Suspected Zotob Hacker Also Wrote Mytob Worm, Security Firm Says - 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.

01:04 PM

Suspected Zotob Hacker Also Wrote Mytob Worm, Security Firm Says

Finnish antivirus vendor F-Secure identified Farid Essebar, 18, who was arrested by Moroccan authorities, as the author of some Mytobs.

One of the two men arrested last week on charges of creating and mailing the Zotob bot worm also authored some, but not all, of the many Mytob worms in circulation, a security firm said Monday.

Finnish anti-virus vendor F-Secure identified Farid Essebar, 18, who was arrested by Moroccan authorities, as the author of some Mytobs.

"We know that [Essebar] had also authored several of the Mytob variants since February this year," F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen wrote on the company's blog. "However, he's not behind all of them."

Early analysis by others, including Ken Dunham, senior engineer with VeriSign iDefense, pegged Zotob and Mytob as close relations. "Hackers took the Mytob worm code and replaced the e-mail function in Mytob with the exploit of the MS05-039 vulnerability," said Dunham two weeks ago when the Zotob attack first began.

While there have been too many variants of Mytob for one individual to create -- Symantec's count is above 200 -- Hypponen made note of other clues that tie Essebar, who went by the hacker nickname of 'Diabl0,' to Mytob.

"We know Diablo aka Farid Essebar, was associated with '0x90-Team.' For example, some earlier Mytob variants downloaded additional components"said Hypponen.

The 0x90-Team had been operating as an underground gathering place for bot authors, Hypponen added. As of Monday, however, the site was inaccessible.

That Essebar/Diabl0 wasn't the only Mytob hacker was evident Monday as several security firms, including Symantec, identified a brand-new Mytob variant. Dubbed "Mytob.jh," the worm opens a backdoor to the infected PC, blocks access to numerous security sites, and tries to disable more than 560 different security programs.

The arrest of Essebar and his cohort, Atilla Ekici, won't put a stop to either Mytob or similar bots, such as the pervasive IRCbot.

"Several people have access to Mytob source code and have been making their own variants," said Hypponen. "And there are the competing groups, such as "m00p," who seem to be behind several of the IRCbot variants that were using PnP [Plug and Play] vulnerability to spread."

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.
IT Careers: 12 Job Skills in Demand for 2020
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  10/1/2019
Enterprise Guide to Multi-Cloud Adoption
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  9/27/2019
5 Ways CIOs Can Better Compete to Recruit Top Tech Talent
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  10/2/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Data Science and AI in the Fast Lane
This IT Trend Report will help you gain insight into how quickly and dramatically data science is influencing how enterprises are managed and where they will derive business success. Read the report today!
White Papers
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