Satan ransomware-as-a-service gives malware customising tools to hackers on Dark Web

A new ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) has reportedly emerged, offering cybercriminals on the dark web the option of using ransomware created by someone else in exchange for subscription payments.

According to a report by ZDNet, independent security researcher going by the Twitter handle Xylitol uncovered the Satan malware as part of the Gen:Trojan.Heur2.FU malware family. Satan now however has been launched as part of a RaaS platform, which allows prospective cyber criminals access to ransomware in exchange for 30% of the revenues generated.

Once a victim has been infected with Satan via either malicious links or phishing campaigns, the victim’s files are encrypted and the attackers instruct the victims about ransom demands. Satan reportedly contains a HTML file that claims that restoring the encrypted files are impossible. According to researchers, this claim is not unfounded, indicating that the only way victims can regain access to their stolen files is by paying up the demanded ransom.

Satan’s ransom note instructs victims to install the Tor browser and then redirected to an .onion link to make the ransom payments. The ransom amount varies according to the specification of the cybercriminals using the RaaS platform.

Cybercriminals who want to use the Satan RaaS platform need to sign up for an account with the ransomware’s domain, which is hosted on the dark web. Those interested in the RaaS’ services must connect a Bitcoin wallet to their account and point out a cost for decryption.

Satan RaaS comes with several features, including fee payment records, transaction tracking, ransomware version releases and more. The platform provides hackers with tips on how to customise ransomware demands. Satan also helps hackers learn how to set up gateway proxies, and how to test their malware on systems. The platform also provides hackers with the option of translating their malware into different languages.

Additionally, Satan RaaS’ creators warn cybercriminals not to upload their ransomware onto VirusTotal or other online scanners, in efforts to ensure that they remain undetectable to security researchers.

A message of Satan RaaS’ sign up page reads, “Now, the most important part: the bitcoin paid by the victim will be credited to your account. We will keep a 30 percent fee of the income, so, if you specified a 1 BTC ransom, you will get 0.7 BTC and we will get 0.3 BTC. The fee will become lower depending on the number of infections and payments you have.”

Unlike some other ransomware authors who either fail to come up with a decryption key or store it in a way that allows security researchers to access it an create decryption tools based off them, Satan’s developers store the decryption keys on a remote server. As of now, there is not decryption tool available.

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Source http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/satan-ransomware-service-gives-malware-customising-tools-hackers-dark-web-1602311

Carbanak Group Used Numerous Tools in Recent Attacks

The infamous Carbanak group of hackers has been using multiple tools in a series of attacks over the past several months, Trustwave security researchers reveal.

Starting in September 2016, the Carbanak hackers began targeting large companies in the hospitality sector in Europe and the United States, in a series of attacks that are now said to have employed different types of malicious software.

In a recent report (PDF), Trustwave researchers revealed details on the malware used, some of the executables were signed with digital certificates issued by Comodo, in an attempt to bypass security controls. Most likely, the certs were acquired using fake identities, all featuring Russian details (city, address etc.).

The Carbanak group, also known as Anunak, was exposed in 2015 after supposedly stealing upwards of $1 billion from more than 100 banks across 30 countries.

Called Grand Mars, after one of the fake company names used to purchase certificates from Comodo, these latest attacks were not aiming at financial gains alone.

“The motivation of this operation appears to be financial gain, total control of the infrastructure and collection of bots within the victim organizations. During the forensics investigation and analysis, we were given the impression that several activities have been performed by different persons or even different groups of people,” Trustwave notes.

Multiple cybercrime organizations might have cooperated in the Grand Mars operation to establish a complex system of network hosts, using numerous malicious files to attack multiple victims. During the campaign, they switched command and control (C&C) servers to ensure they remain undetected, with majority of IP addresses associated with C&Cs located in Europe (UK, France, Sweden, and Germany), but some located in the United States.

Just as with other attacks performed by Carbanak, malicious macros in Microsoft Word documents attached to emails were used as entry points. As soon as the attachment was opened and the included VisualBasic script executed, four files were dropped onto the system, in an attempt to gain some foothold to it.

The dropped files include Starter.vbs, which uses registry Autorun and Task Scheduler to achieve persistence, TransbaseOdbcDriver.js, meant to connect to Google services (Forcepoint described the process earlier this week) and Pastebin for victim ID, tracking, and command retrieval, LanCradDriver.vbs, reads and executes the commands written in a LanCradDriver.ini file, initially created empty but later populated by the previous script, and dttsg.txt.

