Feeds

Koobface takedown exposes money trail

Face/off

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A Koobface server takedown operation which began over the weekend has already shed new light into the operations of the infamous botnet.

UK ISP Coreix unplugged command and control servers linked to the worm on Friday as part of a wider takedown operation spearheaded by Canadian security firm SecDev. Nart Villeneuve, head of the SecDev team, has informed other ISPs about compromised FTP accounts as well as notifying Google and Facebook about accounts abused by Koobface as part of a wide-ranging effort to curtail malicious activity associated with the infamous botnet.

Previous takedown efforts have had a positive effect, at least temporarily, but Koobface is particularly sophisticated and resilient. The botnet has hauled itself up from the canvas after previous heavy blows and few security watchers expect it to stay down for the count this time around, even after taking a series of particularly heavy blows.

As part of their takedown efforts the SecDev team infiltrated a server used to send daily updates of illicit revenues raked in by the worm via SMS messages to four mobile numbers in Russia. Daily revenues sent through the Paymar payment system varied between $1,000 and $20,000 a day according to these figures, IDG reports.

Researchers at SecDev reckon the Koobface gang have made an estimated $2m since the first appearance of the worm in July 2008. Around half this income came from promoting sales of scareware (fake anti-virus) products while the rest came through click fraud and other scams.

Koobface targets surfers on Facebook and other social networks, typically encouraging prospective marks to execute malware packages disguised as Flash updates supposedly needed to view lurid or shocking content. Once executed the malware turns compromised PCs into zombie drones under the control of hackers. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.