Feeds

Next-gen Trojan rewrites bank statements

Crooks loot $440K using uber-subtle stealth malware

Seven Steps to Software Security

Black hat hackers have created a new strain of Trojan that rewrites online bank statements to disguise fraud.

Victims of the URLZone Trojan would only realise their bank account has been looted after they check their balance with a bank branch or via an ATM.

Cybercriminals distribute the malware by booby-trapping websites (many of them legitimate) using the LuckySpoilt toolkit. Malicious pdf files or JavaScripts are used to push the URLZone Trojan onto the vulnerable Windows boxes of visiting surfers.

The malware features a keystroke logger that captures bank login credentials and takes screenshots of activities on bank accounts, each of which were forwarded to a command and control server hosted in the Ukraine.

The Trojan agent gets instructions of how much to take from compromised online banking accounts and where to transfer funds from this server. Stolen funds are transferred to the bank accounts of money mules, who take a percentage of the money before sending the rest abroad using wire transfers.

The twist in what is thus far a fairly standard banking Trojan scam, comes in the tactics used by fraudsters to avoid detection, reports net security firm Finjan.

Once the money is stolen, the Trojan creates a forged bank statement to hide the theft. Furthermore the mechanisms of the scam are designed to stay "under the radar" of common anti-fraud systems at banks, Finjan explains.

To minimize detection by anti-fraud systems, the cybergang use various parameters to define the amount of money it will steal on each transaction. Criteria used by this cybergang included: making sure that the victim's balance is positive, ensuring that the amount to be stolen is not too high, setting a random amount on each transaction and making sure that the remaining balance remains positive.

A gang of cybercrooks was able to steal €300,000 ($438,000) from German bank accounts over 22 days using the tactic, Finjan reports. The Israeli-based security firm has turned over its file on the scam to the German authorities.

"To avoid detection, cybercriminals continue to improve their methodologies for stealing money and going under the radar from the victims and banks alike," said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO of Finjan. "With the combination of using sophisticated Trojans for the theft and money mules to transfer stolen money to their accounts, they minimize their chances of being detected."

Finjan's latest cybercrime report explains the attack in more depth and goes on to explain how consumers and banks might go about protecting themselves against the new threat.

Other security researchers are taking the threat seriously. Anti-spyware firm Sunbelt, for example, describes the evolution of a Trojan that can display fake bank balances as the "next big [ugly] thing" in banking fraud malware. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.