The attackers used a variety of tools to achieve persistence as well, namely a PowerShell Script (downloaded from Google Docs), Registry Autorun (they create a key in the registry to ensure the payload runs immediately after reboot), and Task Scheduler (a scheduled task is triggered every 30 minutes indefinitely to run starter.vbs and launch the execution chain: Starter.vbs> TransbaseOdbcDriver.js> LanCradDriver.vbs> LanCradDriver.ini).

Other tools used in this campaign and deemed malicious include AdobeUpdateManagementTool.vbs (designed to connect to C&C and perform data exfiltration), UVZHDVlZ.exe (a variant of the Carbanak malware), Update.exe (Cobalt Strike’s post-exploitation tool beacon), and 322.exe (a TCP reverse shell). These files were primarily designed for persistence or data exfiltration.

“Using services such as Google Docs in order to keep track of victims and spreading malicious files becomes a very big challenge for defenders because this way is very difficult to distinguish between good and bad guys using these popular public cloud services,” the report reads.

For lateral movement in the compromised networks, the attackers used pass-the-hash, which allowed them to steal credentials of a domain level, high privileged user, the security researchers reveal. Using this technique, actors steal credential hashes from a compromised system and can expand their foothold in the network if local accounts share the same password within the infrastructure.

“Ultimately this allowed attackers to achieve domain or even enterprise admin access and gain network access by utilizing several resources as Command & Control points in Europe and US. Further investigation of the attacked infrastructure showed that the intruders deployed similar PowerShell scripts or embedded batch files in order to spread within the environment,” Trustwave’s report reads.

While some of the attacks associated with this campaign might have been performed by various malicious groups (sometimes different stages of the same attack might have been performed by different groups, with others carrying later attack stages), “the attack characteristics of this family of malware share several common traits with the, original, well understood Carbanak APT campaign, which has been positively attributed to the Russian underground financial cybercrime network,” Trustwave concludes.

By Ionut Arghire

Source http://www.securityweek.com/carbanak-group-used-numerous-tools-recent-attacks

Chrome Users Targeted in Malware Campaign

A recently observed malware distribution campaign has been specifically devised to target users of the Chrome browser on Windows-based computers, Proofpoint security researchers warn.

The campaign uses the infamous EITest infection chain, which has been previously associated with numerous exploit kit attacks leading to ransomware, information stealers, and other malware. First documented in 2014, EITest has seen numerous changes, and the switch to more targeted attacks instead of relying on exploit kits for infection is one of them.

The newly observed attack change was first noticed in December, when a compromised website was dropping the “Chrome_Font.exe” file onto visitors’ computers. The site, Proofpoint discovered, was EITest-compromised, and was dropping the file only after a series of filtering mechanisms were triggered.

The attack, security researchers found out, was targeting Chrome for Windows users specifically. As soon as the visitor was determined to use this browser, the code injected in the page would make text unreadable, and a fake alert was displayed, prompting the user to download and install a file supposedly containing new fonts.

“The infection is straightforward: if the victim meets the criteria – targeted country, correct User-Agent (Chrome on Windows) and proper referer – the script is inserted in the page and rewrites the compromised website on a potential victim’s browser to make the page unreadable, creating a fake issue for the user to resolve,” Proofpoint researcher Kafeine explains.

The website, however, would attempt to infect Internet Explorer users as well. As long as they met specific criteria, they were exposed to a more “classic” exploit kit attack, the researcher notes.

The attack on Chrome users relied on storing all the data between HTML tags in an array, then replacing them with “&#0”. Because this is not a proper ISO character, the browser would display the replacement character � instead.

A fake alert displayed in the browser would prompt users to install an updated font pack to view the content of the page. The victim was told that the specific font (“HoeflerText,” in Proofpoint’s example) wasn’t found, and that the user should install the update immediately. The fake alert can’t be closed using the “x” button and malware is executed when the user approves the so called update.

Proofpoint suggests that the campaign was launched on December 10, 2016 and says that the “Chrome_Font.exe” file that users are tricked to install is in fact the ad fraud malware known as Fleercivet.

The malware spreads in affiliate mode, with its affiliate initially seen on underground markets as “Simby,” until they disappeared in early 2015, only to reappear later that year as “Clicool.” Upon infection, the malware causes the computer to browse the Internet in the background, on its own.

The new campaign, Kafeine says, is important because the new patch added to the EITest compromise chain combines social engineering with the targeting of Chrome users (different paths have been added to the EITest before, such as the redirection to an Android “Police” Browser locker spotted in December 2014.).

