Attacks/Breaches
2/4/2011
02:55 PM
50%
50%

U.S. Leading Host For Zeus Crimeware

Greater automation is creating more global Web sites that distribute or control the crimeware package, with the highest concentration of sites based in the United States.

The highest concentration of Web sites that host the Zeus crimeware package, or the software used to control it, are now in the U.S., not Russia.

That finding comes from new research conducted by Web browser security firm Trusteer into how Zeus is evolving.

When it comes to the Web sites used to host Zeus variants for distribution to the crimeware package's customers, most are in the United States (40%), followed by Russia (22%), and Ukraine (7%). In total, one-third of Zeus Web sites are located in Eastern Europe. Such Web sites may have been legitimately registered and created using a paid hosting provider, created using free Web sites, or exist on legitimate Web sites that have been hacked to serve as crimeware launch pads.

While the greatest number of servers dedicated to hosting Zeus exist in the U.S. and Russia, "that doesn't mean other countries are off the hook," said Amit Klein, CTO of Trusteer. "China, Malaysia, Iraq, and Canada -- along with Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands in the E.U. territories -- are also responsible for Web sites with hosted Zeus environments."

The same holds true for the command and control (C&C) software used by criminals to administer their Zeus botnets. Trusteer found that 29% of C&C systems live on Web sites in the U.S., followed by Ukraine (17%), Russia (14%), the U.K. (6%), and Poland (5%). Interestingly, five U.S. service providers now account for 14% of all Zeus C&C sites, with GoDaddy.com alone accounting for 5%.

The increasingly global distribution of Zeus Web sites has been driven by Web site hosting providers' more automated registration and self-service software, which makes it easier for criminals to create highly automated scripts that register and create numerous Web sites at once. "We saw evidence that some Zeus botnets registered many -- over 100, in one case -- domains with similar naming patterns," said Klein. "It's obvious that these are registered via an automated process."

Thankfully, it's unlikely that this feature is now built into the Zeus attack toolkit itself. "It can be done completely automatically, but I don't think you can get it packaged to this level on the 'black market,' you need to do it yourself. Because it depends on how you configure Zeus, and the real estate you use for you Zeus C&C location," Klein said.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
5 Reasons the Cybersecurity Labor Shortfall Won't End Soon
Steve Morgan, Founder & CEO, Cybersecurity Ventures,  12/11/2017
Oracle Product Rollout Underscores Need for Trust in the Cloud
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  12/11/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Gee, these virtual reality goggles work great!!! 
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2017
A look at the biggest news stories (so far) of 2017 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape -- from Russian hacking, ransomware's coming-out party, and voting machine vulnerabilities to the massive data breach of credit-monitoring firm Equifax.
Flash Poll
The State of Ransomware
The State of Ransomware
Ransomware has become one of the most prevalent new cybersecurity threats faced by today's enterprises. This new report from Dark Reading includes feedback from IT and IT security professionals about their organization's ransomware experiences, defense plans, and malware challenges. Find out what they had to say!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.