Friday, August 29, 2008

Exposing India’s CAPTCHA Solving Economy

"Are you a Human?" - once asked the CAPTCHA, and the question got answered by, well, a human, thousands of them to be precise. Speculations around one of the main weaknesses of CAPTCHA based authentication in the face of human CAPTCHA solvers, seems to have evolved into a booming economy in India during the past 12 months, with thousands of people involved.

The following article - "Inside India’s CAPTCHA solving economy" aims to expose legitimate data entry workers, whose business models and techniques are in fact used by Russian cybercriminals not only for personal phishing, spamming and malware spreading purposes, but also, to resell the bogus accounts and earn a premium in the process :

"No CAPTCHA can survive a human that’s receiving financial incentives for solving it, and with an army of low-wagedIndia CAPTCHA breakers human CAPTCHA solvers officially in the business of “data processing” while earning a mere $2 for solving a thousand CAPTCHA’s, I’m already starting to see evidence of consolidation between India’s major CAPTCHA solving companies. The consolidation logically leading to increased bargaining power, is resulting in an international franchising model recruiting data processing workers empowered with do-it-yourself CAPTCHA syndication web based kits, API keys, and thousands of proxies to make their work easier, and the process more efficient."

Cybercrime is just as outsourceable as CAPTCHA breaking is these days.

UPDATE: Slashdot, BoingBoing, Ars Technica, and The Tech Herald picked up the story.

Related posts:
The Unbreakable CAPTCHA
Spam coming from free email providers increasing
Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail’s CAPTCHA broken by spammers
Microsoft’s CAPTCHA successfully broken
Vladuz's Ebay CAPTCHA Populator
Spammers and Phishers Breaking CAPTCHAs
DIY CAPTCHA Breaking Service
Which CAPTCHA Do You Want to Decode Today?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fake Security Software Domains Serving Exploits

Psychological imagination, "think cybercriminals" mentality or scenario building intelligence, seem to always produce the results they are supposed to. On Monday, I pointed out that :

"Ironically, the participant in the affiliate program whose original objective was to drive traffic to the fake security software's site, may in fact start receiving so much traffic due to the combination of traffic acquisition tactics, that introducing client-side exploits courtesy of a third-party affiliate network, may in fact prove more profitable then the revenue sharing partnership with the rogue security software's vendor at the first place."

The next day, client-side exploits start getting introduced "in between" the fake security software sites :

"I've blogged before about the problem of Google Adwords pushing Antivirus XP Antivirus 2008. The situation is still ongoing.  However, it's taken a turn for the worse, as these XP Antivirus pages are pushing exploits to install malware on the users system. This will also affect the many syndicators of Google Adwords."

The domain in question - ( is hosting the binary at bestantivirus2009 .com/setup_1096_MTYwM3wzNXww_.exe and has an IFRAME pointing to huytegygle .com/index.php (

Here's another example with an IFRAME pointing to a different location - /~ave/etc/count.php?o=16.

Despite that these domains are part of the "International Virus Research Lab" fake domains portfolio, it remains to be seen whether others will start multitasking as well.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Facebook Malware Campaigns Rotating Tactics

Trust is vital, and coming up with ways to multiply the trust factor is crucial for a successful malware campaign spreading across social networks. Excluding the publicly available malware modules for spreading across popular social networking sites, using the presumably, already phished accounts for the foundation of the trust factor, the recent malware campaigns spreading across Facebook and Myspace are all about plain simple social engineering and a combination of tactics.

However, in between combining typosquatting and on purposely introducing longer subdomains impersonating a web application's directory structure, there are certain exceptions. Like this flash file hosted at ImageShack and spammed across Facebook profiles, which at a particular moment in the past few days used to redirect to client-side exploits served on behalf of a shady affiliate network that's apparently geolocating the campaigns based on where the visitors are coming from.

img228.imageshack .us/img228/3238/gameonit4.swf redirects to ermacysoffer .info - ( and to tracking.profitsource .net ( that's also responding to p223in.linktrust .com ( Just for the record, we also have parked at, and, known badware IPs related to previous fraudulent activity.

Moreover, cross-checking this campaign with another Facebook malware campaign enticing users to visit whitneyganykus.blogspot .com where a javascript obfuscation redirects to absvdfd87 .com and from there to the already known tracking.profitsource .net/redir.aspx?CID=9725&AFID=28836&DID=44292, and given that is parked at the now known, we have a decent smoking gun connecting the two campaigns.

