Massive Botnet Pillaging Bank Accounts - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News
News
3/22/2006
02:04 PM
50%
50%

Massive Botnet Pillaging Bank Accounts

A stealthy bot Trojan has been infecting machines via drive-by downloads for months and may have infected a million PCs. It aims to pillage personal bank accounts.

One of the most sophisticated bot Trojans ever has been infecting machines for months, a security company revealed Wednesday, and has compromised an estimated one million PCs in an ongoing effort to pillage personal bank accounts.

According to Reston, Va.-based iDefense, multiple variants of a Trojan dubbed "MetaFisher," a.k.a. "Spy-Agent," has been spreading for months under the proverbial radar.

"MetaFisher has compromised hundreds of thousands if not millions of accounts for financial fraud," said Ken Dunham, the director of iDefense's rapid response team.

The Trojan's pitched the usual way -- via spammed e-mail that includes a link -- and uses the long-patched Windows Metafile (WMF) vulnerability to silently install via a drive-by download on machines whose users simply surf to these malicious sites.

Once on a machine, the malware turns the PC into yet another "bot," or remotely-controlled computer. But Dunham, who called MetaFisher "the most sophisticated bot to date," said it has several unique technical tricks up its sleeves.

MetaFisher uses HTML injection techniques to phish information from victims after they've logged into a targeted bank account, said Dunham, which lets attackers steal legitimate TAN numbers (one-time PINs used by some banks overseas) and passwords without having to draw them onto phony sites.

Currently, MetaFisher is targeting Spanish, British, and German banks, and their customers.

iDefense, said Dunham, broke the encryption used to disguise the traffic between bots and their controllers, and has monitored that back-and-forth for several weeks. It's passed along the information to its parent company VeriSign, which has been working on taking down the sites used to drive-by-download the Trojan.

Increasingly, bots are being used by criminals to steal personal financial information using covert code and keyloggers. Last week, FaceTime, a Foster City, Calif. security company, disclosed details of a bot network, or botnet, that was exploiting vulnerabilities in back-end e-commerce shopping cart software to rip off consumers.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll