Endpoint
9/16/2009
01:59 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Antivirus Rarely Catches Zbot Zeus Trojan

New research reveals the No. 1 financial Trojan is difficult to detect

The most pervasive banking Trojan evades detection by antivirus software most of the time, according to new research.

Zeus, the Trojan that steals financial credentials and data and is spread via the Zbot botnet, is detected only 23 percent of the time by up-to-date antivirus applications, researchers at Trusteer discovered. Trusteer sampled 10,000 machines that were infected by Zbot, and of these Zeus-infected machines, 55 percent were running-up-to date AV software.

The massive Zbot botnet -- made up of 3.6 million PCs in the U.S., or 1 percent of all PCs in the country, according to Damballa data -- spreads Zeus, which is the No. 1 financial Trojan, representing 44 percent of all financial malware infections today, according to Trusteer. The malware steals users' online financial credentials and moves them to a remote server, where it can inject HTML onto pages rendered by the victim's browser to display its own content mimicking, for instance, a bank's Web page.

"Zeus' infection rate is higher than that of any other financial Trojan. We are seeing actual fraud linked to Zeus -- accounts being compromised, [and] money transferred from accounts of customers infected with Zeus," says Mickey Boodaei, founder and CEO of Trusteer, which sells online banking security tools. "When we investigate some of our banking customers' [machines infected by it], we find evidence of abuse on the computer, so we know this crime ring is very active and dangerous."

It's unclear exactly why Zeus is so wily, but Boodaei says there are multiple variants of the malware, which could make it more difficult to pinpoint.

"One thing we didn't do is check the same thing for other Trojans. It could be that the infection rates are like this for all Trojans," Boodaei says. "But we know Zeus is very effective at hiding in the operating system, and it's hard to remove it."

Of the Zeus-infected bots, 31 percent weren't running any AV program, while 14 percent were running AV that wasn't up-to-date. The rest were running up-to-date AV.

Trusteer estimates that among all Windows users, 71 percent run up-to-date AV, 6 percent run AV that's out of date, and about 23 percent don't run AV at all.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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
5 Security Technologies to Watch in 2017
Emerging tools and services promise to make a difference this year. Are they on your company's list?
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
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
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.