Feeds

Cybercrooks send in Bouncer to guide marks to phishing sites

Website for one, monsieur?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Cybercrooks have begun bundling whitelisting technology with phishing kits in a bid to restrict access to phishing sites to only their intended victims.

The tactic of blacklisting IP addresses associated with security firms from accessing banking fraud sites has been in play for at least a few months now, but a new phishing toolkit called Bouncer goes one step further - restricting access ONLY to prospective marks.

Security analysts at RSA, which discovered the new phishing toolkit, said it has been used to target customers of banks in South Africa, Australia and Malaysia in recent weeks. Each campaign targeted an average number of 3,000 recipients with lists featuring a mixed bag of webmail users, corporate addresses and even some bank employees. The target list may have come from an earlier data breach.

Bouncer allows cybercrooks to generate a unique ID for each intended victim, which is embedded in the URL that intended victims are asked to click on in order to visit hijacked sites that serve as phishing scam hubs. Intended victims are redirected to a live site posing as their banking institution, where attempts are made to trick them into handing over their online banking login credentials, while everyone else gets a "404 page not found" error message.

The approach means that automated systems or researchers at security firms might be fooled into thinking an attack had already been pulled offline while in reality it's still active, potentially extending the life expectancy of phishing fraud sites based on Bouncer.

"Traditional phishers like to cast as wide of a net as possible, but with this tactic the phisher is laser-focusing the campaign in an effort to collect only the most pertinent credentials for his purposes. Keeping out uninvited guests also means avoiding security companies and prompt take-downs of such attacks," explained Limor Kessem, a cybercrime and online fraud specialist at RSA.

"The peculiar approach is likely the work of a gang or a fraud service vendor supplying credentials to specific geographical regions and targets," she added.

As a prelude to Bouncer-based attacks, cybercrooks are taking advantage of WordPress plugin vulnerabilities to compromise and hijack websites before uploading a web-shell to hijacked sites, and then exploiting them as resources in phishing fraud campaigns.

Kessem added that Bouncer is an example of how "modern-day phishing kits are written with increasing complexity and sophistication, authored by programmers who adapt the kits to the phisher’s needs".

A write-up of the threat can be found in a blog post by RSA here. ®

Bootnote

The total number of phishing attacks launched in 2012 was 445,004, up 59 per cent on the 279,580 attacks recorded in 2011. Estimated losses hit $1.5bn last year, up 22 per cent from 2011 figures, according to figures from RSA.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
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.
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.
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.