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Evil '666' auto-whaler tool is even eviler than it seems

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Hackers have created a fake tool especially designed to exploit the laziness of the most clueless and unskilled phishing fraudsters.

The fake tool poses as a utility that scours the net for fraudulent sites and pilfers any login credentials that victims might have entered, making them available to crooks who had nothing to do with the original fake site. Tools of this type are called auto-whalers and are by no means unprecedented.

This particular variant, however, comes with surprise backdoor functionality, GFI Software has discovered. The utility actually steals passwords from a user's machine using a password-stealing Trojan called Fignotok-A.

The malware is ultimately designed to snatch gaming account logins and IM passwords. Frankly though, anyone using an application called 666 auto-whaler.exe that uses a balaclava-sporting terrorist as an icon, as in this case, shouldn't be that surprised if it turns out to be less than healthy for their own security. Undoctored 666 auto-whaler.exe utilities are out there, but the sample analysed by GFI certainly isn't one of them – those unscrupulous enough to use it are probably naive enough not to check whether it's safe or not.

Previous examples of this sort of dishonour-among-thieves involved supposed phishing toolkits that actually sent stolen IDs back to the tool's authors – rather than the people who were using the tool to create fake banking websites and the like. The Trojaned auto-whaler tool is targeted even lower down the food chain, to would-be crooks who would even have trouble with point and click tools, potentially encompassing those not even out of short pants.

"Password stealer creators targeting whalers going after phishers may sound like a humorously confusing mess of bad people hitting each other in the face with bricks – and don't think I haven't thought about it – but the gag quickly evaporates once Little Jimmy loses five sets of credit card details to the void," writes Christopher Boyd, a security researcher at GFI Software.

A full write-up of the scam can be found in a blog post by GFI here. ®

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