Feeds

Chinese Trojan blocks cloud-based security defences

Haha, I mock your forcefield!

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Miscreants have released a Trojan specially designed to disable cloud-based anti-virus security defences.

The Bohu blocks connections from infected Windows devices and cloud anti-virus services in place to protect them. Malware writers have long included routines to disable components of desktop anti-virus software packages or block access to anti-virus websites from infected machines.

More and more security firms are beginning to adopt cloud-based anti-virus architectures, as they offer the twin benefits of a lesser performance overhead (all the heavy lifting is done on servers in the cloud not on the client) and faster response to the growing volume of malware threats. Bohu reflects the fact that the bad guys have once again adopted to the changes applied by security defenders.

Bohu - which was spotted by anti-virus researchers working for Microsoft in China - is hardwired to block access to cloud-based net services from Kingsoft, Qihoo, and Rising. All three firms are based in China.

The malware poses as a video codec, a common ruse by virus writers worldwide. If installed, Bohu applies a filter that blocks traffic between the infected machines and service provider. The malware also includes routines to hide its presence on infected machines.

Microsoft security researchers described Bohu as "art of the first wave of malware that specifically targets cloud-based anti-virus technology", in a detailed write-up of the threat on the Microsoft Malware Protection Center blog.

Anti-virus firms have added detection for the malware, which ought to block infection providing the latest signature updates have been applied.

Alan Bentley, SVP International of security tools firm Lumension, argued that the approach taken by Bohu is likely to be replicated by other strains of Trojan, both in China and elsewhere.

"Bohu is not just another piece of malware," Bentley said. "It is the first designed to target anti-virus technology that is protecting the cloud. Add to that the fact that it is native to China, and we are seeing yet another new wave of targeted cyber attacks.

"With the bad guys now targeting security defences, a different approach to safeguarding data is required. Relying on anti-virus solutions has proven ineffective time and time again.

A more intelligent approach to security would serve to prevent against attacks like Bohu. Only by allowing code that is known to be good to enter a network, can organisations make sure they are truly protected." ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.