Risk
1/13/2012
10:49 AM
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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
The Changing Face of Identity Management
Mobility and cloud services are altering the concept of user identity. Here are some ways to keep up.
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio

The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.