Feeds

Pinch Trojan lives on after authors' convictions

S'kiddies squeeze suckers

Security for virtualized datacentres

Updated Variants of the Pinch Trojan are infecting users more than a year after the arrest of its two original authors, , who were recently jailed for their crimes.

More than 4,000 PCs a day were getting infected by just one variant of the information-pilfering malware, according to net security firm PrevX, which bases this estimate on logs from a malware control website left open by cybercriminals.

An estimated 392 of the infected machines are from the USA, 335 from Brazil, 93 from China, and 73 from the UK. The data suggests that 150 of the Windows machines infected were running anti-virus software.

"This data is an interesting insight into the modern world of the malware developer," said Jacques Erasmus, director of malware research at Prevx. "By simply buying the software kit off the internet and adding a few custom tweaks, the owner of this particular variation is managing to get round major anti-virus software and stealing peoples credit card details, passwords, and other personal information."

PrevX has reported the site controlling the malware to the relevant ISP, a US-based provider of free hosting service, which subsequently shut it down.

Pinch is a Trojan creation toolkit credited with enabling virus writers to infect hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Windows PCs. The toolkit used to be sold through black market hacking forums but the leakage of source code means that it's now freely available at no cost to anyone who cares to hunt it down, Erasmus explained.

The two suspected authors of the virus creation toolkit were arrested by Russian police in December 2007. Contrary to earlier versions of this story the two were prosecuted and convicted of computer crime offences.

Damir Farkhutdinov (AKA Damrai) and Alexey Ermishkin (aka Scratch) were jailed for 18 months and 12 months, respectively, at a sentencing hearing in December 2008. The Kalinskii regional court in the town of Chelyabinsk also ordered Farkhutdinov to pay a fine of 30,000 roubles ($828) and Ermishkin 20,000 roubles ($552).

The duo were estimated to have made 600,000 roubles ($16,569) by selling the virus toolkit they created between approximately January 2005 and June 2007. Kaspersky Lab researchers, who we're grateful for tracking down the result of the case, had written-up a more comprehensive run-down of the outcome of the case in a blog posting here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.