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Koobface gang counter-poohpooh nemesis sec-pro Danchev

Touché, my dear sir. However, your mum ...

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The gang behind the infamous Koobface worm has responded to a post by a security researcher on their activities and motives with an answer buried in the latest version of their malware.

Noted security researcher Dancho Danchev posted a list of "10 things you didn't know about the Koobface gang" in a blog post back in February. Koobface (an anagram of Facebook) is a worm that spreads on social networking sites. The worm, reckoned to be one of the most complex strains of malware yet seen, steals information from compromised hosts and promotes scareware sites, according to Danchev and anti-virus firms.

Or not, according to the VXers behind the code.

Late last week "Ali Baba" of the Koobface gang posted a point by point response as a message on Koobface-infected hosts, which served scareware disguised as bogus video codecs.

Essentially the gang attempt to paint themselves as elite coders in it for the lolz and not the loot. "What makes an impression is their attempts to distance themselves from major campaigns affecting high profile US based web properties, fraudulent activities such as click fraud, and their attempt to legitimize their malicious activities by emphasizing the fact that they are not involved in crimeware campaigns, and have never stolen any credit card details," Danchev explains.

The security researcher goes over the 10 points he originally made in an entertaining blog post here.

The post is well worth reading in full, but some of the most significant points include the reiteration of the claim that the Koobface gang is behind the click-fraud facilitating Bahama botnet; that it was responsible for the scareware-themed attack on the New York Times last year; and that the VXers in the gang are experimenting with the use of alternative delivery mechanisms, such as Skype.

One of the few points the gang concedes is that it was responsible for redirecting Facebook’s IP space to Danchev's blog. The gang's response to Danchev is the second individual message left by the botnet masters to the security researcher, and the third one where he is referenced.

Indeed, representatives of the Koobface gang seem to have struck up a relationship of sorts with Danchev. Cops and robbers are sometimes considered to be different side of the same coin - perhaps the same can be said for security researchers and virus writers. by that definition you could see Danchev and Ali Baba of the Koobface gang as Pacino and DeNiro in celebrated heist caper Heat... although you'd have to squint a bit. ®

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