Analytics
2/4/2014
08:04 AM
Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson
Quick Hits
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

GameOver Zeus Authors Try A New Tactic: Encryption

Authors of malicious GameOver Zeus exploit dodge detection with new encryption scheme

The authors of the GameOver Zeus malware are taking a new approach to avoiding detection: encryption.

According to a blog posted Sunday by researchers at Malcovery Security, the new approach could enable the malware to escape conventional security defenses.

Gary Warner, co-founder and CTO at Malcovery, writes that GameOver Zeus' authors are "encrypting their EXE file so that as it passes through your firewall, Web filters, network intrusion detection systems, and any other defenses you may have in place, it is doing so as a non-executable '.ENC' file."

While antivirus tools and other products have recently improved their ability to detect and block the dangerous Zeus variant, the encrypted attack was not detected by any of the 50 products used by VirusTotal, according to the blog.

"Why? Well, because technically, [the encrypted ENC file] isn't malware," Warner writes. "It doesn't actually execute! All Windows EXE files start with the bytes 'MZ.' These files start with 'ZZP.' They aren't executable, so how could they be malware? Except they are."

In the blog, Warner gives many examples that show how the campaign works and how the malware is delivered. He also offers a bit of advice.

"If you are in charge of network security for your enterprise, you may want to check your logs to see how many .ENC files have been downloaded recently," the blog warns.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a 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

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Threat Intel Today
Threat Intel Today
The 397 respondents to our new survey buy into using intel to stay ahead of attackers: 85% say threat intelligence plays some role in their IT security strategies, and many of them subscribe to two or more third-party feeds; 10% leverage five or more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-1556
Published: 2014-09-12
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Synology Photo Station 5 for DiskStation Manager (DSM) 3.2-1955 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the name parameter to photo/photo_one.php.

CVE-2014-2008
Published: 2014-09-12
SQL injection vulnerability in confirm.php in the mPAY24 payment module before 1.6 for PrestaShop allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the TID parameter.

CVE-2014-2009
Published: 2014-09-12
The mPAY24 payment module before 1.6 for PrestaShop allows remote attackers to obtain credentials, the installation path, and other sensitive information via a direct request to api/curllog.log.

CVE-2014-4735
Published: 2014-09-12
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in MyWebSQL 3.4 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the table parameter to index.php.

CVE-2014-5259
Published: 2014-09-12
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in cattranslate.php in the CatTranslate JQuery plugin in BlackCat CMS 1.0.3 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the msg parameter.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
CISO Insider: An Interview with James Christiansen, Vice President, Information Risk Management, Office of the CISO, Accuvant