Facebook is often advising that users stay away from weird URLs, does this mean ignoring ImageShack and Blogspot altogether? The next malware campaign could be taking advantage of DoubleClick and AdSense redirectors - for starters.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fake Porn Sites Serving Malware - Part Three

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Automatic Email Harvesting 2.0

Just when you think that email harvesting matured into user names harvesting in a true Web 2.0 style with the recently uncovered harvested IM screen names, and Youtube user lists for spammers, phishers and malware authors to take advantage of, someone has filled in the gap that's been around as long as email harvesting has been a daily routine for spammers - dealing with text obfuscations which still remain highly popular online, once it became evident that spammers are in fact crawling for default mailto lines. This email harvesting module can be run a separate script, or get integrated as a module within any botnet, is capable of harvesting the following text obfuscations often used in order to prevent spamming crawlers :
mail [space]mail [space]com
mail AT mail DOT com

The overall availability and easy of obtaining a huge percentage of valid email addresses within an organizaton, is not just resulting in the increasing segmentation and localization of spam, phishing and malware campaigns, it's increasing the profit margins for the spamming providers which is now not just offering verified to be 100% valid email addresses, but also, can providing the foundations for spear phishing and targeted attacks.

Quality assurance in spamming is still in its introduction phrase, with customers starting to put the emphasis on the number of emails that actually made it through the spam filters, than the number of emails sent as a benchmark for increasing the probability of bypassing anti spam filters. Taking into consideration the big picture, sniffing for email addresses streaming out of malware infected hosts, and stealing huge email databases by exploiting vulnerable online communities, seems to be the tactics of choice for the majority of individuals whose responsibility is to continuously provide fresh and valid email addresses.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Diverse Portfolio of Fake Security Software - Part Four

Thanks to the affiliate based business model that's driving the increase of fake security software and rogue codecs serving domains, the very same templates, but with different domain names, continue appearing in blackhat SEO, spam, and malicious doorways redirection campaigns.

Moreover, with the "time-to-market" of a fake security software decreasing due to the efficiency approach introduced in the form of tips for abuse-free hosting services provided by the "known suspects", and the freely available templates, we're slowly starting to see the upcoming peak of this approach.

In a true proactive spirit, the domains parked at are all upcoming fake security software, to be introduced anytime soon.

fast-pc-scanner-online .com - (;;;
top-pc-scanner .com
buy-secure-protection .com
security-scan-pc .com
pc-scanner-online .com
viruses-scanonline .com
virus-scanonline .com
antivirus-scanonline .com
topvirusscan .com
virusbestscan .com
best-security-protection .com
infectionscanner .com
virusbestscanner .com
full-protection-now .com

Pwrantivirus .com -
vav-x-scanner .com
vav-scanner .com
scanner.vavscan .com
malware-scan .com
Scanner-Pwrantivirus .com
Xpertantivirus .com
Scanner-xpertantivirus .com

spyware-quickscan-2008 .com - (
virus-quickscan-2008 .com
spyware-quickscan-2009 .com
virus-quickscan-2009 .com
winmalwarecontrol .com
antispyware-quick-scan .com
virus-quick-scan .com
antivirus-quick-scan .com
winprivacytool .com

topantispyware2008 .com - (
cleanermaster .com - (
antivirus777 .com - (
pcsecuritynotice .com - (

Whereas the average Internet users are falling victims into this type of fraud, what I'm more concerned about is the large traffic the malicious domains receive in general due to all the different traffic acquisition tactics the people behind them apply. This anticipated traffic can then be greatly used as valuable metrics for the many other malicious ways in which it can be monetized.

Ironically, the participant in the affiliate program whose original objective was to drive traffic to the fake security software's site, may in fact start receiving so much traffic due to the combination of traffic acquisition tactics, that introducing client-side exploits courtesy of a third-party affiliate network, may in fact prove more profitable then the revenue sharing partnership with the rogue security software's vendor at the first place.

Related posts:
A Diverse Portfolio of Fake Security Software - Part Three
A Diverse Portfolio of Fake Security Software - Part Two
Localized Fake Security Software
Diverse Portfolio of Fake Security Software
Got Your XPShield Up and Running?
Fake PestPatrol Security Software
RBN's Fake Security Software
Lazy Summer Days at UkrTeleGroup Ltd
Geolocating Malicious ISPs
The Malicious ISPs You Rarely See in Any Report

Friday, August 22, 2008

Web Based Botnet Command and Control Kit 2.0

The average web based command and control kit for a botnet consisting of single user, single campaign functions only, has just lost its charm, with a recent discovery of a proprietary botnet kit whose features clearly indicate that the kit's coder know exactly which niches to fill - presumably based on his personal experience or market research into competing products.

