Feeds

Koobface takedown exposes money trail

Face/off

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.