“Because actors are finding it more difficult (and therefore less profitable) to achieve conversions (i.e., malware installations) via exploit kit, they are turning to new strategies. As with other threats, actors are exploiting the human factor and are tricking users into loading the malware themselves, this time via selective injects into websites that create the appearance of problems along with the offer of fake solutions,” Proofpoint’s researcher concludes.

By Ionut Arghire

Source http://www.securityweek.com/chrome-users-targeted-malware-campaign

Ransack Campaigns Target Hadoop and CouchDB

Following a series of ransom attacks against MongoDB and Elasticsearch databases in recent weeks, many users of CouchDB and Hadoop are now finding their databases are under attack as well.

With the help of automated tools, attackers have been targeting Internet-acessible databases that haven’t been properly secured and either erasing or stealing data, followed by dropping a note demanding a specific ransom amount in exchange for the stolen data.

Insecure MongoDB installations were targeted first, and over 33,000 databases have already fallen victim to the attacks. However, as more hackers joined the rush, attackers started looking into alternatives, and Elasticsearch databases came into the crosshairs next.

Only several hundred such installations were targeted within the first couple of days, but the number has since grown to over 4,600 as of today, the public spreadsheet security researchers Victor Gevers and Niall Merrigan (who have been keeping an eye on these attacks since the beginning) use to track the campaign shows.

The attacks on MongoDB installations have reportedly slowed down, suggesting that hackers are focusing on Elasticsearch databases (over 30,000 of them are reportedly exposed) or other targets. With one actor actively attempting to sell the ransomware kit for MongoDB and Elasticsearch, it remains to be seen whether more attackers will start targeting these databases as well.

For now, however, it’s certain that Internet-facing CouchDB and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) installations are potential victims to these attacks. The key change, however, is that hackers might no longer steal the data to hold it for ransom, but simply erase everything in an attempt to do harm.

While the number of CouchDB databases that have fallen to the ransom attack is still low, there are around 4,000 exposed instances, and their fate could turn for the worse if admins don’t secure them in a timely manner.

The public spreadsheet tracking attacks on Hadoop servers shows that 126 of them have been already vandalized and that there are three attackers actively pursuing them at the moment. There are between 8,000 and 10,000 HDFS installations out there, which means that attackers have quite the attack surface to enjoy.

Fidelis Cybersecurity Threat Research says that the attacks on HDFS installations (which started ramping up last week) are possible because admins use minimal security and made installations accessible from the Internet, and because denial of service (DoS) attacks have been trending up over the past years, especially in the enterprise segment.

Because HDFS installations using default configurations allow access without authentication, any attacker with basic proficiency in Hadoop can start deleting files. “On or around January 5 to January 6, traffic to port 50070 soared as attackers scanned for open HDFS installations to target,” Fidelis says.

To stay protected, admins need to follow some simple rules that apply to all databases, be them MongoDB, Elasticsearch, CouchDB, or HDFS: avoid exposing them to the Internet unless that is absolutely necessary, and use strong authentication settings (leaving default settings could mean that no authentication is required). Regularly backing up data helps restoration efforts after being hit.

With tens of thousands of databases already hit worldwide, it’s clear that admins need to take stance and up their security. Gevers and Merrigan have already made steps in preventing attacks, such as contacting local GovCERT teams to warn server owners that they are exposed. This reportedly resulted in critical Hadoop servers being pulled off the Internet.

The two security researchers have been hard at work over the past couple of weeks helping victims, and others have already joined their efforts, including Bob Diachenko, Matt Bromiley, and Dylan Katz.

By Ionut Arghire

Source http://www.securityweek.com/ransack-campaigns-target-hadoop-and-couchdb

Ukraine Power Company Confirms Hackers Caused Outage

The investigation is ongoing, but Ukraine’s national power company Ukrenergo has confirmed that the recent electricity outage in the Kiev region was caused by a cyberattack.

In a statement emailed to SecurityWeek on Thursday, Ukrenergo said a preliminary analysis showed that the normal operation of workstations and SCADA servers had been disrupted due to “external influences.”

The analysis indicates that the incident, described as a planned and layered intrusion, involved malware that allowed the attackers to remotely control internal systems. Investigators are in the process of establishing a timeline of events and identifying compromised accounts, points of entry, and devices infected with malware that may be lying dormant.

Ukrenergo is confident that the results of this investigation will help the company implement organizational and technological measures that would help prevent cyber threats and reduce the risk of power failure.

