Feeds

New strain of Gozi Trojan prowls the net

Variant of SSL-sniffing malware unleashed in nasty PDF attack

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A new variant of the Gozi Trojan has been discovered, raising the specter of a comeback for the infamous malware, which excels at pilfering financial information even when it's protected using supposedly secure mechanisms.

The new strain was first detected on Tuesday when Russian miscreants unleashed a small avalanche of malware-tainted PDF files that tried to remotely hijack vulnerable computers. Don Jackson, a researcher with security provider SecureWorks, said the exploit turned Adobe's PDF Reader program into a malware installer that loaded the new Gozi Trojan onto victims' machines.

Jackson's discovery is yet another powerful reason for users to update Reader and Acrobat immediately. Otherwise, he says, users are wide open to a Trojan that thieves have used to steal more than $2m worth of financial and personal data already.

"People aren't going to block PDFs," he told El Reg. "There's just too much business done to block it all. And what happens when you start using PDF-type books?"

Only 26 per cent of the major antivirus providers protect against the new variant, he said. It is detected under names including OrderGun, Orderjack, Germ, Small.BS, Pinch, Snifula, Ursnif and CWS.

Jackson first sounded the alarm on Gozi in March. The program uses Winsock2, advanced functionality that allows it to snoop on traffic even when it is protected in Secure Socket Layer sessions. It also uses customized server/database code to collect sensitive data.

Tuesday's PDF exploit comes to us courtesy of the Hang Up Team, Jackson says. While the Russian crime gang may exhibit evil genius in writing code, the group is considerably more amateurish when it comes to spam. As a result Tuesday's attack was relatively easy for most spam filter services to block.

"Spam is not their forte," Jackson said. "If they contracted a spam service to send it out, it would have been a lot more successful." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches
CloudPassage points to 'pervasive' threat of Bash bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.