Feeds

Monster Trojan monsters job seekers' records

Mommy, there's a horse under my bed

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Monster.com suffered a major data breach at the weekend, with a Trojan horse stealing more than 1.6 million records from the job search site's database.

Symantec's Security Response blog reports the Trojan, called Infostealer.Monstres, can steal sensitive information from Monster.com by using employer accounts which have presumably been compromised by an attacker.

"Such a large database of highly personal information is a spammer's dream," Symantec security analyst Amado Hidalgo wrote in the blog.

Using the stolen account, the Trojan logs into Monster.com job recruiter website and searches for all available resumes, potentially lifting the name, email address, home address and phone numbers of its victims. The program then attempts to post the stolen information on a remote server controlled by the attacker.

From Symantec's blog:

The Trojan sends HTTP commands to the Monster.com Website to navigate to the Managed Folders section. It then parses the output from a pop-up window containing the profiles of the candidates that match this recruiter's saved searches.

The security firm reports the attackers have stolen over 1.6 million entries on the site, with personal information belonging to several hundred thousand individuals, mostly based in the US.

The main file used by the Trojan is ntos.exe, an executable also commonly used by Trojan.Gpcoder.E, a similar piece of malware. The Trojans share the Monster.com logo for the executable icon - leading Symantec to speculate the same group is behind both.

Adding to the mess, Trojan.Gpcoder.E has reportedly been sent in Monster.com phishing emails. The emails use the personal information to fool users into downloading a Monster Job Seeker Tool, which is in reality, Trojan.Gpscoder.E.

This nasty executable encrypts files in the affected computer — and leaves a text file demanding the victim pay the attackers in order to recover the data.

Unfortunately, even a massive data security breach such as this one has become commonplace in recent years. Security watchgroup Privacy Rights Clearinghouse lists 18 data breaches in the US this month alone - not counting Monster.com. According to the organization, 159 million records containing sensitive personal information have been compromised in the US by security breaches since 2005.

Symantec has told Monster.com of the compromised recruiter accounts so they can be disabled. In the meantime, Symantec advises users not to publish personal information on the site - particularly Social Security numbers. Users should use a separate disposable email address and avoid giving sensitive details until the prospective employer has been established as legitimate.

The firm also recommends users to observe basic security practices, such as keeping your computer up-to-date; configuring your email to block attachments commonly used to spread viruses such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files; and of course, never execute software that doesn't come at your request, or hasn't been scanned for viruses first. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.