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Trojan-powered scam network dismantled

Malware à la carte

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Banks, telecos, hotels, airlines and international betting services were among those affected by the creation and sale of Briz Trojans, a malware-creation-for-hire scam recently uncovered by security researchers.

Analysis of the data stolen by one of the customised Trojans on sale to cybercrooks through the computer underground by Spanish anti-virus firm Panda Software includes financial data that could damage affected companies. Panda is contacting affected firms to make sure they protect themselves and their clients.

The racket was exposed following analysis of a recently discovered Trojan, Briz-A, which revealed the existence of a complex system dedicated to creating and selling of à la carte malware designed for stealing personal and confidential data. Panda Software then collaborated with RSA Security's Cyota anti-phishing division to identify and take down several websites used as part of the scam.

The information stolen by the Trojan was stored in 2,033 files occupying 70.6MB. Of these, 62MB were text files, equivalent to 62,000 printed pages. The files were organised into folders corresponding to the nationality of each victim.

“We were surprised by the quantity of data that a single one of these Trojans was able to steal... We don't know how many were generated or sold before the system was dismantled, and so the number of companies whose data is now in jeopardy could be very high,” said Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs, Panda Software's malware research arm.

"The sale of customised malware to cyber-crooks has now become a lucrative business model. This is not an isolated case and given the lure of financial gain motivating cyber-criminals, this type of scam is likely to proliferate in the short-term," he added. ®

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