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

2/1/2011
05:48 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Zeus-SpyEye Merger Advances

Administration panel for SpyEye now uses Zeus interface in early sample obtained by researchers

Researchers have uncovered new evidence that the expected merger of the information-stealing Zeus and SpyEye trojans is well under way: The administration panel for SpyEye sports a Zeus-like interface.

The administration panel was first discovered by Trend Micro researchers last week, who obtained a sample of version 1.3.05 of the SpyEye builder. Loucif Kharouni, senior threat researcher with Trend Micro, says the sample his team has -- basically a work-in-progress beta -- includes some lines of Zeus code, but it's not really 50-50 Zeus and SpyEye at this point.

Researchers have been eagerly awaiting such samples of the merged two malware packages since "Slavik" or "Monstr," the author of Zeus, gave the source code to another crimeware author, "Gribodemon," a.k.a. "Harderman."

Aviv Raff, CTO of Seculert, whose firm has also studied the new malware toolkit, says the final version of the merged Zeus-SpyEye trojan is likely to be a mutation of both pieces of malware. "Because of that, cybercriminals who are used to the bluish interface of Zeus panel will find it easier to migrate from older versions of ZeuS to the new merged version," Raff says.

The merged toolkit obtained by Seculert includes both SpyEye- and Zeus-like administration panels, both linked to the same back-end database with the same botnet data. And the bots' naming conventions are just like that of SpyEye, according to Seculert's research. Stolen certificate files from botnet victims were stored SpyEye-style, in the database, not as files on the server like Zeus does.

"The core of the merged version seems to be, indeed, SpyEye, with additional layers and features of ZeuS," Raff says. It gives the cybercriminal the "flexibility" to choose old and new features from the two Trojan kits, he says.

And it's a powerful combination. While Zeus was able to remove some security applications, SpyEye was not: Now the merged version can do so, he notes. Plus Zeus' relative user-friendliness made it popular. "Zeus is the 'king of botnets' mainly because of its ease of use," he says. "The merge was probably done mostly because of that."

Trend Micro's Kharouni says this version of the crimeware toolkit is more "private" in that it's not being widely distributed. "We are probably seeing some leaked version," he says. "The way the author is providing this version is completely different: He's only sending it to specific customers he knows."

Kharouni says Trend Micro has seen about 10 servers running this version of the Trojan so far.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

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

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-24028
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
An invalid free in Thrift's table-based serialization can cause the application to crash or potentially result in code execution or other undesirable effects. This issue affects Facebook Thrift prior to v2021.02.22.00.
CVE-2021-29370
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
A UXSS was discovered in the Thanos-Soft Cheetah Browser in Android 1.2.0 due to the inadequate filter of the intent scheme. This resulted in Cross-site scripting on the cheetah browser in any website.
CVE-2021-3460
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
The Motorola MH702x devices, prior to version 2.0.0.301, do not properly verify the server certificate during communication with the support server which could lead to the communication channel being accessible by an attacker.
CVE-2021-3462
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Lenovo Power Management Driver for Windows 10, prior to version 1.67.17.54, that could allow unauthorized access to the driver's device object.
CVE-2021-3463
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
A null pointer dereference vulnerability in Lenovo Power Management Driver for Windows 10, prior to version 1.67.17.54, that could cause systems to experience a blue screen error.