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

8/3/2015
12:00 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Web Attacks Employing Upgraded Crimeware Kit Hit 1.5 Million Users

RIG 3.0 used to infect millions of Internet Explorer (IE) users worldwide -- mostly via malvertising.

The RIG crimeware kit got an upgrade and is the tool of choice in a wave of Web attacks worldwide that is infecting around 27,000 victims each day -- some using an exploit leaked in The Hacking Team breach.

Researchers at Trustwave today reported a spike in use of RIG 3.0, a new version of crimeware kit that was recently updated by its author after the source code was dumped online by a disgruntled underground reseller of the tool. Over the past 6 weeks that Trustwave had monitored the attacks, some 1.25 million users were infected, in series of attacks that mostly came via malicious ads on major websites.

Arseny Levin, lead security researcher at Trustwave, says some 3.5 million users visited those infected sites, and 90 percent of the more than 1 million who were infected were via malicious ads. The attacks--carried out by various groups all employing the shiny new version of RIG, which is typically used as an initial attack vector--used three different exploits, including the Hacking Team's Adobe Flash (CVE-2015-5122) zero-day, which black hat hackers were quick to weaponize before users could patch their machines.

Malvertising -- where ads are injected with malware unbeknownst to the website owner where the ad runs -- is hot. According to a new report from RiskIQ today, malvertising increased 260 percent in the first half of this year. And in sync with the latest RIG 3.0-based attacks: the most number one malvertisement lure is fake Flash updates. Even so, RiskIQ found that fake software updates were more common than exploit kits (think RIG) as the means of installing malware on victims' machines.

Some 3,000 Alexa top 3000 websites -- news, investment consulting, IT solutions providers, and others -- were found harboring the malicious RIG 3.0-rigged ads, according to Trustwave.

In addition to the Hacking Team Flash 0day, the malicious ads also employed the Windows OLE Automation Array exploit (CVE-2014-6332) and a VML attack (CVE-2013-2551) -- all of which are Internet Explorer attacks.

The RIG 3.0-rigged ads were used by various "users or customers" of the crimeware kit for their own attack campaigns, Levin says. "Each was installing a different type of malware on a computer" most using malvertising as the initial attack vector, he says.

Victims were IE users without the latest patches, mainly in Brazil (450,000); Vietnam (300,000); Turkey (82,000); India (62,000); and the US (46,000), at last count.

Aside from malvertising, victims with already-infected machines were reinfected via RIG 3.0, and others, visiting a compromised website, according to Levin.

The most prolific RIG 3.0 attacker has hit more than 100,000 machines was spotted paying other hackers for machines that have not been compromised by the kit before. "However, instead he is actually getting re-infected computers which are more challenging because many are locked out due to ransomware or are not useable for other reasons. This means the customer is getting scammed," Levin wrote in a blog post today. "He is paying ten times more than he should for computers that he thinks are clean but in reality, are not. Typically, customers pay about 10 dollars per 100 infections of clean computers. For an already compromised computer, they pay 10 dollars for every 1000 infections."

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. 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
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
8/3/2015 | 2:22:21 PM
Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash is a rats nest of vulnerabilities. Can anyone offer alternatives to adobe flash that satisfy similar needs?
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/22/2020
How an Industry Consortium Can Reinvent Security Solution Testing
Henry Harrison, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Garrison,  5/21/2020
Is Zero Trust the Best Answer to the COVID-19 Lockdown?
Dan Blum, Cybersecurity & Risk Management Strategist,  5/20/2020
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
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-13616
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-26
The boost ASIO wrapper in net/asio.cpp in Pichi before 1.3.0 lacks TLS hostname verification.
CVE-2020-13614
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-26
An issue was discovered in ssl.c in Axel before 2.17.8. The TLS implementation lacks hostname verification.
CVE-2020-13615
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-26
lib/QoreSocket.cpp in Qore before 0.9.4.2 lacks hostname verification for X.509 certificates.
CVE-2020-9046
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-26
A vulnerability in all versions of Kantech EntraPass Editions could potentially allow an authorized low-privileged user to gain full system-level privileges by replacing critical files with specifically crafted files.
CVE-2020-12388
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-26
The Firefox content processes did not sufficiently lockdown access control which could result in a sandbox escape. *Note: this issue only affects Firefox on Windows operating systems.*. This vulnerability affects Firefox ESR < 68.8 and Firefox < 76.