Over the last couple of years, the industry’s and the media’s attention has been shifting from mass widespread malware campaigns to targeted attacks most commonly targeting human rights organizations, governments and the military, also known as advanced persistent threats (APTs).
In this post, I’ll profile a recently spotted underground market advertisement, which basically offers a Microsoft Access file of data belonging to executives within major companies such as Audi, Ralph Lauren, Bentley, Breitling, Porsche, Avito, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Live Nation, Societe Generale, Bloomberg, Technip, Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, etc., obtained primarily through valid business cards.
Cybercriminals are masters of multi-tasking. For instance, whenever a web server gets compromised, they will not only use its clean IP reputation to host phishing, spam and malware samples on it, they will also sell access to the shell allowing other cybercriminals the opportunity to engage in related malicious activities such as, mass scanning of remotely exploitable web application vulnerabilities.
Today, I intercepted a currently active phishing campaign that’s a good example of a popular tactic used by cybercriminal known as ‘campaign optimization’. The reason this campaign is well optimized it due to the fact that as it simultaneously targets Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and Windows Hotmail email users.
PayPay users, beware! Phishers have just started spamvertising hundreds of thousands of legitimately-looking PayPal themed emails, in an attempt to trick users into entering their accounting data on the fraudulent web site linked in the emails.
Today, one of our Webroot SecureAnywhere for Android users reported seeing ad redirections while browsing on his Android device. As we began investigating, we noticed that there were a lot of other mobile users seeing the same thing – yes, on their iPhones as well! We were also able to reproduce the behavior on our devices.
We are still investigating this issue and hope to track down the advertisers responsible. There does not appear to be anything malicious about these pop-ups for the time being, but we are sure malware authors will employ this tactic soon. With the rash of Rogue Applications and the recent discovery of a Rogue AV app (blog coming soon), we can see how this method could be exploited with malicious intent. Again, these are not platform or application-specific behaviors.
In order for cybercriminals to launch, spam, phishing and targeted attacks, they would first have to obtain access to a “touch point”, in this case, your valid email address, IM screen name, or social networking account.
In this post we’ll profile a recently released Russian DIY email harvester, and emphasize on the difference between notice and experienced cybercriminals in the context of the tactics and techniques they use to obtain a potential victim’s email address.
On a daily basis, spammers register thousands of new domains across multiple domain registrars, and take advantage of WHOIS privacy services to ensure that security researchers and anti-spam fighters will have hard time taking them down. So what can we do about it?
Just like in every other industry, participants in the cybercrime ecosystem are no strangers to the concept of standardization. Standardization results in efficiencies, which on the other hand results in economies of scale. In this case, malicious economies of scale.
Just how easy is it to launch a phishing attack nowadays? What tools, and tactics are at the disposal of phishers aiming to efficiently socially engineer hundreds of thousands of users?
In this post, I will profile the Ninja V0.4 Social Engineering Phishing Framework – an advanced platform for executing phishing attacks in a DIY (do-it-yourself) fashion.
Late Monday, after news about the death of troubled pop singer Amy Winehouse had been circling the globe for a little more than 48 hours, we saw the first malware appear that used the singer’s name as a social engineering trick to entice victims to run the malicious file. Abusing celebrity names, news, or even deaths isn’t a new (or even particularly interesting) social engineering tactic, but there was one unique aspect to this particular malware’s behavior that raised some eyebrows around here: It appears that Brazilian phisher-Trojan writers seem to be working more closely with their Chinese counterparts, using servers in China as dead drops for their stolen goods.
The widely-reported case of the malware campaign continues to distribute new, randomized files via a download link managed through a dynamic DNS service, more than a week on. The file’s name, in Portugese, (“103684policia-inglesa-divulga-fotos-do-corpo-da-cantora-amy-winehouse-WVA.exe“) translates roughly to English police divulge photos of singer Amy Winehouse’s corpse, but victims who open this file are only going to see their computer become compromised.
The malware modifies the Hosts file in Windows to redirect traffic from 78 different Web sites — the vast majority of which are Brazilian banks and finance sites such as e-gold, with the rest being American Express, and Microsoft‘s Brazilian and US domains for Hotmail, Live, and MSN — to one of 9 IP addresses, almost all of which point to servers hosted in Chinese networks. One oddball outlier IP address in the modified Hosts file list points to an IP address belonging to the network operated by the Ford Motor Company, but that IP address was not allocated to an operational server when I did some tests.
It can seem at times that the only people who like change are Internet attackers. And they don’t just like it—they need it. Technology’s rapid changes give cybercriminals new attack vectors to exploit, and new ways to turn a profit out of someone else’s misfortune.
Take phishing, for example. The concept is simple: Send an email disguised as a message from a bank, PayPal, or UPS. Wait for the user to click a link in the message, and enter their private details into a phishing site, and presto! The attacker attains financial or personal login details that can be used to commit fraud or theft.
Of course, it was only a matter of time before most people caught on to email scams. Users read again and again not to click on such links. Mail solutions became better at spotting phishing emails and filtering them into a junk email folder. Even free Web mail providers now catch the majority of these attacks.
Once cybercriminals noticed their traditional phishing approaches were returning lower response rates, they rapidly adjusted to new mediums. As a result, a new trend emerged: smishing (social media phishing) became the new trend in cyber attacks.
In the second of a two-part series with Threat Research Analyst Grayson Milbourne, we answer a question about how to stay safe when shopping online. In the previous video, Grayson discussed how to identify a phishing page. In this episode, he continues his discussion by explaining how to tell whether the site you’re trying to purchase something from is operating safely and whether the site is able to protect your personal information when you click the “buy” button.
As always, feel free to submit your security question to @webroot, or by email to blog (at) webroot (dot) com, or in the comments below and we’ll get one of our threat researchers to answer it on an upcoming Thre@t Reply video. To see any of our other video replies to reader questions, visit the Webroot channels on YouTube or Vimeo.