What are some its key differentiation factors? Multitasking at its best, for instance, the kits provides the botnet master with the opportunity to manage numerous different task such as several malware campaigns and DDoS attacks simultaneously, where each of these gets a separate metrics page.  

Automation of malicious tasks, by setting up tasks, and issuing notices on the status of the task, when it was run and when it was ended. Just consider the possibilities for a scheduling malware and DDoS attacks for different quarters.  

Segmentation in every aspect of the tasks, for instance, a DDoS attacks against a particular site can be scheduled to launched on a specific date from infected hosts based in chosen countries only.  

Customized DDoS in the sense of empowering the botnet master with point'n'click ability to dedicate a precise number of the bots to participate, which countries they should be based in, and for how long the attack should remain active. Quality and assurance in DDoS attacks based on the measurement of the bot's bandwidth against a particular country, in this case the object of the attack, so theoretically bots from neighboring countries would DDoS the country in question far more efficiently.  

Historical malware campaign performance, is perhaps the most quality assurance feature in the entire kit, presumably created in order to allow the person behind it to measure which were the most effective malware and DDoS campaigns that he executed in the past. From an OSINT perspective, sacrificing his operational security by maintaing detailed logs from previous attacks is a gold mine directly establishing his relationships with previous malware campaigns.

Bot Description:  
1. Completely invisible Bot work in the system.
2. Not loads system.
3. Invisible in the process.
4. Workaround all firewall.
5. Bot implemented as a driver.
Functions Bot (constantly updated): 
1. Downloading a file (many options).
2. HTTP DDoS (many options, including http authentication).
The web interface 
-- Convenient manager tasks.
-- Every task can be stopped, put on pause, etc. ...
-- Interest and visual scale of the task.  
-- A task manager for DDoS and Loader
-- For DDoS tasks
Bots involved in DDoS 'f.
Condition of the victim (works, fell).
2. Bots manager
-- Displays a list of bots (postranichno).
-- Obratseniya date of the first and last.
-- ID Bot.
-- Country Bot.
-- Type Bot.
-- The status Bot (online / offline).
-- Bot bandwidth to different parts of the world (europe, asia).
-- The possibility of removing bots
-- When you click on ID Bot loadable still a wealth of information about it
3. Statistics botneta
-- Statistics both common and build Bot.
-- Information on the growth and decline botneta dates (and build).
-- Bots online
-- All bots
-- Dead bots.

4. Statistics botneta country
-- All countries to work on 
-- New work by country 
-- Online work from country to country
-- Dead bots by country

5. Detailed history botneta 

6. Convenient user-friendly interface adding teams

7. Admin minimal server loads
-- Use php5/mysql

Upcoming features :
1. Form grabber (price increase substantially), for old customers will be charged as an upgrade
2. Public key cryptography
3. Clustering campaigns and DDoS attacks

Despite it's proprietary nature, it's quality and innovative features will sooner or later leak out for everyone to take advantage of, a rather common lifecycle for the majority of proprietary malware kits in general.

Related posts:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fake Celebrity Video Sites Serving Malware - Part Two

Malicious parties remain busy crunching out domain portfolios of legitimately looking celebrity video sites. The very same templates used on the majority of fake celebrity video sites which I exposed in a previous post, remain in circulation with anecdotal situations where they aren't even bothering to match the site's logo with the domain name -- it would ruin the malicious economies of scale approach. And since centralization to some, an laziness to others, remains in tact, the fake security software and fake codecs served remain once parked at the same IP as the fake celebrity sites which I'll expose in this post.

starfeed1 .com - (
codecservice1 .com
siteresults1 .com
codecservice6 .com
celebs69 .com
topdirectdownload .com
sexlookupworld .com
favoredtube .com
yourfavoritetube .com
wwvyoutube .com
celebsnofake .com
celebsvidsonline .com
celebstape .com
freevidshardcore .com
topsoftupdate .com
porndebug .com
newfunnyvideo .com
bestfunnyvids .com
pornmoviestube .net

worldstars2008 .com - (
antivirus2008-pro .name
antivirus-2008pro .name
antivirus2008pro .name
antivirus2008pro-download .org
antivirus-2008-pro .org
antivirus2008-pro .org
antivirus-2008pro .org
antivirus2008pro .org
thesoft-portal-08 .com
stars-08 .com
thestars-08 .com
thebigstars-08 .com
funny-08 .com
realonlinevideo-2008 .com
2008-adult-2008 .com
adult18tube2008 .com
adultstreamportal2008 .com
2008-adult-s2008 .com 

