Feeds

Virus writers add network sniffer to worm

Hybrid risks from potent malware

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Virus writers have grafted a network sniffer into the latest variant of the SDBot worm series.

So far there are no reports of SDBot-UH in the wild but the inclusion of selective network sniffing along with keystroke logging features and other backdoor capabilities has security researchers worried.

Sniffers are designed to monitor network traffic. They are widely used for network performance diagnostics but in this instance their function has been turned to malign purposes. Bundling a network sniffer with an auto-propagating worm makes it easier for hackers to harvest usernames and passwords than would otherwise be the case.

The sniffing capabilities of SDBot-UH worm focus on phrases associated with network logins and Paypal accounts. It also tries to steal the CD keys of games, according to an advisory by AV firm Trend Micro. Patrick Nolan, a security researcher at the Internet Storm Center, warns: "If the Trojans described by Trend can successfully transmit the filter's packet captures back to the owner, they are going to cause problems well beyond typical bot infestation issues."

SDBot-UH uses a variety of well-known Microsoft exploits to spread. It also looks for weak usernames and passwords to gain access to target machines. Malicious sniffers can be difficult to detect but Netcraft points to a number of tools such as Sentinel and AntiSniff that can be used to detect sniffers on a network. Individual users would do well to check that their network card is not set in promiscuous (sniffing) mode. ®

Related stories

Meet Stumbler: Next Gen port scanning malware
Gizza job, virus writers ask AV industry
Telenor takes down 'massive' botnet

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.