Feeds

Whitehat cracks notorious rootkit wide open

ZeroAccess no more

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A malware analyst has deconstructed a highly advanced piece of crimeware believed to be the work of the notorious Russian Business Network

The step-by-step instructions for reverse engineering the stealthy ZeroAccess rootkit is a blow to its developers, who took great care to make sure it couldn't be forensically analyzed. The tutorial means other malware researchers may also study the malware to close in on the people behind it and to better design products that can safeguard against it.

The analysis was written by Giuseppe Bonfa, a malware researcher specializing in reverse engineering at InfoSec Institute, an information security services company. It documents a rootkit that's almost impossible to remove without damaging the host operating system and uses low-level programming calls to create hard disk volumes that are virtually impossible to detect using normal forensic techniques. Sophos's description of the rootkit, which is also known as Smiscer, is here.

“This document shows the inner workings of a recent rootkit which has very advanced technologies,” Pierre-Marc Bureau, a researcher with antivirus provider Eset, wrote in an email. “This teaches a lot in terms of rootkit technologies, how these malware are operated (pay per download in this case), how they are installed on a system, and how they can be detected.”

According to Bonfa, malicious URLs unearthed from the disassembled rootkit use IP addresses associated with the Russian Business Network. ZeroAccess is currently being used as a platform for installing fake antivirus software, but it could obviously be used to force install any software of the author's bidding. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.