new-content-s2008 .com
newcontent-s2008 .com
worldstars2008 .com
thestars2008 .com
thebigstars2008 .com
newcontents2008 .com
18x-adult2008 .com
2008adult2008 .com
adult-x2008 .com
hotadulttube08 .com
adultxx-18 .com
newcontent-s2008a .com
antivirus2008pro-download .com
onlinestreamvide .com
onlinestreamvide .com
ns2.onlinestreamvide .com
xxxstreamonline .com4
supersoft21freeware .com
kvm-secure .com
kvmsecure .com
themusic-08portal .com
adultstreamportal .com
streamxxxvideo .com
antivirus-2008-pro .com
antivirus2008-pro .com
antivirus-2008pro .com
thefunny-08 .com
thestars-08 .com
thestars08 .com
celebsnofake .com
adult-s-portal .com
adultsoftcodec .com
adultstreamportal .com
adultxx-18 .com

And while none of these seem to be taking advantage of client-side exploits, a Russian celebrity site that seems to by syndicating the malicious redirectors from a legitimate advertising network, is an exception worth point out due to the Adobe Flash player exploit it's attempting to take advantage of.  

Bestcelebs .ru javascript redirectors through several different doorways :

crklab .us/index.php => firstblu .cn/3.php?19383577 => xanjan .cn/in.cgi?mytraf => atomakayan .biz/afterftpcheck/2603/index.php =>
toksikoza .net/fi/index.php?mytraf => toksikoza .net/fi/1.swf

What you see is so not what you get.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Diverse Portfolio of Fake Security Software - Part Three

One would assume that once you've managed to trick leading advertising providers into accepting your malicious flash ads inside their networks, you would do anything but hijack the end user's clipboard and rely on their curiosity in order to direct them to your fake security software site. Is the curiosity approach working anyway? Naturally, thanks to the effect of "regressive Darwinism".

Compared to February, 2008's malicious advertising (Malvertising) attack, the current one is less comprehensive and not so well thought of -- thankfully.

What these campaigns have in common is the fake security software served at the bottom line, next to the malware campaigners persistence in introducing new domains, like the very latest ones :

adware-download .com
windows-scanner2009 .com
antivirus2008free .com    
antivirusfree2008 .net
antispyware2008scanner .com
softwareantivirus2008 .com
free-2008-antivirus .com
free-2008-antivirus .net
free-antivirus-2008 .com
free-antivirus-2008 .net
free2008antivirus .com
free2008antivirus .net
getas2008xp .com
software-2008-antivirus .com
software-2008-antivirus .net
software-antivirus-2008 .com
software2008antivirus .com
software2008antivirus .net
softwareantivirus .net
2008-software-antivirus .net
2008-xp-antivirus .com
2008antivirusfree .com
2008antivirusfree .net
2008antivirussoftware .com
2008antivirussoftware .net
2008antivirusxp .net
2008freeantivirus .com
2008freeantivirus .net
2008softwareantivirus .com
2008softwareantivirus .net
2008xpantivirus .net
2008-antivirus-free .com
2008antivirusxp .com
2008-free-antivirus .com
2008-free-antivirus .com
2008-free-antivirus .net
2008-antivirus-free .net
2008-antivirus-software .net
2008-antivirus .net
antivirus-2008-free .com
antivirus-2008-free .net
antivirus-2008-software .com
antivirus-2008-software .net
antivirus-free-2008 .com
antivirus-software-2008 .com

No matter how fancy malvertising is in respect to demonstrating the creativity of malicious parties wanting to appear at legitimate sites by abusing their advertising providers, there are far more efficient tactics to do so.

DIY Botnet Kit Promising Eternal Updates

Among the main differences between a professional botnet command and control kit, and one that's been originally released for free, is the quality and the clearly visible experience of the kit's programmer in the professional one.

A Chinese hacking group is offering the moon, and asking for nothing. And in times when a cybercriminal can even monetize his conversation with a potential customer by telling him he's actually consulting them and barely talking, is this for real and how come? This "Robin Hood approach" on behalf of the group could have worked an year ago, when greedy cybercriminals were still charging hundreds of thousands of dollars for their sophisticated banker malwares. Today, most of them leaked in such a surprising, and definitely not anticipated on behalf of the malware coders way, that not only they stopped offering support and abandoned their releases, but what used to be available only to those willing to open their virtual pocket and transfer some virtual currency, is available to everyone making such free botnet kits irrelevant - mostly due to their simplicity speaking for zero quality assurance we can see in professional kits.

