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

Storm Darkens Christmas, Takes Aim at New Year's

Botnet takes a holiday on users' computers

The Storm botnet has spent its vacation on a recruiting trip, transforming its latest disguise from a Christmas card to a New Year's message.

Storm, one of the world's most cunning and dangerous botnets to date, has been relatively quiet this month, but a renewed effort to turn PCs into Storm zombies was detected over the weekend, according to a report from Prevx and several other security vendors. (See The World's Biggest Botnets .)

The new variants of the Trojan-bearing worm began as a message containing graphics of scantily-clad women wearing Santa-style underwear and a few lines of text promising more to users who clicked on the attached link.

As in past attacks, the bot herders released new variants of the worm every few minutes, repacking the code from server, Prevx says. This approach makes it difficult for security vendors to create a valid signature to defend against.

The problem was complicated just two days later, when Storm's operators began sending out new variants under a New Year's theme. Prevx says it saw 166 repacked versions of the worm in the first 10 hours of today.

The bot herders are also using fast-flux DNS (Domain Name System) tactics to keep the Uhavepostcard.com site operational, according to a report from Symantec. In fast flux, infected bot machines (typically home computers) serve as proxies or hosts for malicious Websites. These are constantly rotated, changing their DNS records to prevent the botnet's discovery. (See Attackers Hide in Fast Flux and On the Trail of 'Fast Flux' Botnets.)

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.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How to Think Like a Hacker
Dr. Giovanni Vigna, Chief Technology Officer at Lastline,  10/10/2019
7 SMB Security Tips That Will Keep Your Company Safe
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  10/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-17607
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-16
HongCMS 3.0.0 has XSS via the install/index.php servername parameter.
CVE-2019-17608
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-16
HongCMS 3.0.0 has XSS via the install/index.php dbname parameter.
CVE-2019-17609
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-16
HongCMS 3.0.0 has XSS via the install/index.php dbusername parameter.
CVE-2019-17610
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-16
HongCMS 3.0.0 has XSS via the install/index.php dbpassword parameter.
CVE-2019-17611
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-16
HongCMS 3.0.0 has XSS via the install/index.php tableprefix parameter.