Feeds

SpyEye banking trojan: now with SMS hijacking capability

One-time passwords zapped to fraudsters

Website security in corporate America

The SpyEye banking trojan has acquired the ability to reroute one-time passwords sent to victims' cellphones, a measure that bypasses protections more and more financial institutions are adopting.

According to a blog post published Wednesday by a researcher from security firm Trusteer, SpyEye was recently observed trying to trick victims into reassigning the cellphone number they use to receive one-time passwords from their banks by SMS, or short message service. The social-engineering ploy is contained in fraudulent pages injected into their online banking sessions that falsely claim they have been assigned a unique telephone number dedicated for that purpose and a special SIM card will be received in the mail shortly.

Warning injected by SpyEye into online banking session

SpyEye injects this message (translated from Spanish) into some victims' online banking session.

“Now the fraudsters can receive all future SMS transaction verification codes for the hijacked account via their own telephone network,” Trusteer researcher Amit Klein wrote. “This allows them to use the SMS confirmation system to divert funds from the customer's account without their knowledge, while not triggering any fraud detection alarms.”

As the cost of online banking fraud has skyrocketed, many financial institutions have embraced the use of out-of-band authentication to reduce the effectiveness of SpyEye, ZeuS, and other trojans that steal online banking credentials entered into infected computers. The protections work by requiring customers to enter a one-time password sent by the bank to her phone before a large transaction is completed. The additional step often foils bank fraud even if a crook has the victim's user name and password.

In true cat-and-mouse fashion, malware developers have responded by building new features that bypass these countermeasures.

SpyEye, which recently merged with the ZeuS codebase, has been one of the leaders in figuring out new ways to defeat such countermeasures. Last month, SpyEye operators began bundling the it with malware that intercepts one-time passwords sent by SMS. SpyEye has been observed doing much the same thing to BlackBerry users, as well.

The fraudulent message claiming the cellphone number must be reassigned is injected into victims' online banking sessions by the SpyEye malware infecting their machines. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.