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Tracking website eyeballs SpyEye

Security researcher plays Trojan peekaboo

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A website designed to track the control system of the SpyEye crimeware Trojan has been established.

The site, spyeyetracker.abuse.ch*, was set up by Swiss security researcher Roman Hüssy, and modelled on his successful Zeustracker website. The latter site, which was established in early 2009, has helped security researchers to track the activities of the infamous botnet, which is linked to numerous instances of banking fraud.

Chatter on Russian cybercrime forums has suggested the developer of ZeuS has handed over development of the customisable crimeware toolkit to the miscreant behind SpyEye. For now, at least, malicious activities associated with ZeuS far outnumber those associated with SpyEye.

Zeustracker reports 497 ZeuS C&C servers, with 204 of these command nodes active on Tuesday morning. Its sister site pinpoints 61 SpyEye command and controls servers, 29 of which are active.

Both ZeuS and SpyEye are toolkits that allow the creation of customised Trojans. Each is sold through carding and other black-market forums for hundreds of dollars per licence.

Anti-malware detection of Trojans created by both tools is far from satisfactory, with 40.9 per cent detection for SpyEye and 36.9 per cent for ZeuS, according to the respective tracker sites run by Hüssy.

Other strains of financial malware and crimeware toolkits doing the rounds include Bugat, Clampi and Gozi. Bugat was distributed via a high-profile phishing campaign targeting LinkedIn users last month, an attack that captured the attention of security researchers and makes the malware a potentially good candidate for closer tracking in future. ®

*Both The SpyEye and Zeustracker websites link to live cybercrime domains. Casual surfers are strongly advised not to follow links from either site.

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