Feeds

Researchers warn of resurgent Sefnit malware

Botnet returns using new tactics

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A malware infection which drew headlines January has returned and is using new techniques to infect and spread amongst users.

Known as Sefnit, the botnet infection was spotted in September of 2013 and triggered alarms earlier this year when researchers warned that millions of systems were likely infected with the malware. Associated with click fraud and bitcoin mining activities, Sefnit was noted for its use of the Tor anonymising network as a means of avoiding detection.

Microsoft researcher Jeff McDonald wrote at the time that the malware was using Tor to hide its command and control servers, directing traffic through the online network before connecting the infected machines with their control servers.

Now, according to researchers with Facebook, the Sefnit infection is back, albeit without the use of a Tor client. Security experts working with the social network spotted the infection spreading in the wild.

This time, say the researchers, the Sefnit malware is operating without the use of Tor, instead establishing direct connections via a secure Plink connection with one or more command and control servers. The malware, which initially tries to hide itself as a Windows Theme system file, operates as a pair of executables.

In a detailed roundup of the infection, the researchers are hoping to provide administrators and security teams with details which can help detect the the new code,which they say appears to have been developed in late March. The researchers listed thirty domains which have already been associated with the malware infections.

Once installed, the malware uses its control servers to receive orders or, download additional payloads.

Such a resurgence of a popular malware samples has been seen before. Often successful infections are repackaged and modified by their original authors or adopted by other cybercriminal groups for new attacks.

Popular kits such as the ZeuS malware have menaced users in for years while constantly changing or receiving tweaks to add new capabilities or avoid detection from antimalware tools and law enforcement groups. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.