Feeds

Trojan smuggles out nicked blueprints as Windows Update data

Malware backdoors government-targeted kit 'using Adobe 0-days'

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Security watchers have uncovered a new highly targeted email-borne attack that uses a supposed conference invitation as a lure - and disguises extracted data as Microsoft Update traffic.

The spearphishing attempts, which have been levied against several government-related organisations worldwide, try to use alleged unfixed security flaws in Adobe software to implant a Trojan on compromised machines - ultimately opening a backdoor for hackers to take over systems.

Once loaded, the malware also cunningly attempts to escape detection by posing as a benign Windows Update utility. The attack was independently discovered by security researchers from Seculert and Zscaler, who issued a joint warning about the so-called MSUpdater Trojan assault on Tuesday.

"We were able to track similar attacks, from the same group of attackers, back to 2009," Aviv Raff, CTO at Seculert told El Reg.

"The method of operation of many of the attacks is similar – a spearphishing email is sent with a PDF attachment of a fake industry related 'Conference Invitation'. The PDF file exploits zero-day vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader, and then installs the RAT [Remote Access Trojan] malware. The malware tries to stay under the radar of security products by pretending to be a 'Microsoft Windows Update' - hence the name 'MSUpdater' Trojan."

"One variant is using Windows Update-like HTTP requests to communicate with the command-and-control server. The other drops a file named msupdate.exe," he added. "The attacks' purpose was indeed industrial espionage, mainly for stealing intellectual property. One of the main functions of a variant of this malware was to steal specific files and upload them to the C&C server."

Analysis of the attack is ongoing, and Raff is yet to form a clear opinion on the likely perpetrators of the assault.

"We don't have information about the people behind those attacks, however as all of them are targeting government-related organisations, it is highly reasonable to suspect that the attackers are high profile, maybe even a country," he concluded. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.