Once the dust settles on this populist underground release, its potential users would once again return to their localized copies of web based botnet command and control kits.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Diverse Portfolio of Fake Security Software - Part Two

With scammers continuing to introduce new typosquatted domains promoting well known brands of rogue security software that is most often found at the far end of a malware campaign, exposing yet another diverse portfolio of last week's introduced domains is what follows.

Naturally, in between taking advantage of the usual hosting services, most of the domains remain parked at the same IPs, this centralization makes it easier to locate them all, then having to go through several misconfigured malicious doorways that will anyway expose the portfolio.

antivirus2008t-pro .com - (;
antivirus2008pro-download1 .com
antivirus2008pro-download2 .com
scanner.antivir64 .com
antivirus2008t-pro .com
antivirus-2008y-pro .com

 systemscanner2009 .com - (;
xpdownloadserver .com   
global-advers .com
xpantivirus .com   
updatesantivirus .com
windows-scannernv .com

ratemyblog1 .com - (
windows-scanner2009 .com
systemscanner2009 .com
antivirus-database .com
antivirus2009professional .com
antivirus-2009pro .com
antivirus2009-scanner .com
global-advers .com
drivemedirect .com
windows-scannernv .com

webscweb-scannerfree .com - (;
freebmwx3 .com
mytube4 .com
beginner2009 .com
webscweb-scannerfree .com
antivirus2009-software .com
antivirus-database .com
purchase-anti .com

onlinescannerxp .com
virus-onlinescanner .com
spywareonlinescanner .com
xponlinescanner .com
virus-securityscanner .com
virus-securityscanner .com
webscannerfreever .com
blazervips .com
global-advers .com
xpantivirus .com   
drivemedirect .com
windows-scannernv .com

mytube4 .com - (
beginner2009 .com
webscweb-scannerfree .com
securityscannerfree .com
xpcleaner-online .com
streamhotvideo .com
xpcleanerpro .com
onlinescannerxp .com
online-xpcleaner .com
antispyguard-scanner .com
virus-onlinescanner .com
microsoft.browsersecuritycenter .com
fastupdateserver .com
blazervips .com
xpantivirus .com
drivemedirect .com
fastwebway .com
xpantivirussecurity .com
wordpress.firm .in
megacodec .biz
mcprivate .biz

internet-defense2009 .com - (
myfreespace3 .com
greatvideo3 .com
internet-defense2009 .com
windows-defense .com
3gigabytes .com
teledisons .com
updatesantivirus .com
update-direct .com
xp-protectsoft .com

top-pc-scanner .com - (;
nortonsoft .com -
powerantivirus-2009 .com - (
powerantivirus2009 .com -
pwrantivirus .com -
xp-guard .com -
xpertantivirus .com -
internetscanner2009 .com -

Where's the business model here? Where it's always been, upon installation of the rogue security software, the malware campaigner earns up to 40% revenue from the rogue security software's vendor.

Related posts:
Localized Fake Security Software
Diverse Portfolio of Fake Security Software
Got Your XPShield Up and Running?
Fake PestPatrol Security Software
RBN's Fake Security Software
Lazy Summer Days at UkrTeleGroup Ltd

Monday, August 18, 2008

Compromised Cpanel Accounts For Sale

Is the once popular in the second quarter of 2007, embedded malware tactic on the verge of irrelevance, and if so, what has contributed to its decline? Have SQL injections executed through botnets turned into the most efficient way to infect hundreds of thousands of legitimate web sites? Depends on who you're dealing with.

A cyber criminal's position in the "underground food chain" can be easily tracked down on the basis of tools and tactics that he's taking advantage of, in fact, some would on purposely misinform on what their actual capabilities are in order not to attract too much attention to their real ones, consisting of high-profile compromises at hundreds of high-profile web sites.

Embedded malware may not be as hot as it used to be in the last quarter of 2007, but thanks to the oversupply of stolen accounting data, certain individuals within the underground ecosystem seem to be abusing entire portfolios of domains on the basis of purchasing access to the compromised accounts. In fact, the oversupply of compromised Cpanel accounts is logically resulting in their decreasing price, with the sellers differentiating their propositions, and charging premium prices based on the site's page ranks and traffic, measured through publicly available services, or through the internal statistics.

SQL injections may be the tactic of choice for the time being, but as long as stolen accounting data consisting of Cpanel logins, and web shells access to misconfigured web servers remain desired underground goods, goold old fashioned embedded malware will continue taking place.