The incident took place on the night between December 17 and 18 at the substation in Pivnichna, causing blackouts in the capital city of Kiev and the Kiev region. Power was fully restored after just over an hour.

Ukrenergo officials immediately suspected external interference and brought in cybersecurity experts to conduct an investigation.

One of the experts involved in the probe told the BBC that the 2016 attacks were more sophisticated and better organized compared to the ones launched in December 2015. It also appears that several threat groups had worked together, and they may have tested techniques that could be used in other campaigns as well.

Russia is again the main suspect, the country being blamed for many of the cyberattacks launched recently against Ukraine.

A report published in October by Booz Allen Hamilton showed that the December 2015 attacks on Ukraine’s electric grid were part of a long-running campaign that also targeted the railway, media, mining and government sectors.

In the meantime, researchers continue to monitor KillDisk, one of the pieces of malware involved in the 2015 attack. They recently discovered that the destructive malware had turned into ransomware and started infecting Linux machines as well.

By Eduard Kovacs

Source http://www.securityweek.com/ukraine-power-company-confirms-hackers-caused-outage

Yahoo discloses hack of 1 billion accounts

The company disclosed today that it has discovered a breach of more than one billion user accounts that occurred in August 2013. The breach is believed to be separate and distinct from the theft of data from 500 million accounts that Yahoo reported this September.

Troublingly, Yahoo’s chief information security officer Bob Lord says that the company hasn’t been able to determine how the data from the one billion accounts was stolen. “We have not been able to identify the intrusion associated with this theft,” Lord wrote in a post announcing the hack.

“The stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers,” Lord added.

Yahoo was alerted to the massive breach by law enforcement and has examined the data with the help of outside forensic experts. The data does not appear to include payment details or plaintext passwords, but it’s still bad news for Yahoo account holders. The hashing algorithm MD5 is no longer considered secure and MD5 hashes can easily be looked up online to discover the passwords they hide.

Yahoo says it is notifying the account holders affected in the breach. Affected users will be required to change their passwords.

Yahoo also announced today that its proprietary code had been accessed by a hacker, who used the code to forge cookies that could be used to access accounts without a password. “The outside forensic experts have identified user accounts for which they believe forged cookies were taken or used. We are notifying the affected account holders, and have invalidated the forged cookies,” Lord said, adding that he believed the attack was launched by a state-sponsored actor.

Today’s revelations add to Yahoo’s long string of security problems. Yahoo employees reportedly knew of the intrusion that led to the theft of data from 500 million users as early as 2014, but the company did not announce the breach until this September. What Yahoo executives knew about the breach, and when they knew it, have been crucial questions in Verizon’s ongoing acquisition of Yahoo. Yahoo did not disclose the first breach until several months after the deal was announced.

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Source https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/14/yahoo-discloses-hack-of-1-billion-accounts/

$500 million botnet Citadel attacked by Microsoft and the FBI

Joint operation identified more than 1000 botnets, but operations continue.

A joint strike by Microsoft and the FBI, with aid from authorities in more than 80 countries, has begun breaking up the Citadel network – a cybercrime ring responsible for stealing more than $500 million (£323 million) from bank accounts.

The criminals in charge of the Citadel network installed key logging software on up to five million computers to steal data, recording logins and passwords before emptying individuals’ online accounts.

Banks affected by the group’s activities included American Express, Bank of America, HSBC, Wells Fargo, PayPal, and Royal Bank of Canada.

Microsoft describes the internationally-organised assault as “our most aggressive botnet operation to date”, marking the first time that “law enforcement and the private sector have worked together […] to execute a civil seizure warrant as part of a botnet disruption operation.”

During the attack, codenamed Operation b54, more than 1,000 botnets were shut down over Wednesday, with Microsoft stating that 455 of those were hosted in 40 data centres in the US.

Richard Bosovich of the Digital Crimes Unit has said that those that run the data centres are usually unaware of the botnets: “There is no responsibility on their part to see what is in the pipes,” he said.

The reports by Reuters on the operation do warn that this operation will not extinguish the operations of the Citadel group, but it will “significantly disrupt” their operation.

Citadel’s operations were started after the source code for an infamous cybercrime toolkit named Zeus was released in 2011. The code available from Zeus offered tools for many forms of cybercrime, from keystroke logging to phishing schemes.

