Attacks/Breaches

12/18/2014
03:47 PM
Sara Peters
Sara Peters
Quick Hits
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Vawtrak: Crimeware Made-To-Order

A compartmentalized botnet with a wide selection of specialized web injects makes it easier to attack bank accounts across the globe.

For the attacker who wants the perfect botnet for their particular target but doesn't want to build it themselves, there is now Vawtrak -- a large botnet that can be broken down into smaller pieces and customized with a wide variety of web injects.

As described in a report released today by SophosLabs, Vawtrek is "apparently being used as part of a Crimeware-as-a-Service (CaaS) business model where the output of the botnet can be adjusted on demand, with financial data effectively being stolen to order."

Vawtrak (also known as NeverQuest and Snifula) is primarily after online bank accounts -- stealing credentials, sneaking around two-factor authentication, accessing accounts, transferring funds, and hiding the activity. It may disable anti-virus. It may install mobile malware. It's adaptable.

On Sophos's threat scoring model for botnet-based cybercrime infrastructure, Vawtrak is considered the single-most dangerous threat. It is delivered via exploit kits (usually Angler EK), spam emails claiming to be from financial organizations, or via loader malware like Pony Loader. Sometimes the droppers are issued as .exe files, but usually they're DLLs.

The real value of Vawtrak is specialization -- it targets banks in both Germany and Japan (and others), but approaches them differently. As the report explains:

The larger botnet can be broken down into smaller botnets that each have different web injects that are designed to target banks and other financial organisations in specific countries. The Vawtrak owners can then measure the success of specific campaigns and can divide the product of the whole botnet into subsections. New targets and campaigns can be set up as demand requires.

This allows for a commercial model where the Vawtrak operators create campaigns based on customer requests, selling the output of the botnet.

The operators offer a wide selection of web injects. For example, they can elicit the answers to the secret questions a user must answer to change a password. Or log a user out of their email to prevent them from seeing a legitimate message from their bank alerting them to a money transfer. Or add extra fields to Web forms, to collect extra info. Or coerce a user into entering a legitimate one-time password, then using it to carry out a fraudulent transaction.

Read the full report here.

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
13 Russians Indicted for Massive Operation to Sway US Election
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  2/16/2018
From DevOps to DevSecOps: Structuring Communication for Better Security
Robert Hawk, Privacy & Security Lead at xMatters,  2/15/2018
Facebook Aims to Make Security More Social
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  2/20/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.