Interestingly, from an economic perspective, the way the seller markets his goods, can greatly influence the way they get abused given he continues offering after-sale services and support. It's blackhat search engine optimization I have in mind, sometimes the tactic of choice especially given its high liquidity in respect to monetizing the compromised access.

The bottom line - for the time being, there's a higher probability that your web properties will get SQL injected, than IFRAME-ed, as it used to be half a year ago, and that's because what used to be a situation where malicious parties would aim at launching a targeted attack at high profile site and abuse the huge traffic it receives, is today's pragmatic reality where a couple of hundred low profile web sites can in fact return more traffic to the cyber criminals, and greatly extend the lifecycle of their campaign taking advantage of the fact the the low profile site owners would remain infected and vulnerable for months to come.

Related posts:
Embedding Malicious IFRAMEs Through Stolen FTP Accounts
Injecting IFRAMEs by Abusing Input Validation
Money Mule Recruiters use ASProx's Fast-flux Services
Malware Domains Used in the SQL Injection Attacks
Obfuscating Fast-fluxed SQL Injected Domains
SQL Injecting Malicious Doorways to Serve Malware
Yet Another Massive SQL Injection Spotted in the Wild
Malware Domains Used in the SQL Injection Attacks
SQL Injection Through Search Engines Reconnaissance
Google Hacking for Vulnerabilities
Fast-Fluxing SQL injection attacks executed from the Asprox botnet
Sony PlayStation's site SQL injected, redirecting to rogue security software
Redmond Magazine Successfully SQL Injected by Chinese Hacktivists

Banker Malware Targeting Brazilian Banks in the Wild

Despite the ongoing customerization of malware, and the malware coding for hire customer tailored services, certain malware authors still believe in the product concept, namely, they build it and wait for someone to come. In this underground proposition for a proprietary banker malware targeting primarily Brazillian bank, the author is relying on the localized value added to his malware forgetting a simply fact - that the most popular banker malware is generalizing E-banking transactions in such a way that it's successfully able to hijack the sessions of banks it hasn't originally be coded to target in general.

Banks targetted in this banker malware :
Bank Equifax
Bank Itau
Bank Check
Bank Vivo
Bank Banrisul
Tim Bank Brazil
Bank Nossa Caixa
Bank Santander Banespa
Bank Infoseg
Bank Paypal
Bank Caixa Economica Federal
Bank Bradesco
Bank Northeast
Royal Bank
Bank Itau Personnalite
Bank PagSeguro
Australia Bank
Credicard Citi Bank
Credicard Bank Itau
Rural Bank

Taking into consideration the fact that not everyone would be willing to pay a couple of thousand dollars for a banker malware kit targeting banks the customer isn't interested in at the first place, malware authors have long been tailoring their propositions on the basis of modules. Adding an additional module for stealtness increases the prices, as well as an additional module forwarding the process of updating the malware binary to the "customer support desk". Moreover, stripping the banker kit from modules in which the customer doesn't have interest, like for instance exclude all Asian banks the kit has already built-in capabilities to hijack and log transactions from, decreases its price.

In a truly globalized IT underground, Brazillian cybercriminals tend to prefer using the market leading tools courtesy of Russian malware authors, so this localized banker malware with its basic session screenshot taking capabilities and accounting data logging has a very long way to go before it starts getting embraced by the local underground.

Related posts:
The Twitter Malware Campaign Wants to Bank With You
Targeted Spamming of Bankers Malware
A Localized Bankers Malware Campaign
76Service - Cybercrime as a Service Going Mainstream
The Underground Economy's Supply of Goods and Services
The Dynamics of the Malware Industry - Proprietary Malware Tools
Using Market Forces to Disrupt Botnets
Multiple Firewalls Bypassing Verification on Demand
Managed Spamming Appliances - The Future of Spam
Localizing Cybercrime - Cultural Diversity on Demand
E-crime and Socioeconomic Factors 
Malware as a Web Service 
Coding Spyware and Malware for Hire
Are Stolen Credit Card Details Getting Cheaper?
Neosploit Team Leaving the IT Underground
The Zeus Crimeware Kit Vulnerable to Remotely Exploitable Flaw
Pinch Vulnerable to Remotely Exploitable Flaw
Dissecting a Managed Spamming Service
Managed "Spamming Appliances" - The Future of Spam

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Guerilla Marketing for a Conspiracy Site

An image is worth a thousand words they say, especially when it's creative enough to count as a decent guerrilla marketing campaign for Alex Jones' :

"Alex Jones is considered by many to be the grandfather of what has come to be known as the 9/11 Truth Movement. Jones predicted the 9/11 attack in a July 2001 television taping when he warned that the Globalists were going to attack New York and blame it on their asset Osama bin Laden. Since 9/11 Jones has broken many of the stories which later became the foundation of the evidence that the government was involved."