The code was then augmented by enthusiasts and opportunists on cybercrime forums, with Citadel’s tweaks to the toolkit hiding it from programs designed to track Zeus originally. Citadel even blocked victims’ access to legitimate anti-virus and anti-malware sites, making it more difficult to remove the malignant software, even if they were alerted to its presence.

Microsoft is also hunting a hacker known by the alias Aquabox, who was named as the ringleader of the operation in a civil lawsuit filed by the company in North Carolina.

Richard Boscovich of the Digital Crimes Unit suspects Aquabox lives in eastern Europe, as the programs operated by the botnet are programmed not to attack institutions in Ukraine or Russia, likely to avoid attracting local attention to the criminals.

Boscovich describes Aquabox’s operation as international in its scope, working with at least 81 “herders” who help to run the botnet from anywhere in the world. He also operated a forum for his subordinates where they could suggest new tweaks to the software, and exchange tips on managing the computers in their charge.

“Like many of our past operations, this investigation once again revealed how criminals are adapting and evolving,” said Bosovich. “Cooperation is the key to winning the fight against cybercrime, and I’m excited about the opportunity we had to work with law enforcement and the other partners involved.”

By James Vincent

Source http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/500-million-botnet-citadel-attacked-by-microsoft-and-the-fbi-8647594.html

Clicking WhatsApp links making users vulnerable to cybercrime

Clicking on the links circulated on instant messaging app may expose and make them vulnerable to cyberattacks

Giving away a warning to all WhatsApp users across the globe, a report said that clicking on the links circulated on instant messaging app may expose and make them vulnerable to cyberattacks. According to a report in The Sun newspaper, hackers are using simple tricks to fool people into visiting booby-trapped websites and then fleecing them.

Recently, Whatsapp rolled out video calling and scammers are taking the advantage of this new feature as bait to tempt people into their trap. Video calling download links shared on WhatsApp messages take users to malicious websites.

“If you receive an email asking you to “activate” the function by visiting a website, make sure you don’t click it. Anyone who is tricked into visiting the danger pages could end up being targeted by digital criminals,” the report pointed out.

Earlier this month, announcing that India now has nearly 160 million monthly active users, WhatsApp launched a video calling feature here which was rolled out globally. The feature is available on all platforms — Android, iOS and Windows. A user does not need to go to any links to download the feature. Your app store will receive an update from WhatsApp with the new feature.

WhatsApp is available in more than 50 different languages around the world and in 10 Indian languages. Nearly 100 million calls are being made on the platform daily worldwide. With the video calling feature, WhatsApp will now compete with Microsoft-owned Skype and Google’s Duo.

Another hoax, which talked about ‘WhatsApp Gold’ that has also been doing the rounds on the popular messaging app gives a link for users to open, claiming that it would offer users access to an exclusive form of the app.

By: IANS

Source http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/social/clicking-whatsapp-links-making-users-vulnerable-to-cybercrime-4395929/

Google Warns Users of Recent State-sponsored Attacks

Google Warns Journalists and Activists About Recent State-Sponsored Attacks

Over the last few days, Google has delivered a batch of warnings about potential government-backed attacks against numerous journalists, academics and activists. Many of the recipients have announced their personal warnings on Twitter. There are some differences in the wording of some of the warnings, but Google has confirmed that the Twitter postings appear to be authentic.

Google has been issuing such warnings since 2012. At first they were simple text alerts across the top of the recipients’ Gmail page. In March of this year it started to use the larger more noticeable banners that are now appearing. The warnings do not indicate that an account has actually been compromised; only that Google researchers have seen indications of an attempt against the account.

The warnings are also not timely. The attack indicators were likely noticed up to a month earlier. Google does not issue immediate warnings for fear that this will allow attackers to determine the method of discovery. This time lapse has led to certain assumptions that the attackers are likely to be the Russian actors, possibly APT28 or APT29, that were linked to attacks against the Democrats, supposedly to influence the election. (Last month, Russian hackers were also linked with targeting journalists investigating the MH17 crash.)

Google State Sponsored Attack Warning

This, however, has to be conjecture. Google does not publicly provide any evidence on the identity of the attackers — and at least one target is a Hong-Kong-based Chinese activist (Joshua Wong Chi-fung).

“Google has been secretive about the algorithms and criteria it uses to determine that a potential attack is state-sponsored,” explains ESET senior research fellow David Harley; adding that such secrecy about proprietary algorithms is not unusual in the security industry. “The relationship with the APT29 targeted malware is speculative, but I can’t say there isn’t a connection. If an attack is based on code that is associated with known state-sponsored attacks, that could be another indicator, if you have that sort of information. Google isn’t exactly known for a spirit of friendly cooperation with the security industry at large, but it certainly has security resources.”

