Conficker botnet stirs to distribute update payload
The Conficker superworm is stirring, with the spread of a new variant that spreads across P2P and drops a payload. It is thought to update machines infected by earlier strains of the worm.
Conficker-E (the latest variant) offers potential clues on the origins of the worm, because of possible links to other malware. Trend Micro reports that the new Downadup/Conficker variant is talking to servers associated with the Waledac family of malware, in order to download further unwanted items.
Waledec, in turn, is suspected as the latest item of malware from the gang behind the Storm botnet, sparking speculation that all three strains of botnet client are the work of the same cybercriminal gang.
A preliminary analysis by Symantec suggests that PCs infected by earlier variants are getting updates.
On April 8, 2009 we discovered a new sample that is a slightly modified version of the original W32.Downadup worm. The worm previously updated its functionality with the .C variant which installed on top of the .B variant infections, and we are now seeing the same type of update happening on top of the .A variant infections.
This new sample reintroduces the MS08-067 exploit vector, which was removed in the .C variant. It includes previously unseen self-removal functionality to remove itself from the infected host on May 3, 2009. The new sample includes a slightly different list of URLs used to obtain the IP address of the infected host and also reaches out to a new list of high-profile domains to confirm the current date. When reaching out to these domains the threat is not exploiting any weakness nor downloading any code.
We have also observed a possible connection to W32.Waledac, one of the most active spam bots, and have some circumstantial evidence that the two may be linked with W32.Downadup.C distributing W32.Waledac. W32.Waledac steals sensitive information, turns computers into spam zombies, and establishes a back door remote access. Symantec products provide antivirus and IPS protection for Waledac.
This new sample does not appear to include any new infection vectors that might allow the threat to spread faster or onto new machines.
The latest variant of Conficker uses randomly generated ports between the ranges of 1024 and 10000 to communicate and propagate. Analysis of the malware, detected on Wednesday night, remains ongoing.
The malware components downloaded by the new version of Conficker may not themselves be anything new. Patrik Runald, chief security advisor at F-Secure, reports that his firm (at least) has detected these components since 30 December.
At the time of writing there's no evidence that access to the Conficker botnet is being used to send spam, launch denial of service attacks or any other nefarious activity normally associated with compromised PCs. ®
Re; Skynet awakes?
"Hmm... perhaps someone is planning to run a massively parallel AI experiment using all those compromised PCs. Could be the start of Skynet..." ... By andre Posted Thursday 9th April 2009 18:53 GMT
You may like to consider ITs XXXXPEditionary Phorm, 4v2.0 InterNetional SISterHood Brothers .... Skynets awake.
Hmm ..... perhaps someone is running a massively parallel AI experiment using all those compromised PCs.
"Kill the internet? ...... Personally i am going to vote for the mother of all DDOS attacks, or an experiment to create an A.I in the same way SETI works" .... By Casper Orillian Posted Thursday 9th April 2009 19:49 GMT.
You appear to be having trouble deciding on what may be happening with that very wide ranging, seemingly contradictory extreme phish/each way bet. How about IT is all about Controlling the Internet and Money Supply with MicroSoft Networks for the Earthed Yin Element ....... and a Spooky Snake Oil Skunk Works Special Black Operation for the Cosmic Yang Component`...... for the Quantum Balance in the Virtual Reality Parallels which both Prove and Provide AIRelative Singularity and Pragmatic Granularity HexPlaNation for an Advanced/Artificial/Alien Intelligence Existence, ..... or would you just Prefer not to Really Know and just Continually Speculate thus to Avoid Confrontation and Practical Physical Resolution of a Systemic Societal Problem ...... which Really is Virtually no Longer an Option Available in a Systemic Fiscal Power Meltdown Scenario/War Game Theatre of Operations?
Oh ... and you may have to Accept that IT is all just a Red Team White Hat Security BetaTest of Global Defensive Systems/SCADA Vulnerability Testings with Champion Knights more Black Watch Benign and Savvy than Black Hat Malicious and Subversive ....... for only One of them has a Brighter Sunny Future in Greener Future and Foreign Fields with their Myriad Derivative Options for Hedging and Insuring against Failure.
Which was a little something which I would have shared with that Bastion of British Communications, this morning on Mr Peston's blog, but they are blocking HyperRadioProActive comment and thus are Creating XXXXStream Traffic Jams/Sweet and Sticky Honey elsewhere. And all I want to say was Well Done, ......
"At 4:11 am on 10 Apr 2009, amanfromMars wrote:
"Yet another banking story - a little more variety of business topics, as requested by many of your posters, would be refreshing and most welcome." ...... #4. AComprehensiveGirl
It is not another banking story, it is virtual business at its finest and this particular tale one of a change of internal drivers, an upgrade/engine replacement, which may even be considered as the introduction of a brand new model to the market/range/Grid.
Is "How Banking Really Works Virtually ..... a Nuclear Secret for Personal Enrichment" .... a Sensitive and Valuable Document /Diamond Script/Open Source Security Intelligence Secret/Houston Problem easily Solved with Virtual Reality Control Asset Lease Purchase?
Now there's an Interesting Inside Track Tale, El Reg, for a Long Good Friday, and none of IT Useless Spin.
The password guessing attacks on Linux secure shell servers are occasionally successful so those running Linux can't afford to be complacent either. Installing Denyhosts or something similar, using strong passwords, not allowing direct root logins, only allowing accounts needing remote login access, and having user account names which are not obvious all help minimise the risk of a successful password guess.
AFAIK the reason Linux machines are compromised by this means is because a compromised Linux machine can be used to act as a command and control server within a much larger botnet of infected Windows machines.
@The Fuzzy Wotnot
"The Linux/OSX fanboi's don't start OK? The only reason they are not attacked is nothing to do with security, any system is only as strong as the tech-savviness of the user, but more to do with market forces. Malware is a business now, a big business and the piddling numbers of Lnx/OSX machines compared to Windows just makes Windows more profitable. OK?
Thank you for listening."
Your logic is apparently as fuzzy as your moniker, my friend. Firstly, with impeccable clarity you correctly identify Microsoft OSs as the biggest attack vector for malware in all its many disguises.
Then you follow through by adopting Windows as your primary operating system and so place yourself directly in harm's way.
Finally you decide to attack people who have chosen to follow the logic and remove themselves to a more secure place.I'm sure you will understand why we aren't listening, Fuzzy, but do keep on taking your medication.