Sorry to disappoint, but as always, The Lone Gunmen were first to predict 9/11 in their "Pilot" episode, originally aired on 03/04/2001, obviously several months before Alex Jones did. How did they do it? By having a firm grasp of the obvious I guess.

Who's Behind the Georgia Cyber Attacks?

Of course the Klingons did it, or you were naive enough to even think for a second that Russians were behind it at the first place? Of the things I hate  most, it's lowering down the quality of the discussion I hate the most. Even if you're excluding all the factual evidence (Coordinated Russia vs Georgia cyber attack in progress), common sense must prevail.

Sometimes, the degree of incompetence can in fact be pretty entertaining, and greatly explains why certain countries are lacking behind others with years in their inability to understand the rules of information warfare, or the basic premise of unrestricted warfare, that there are no rules on how to achieve your objectives.

So who's behind the Georgia cyber attacks, encompassing of plain simple ping floods, web site defacements, to sustained DDoS attacks, which no matter the fact that Geogia has switched hosting location to the U.S remain ongoing? It's Russia's self-mobilizing cyber militia, the product of a collectivist society having the capacity to wage cyber wars and literally dictating the rhythm in this space. What is militia anyway :

"civilians trained as soldiers but not part of the regular army; the entire body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service; a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency; without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service; an army of trained civilians, which may be an official reserve army, called upon in time of need; the national police force of a country; the entire able-bodied population of a state; or a private force, not under government control; An army or paramilitary group comprised of citizens to serve in times of emergency"

Next to the "blame the Russian Business Network for the lack of large scale implementation of DNSSEC" mentality, certain news articles also try to wrongly imply that there's no Russian connection in these attacks, and that the attacks are not "state-sponsored", making it look like that there should be a considerable amount of investment made into these attacks, and that the Russian government has the final word on whether or not its DDoS capabilities empowered citizens should launch any attacks or not. In reality, the only thing the Russian government was asking itself during these attacks was "why didn't they start the attacks earlier?!".

Thankfully, there are some visionary folks out there understanding the situation. Last year, I asked the following question - What is the most realistic scenario on what exactly happened in the recent DDoS attacks aimed at Estonia, from your point of view? and some of the possible answers still fully apply in this situation :

- It was a Russian government-sponsored hacktivism, or shall we say a government-tolerated one

- Too much media hype over a sustained ICMP flood, given the publicly obtained statistics of the network traffic

- Certain individuals of the collectivist Russian society, botnet masters for instance, were automatically recruited based on a nationalism sentiments so that they basically forwarded some of their bandwidth to key web servers

- In order to generate more noise, DIY DoS tools were distributed to the masses so that no one would ever know who's really behind the attacks

- Don't know who did it, but I can assure you my kid was playing !synflood at that time

- Offended by the not so well coordinated removal of the Soviet statue, Russian oligarchs felt the need to send back a signal but naturally lacking any DDoS capabilities, basically outsourced the DDoS attacks

- A foreign intelligence agency twisting the reality and engineering cyber warfare tensions did it, while taking advantage of the momentum and the overall public perception that noone else but the affected Russia could be behind the attacks

- I hate scenario building, reminds me of my academic years, however, yours are pretty good which doesn't necessarily mean I actually care who did it, and pssst - it's not cyberwar, as in cyberwar you have two parties with virtual engagement points, in this case it was bandwidth domination by whoever did it over the other. A virtual shock and awe

- I stopped following the news story by the time every reporter dubbed it the first cyber war, and started following it again when the word hacktivism started gaining popularity. So, hacktivists did it to virtually state their political preferences

Departamental cyber warfare would never reach the flexibity state of people's information warfare where everyone is a cyber warrior given he's empowered with access to the right tools at a particular moment in time.

Related posts:
People's Information Warfare Concept
Combating Unrestricted Warfare
The Cyber Storm II Cyber Exercise
Chinese Hacktivists Waging People's Information Warfare Against CNN
The DDoS Attacks Against
China's Cyber Espionage Ambitions
North Korea's Cyber Warfare Unit 121

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

76Service - Cybercrime as a Service Going Mainstream

Disintermediating the intermediaries in the cybercrime ecosystem, ultimately results in more profitable operations. Controversial to the concept of outsourcing, some cybercriminals are in fact so self-sufficient, that the stereotype of a mysterious 76service server offered for rent could in fact easily cease to exist in an ecosystem so vibrant that literally everyone can partition their botnet and start offering access to it on a multi-user basis. Evil? Obviously. Extending the lifecycle of a proprietary malware tool? Definitely.

