Feeds

Gov systems found on 1.9m zombie botnet

Ooh, nasty

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Government and corporate Windows PCs were among the ranks of a 1.9 million botnet recently discovered by net security firm Finjan.

Finjan security researchers discovered the control server of the botnet after tracing back an infection from a corporate client. Evidence on the cybercrime server, which was hosted in the Ukraine, showed it had been in use since February 2009, and controlled by a cybergang of six people.

Trojan downloader malware planted on insecure websites was used to distribute the malware that seeded the botnet, via drive-by download attacks. The core group of cybercrooks were assisted by a vast affiliate network.

Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer at Finjan, said the malware that created the botnet used a variety of Internet Explorer, Firefox and PDF vulnerabilities to spread. He added that only four out of 39 anti-virus scanners detected the malware.

Ben-Itzhak told El Reg that the cybercrooks behind the botnet made their money by auctioning off access to compromised machines through underground forums, typically charging $100 for 1,000 machines. The miscreants almost made money from selling data looted from compromised machines, he added.

The cybercrooks collectively compromised computers in 77 government-owned domains (.gov) from the UK, US and various other countries.

The malware that featured in the attack allowed hackers complete control of compromised PCs, nearly all of which were running Windows XP. A variety of malicious actions, from reading emails to copying files, keystroke logging, and spam distribution were all possible.

Since discovering the botnet, Finjan has supplied information to the server to UK and US law enforcement agencies. The command server is now out of commission. Finjan has informed affected corporate and government agencies about infected computer names, in a move that will hopefully result in a clean-up operation.

Screenshots taken from the command and control server, and more discussion on the superbotnet can be found on Finjan’s blog here. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
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.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
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.