Feeds

Koobface takedown exposes money trail

Face/off

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.