Risk
1/13/2012
10:49 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Sykipot Malware Steals Pentagon Smart-Card Credentials

Malware out of China challenges two-factor authentication schemes used by Defense Department, other organizations.

An infamous family of malware used in cyberespionage attacks out of China can now hijack a user's smart-card credentials.

Researchers at AlienVault have discovered a new variant of the Sykipot malware family that steals smart-card credentials of Department of Defense (DOD) and other users. Sykipot has been in action since around 2007 for launching targeted attacks via spear-phishing emails to the DOD community. And that community employs PC/SC x509 smart cards for multifactor authentication of its users.

The new Sykipot variant appears to have been in the wild for months: Researcher Jaime Blasco found that it was first compiled in March 2011, and since then it has been spotted in dozens of attack samples. Blasco says he has no information on whether the attackers were successful in pilfering DOD or other smart-card credentials, but his lab has proved that it works, so it's likely to have been used in some hacks.

"We have tested the malware and, in fact, it is working," Blasco said. "It's likely they got inside protected systems and gained access using this malware."

AlienVault researchers believe one group of attackers is and has been behind the malware. "We believe it's the same group of attackers. They have been using the same techniques, even sharing some parts of the code in other attacks," Blasco said. "It's related to another one we reported a month ago."

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

Find out how to create and implement a security program that will defend against malicious and inadvertent internal incidents and satisfy government and industry mandates in our Compliance From The Inside Out report. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2886
Published: 2014-09-18
GKSu 2.0.2, when sudo-mode is not enabled, uses " (double quote) characters in a gksu-run-helper argument, which allows attackers to execute arbitrary commands in certain situations involving an untrusted substring within this argument, as demonstrated by an untrusted filename encountered during ins...

CVE-2014-4352
Published: 2014-09-18
Address Book in Apple iOS before 8 relies on the hardware UID for its encryption key, which makes it easier for physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information by obtaining this UID.

CVE-2014-4353
Published: 2014-09-18
Race condition in iMessage in Apple iOS before 8 allows attackers to obtain sensitive information by leveraging the presence of an attachment after the deletion of its parent (1) iMessage or (2) MMS.

CVE-2014-4354
Published: 2014-09-18
Apple iOS before 8 enables Bluetooth during all upgrade actions, which makes it easier for remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via a Bluetooth session.

CVE-2014-4356
Published: 2014-09-18
Apple iOS before 8 does not follow the intended configuration setting for text-message preview on the lock screen, which allows physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading this screen.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio