Feeds

ZeuS attacks mobiles in bank SMS bypass scam

Flicks two fingers to two factor authentication

The essential guide to IT transformation

Security researchers have warned that cybercrooks might be able to compromise online bank accounts even in cases where banks use SMS messages to authorise transactions.

The approach relies on first compromising a targeted user's computer using a variant of the ZeuS banking Trojan before infecting the same user's smartphone. Thereafter it would be possible to initiate a transaction and authorise it following the receipt of an SMS message to a second compromised device.

The so-called ZeuS Mitmo (man-in-the-mobile) attack is explained in a blog post by David Barroso, of S21sec e-crime. The approach first relies on tricking a user into getting infected by Zeus on the desktop, perhaps via use of a targeted email that points to a booby-trapped website or contains an infected attachment. Thereafter a user's login credentials are captured next time the mark logs into an online banking site.

The malware then generates a fake dialog box that attempts to trick the victim into disclosing the number and manufacturer of his or her mobile phone. This phone would then be sent a fake security certificate, which is actually a malicious banking Trojan tailored to the target's smartphone (this can be either Symbian or BlackBerry).

This malicious mobile application then monitors all incoming SMS as well as installing a backdoor to receive commands via SMS, from a designated command and control number, which can be altered. Samples of a malicious application for Nokia that works alongside Zeus to carry out the attack are analysed by S21sec here.

The approach is plausible if a little convoluted but the added complexity may be worth it in targeted attacks, perhaps against organisations or wealthy individuals whose banks use SMS notification for two factor authentication of transactions.

Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs confirmed that the malware behind the attack is real and not just a theoretical risk. Victims trying to deny making a disputed transaction where SMS confirmation has been applied are liable to be in for all sorts of trouble, a factor that makes the attack particular insidious. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.