Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

12/23/2014
01:37 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Backoff Malware Validates Targets Through Infected IP Cameras

RSA report on Backoff dives deeper into clues about the POS software and hints at attackers potentially located in India.

As retailers are in the grips of the last few shopping days of Christmas, they may not even know that cyber criminals quite literally have their eyes on their stores. A new report out this week from RSA Research Group about the POS malware Backoff postulates that the black hats may actually be targeting retail machines by validating they belong to a store through infections of IP-enabled surveillance cameras.

Earlier this summer, US-CERT widely warned businesses that Backoff, which at the time it said was "largely undetected by AV vendors," was infecting point-of-sale systems through brute force attacks against remote desktop software.

"While this may be true, it still doesn't explain the whole picture due to a critical missing detail -- how were they able to determine if a target computer belongs to a business or a store?" RSA researchers wrote.

In the ensuing months, these researchers have been collecting data about Backoff and through that work surmise that the attackers likely needed to come up with a technique to figure out "whether a targeted IP actually belongs to a business and not just an RDP service open on a personal computer" and which would "allow them to operate on a large scale." One correlation they found was that a large number of Backoff attacks seemed to be paired with the exposure of camera surveillance services. They believe this was no coincidence.

"Our assumption is that the fraudsters figured out that the combination of RDP service and cam surveillance service both exposed to the internet provides a fairly logical indication of a possible business, and therefore a proper target," the report said.

RSA also questioned whether the use of brute force on RDP services really is the main intrusion technique by these Backoff attacks.

"According to our observations regarding the compromised machines, we can say that it's very likely that additional techniques have been employed, such as guessing default passwords for routers and cam surveillance control panels, and using known exploits against these service," they explained.

In addition to this added insight about Backoff attack techniques, RSA's researchers also took a stab at attribution in the report. Two pieces of data led them to believe that the source of Backoff may be located somewhere in India. First, they were able to trace requests from someone accessing the malware's C&C control panel. While the IP address of the request came from a hosting server in the Netherlands, the user's browser was set to India Standard Time.

Meanwhile, while looking into various Backoff samples, they ran into a sample submitted to VirusTotal that wasn't packed that looked to be "freshly created and output from the compiler." They guessed that it very well could have been submitted by the malware's author for AV testing purposes, but the sample allowed them to examine the binary and determine its origins to be from India. 

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RDP Bug Takes New Approach to Host Compromise
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/18/2019
The Problem with Proprietary Testing: NSS Labs vs. CrowdStrike
Brian Monkman, Executive Director at NetSecOPEN,  7/19/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12162
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-23
Upwork Time Tracker 5.2.2.716 doesn't verify the SHA256 hash of the downloaded program update before running it, which could lead to code execution or local privilege escalation by replacing the original update.exe.
CVE-2018-18669
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-23
GNUBOARD5 5.3.1.9 has XSS that allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the "board title contents" parameter, aka the adm/board_form_update.php bo_subject parameter.
CVE-2019-10101
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-23
Jsish 2.4.84 2.0484 is affected by: Reachable Assertion. The impact is: denial of service. The component is: function Jsi_ValueArrayIndex (jsiValue.c:366). The attack vector is: executing crafted javascript code. The fixed version is: after commit 738ead193aff380a7e3d7ffb8e11e446f76867f3.
CVE-2019-9815
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-23
If hyperthreading is not disabled, a timing attack vulnerability exists, similar to previous Spectre attacks. Apple has shipped macOS 10.14.5 with an option to disable hyperthreading in applications running untrusted code in a thread through a new sysctl. Firefox now makes use of it on the main thre...
CVE-2019-9816
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-23
A possible vulnerability exists where type confusion can occur when manipulating JavaScript objects in object groups, allowing for the bypassing of security checks within these groups. *Note: this vulnerability has only been demonstrated with UnboxedObjects, which are disabled by default on all supp...