Feeds

Obama-themed malware mauls world+dog

Short turnaround, high volume

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Malware purveyors have wasted no time capitalizing on Barack Obama's landslide victory in the US presidential race. Within 12 hours of his acceptance speech Tuesday night, net users were being treated to scams involving Google AdWords and prodigious volumes of spam.

The spam comes masked as dispatches from legitimate news sources, including the BBC and CNN, and invite readers to click a link to view a video of Obama accepting his country's vote. Those who take the bait are sent to a spoof page of the news site that claims they need to update their Adobe Flash Player before viewing the speech.

In fact, Adobe_flash9.exe installs the notorious Trojan-PSW:W32/Papras.CL, according to anti-virus provider F-Secure. Earlier Wednesday, just 14 of the 36 major anti-virus programs detected the trojan, according to this analysis from VirusTotal. Once installed, the malware, which cloaks itself in a rootkit, logs passwords for bank sites and other sensitive information and sends them to a server located in Ukraine.

The fraudulent news sites are being hosted on a fast-flux network of infected machines, according to this analysis by the CyberCrime & Doing Time blog. Cloudmark, a company that provides spam filtering service, has already seen more than 10 million of the spam messages, according to the Zero Day blog.

Scammers were also exploiting the now-completed presidential race using Google's Sponsored Links. Early Wednesday, searches related to the President Elect returned paid results that included links to websites that tried to install malware on end users' machines, The Times Online reported. The malicious ads were no longer appearing on Google at time of writing.

The barrage of Obama-themed attacks are part of a broader trend of using current events to trick people into following links that lead to attacks. The US presidential election has been a favorite source of such attacks over the past year, with the names of candidates such as John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee all invoked. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
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.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.