Feeds

Miscreants leak banking baddie's secret source

Just a matter of time before Tinba Trojan copycats arrive

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Miscreants have released the source code for the Tinba banking Trojan in a move that may spawn the development of copycats.

The secret source behind early versions of the small (some versions weigh in at just 20KB) but pernicious banking Trojan was released through an underground forum last week, reports Danish security consultancy CSIS.

Members of the closed forum can download the code at no cost. Its wider availability in coming weeks is therefore more than likely.

Tinba first appeared in 2011, but its development was taken over by a separate gang of cybercrooks the year after, possibly after the code was sold on by the original crook(s).

Only the older version of the Tinba Trojan has been offered up for sale through the post in a closed cybercrime forum, but this is still bad news because the release could act as a seed from which a new offshoot of the banking Trojan is grown, CSIS warns.

"Sometimes around 2012, the Tinba version 1 source code was taken over by new criminals and it is precisely the version 1 source code which has now been made available to the public and not the code being used in current and ongoing attacks," Peter Kruse, a partner and eCrime specialist at CSIS, explains in a blog post.

"The Tinba leaked source code comes with a complete documentation and full source code. It is nicely structured and our initial analysis proves that the code works smoothly and compiles just fine," Kruse adds.

Kruse told El Reg that he suspects the original miscreant was prompted to ditch the project, possibly over concerns his identity might have been exposed by analysis (PDF) of his efforts.

"Perhaps the author saw his name in one of the reports we published in 2012 and decided to quit the project," he said. "That would make sense as the Tinba code is obviously been reworked and improved by other criminals."

CSIS was the first to report when the source code for the infamous ZeuS crimekit leaked onto the interwebs back in 2011, an incident that spawned the creation of copycat code. The release of Tinba source code represents a similar but lesser risk. This is mainly because ZeuS has long been the weapon of choice for cybercrooks, whereas Tinba in all its forms is a far less frequent threat.

"As a direct result of the ZeuS source code leak, several IT criminals have been inspired and have even improved the code for newer and more powerful commercial crimekits such as Citadel," Kruse said.

"We don't expect the source code of Tinba to become a major inspiration for IT criminals as was the case for ZeuS. However, making the code public increases the risk of new banker Trojans to arise based partially on Tinba source code," he added. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.