Feeds

ID theft automated using keylogger Trojan

Spy on the wire

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Anti-spyware researchers have uncovered a massive identity theft ring linked to keylogging software. The malware was discovered by Patrick Jordan of Sunbelt Software while doing research on the infamous CoolWebSearch application but the key logger itself is not CWS. It's far nastier.

During the course of infecting a machine, Jordan discovered that the machine became a spam zombie that was also sending data back to a remote server. He found that thousands of infected machines are contacting a US-based server daily and a portion of these are writing to a keylogger file, which is periodically harvested by cybercriminals. "The types of data in this file are pretty sickening to watch. You have search terms, social security numbers, credit cards, logins and passwords, etc," Sunbelt president Alex Eckelberry writes.

Sunbelt has contacted some of the affected individuals to warn them their personal details had been exposed. It has also informed the FBI. It remains unclear if the keylogger is directly related to CWS or not. Sunbelt advises consumers to use a personal firewall to prevent the key logger from "phoning home".

The use of key logging software on an industrial scale is rare but not unprecedented. Malware can be programmed to send back sensitive information to designated servers, in some cases logging into the servers using passwords written into viral code. Security researchers able to reverse engineer items of malware can extract this password and location information and use it to monitor hacker activity. ®

Related stories

Spyware 'calling home' volumes soar
CoolWebSearch is winning Trojan war
Malware maelstrom menaces UK
Cyber cops foil £220m Sumitomo bank raid
Watch out! Incoming mass hack attack

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.