Feeds

ID theft automated using keylogger Trojan

Spy on the wire

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.