Risk
1/20/2009
02:54 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Fake Obama Web Site Reportedly Builds Botnet

The fake Web site looks just like the real thing and attempts to bait viewers into clicking a story titled "Barack Obama has refused to be a president."

With so much attention being paid to the physical security at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, cybersecurity concerns appear to have been largely discounted, even as inauguration-related online attacks have surged.

"DHS and the FBI have no credible information indicating a cyber threat to the inauguration," the 56th Presidential Inauguration Joint Threat Assessment (JTA) stated.

Yet even if the event itself appears to have been adequately protected from cyber disruption, it remains unclear how far the government should go to warn Internet users about online risks related to America's change of administration.

The JTA acknowledges that government networks face an increasing number of cyberattacks. "On 7 November 2008, open-source reporting indicated foreign cyber attackers downloaded large quantities of information from the Presidential campaign networks, which intelligence analysts believe was an attempt to learn more about the candidates' policy positions," the report stated.

And it's not just government networks under assault. On Thursday, US-CERT warned of a rising number of phishing and spam attacks related to the presidential inauguration, a pattern that now follows all widely reported current events.

Sure enough, the phishers and scammers have come out of the woodwork to try to exploit people's interest in America's new president.

PandaLabs over the weekend reported that its researchers had detected a botnet-driven malware campaign impersonating then President-elect Obama's Web site. "The fake Web site looks just like the real thing and attempts to bait viewers into clicking a story entitled, 'Barack Obama has refused to be a president,' " wrote PandaLabs security research Sean-Paul Correll in a blog post. "When the user clicks on the link, the malware (W32\Iksmas.A.worm) begins to download all of the necessary files needed to host the fake site on the victim's computer."

Security researchers at Marshal observed the same scam and attribute it to the Waledac worm, which they say is the successor to the Storm worm. "Waledac first appeared around Christmas time with an e-card theme," the Marshal blog explains. "This is the second campaign by Waledac which is intended to infect more victim machines and grow the botnet."

Symantec researcher Zulfikar Ramzan has also posted a blog entry about this worm. "This threat continues to demonstrate a well established practice among today's attackers; namely, to trick you into infecting yourself through the use of enticing messages based on current events," he said, adding that we're likely to see many more such attempts to leverage civic engagement as an attack vector.

Fred Touchette, senior security analyst at AppRiver, suggests government warnings could be louder. "Any warning they give would be beneficial because [the malware is] getting so rampant," he said in a phone interview.

Touchette said the Waledac worm appears to be an attempt build a new botnet from the same group that built the Storm botnet, which is now in decline. He said the Waledac botnet isn't very large at the moment because his company has only detected some 150,000 to 200,000 related spam messages.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2009-5027
Published: 2014-12-26
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: CVE-2010-2062. Reason: This candidate is a reservation duplicate of CVE-2010-2062. Notes: All CVE users should reference CVE-2010-2062 instead of this candidate. All references and descriptions in this candidate have been removed to pre...

CVE-2010-1441
Published: 2014-12-26
Multiple heap-based buffer overflows in VideoLAN VLC media player before 1.0.6 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted byte stream to the (1) A/52, (2) DTS, or (3) MPEG Audio decoder.

CVE-2010-1442
Published: 2014-12-26
VideoLAN VLC media player before 1.0.6 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (invalid memory access and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted byte stream to the (1) AVI, (2) ASF, or (3) Matroska (aka MKV) demuxer.

CVE-2010-1443
Published: 2014-12-26
The parse_track_node function in modules/demux/playlist/xspf.c in the XSPF playlist parser in VideoLAN VLC media player before 1.0.6 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and application crash) via an empty location element in an XML Shareable Playlist Format...

CVE-2010-1444
Published: 2014-12-26
The ZIP archive decompressor in VideoLAN VLC media player before 1.0.6 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (invalid memory access and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted archive.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.