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Posts Tagged ‘malware infections’

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 02:03 PM gHale

There is a new operation just discovered that has over 25,000 Unix servers suffering from an infection for the past two years.

Called “Windigo” after the mythical creature from Algonquian Native American folklore, the servers are sending out 35 million spam emails each day, putting around 500,000 computers at risk of malware infection.

“Each day over half a million computers are put at risk of infection, as they visit websites that have been poisoned by web server malware planted by Operation Windigo redirecting to malicious exploit kits and advertisements,” said ESET security researcher Marc-Étienne Léveillé.

Most of the infected servers are in the U.S., Germany, France and the UK. Many of the affected servers belong to hosting providers. The list of victims includes companies such as cPanel and

ESET has been investigating the campaign for around one year. In total, 25,000 servers suffered infection, of which 10,000 still have the issue.

Mac users are not out in the cold as Windows users end up directed to malware-serving exploit kits. People who visit the infected websites from Macs end up pushed to adult content or served ads for dating sites.

Léveillé highlights the Ebury backdoor deployed by the attackers doesn’t exploit Linux or OpenSSH vulnerabilities. Instead, it ends up planted manually.

“The fact that they have managed to do this on tens of thousands of different servers is chilling. While anti-virus and two factor authentication is common on the desktop, it is rarely used to protect servers, making them vulnerable to credential stealing and easy malware deployment,” Léveillé said.

Pierre-Marc Bureau, security intelligence program manager at ESET, said they are investigating the campaign because cybercriminal operations that rely on Linux malware are not something we get to see every day, particularly when it comes to an operation as complex as Windigo.

Bureau said this is the biggest botnet of servers they have ever seen. What they do know is the bot masters are very good in programming and the administration of Linux systems. Additionally, they probably have good connections in the underground, considering their capabilities to send spam and install malware.

The complete paper of the Windigo operation is available on ESET’s website.

Thursday, January 9, 2014 @ 04:01 PM gHale

Much like the problem Yahoo faced earlier this week, the popular video sharing website DailyMotion has been serving fake antiviruses through malicious ads.

Users who visit the website end up served a fake antivirus, said researchers at security firm Invincea. On January 7, only 10 antivirus engines from VirusTotal detected the threat.

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The fake antivirus is not out of the ordinary. It falsely informs victims of malware infections and asks them to register the product in order to remove the Trojans, Downloaders, Backdoors and Rootkits. Registration costs up to $100.

It goes without saying, but users should not to pay since the infections are fake and the bogus security application doesn’t actually do anything.

Invincea said it notified DailyMotion of the malvertising attack.

Earlier this week, Yahoo users from Europe also ended up targeted in a similar type of attack.

Friday, September 27, 2013 @ 04:09 PM gHale

Of all the malware infections, 80 percent are the result of Trojans, a new report said.

“Cybercriminals use Trojans as a key tool to infect users, continually introducing changes to avoid detection, and, in many cases, automating the process of changing the Trojan,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, which conducted the second quarter 2013 threat report. “They use scripts and special tools in order to change the binaries run on victims’ computers to evade the signature-based detection used by antivirus firms.”

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In addition to the malware infections, 77 percent of all new malware is a Trojan, while worms make up 11.3 percent, and viruses, 10.3 percent, of new malware, according to PandaLabs. When it comes to malware infections, 79.7 percent are because of Trojans, 6.7 percent due to viruses, and 6.1 percent worms.

Overall, the volume of new malware samples rose in Q2 — 12 percent more than the same period in 2013, and 17 percent more than the first half of the year.

China is home to the most infected machines, with 52.4 percent of infections, followed by Turkey, with 43.6 percent, and Peru, 42.1 percent. Europe has the lowest infection rates.

The full PandaLabs report is available for download.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 @ 06:09 PM gHale

Only 25 percent of workers bypass their organizations’ security policies, and most agree it’s important to follow their employers’ standard practices, a new survey showed.

Complying with their organization’s security policies is necessary, said 95 percent of the respondents and 89 percent said security policies help prevent malware infections, according to the 2,500 employees surveyed by Webroot in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. More than 60 percent said security policies at their companies never or “rarely” impede them in doing their jobs, and only 7 percent said they are extremely worried about their employers monitoring their online activities.

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“We were surprised — quite pleasantly, I might add — by how few employees skirt around corporate computer security policies,” said Jacques Erasmus, chief information security officer at Webroot. “Given the proliferation of new social tools, mobile devices, browsers, and all other emerging tech form factors, we assumed it’d be tempting for employees to get around policies prohibiting their use as IT departments grapple with how to incorporate them.”

So why the discrepancy of 25 percent still trying to break policies?

“People are used to being connected — to their devices and to each other via social networks,” Erasmus said. “Particularly for younger workers who’ve grown up with these technologies as a part of their daily lives, it can take some adjustment to do without them if their company says it must be so. We found that a greater proportion of employees between the ages of 18 to 29 disabled or modified restrictive settings on their computers and used mobile devices for restricted activities more than any other age group.”

Around 15 percent said they used a mobile device to perform activities banned at work, versus 6 percent of users in all age brackets. Around 12 percent of the 18- to 29-year-olds visited prohibited websites on a mobile device versus 6 percent of all users; 6 six percent of that younger age bracket changed their browser settings, while 3 percent overall did.

But just because most employees play by the security rules doesn’t mean your organization is in the clear for insider threats or social engineering.

“While we were generally encouraged by the number of employees who respect their companies’ computer security policies, all it takes is one employee to fall victim to a social engineering tactic or targeted attack,” Erasmus said. “Cybercriminals have realized it’s easier to hit the soft targets — the employees — before they try to get past the infrastructure companies have invested a lot of money in,” such as firewalls, anti-malware solutions, IDSes, and other products.”

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