Posts tagged: Malware

Nov 26 2014

Now E-Cigarette Can Give You Malware

E-cigarette MalwareE-cigarettes may be better for your health than normal ones, but spare a thought for your poor computer – electronic cigarettes have become the latest vector for malicious software, according to online reports.

Many e-cigarettes can be charged over USB, either with a special cable, or by plugging the cigarette itself directly into a USB port. That might be a USB port plugged into a wall socket or the port on a computer – but, if so, that means that a cheap e-cigarette from an untrustworthy supplier gains physical access to a device.

A report on social news site Reddit suggests that at least one “vaper” has suffered the downside of trusting their cigarette manufacturer. “One particular executive had a malware infection on his computer from which the source could not be determined,” the user writes. “After all traditional means of infection were covered, IT started looking into other possibilities.

“The made in China e-cigarette had malware hardcoded into the charger, and when plugged into a computer’s USB port the malware phoned home and infected the system.”

Any electrical device that uses a USB charger could be targeted in this way, and just about every one of these electrical devices will come from China.

In early November, figures obtained by the Press Association revealed that e-cigarettes and related equipment, such as chargers, were involved in more than 100 fires in less than two years.

Original Story: The boss has malware, again…

Jan 20 2014

Microsoft Remotely Removed Tor Browser Bundle from more than 2 Million Systems

Tor Browser Bundle In August 2013, 4 million infected computers woke up and waited instructions from their master.

The pathogen was Sefnit, a nasty bit of malware that makes infected computers mine bitcoins. Once the computers woke up, they worked under the command of Ukranian and Israeli hackers named Scorpion and Dekadent. The malware communicated with the two by downloading Tor, the powerful anonymizing software, and talking over encrypted channels. It was the first time a botnet, as a collection of slave computers is called, used Tor in such a potentially powerful way.

By using an unconventional method to exploit Windows, the hackers unwittingly forced Microsoft to show a hand few knew it had: The ability to remotely remove progams en masse from people’s computers, without them even knowing it.

All of a sudden, the anonymous network grew from about 1 million users to 5.5 million, a jump that frightened even Tor’s developers.

Sefnit Tor Botnet Metrics

“If this had been a real attacker, if the botnet had been turned against the Tor network, it probably would have been fatal, I think,” developer Jacob Appelbaum said in a speech at the Chaos Communication Congress in December.

On one level, Sefnit’s use of Tor was a mistake. That surge in users brought unwanted attention to the botnet at a time of heightened interested in the Tor network. And the malware, which has existed in various versions of Tor since 2009, specifically targeted Windows users, a fact that got Microsoft’s attention quickly.

To fight back, Microsoft remotely removed the program from as many computers as it could, along with the Tor clients it used.

“That’s a lot of power that Microsoft has there,” Applebaum continued, raising his voice and laughing at the implications. “If you’re using Windows trying to be anonymous, word to the wise: Bad idea.”

It’s no small thing that Microsoft has the ability to reach into certain Windows installations and tear out the parts they deem dangerous, but Andrew Lewman, Tor’s executive director, says there’s little to worry about in this case.

“It sounds scary,” Lewman concluded, “until you realize users opt-in for the most part and agree to have their OS kept ‘secure’ by Microsoft.”

So, yes, Microsoft has the ability to reach into certain computers and delete programs. But, Lewman says, this is the way it’s always been—as long as the user agrees to it first.

Source: The Daily Dot – Microsoft’s secret battle against the Tor botnet

Aug 14 2013

Android Malware Exploiting Google Cloud Messaging Service

Google Cloud Messaging Hacking Researchers have discovered a number of malicious Android apps are using Google’s Cloud Messaging (GCM) service and leveraging it as a command and control server to carry out attacks.

A post on Securelist today by Kaspersky Lab’s Roman Unuchek, breaks down five Trojans that have been spotted checking in with GCM after launching.

  • Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakeInst.a
  • Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Agent.ao
  • Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.OpFake.a
  • Backdoor.AndroidOS.Maxit.a
  • Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Agent.az

These trojans having a relatively wide range of functions:

— Sending premium text messages to a specified number
— Sending text messages to a specified number on the contact list
— Performing self-updates
— Stealing text messages
— Deleting incoming text messages that meet the criteria set by the C&C
— Theft of contacts
— Replacing the C&C or GCM numbers
— Stopping or restarting its operations
— Generate shortcuts to malicious sites
— Initiate phone calls
— Collect information about the phone and the SIM card & upload on server

Kaspersky Lab detected millions of installers in over 130 countries and Kaspersky Mobile Security (KMS) blocked attempted installations for these Trojans.

No doubt, GCM is a useful service for legitimate software developers. But virus writers are using Google Cloud Messaging as an additional C&C for their Trojans. Furthermore, the execution of commands received from GCM is performed by the GCM system and it is impossible to block them directly on an infected device.

The only way to cut this channel off from virus writers is to block developer accounts with IDs linked to the registration of malicious programs.

Jul 11 2012

How DNSChanger Malware Works

DNSChangerDNSChanger is malicious software (malware) that changes a user’s Domain Name System (DNS) settings, in order to divert traffic to unsolicited and potentially illegal sites.

Beginning in 2007, the cyber ring responsible for DNSChanger operated under the company name “Rove Digital” and used the malware to manipulate users’ Web activity by redirecting unsuspecting users to rogue DNS servers hosted in Estonia, New York, and Chicago. In some cases, the malware had the additional effect of preventing users’ anti-virus software and operating systems from updating, thereby exposing infected machines to even more malicious software.

FBI has since seized the rogue DNS servers and the botnet’s command-and-control (C&C) servers as part of “Operation Ghost Click” and the servers are now under their control. To assist victims affected by the DNSChanger, the FBI obtained a court order authorising the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) to deploy and maintain temporary legitimate DNS servers, replacing the Rove Digital malicious network. As mentioned earlier, this is by no means a permanent solution and does not remove malware from infected systems; it just provides additional time for victims to clean affected computers and restore their normal DNS settings. According to the court order-which expired on 9 July 2012-the clean DNS servers will be turned off and computers still infected by DNSChanger malware may lose Internet connectivity.

To put this into perspective, DNS is an Internet service that converts user-friendly domain names into the numerical IP addresses that computers use to talk to each other. When you enter a domain name into your Web browser address bar, your computer contacts DNS servers to determine the IP address for the website you are intending to visit. Your computer then uses this IP address to locate and connect to the website. DNS servers are operated by your Internet service provider (ISP) and are included in your computer’s network configuration.

DNS Work DNSChanger Work
How DNS Works How DNSChanger Works

With the ability to change a computer’s DNS settings, malware authors can control what websites a computer connects to on the Internet and can force a compromised computer to connect to a fraudulent website or redirect the computer away from an intended website. To do that, a malware author needs to compromise a computer with malicious code, which in this case is DNSChanger. Once the computer is compromised, the malware modifies the DNS settings from the ISP’s legitimate DNS server’s address to the rogue DNS server’s address, in this case, advertisement websites.

A task force has been created, called the DNSChanger Working Group (DCWG), to help people determine if their computers have been compromised by this threat and to also help them remove the threat.

Jul 05 2012

Android Clickjacking Rootkit Demonstrated

ClickJackingA team of security researchers have demonstrated how a security flaw in Android 4.0.4 can be exploited by a clickjacking rootkit.

The research team is lead by North Carolina State University professor Xuxian Jiang, who succeeded in developing a proof-of-concept rootkit that attacks the Android framework as opposed to the underlying operating system kernel. The researchers contend that such a rootkit could potentially be downloaded with an infected app and be used to manipulate the smartphone.

In the video, the demonstrator was able to hide applications on the device, as well as get them to launch when icons for other applications are clicked. If downloaded with an infected application, the rootkit could for example hide the smartphone’s browser and replace it with a browser that looks exactly the same but actually steals all of the user’s information.