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The popular Zeus RAT is being used for more than just financial fraud and data theft.

Sara Peters

June 10, 2014

1 Min Read

The Prolexic Security Engineering and Response Team (PLXSert) has released a threat advisory outlining new payloads from the Zeus toolkit that it has seen in the wild. In addition to the data theft and financial fraud Zeus is known for, PLXSert has discovered Zeus being used in crypto-currency mining, spam, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and attacks customized for specific PaaS and SaaS infrastructure.

According to the report, "Although Zeus/Gameover version reportedly introduced DDoS capabilities, PLXSert has no evidence that the Zeus framework kit can orchestrate significant DDoS campaigns by itself, but if combined with other DDoS toolkits, the capabilities of the Zeus framework would enable malicious actors to use it as a powerful DDoS botnet builder."

PLXSert has already seen Zeus being used in tandem with popular DDoS kits, including Drive, a variant of Dirt Jumper. The researchers have also seen attackers targeting cloud-based applications through PaaS and Saas infrastructures. They say that "well-known SaaS/PaaS vendors" have been targeted, but they do not name those vendors.

"By targeting SaaS/PaaS," the report reads, "cybercriminals take advantage of the resources of both the end users and the providers. The providers' defense technologies allow the attackers the advantage of gaining anonymity behind the providers' cloud-based infrastructure."

See the full report here.

About the Author(s)

Sara Peters

Senior Editor

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad of other topics. She authored the 2009 CSI Computer Crime and Security Survey and founded the CSI Working Group on Web Security Research Law -- a collaborative project that investigated the dichotomy between laws regulating software vulnerability disclosure and those regulating Web vulnerability disclosure.


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