Feeds

Israeli cops penetrated by army of fake generals with trojans

Syrian rebels also hit, Iran's name murmured

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Israeli police departments were pulled offline last Thursday following the discovery of a Trojan especially targeted at law enforcement networks in the Jewish state.

The malware was distributed using spammed messages, spoofed so that they appeared to come from the head of the Israel Defense Forces, Benny Gantz. The malicious emails contained the subject line "IDF strikes militants in Gaza Strip following rocket barrage", and a compressed .RAR file was attached. Opening the dodgy attachment on Windows machines leads to infection by the XTRAT-B Trojan (AKA Benny Gantz-59).

Samples of the malware obtained by Trend Micro suggest that the initial target of the attack was systems within the Israeli Customs agency.

"Based on our analysis, this backdoor is an Xtreme remote access Trojan (RAT) that, like all RATs, can be used to steal information and receive commands from a remote attacker," Ivan Macalintal, a threat research manager at Trend Micro explains. "The Xtreme RAT appears to have been used in previous attacks targeting Syrian anti-government activists."

The Trojan features Windows 8 compatibility, improved audio and desktop capture capabilities as well as better routines for grabbing passwords saved in Chrome and Firefox.

Antivirus firms are adding detection for both the spammed message and the malicious file but the damage may already have been done. Roni Bachar, head of Israeli security firm Avnet, told the Times of Israel that police servers might have been compromised for up to a week before the outbreak was detected, and quarantine procedures were applied.

"It was only late Wednesday night that police realized what happened and ordered that computers be taken offline," Bachar said. "Apparently the virus was also distributed to other government departments."

Police forces re-established limited internet connectivity by Sunday but it's unclear when full access will be restored, the Times of Israel adds.

It's also unclear who created the malware or why, although Iran has (unsurprisingly) emerged as a likely suspect.

"Benny Gantz-55 may have been a prank," the DigitalIntifada blog speculates.

"It may also have been generated by Iran's burgeoning cyber warfare centres which have been rapidly expanded since Tehran's nuclear programme was hit by the Stuxnet virus in 2010." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.