TrendLabs Q3 Security Roundup on illegal activities

Pierluigi Paganini November 13, 2013

TrendLabs has just published the third quarterly report, titled The Invisible Web Unmasked, on the evolution of cybercrime observed in recent months.

TrendLabs have published an interesting report titled titled “The Invisible Web Unmasked” to provide a picture of cybercrime evolution observed in recent months.

The takedown of the virtual currency Liberty Reserve, the seizure of the online black market Silk Road, the arrest of the alleged Blackhole Exploit Kit creator, known as Paunch, were some of the events that characterized this quarter and that have attracted the media attention, but we have to consider that it is just the tip of the iceberg if compared to the overall illegal activity.

Cybercriminals routinely use compromised sites to serve malware or to arrange spam campaigns, Spambots like Stealrat heavily relied on techniques like using compromised machines to cloak malicious operations.

“The BKDR_FIDOBOT backdoor brute-forced its way into sites that ran on either Joomla! or WordPress and was used to attack more than 17,000 domains in a single day. The majority of affected sites were either owned by individuals or small businesses and hosted in the United States.”

DOWNAD/Conficker remained the top malware in Q3, followed by ADW_BPROTECT and ADW_BHO, adware packaged with fake software are the primary vector of infection. Fortunately the number of DOWNAD/Conficker infections decreased respect last quarter’s from 509,000 to 345,000 of this quarter probably because users have upgraded their OSs.

Within the concerning trends there is the increase in Online banking malware infections observed in numerous countries and the massive hacking campaigns that compromised many sites.

TrendLabs 3Q Security Roundup Online-Banking-Malware-Infections

Another field of great interest for cybercrime is the mobile, the number of infected apps for Android surpassed the 1-million mark, many malicious apps are usually disguised as either fake or Trojanized versions of popular apps, more than 200,000 infections reported in the last quarter.

TrendLabs 3Q Security Roundup Online-Banking-Malware-Infections 2

“Among these, 80% were malicious in nature, topped by premium service abusers. Premium service abusers are known to send unauthorized text messages to certain numbers and often register users to premium-rate services. This type of malicious app is especially popular in Russia, most likely due to the country’s lack of “standard” app stores.13 The remaining 20% were considered highrisk apps, including those that aggressively pushed ads to users, also known as “adware.””

Concerning are also continuous news regarding the exploitation of zero-day, mainly for the Java platform and Internet Explorer, that represent a serious threat especially in critical sectors such as defense or energy.

TrendLabs 3Q Security Roundup Site Infections

Security experts at TrendLabs remarked that this quarter Neutrino Exploit Kit included a Java 6 vulnerability, a version no more supported by Oracle, the company also announced that around 31 recently disclosed vulnerabilities will never be patched triggering the interest of cybercrime community.

“Old vulnerabilities remained a favorite cybercriminal target” states the TrendLabs report.

The report dedicates an entire session to Privacy and Data Theft defining the emergency as “A New Identity Crisis“, cybercrime is exploiting even more social media to steal personal information and other sensitive information. Mobile banking users were within primary victims for social engineering attacks.

“Among the numerous threats that aim to steal personal information, phishing scams made a notable impact this quarter due to a massive increase in Apple-related phishing sites.”

The TrendLabs Report closes with a specific reference to targeted attack campaigns against governments, large organizations, and enterprises. In particular the experts at TrendLabs highlighted the evolution of the Sykipot campaign was first seen in 2007 that also targeted civil aviation information.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – TrendLabs, cybercrime)

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