Feeds

Israeli cops penetrated by army of fake generals with trojans

Syrian rebels also hit, Iran's name murmured

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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." ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.