The infamous 76service, a cybercrime as a service web interface where customers basically collect the final output out of the banking malware botnet during the specific period of time for which they've purchases access to the service, is going mainstream, with 76Service's Spring Edition apparently leaking out, and cybercriminals enjoying its interoperability potential by introducing different banking trojans in their campaigns.

In this post, I'll discuss the 76service's spring.edition that has been combined with a Metaphisher banking malware, an a popular web malware exploitation kit, with two campaigns currently hosting 5.51GB of stolen banking data based on over 1 million compromised hosts 59% of which are based in Russia. Screenshots courtesy of an egocentric underground show-off.

Some general info on the 76service :

"Subscribers could log in with their assigned user name and password any time during the 30-day project. They’d be met with a screen that told them which of their bots was currently active, and a side bar of management options. For example, they could pull down the latest drops—data deposits that the Gozi-infected machines they subscribed to sent to the servers, like the 3.3 GB one Jackson had found. A project was like an investment portfolio. Individual Gozi-infected machines were like stocks and subscribers bought a group of them, betting they could gain enough personal information from their portfolio of infected machines to make a profit, mostly by turning around and selling credentials on the black market. (In some cases, subscribers would use a few of the credentials themselves). Some machines, like some stocks, would under perform and provide little private information. But others would land the subscriber a windfall of private data. The point was to subscribe to several infected machines to balance that risk, the way Wall Street fund managers invest in many stocks to offset losses in one company with gains in another."

The 76service empowers everyone who is either not willing to spend time and resources for building and maintaining a botnet, launching campaigns, and SQL injecting hundreds of thousands of sites in order to take advantage of the long tail of malware infected sites that theoretically can outpace the traffic that could come from a SQL injected high-profile site.

Next to the spring.edition, the winter edition's price starts from $1000 and goes to $2000, which is all a matter of who you're buying it from, unless of course you haven't come across leaked copies :

"Assuming that the dealer offering what he claimed was the 76service kit was correct, the profit is not only in the kit, but in selling value added services like exploitation, compromised servers/accounts, database configuration, and customization of the interface. Prices start between $1000 to $2000 and go up based on added services. The underground payment methods generally involve hard-to-track virtual currencies, whose central authority is in a jurisdiction where regulation is liberal to non-existent, and feature non-reversible transactions. The individual or group called "76service" was easy to track down on the Web, but not in person."

It's interesting to monitor how services aiming to provide specific malicious services are vertically integrating by expanding their portfolio of related services -- take a spamming vendor that will offer the segmented email databases, the advanced metrics, and the localization of the spam messages to different languages -- or letting the buyer have full control of anything that comes out of a particular botnet for a specific period of time in which he has bought access to it. For instance, DDoS for hire matured into botnet for hire, which evolved into today's "What type of stolen data do you want?" for hire mentality I'm starting to see emerging, next to the usual interest in improving the metrics and thereby the probability for a more successful campaign.

Ironically, this cybercrime model is so efficient that the people behind it cannot seem to be able to process all of the stolen data, which like a great deal of underground assets loses its value if not sold as fast as possible. The result of this oversupply of stolen data are the increasing number of services selling raw logs segmented based on a particular country for a specific period of time.

Time for a remotely exploitable vulnerability in yet another malware kit about to go mainstream? Definitely, unless of course backdooring it and releasing it doesn't achieve the obvious results of controlling someone else's cybercrime ecosystem.

Related posts:
The Underground Economy's Supply of Goods and Services
The Dynamics of the Malware Industry - Proprietary Malware Tools
Using Market Forces to Disrupt Botnets
Multiple Firewalls Bypassing Verification on Demand
Managed Spamming Appliances - The Future of Spam
Localizing Cybercrime - Cultural Diversity on Demand
E-crime and Socioeconomic Factors 
Malware as a Web Service 
Coding Spyware and Malware for Hire
Are Stolen Credit Card Details Getting Cheaper?
Neosploit Team Leaving the IT Underground
The Zeus Crimeware Kit Vulnerable to Remotely Exploitable Flaw
Pinch Vulnerable to Remotely Exploitable Flaw
Dissecting a Managed Spamming Service
Managed "Spamming Appliances" - The Future of Spam