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Spam Test|Would you like some Zeus with your coffee?

Maria Vergelis
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted April 16, 15:47  GMT
Tags: Spam Letters, ZeuS

Cybercriminals often like to use a bogus letter to trick people into opening malicious attachments. There are two tricks that make this work: a message from a familiar name (a bank, social network, service provider or other organization that might interest the recipient) and an intriguing or alarming subject. An attack based on fake messages supposedly from coffee chain Starbucks combined the two.


The more people switch to 64-bit platforms, the more 64-bit malware appears. We have been following this process for several years now. The more people work on 64-bit platforms, the more 64-bit applications that are developed as well. Sometimes these include some very specific applications, for example, banking applications.... If someone wants to hack into an application like this and steal information, the best tool for that would also be a 64-bit agent. And what’s the most notorious banking malware? ZeuS, of course – the trendsetter for the majority of today’s banking malware. Its web injects have become a fundamental must-have feature of almost every banking malware family. And it was only a matter of time until a 64-bit version of ZeuS appeared – but we didn’t expect it to happen quite so soon.

That’s because cybercriminals don’t actually need a 64-bit version. ZeuS is mostly intended to intercept data passing through browsers, and modify that data allowing the operator to steal information related to online banking, to wire transactions or to cover his tracks. But nowadays people still use 32-bit browsers – even on 64-bit operating systems. So, 32-bit versions of ZeuS have been sufficient to keep the thieves satisfied with their earnings.

Then, out of the blue, we spotted a 32-bit ZeuS sample maintaining a 64-bit version inside. And it’s turned out that this 64-bit version has already been recorded being present in the wild at least since June, 2013 and compilation date specified in the sample is April 29, 2013! Moreover, this ZeuS version works via Tor. The initial 32-bit sample injects malicious code into target processes. If the target process belongs to a 64-bit application, ZeuS injects its 64-bit version into the process; otherwise, it pushes the 32-bit version. We ran tests to see how the 64-bit ZeuS works inside a 64-bit Internet Explorer and it demonstrated the usual ZeuS functionality: in any case, the web injects functioned as usual.

Publications|ZeuS – now packed as an antivirus update

Andrey Kostin
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted December 04, 08:16  GMT
Tags: Spam Letters, ZeuS, Phishing

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.

One of the phishing messages

Virus Watch|Carberp-in-the-Mobile

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted December 14, 11:39  GMT
Tags: Mobile Malware, Internet Banking, Google, ZeuS, Google Android, QR code

We previously wrote several times about Man-in-the-Mobile attacks which aim to steal mTANs sent via SMS. For a long time, only two families of such malware have been known: ZeuS-in-the-Mobile (ZitMo) and SpyEye-in-the-Mobile (SpitMo). ZitMo and SpitMo work together with their Windows ‘brothers’. Actually, without them, they would look like trivial SMS spy Trojans. It is necessary to mention that during the last two years such attacks have been observed only in some European countries like Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland and few others.

But when the mobile version of Carberp Trojan appeared (we detect it as Trojan-Spy.AndroidOS.Citmo, Carberp-in-the-Mobile) such attacks became real in Russia as well. There is no secret that online banking is becoming more and more popular in Russia; and banks are very active in promoting online banking with various authorization methods.

Carberp for Windows works in a similar way to the ZeuS Trojan. If a user tries to login into his online banking account using a machine infected by Carberp, the malware will modify the transaction so that user credentials are sent to a malicious server rather than a bank server.

In addition to the login and password, cybercriminals still need mTANs in order to confirm any money transfer operation from a stolen account. That is why one of the Carberp modifications (we call it Trojan-Spy.Win32.Carberp.ugu and we've added detection for it on 11th of December) alters the online banking web page on the fly, inviting the user to download and install an application which is allegedly necessary for logging into the system. And the user can get this link via SMS message by entering his phone number or by scanning a QR-code:

According to this screenshot, users of one of the most popular Russian banks, Sberbank, are under attack. ‘Sberbank’ updated its web page on 12th of December with information about the attack. The link in the QR-code led to the fake ‘SberSafe’ application (Trojan-Spy.AndroidOS.Citmo) which has been in Google Play since 30th of November.

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.

Virus Watch|Android Security Suite Premium = New ZitMo

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted June 18, 12:30  GMT
Tags: Mobile Malware, ZeuS, Google Android

On the 4th of June 2012 we found 3 APK files of ~207 kb in size each heuristically detected by our engine as HEUR:Trojan-Spy.AndroidOS.Zitmo.a. All these applications are malicious and were created to steal incoming SMS messages from infected devices. SMS messages will be uploaded to a remote server whose URL is encrypted and stored inside the body of the Trojan. We found 3 more APK files with exactly the same functionality on 8th, 13th and 14th of June. So there are at least 6 files which pretend to be ‘Android Security Suite Premium’ but in fact were created only for stealing incoming SMS messages.

After the infection there is a blue shield icon in the menu with the name ‘Android Security Suite Premium’:

If the application is launched it will show a generated ‘activation code’:

Spam Test|A gift from ZeuS for passengers of US Airways

Dmitry Tarakanov
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted April 03, 12:58  GMT
Tags: ZeuS


On 20 March, we detected a spam campaign targeting passengers of US Airways. Almost the entire week cybercriminals were sending users the following email allegedly from US Airways:

There is a brief description of the check-in procedure and a confirmation code is provided for online reservation.

The criminals are obviously banking on any recipients flying on the flight mentioned in the email clicking on the link "Online reservation details".

Different emails contained different links — for example, we noticed the following domains: sulichat.hu, prakash.clanteam.com, panvelkarrealtors.com.

After clicking the link a series of redirects eventually leads to a domain hosting BlackHole Exploit Kit.


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.

Research|SpyEye vs. Tracker

Dmitry Tarakanov
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted October 17, 16:02  GMT
Tags: Botnets, Spyware, ZeuS, SpyEye

It has become clear that the creator of the banking Trojan SpyEye have added plugin support to their code. In this new design, these plugins can be used by third parties to add extra functions to the core bot. The plugins are DLLs stored in the bot’s configuration file. Among the core plugins created for SpyEye is customconnector. As its name implies, this supports the bot’s communications with the botnet C&C or its collector. The collector is a malicious server which receives data harvested from the victim’s computer; it can be distinct from the C&C server. Since the creator of SpyEye has outsourced the botnet’s links to the C&C server, different SpyEye operators can create unique protocols governing communications between bot and server. Naturally, these protocols could make it more difficult to track the activity of SpyEye botnets. Despite this, cybercriminals have not, so far, rushed to take advantage of this opportunity: SpyEye’s old protocol in the basic customconnector.dll is still in use. Even so, we have recently spotted some changes related to this plugin.

Each plugin has a configuration file attached. If the plugin is customconnector.dll, its configuration file will be customconnector.dll.cfg. Cybercriminals can insert plain-text fragments into this config file containing settings for the plugin’s functions. Since customconnector.dll is a communication plugin, its config file has always identified the botnet’s C&C servers. The botnet operator could easily switch to a new C&C server by introducing the new URLs into the text file and updating the configuration file in the botnet.

Here is a sample configuration file:

Figure 1. A configuration file for customconnector.dll


After rumors about the supposed merger between SpyEye and ZeuS, and the public release of the source of the latter, it was logical that the range of possibilities opened up even more for new cybercriminals into the ecosystem of crimeware.

Consistent with this, it was only a matter of time for the emergence of new packages based on ZeuS crimeware, which is now realized. Ice IX Botnet is the first new generation of web applications developed to manage centralized botnets through the HTTP protocol based on leaked ZeuS source code.