Feeds

Security pros fail to get a grip on meaty bot

Lethic spam package uses Stuxnet nuke nobbler cert ploy

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A new variant of the Lethic botnet agent comes signed with a digital certificate from the same firm whose identity was abused by the infamous Stuxnet industrial control system worm.

Lethic is a spam-spewing botnet that ranks relatively low in terms of compromised machines but bears a disproportionately high responsibility for the world's dodgy pharmaceuticals and replica watch junk mail. Takedown efforts at command and control systems back in January only provided a temporary respite from the deluge.

Recent variants of the Lethic botnet come "signed" with digital certificates from Taiwanese manufacturer Realtek Semiconductor Corp, just like variants of Stuxnet that infected power plants in Iran, India and elsewhere back in summer. Stuxnet is capable of reprogramming SCADA-based industrial control systems.

Iranian authorities admitted the worm infected systems at its controversial Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant but denied this was the reason for subsequent delays in bringing the reactor online, blaming a mystery "minor leak" instead.

The digital Realtek certificate misused by the Stuxnet worm was verified by a certificate authority. Lethic's Realtek signature, by contrast, wasn't verified and is probably some sort of forgery.

Zscaler, the security firm that first noticed the abuse of the Realtek certificate, reckons this is evidence that malware authors are picking on the same organisation for convenience rather than because of any collusion between the unknown Stuxnet and Lethic gangs.

Mike Geide of Zscalar concludes a detailed and nicely worked analysis by concluding that even though the Realtek signature used in recent variants of Lethic was a counterfeit, the same tactic may have been applied by the same gang to other strains of malware. "While this is not a digital signature - it is still identifying info that may be able to tie certain malware samples to the same author / group / or binary builder," he writes. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?