Feeds

Israeli cops penetrated by army of fake generals with trojans

Syrian rebels also hit, Iran's name murmured

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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." ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.