There is, however, an element of hysteria about this current batch of warnings; as if users need to take different precautions against nation attacks than they do against everyday criminal attacks. Activists are more likely to be attacked for political reasons, and in some cases the consequences could be more dire — but the defenses remain the same as those everybody should be using as a matter of course.

“Journalists and professors already know what they should do – and if they don’t, they can easily look it up. If they don’t already follow best practices it’s because they suffer from the fallacy that they aren’t important enough to target,” comments F-Secure’s Sean Sullivan. It is certainly true that users receiving Google warnings should take immediate steps to confirm the integrity of their account: Google doesn’t say the attack was successful, but nor does it say it failed.

Caleb Chen, who works with Private Internet Access, points out that state-sponsored attacks may be more prevalent than is commonly thought. Google says only that it is likely to happen to less than 0.1% of its users. If there are a billion Gmail users, he suggests, those figures mean that up to a million may have seen state-sponsored probing. “As cyber-attacks continue to proliferate, often times across borders, expect reports of this type of probing to rise in the future.”

There is also an irony about warnings being attributed to foreign governments coming at the same time as the US and particularly the UK governments are increasing their own surveillance capabilities. Luis Corrons, technical director at PandaLabs insists there is a difference. “One thing is knowing that governments are harvesting loads of information from everyone, and another thing is an attack targeted at you, so they can compromise your computer and access (steal) all your information, sources, etc.”

Nevertheless, Chen reports a 30% spike in VPN sales from the UK in the week in which the IP Bill completed its course through parliament. While standard computer defenses are required to protect accounts, VPNs are now also required to protect communications — especially those of activists of any persuasion.

Account defenses obviously include strong passwords, 2FA where possible, reputable anti-virus, and an awareness of spear-phishing techniques; but Corrons offers one other piece of advice for journalists and activists: “Ideally have all your sensitive information in a different computer to the one you use for your emails, Internet, etc. Even better if this one is not connected to the Internet.”

By Kevin Townsend

Source http://www.securityweek.com/google-warns-users-recent-state-sponsored-attacks

Backdoored Phishing Templates Advertised on YouTube

Scammers are abusing YouTube as a new way to promote backdoored phishing templates and provide potential buyers with information on how to use the nefarious software, Proofpoint researchers warn.

Because cybercrime is a business, crooks are constantly searching for new means to advertise their products to increase gains. For some, YouTube seemed like a good selling venue, and they decided to promote their kits on this legitimate website.

A search for “paypal scama” returns over 114,000 results, but buyers are in for a surprise, Proofpoint reveals. To be more precise, while the kits work as advertised, they also include a backdoor that automatically sends the phished information back to the author.

Proofpoint security researchers stumbled upon several YouTube videos that linked to phishing kits, templates, or to pages offering more information on these. The videos were created to show what the templates looked like and to instruct potential buyers on how to collect the phished information.

One of these videos, for example, showed an Amazon phishing template meant to replicate the legitimate login page on the web portal. The video’s authors instructed interested parties to contact them via a Facebook page.

When analyzing the code taken from another example of a phishing template that has been downloaded from a link on a similar video, the security researchers found the author’s Gmail address hardcoded in it. Thus, the author would receive the results of the phish each time the kit was used.

The same kit included a secondary email address that was also receiving the stolen information. What the security researchers didn’t manage to figure out was whether the same author included both addresses in the code or someone else added the second one and decided to redistribute the kit.

A PayPal scam analyzed by the researchers revealed that the cybercriminals attempted to avoid suspicion by adding a PHP include for a file called style.js just before the PHP “mail” command is used to send the stolen credentials. The style.js file, however, was found to include more encoded PHP code. The hidden command in the code was also meant to send the phished information to the author.

“Many of the video samples we found on YouTube have been posted for months, suggesting that YouTube does not have an automated mechanism for detection and removal of these types of videos and links. They remain a free, easy-to-use method for the authors of phishing kits and templates to advertise, demonstrate, and distribute their software,” Proofpoint says.

The security researchers say that they found multiple samples where the authors included backdoors that allow them to harvest the phished credentials even after other actors purchased the templates to use them in their own campaigns. The victims of phishing attacks suffer the most, because they have their credentials stolen by multiple actors each time the backdoored kits are used.

By Ionut Arghire

Source http://www.securityweek.com/backdoored-phishing-templates-advertised-youtube