Jun 27 2012

The Zemra Bot – New DDoS Attack Pack

Zemra BotA new Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) crimeware bot known as “Zemra” and detected by Symantec as Backdoor.Zemra. Lately, this threat has been observed performing denial-of-service attacks against organizations with the purpose of extortion. Zemra first appeared on underground forums in May 2012 at a cost of €100.

This crimeware pack is similar to other crime packs, such as Zeus and SpyEye, in that is has a command-and-control panel hosted on a remote server. This allows it to issue commands to compromised computers and act as the gateway to record the number of infections and bots at the attacker’s disposal.

Similar to other crimeware kits, the functionality of Zemra is extensive:

  • 256-bit DES encryption/decryption for communication between server and client
  • DDoS attacks
  • Device monitoring
  • Download and execution of binary files
  • Installation and persistence in checking to ensure infection
  • Propagation through USB
  • Self update
  • Self uninstall
  • System information collection

However, the main functionality is the ability to perform a DDoS attack on a remote target computer of the user’s choosing.

Initially, when a computer becomes infected, Backdoor.Zemra dials home through HTTP (port 80) and performs a POST request sending hardware ID, current user agent, privilege indication (administrator or not), and the version of the OS. This POST request gets parsed by gate.php, which splits out the information and stores it in an SQL database. It then keeps track of which compromised computers are online and ready to receive commands.

Inspection of the leaked code allowed us to identify two types of DDoS attacks that have been implemented into this bot:

  • HTTP flood
  • SYN flood

Symantec added detection for this threat under the name Backdoor.Zemra, which became active on June 25, 2012. To reduce the possibility of being infected by this Trojan, Symantec advises users to ensure that they are using the latest Symantec protection technologies with the latest antivirus definitions installed.

Jun 26 2012

Crack RSA SecurID 800 Secret Key in 13 Minutes

RSA SecurID 800RSA’s SecurID 800 is one of at least five commercially available security devices susceptible to a new attack that extracts cryptographic keys used to log in to sensitive corporate and government networks.

Scientists have devised an attack that takes only minutes to steal the sensitive cryptographic keys stored on a raft of hardened security devices that corporations and government organizations use to access networks, encrypt hard drives, and digitally sign e-mails.

The exploit, described in a paper to be presented at the CRYPTO 2012 conference in August, requires just 13 minutes to extract a secret key from RSA’s SecurID 800, which company marketers hold out as a secure way for employees to store credentials needed to access confidential virtual private networks, corporate domains, and other sensitive environments. The attack also works against other widely used devices, including the electronic identification cards the government of Estonia requires all citizens 15 years or older to carry, as well as tokens made by a variety of other companies.

“They’re designed specifically to deal with the case where somebody gets physical access to it or takes control of a computer that has access to it, and they’re still supposed to hang onto their secrets and be secure,” Matthew Green, a professor specializing in cryptography in the computer science department at Johns Hopkins University, told Ars. “Here, if the malware is very smart, it can actually extract the keys out of the token. That’s why it’s dangerous.” Green has blogged about the attack here.

It’s this version of the attack the scientists used to extract secret keys stored on RSA’s SecurID 800 and many other devices that use PKCS#11, a programming interface included in a wide variety of commercial cryptographic devices. Under the attack Bleichenbacher devised, it took attackers about 215,000 oracle calls on average to pierce a 1024-bit cryptographic wrapper. That required enough overhead to prevent the attack from posing a practical threat against such devices. By modifying the algorithm used in the original attack, the revised method reduced the number of calls to just 9,400, requiring only about 13 minutes of queries, Green said.

Other devices that store RSA keys that are vulnerable to the same attack include the Aladdin eTokenPro and iKey 2032 made by SafeNet, the CyberFlex manufactured by Gemalto, and Siemens’ CardOS, according to the paper.

Jun 20 2012

Hackers Exploit Windows XML Core Services Vulnerability

An unpatched Windows vulnerability considered a critical threat by security experts is being exploited by cybercriminals.

Microsoft disclosed the flaw in XML Core Services (MSXML) 3.0, 4.0 and 6.0 June 12 during its monthly release of patches. The security advisory, which was separate from the patch release, offered a workaround for vulnerability CVE-2012-1889, but no fix.

Vulnerability CVE-2012-1889 is simple to exploit in all known versions of Internet Explorer. An attacker can make a CLSID-identification request by calling MSXML library methods and create an object identifier in order to try to access a non-existent object. Proof of Concept code for causing a crash looks like this:

msxml vulnerability

This code looks simple, but generates memory corruption and crashes Internet Explorer. The exploitation code tries to request a non-initialized object, but reference to memory region already exists. Memory corruption takes place in the helper function _dispatchImpl :: InvokeHelper() in the MSXML library.

Currently, this vulnerability has no patch available but Microsoft has released a Fix it solution. We strongly suggest that you consider this workaround – for now.