Feeds

Trojan-fuelled botnet menaces UK eBay users

Auction giant guards against attack

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Updated Security researchers have discovered a sophisticated botnet attack targeting eBay customers, particularly those in the UK.

The attack, first identified last week, uses a sophisticated Trojan to infect surfers that stray onto hacked Websites. It then uses compromised computers to mount a sophisticated distributed attack on eBay accounts in an effort to steal personal financial information. The brute force attack also attempts to alter settings in order to place sold items in the wrong hands.

eBay said that systems it already had in place limit the impact of the attack. The online auction house said it is working together with security firms to protect users against the latest assault, which is based on 'brute forcing' techniques that have been "built into bots for years".

"This it is not a new practice. It’s a technique we are well aware of and eBay has many systems in place to detect this type of activity. Our systems detect brute force as well as cross site scripts, and actively monitor for account irregularities," eBay said in a statement.

"We have analysed the malware related to this particular botnet and provided information to the major anti-virus vendors, including McAfee, Panda and NOD32, who have already provided protections to their customers. Other Anti-Virus vendors are expected to incorporate these protections as soon as possible."

The auction giant added that while it has taken steps to make its systems secure, users also need to play their part in keeping their systems secure.

"eBay’s online security team also has specific programs in place that constantly evaluate known botnets and track how they evolve so we can proactively limit their ability to impact our site and our community of users. On the other side of the equation, it is critical for internet users to maintain their anti-virus software and use a personal firewall. eBay obviously cannot prevent general online attacks from taking over an individual’s personal PC," it said.

"eBay does not display sensitive financial information, so if a user’s computer and their sign in credentials used on eBay are compromised through whatever means, their sensitive financial data is still protected, reducing the possibility of ID theft.

"As for eBay’s servers, members can be assured that their information is secure; no one has ever 'broken into' one of our servers and stolen information," it added.

Researchers at Israeli security firm Aladdin Knowledge Systems reckon that hundreds of popular Web sites, regardless of local language or geography, might still be infecting visitors.

As well as a 'brute force' assault the crackers behind the attack are also using phishing techniques. Cybercriminals have set up a variety of phishing sites in a bid to give themselves quicker access to an even larger number of accounts.

Aladdin researchers reckon a high percentage of the threat’s efforts are targeted specifically at UK-based eBay account holders. The Trojan appears to separate its handling of accounts, distinguishing between accounts inside and outside of the US.

"Through new infection and attack methods, this targeted threat shows that Trojans are continuing to evolve into extremely dynamic, adaptive tools for online criminals, resulting in a potentially damaging aftermath for its individual victims," said Ofer Elzam, director of product management for the Aladdin eSafe Business Unit and head of the Aladdin eSafe security response team.

The auction giant's safety tips microsite, which is full of useful advise on avoiding phishing attacks and other such scams, can be found here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.