Attacks/Breaches
10/18/2012
04:45 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Citadel Trojan Gets More Customer-Friendly

RSA says 'Rain Edition' offers dynamic configuration for bots, friendlier user interface

The underground developers of the Citadel Trojan have released a new version of the malware kit with a more user-friendly interface for novice cybercriminals and that automates the creation of Web injections.

Researchers at RSA, the security division of EMC, say the so-called Citadel v1.3.5.1 "Rain Edition" new version of the Trojan crimeware kit makes the sixth release of the Zeus-based software, which first came out in January. It now costs 41 percent more than it did then, too, they say: A basic Citadel version sells for $3,391.

Citadel now also offers a new feature called "dynamic config," which lets botmasters create Web injection attacks and send them to selected bots. "Today’s fraud happens in real time, so speed is of the essence. This nifty function allows Trojan operators to create web injections and use them on the fly, pushing them to selected bots without the hassle of pushing/downloading an entire new configuration file," said Limor Kessem, a top cyberintelligence expert at RSA, in a blog post today.

It works like this: Citadel-infected bots call home to the command-and-control server every two minutes to get updated injection "packs."

"The whole system will be managed by a clever distribution mechanism dictating which injection(s) go to which bot or group of bots," Kessem said. "This will not cancel out the configuration file or the injections it already contains. Botmasters can choose whether to use both simultaneously, or work with one of the sources at a time. If an injection in the usual config already has a more recent version, the newest will be automatically used."

Meantime, the Citadel creators also are offering more customer support with this version. It allows up to five programmers per admin on the tool, which allows the bad guys to hire out help to infect machines. "The injection sellers could create and save their work, get paid by the piece, and work with multiple botmasters – FaaS [Fraud as a service] at its best!"

The user interface was enhanced for less technical attackers, and it appears the gang behind Citadel is trying to downsize its tech support operations. "One of Citadel’s strongest points in the cybercrime market has apparently become increasingly charging (more customers, more troubleshooting). Citadel tells customers that 'Complex customer support requests of a highly technical nature will no longer be accommodated due to the elevated number of such requests.' Users can find help in sharing their issues with peers on the Citadel CRM or discussion forum," RSA's Kessem said.

It's still sold only in Russian-speaking forums, according to RSA, and to prevent law enforcement or researchers from getting the software, the creators say they reserve the right to not sell to any buyer.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2037
Published: 2014-11-26
Openswan 2.6.40 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and IKE daemon restart) via IKEv2 packets that lack expected payloads. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incomplete fix for CVE 2013-6466.

CVE-2014-6609
Published: 2014-11-26
The res_pjsip_pubsub module in Asterisk Open Source 12.x before 12.5.1 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) via crafted headers in a SIP SUBSCRIBE request for an event package.

CVE-2014-6610
Published: 2014-11-26
Asterisk Open Source 11.x before 11.12.1 and 12.x before 12.5.1 and Certified Asterisk 11.6 before 11.6-cert6, when using the res_fax_spandsp module, allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) via an out of call message, which is not properly handled in the ReceiveFax dia...

CVE-2014-7141
Published: 2014-11-26
The pinger in Squid 3.x before 3.4.8 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read and crash) via a crafted type in an (1) ICMP or (2) ICMP6 packet.

CVE-2014-7142
Published: 2014-11-26
The pinger in Squid 3.x before 3.4.8 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (crash) via a crafted (1) ICMP or (2) ICMP6 packet size.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?