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3/21/2012
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New Botnet Emanates From Republic Of Georgia, Researchers Say

Win32/Georbot steals documents, hides from anti-malware scanners

An emerging botnet based in the Republic of Georgia has caught the eyes of security researchers.

Dubbed Win32/Georbot, the botnet carries an information-stealing Trojan that favors Georgian nationals as its target, according to a blog about the Georgian botnet posted this week by researchers at security firm ESET.

"Amongst other activities, [Win32/Georbot] will try to steal documents and certificates, can create audio and video recordings and browse the local network for information," the blog states.

The emerging botnet can look for “Remote Desktop Configuration Files,” which enable the people receiving these files to connect to the remote machines without using any exploit, according to ESET. "That approach will even bypass the need for RDP exploits such as the one that was revealed last week [MS12-20]," the blog says.

Win32/Georbot features an update mechanism that distributes new versions of the bot, making it harder to detect by anti-malware scanners, ESET says.

"The bot also has a fall-back mechanism in case it can’t reach the command and control server: in that case, it will then connect to a special Web page that was placed on a system hosted by the Georgian government," ESET says. "This does not automatically mean that the Georgian government is involved. Quite often people are not aware their systems are compromised."

A white paper on Win32/Georbot (PDF) offers details on how the botnet works and how users can detect and defend against it.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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