation Company. According to Microsoft, the company made a couple major mistakes resulting in fraudulent certificate issuance that could be used to MiTM encrypted communications or spoof gmail and a long list of other google properties. A Chrome installation detected a "an unauthorized digital certificate for the "*.google.com" domain" late the night of Dec. 24th 2012, and the Google security team's investigation began there.