Feeds

New stealthy botnet Trojan holds Facebook users hostage

Victims must pay $25 to get back into stalkerbase

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A new strain of cybercrime Trojan is targeting Facebook users by taking over their machines and shaking them down for cash.

Carberp, like its predecessors ZeuS and SpyEye, infects machines by tricking punters into opening PDFs and Excel documents loaded with malicious code, or attacks computers in drive-by downloads. The hidden malware is designed to steal account information, and harvest credentials for email and social-networking sites.

A new configuration of the Carberp Trojan targets Facebook users to ultimately steal e-cash vouchers. Previous malware attacks on Facebook have been designed purely to slurp login info, so this latest skirmish, spotted by transaction security firm Trusteer, can be considered something of an escalation.

The Carberp variant replaces any Facebook page the user navigates to with a fake page notifying the victim that their Facebook account is temporarily locked. Effectively holding Facebook users hostage, the page asks the mark for their first name, last name, email, date of birth, password and a Ukash 20 euro ($25) voucher number to verify their identity and unlock the account.

Trusteer warns the cash voucher attack is in some ways worse than credit card fraud, because with e-cash it is the account-holder, not the financial institution, who assumes the liability for fraudulent transactions.

Trusteer said it does not have any concrete data on how many people might have been hit by this particular attack. But it warns social networking users, particular those with e-cash accounts, to be wary of this particular scam and potential follow-up frauds along the same lines, which might easily trap the unwary.

Amit Klein, CTO at Trusteer, commented: "The fraud technique is quite effective. Keep in mind that the user gets an authentic-looking message in the context of a genuine, deliberate log-in to Facebook. We do know that this is exactly where users are most susceptible to divulging personal information and following additional instructions, as their trust in the content is maximal."

The use of anti-debugging and rootkit techniques make Carberp Trojan difficult to detect, warns security consultancy Context Information Security. Context said: "Carberp is also part of a botnet that can take full control over infected hosts, while its complicated infection mechanisms and extensive functionality make it a prime candidate for more targeted attacks."

Context adds that Carberp, which creates a backdoor on infected machines, can be controlled from a central administrator control panel, allowing botnet herders to more easily mine stolen data.

Trusteer said it had reported the attack to Facebook, and shared malware samples prior to giving live with its blog, a day after Facebook boasted it had been free of the Koobface worm for more than nine months.

"I don't think that this incident contradicts their "virus free" statement, since Carberp only infects the victim PCs without any modification of the victim's profile in Facebook or any other alteration of the Facebook site," Trusteer's CTO told El Reg. "And to the best of our knowledge, Carberp does not propagate through Facebook."

Trusteer published a blog post on Wednesday featuring screenshots of more details of the Carberp e-cash scam in action in a blog post ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.