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.

Endpoint

2/8/2016
12:30 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

'AlienSpy' Family Openly Sold As Subscription Service

Adwind -- a relative of the infamous AlienSpy spyware -- offered as malware-as-a-service to all types of attackers.

TENERIFE, SPAIN – Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit 2016 – Turns out the infamous spyware program AlienSpy has been traced to a malware-as-a-service platform on the public Web that since 2013 has been used to victimize nearly 450,000 individuals and organizations worldwide by nearly 2,000 different attackers using the tool.

AlienSpy is a relative of what is known as Adwind, a remote access tool that operates across Windows, OS X, Linux, and Android platforms. Adwind -- aka Frutas, Unrecom, Sockrat, and most recently, Jsocket and jRat -- was recently discovered targeting a bank employee in Singapore, according to researchers from Kaspersky Lab, who here today disclosed details of their new investigation into the malware.

Although a report last year by Fidelis Security on Adwind basically killed AlienSpy, the developer behind the malware platform continued his tradition of altering and rebranding the malware. Adwind is a Java-based remote administration tool backdoor. In June of last year — two months after AlienSpy’s domains were suspended by GoDaddy in the wake of that report -- a new version called Jsocket debuted, and at least two updates of the malware platform have been released since then.

Vitaly Kamluk, director of Kaspersky Lab’s global research and analysis team in APAC, says he and his team believe the author is a Spanish-speaking hacker possibly out of Mexico, based on their investigation. He brings in about $200,000 per year with his service, which, via an open website, sells the service for anywhere from $30 for one month to $200 for an unlimited use license.

The researchers studied 150 unique attack samples affecting more than 60,000 targets, which were a combination of targeted attacks against individuals and mass attacks tossing a wide net. Nigeria, the US, Canada, Russia, and Turkey are the top nations with subscriptions to the malware service.

Interestingly, Nigerian scammers have been some of the biggest adopters. “We should also be prepared for a new generation of Nigerian attacks, especially against banks” as well as business email compromises, Kamluk said.

Some 60 companies in manufacturing, finance, engineering, retail, government, shipping, telecommunications, software, education, food production, healthcare, media, and energy were among the top targets Kaspersky researchers have identified thus far.

“I don’t think this platform will go away easily. It has sustainability,” Kamluk says.

Adwind is a far cry from its first iteration, Naranja, from the Frutas malware family, which was available for free. After multiple iterations, the malware author behind it rebranded it as a paid service.

JSocket remains on the market, with the ability to detect anti-malware on a victim’s machine and features such as file transfer and management; video capture from webcam and microphone; a VPN key-stealer; and of course, a keylogger.

The AlienSpy version of Adwind took a chilling turn last year when the malware was found planted on the mobile phone of Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s Motorola phone after his suspicious death the day before he was due to testify about a cover-up by the Argentinian president in the case of a bombing decades ago.

But even after that unnerving reminder of how spyware can be used for personal and physical harm, the malware operation has continued to evolve and thrive.

“Expect more cross-platform RATs,” Kamluk said.

Related Content:

AlienSpy RAT Resurfaces In Case Of Real-Life Political Intrigue

AlienSpy A More Sophisticated Version Of The Same Old RATs

Interop 2016 Las VegasFind out more at Interop 2016, May 2-6, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas. Register today and receive an early bird discount of $200.

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
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/25/2020
Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15208
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In tensorflow-lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, when determining the common dimension size of two tensors, TFLite uses a `DCHECK` which is no-op outside of debug compilation modes. Since the function always returns the dimension of the first tensor, malicious attackers can ...
CVE-2020-15209
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In tensorflow-lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, a crafted TFLite model can force a node to have as input a tensor backed by a `nullptr` buffer. This can be achieved by changing a buffer index in the flatbuffer serialization to convert a read-only tensor to a read-write one....
CVE-2020-15210
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In tensorflow-lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, if a TFLite saved model uses the same tensor as both input and output of an operator, then, depending on the operator, we can observe a segmentation fault or just memory corruption. We have patched the issue in d58c96946b and ...
CVE-2020-15211
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In TensorFlow Lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, saved models in the flatbuffer format use a double indexing scheme: a model has a set of subgraphs, each subgraph has a set of operators and each operator has a set of input/output tensors. The flatbuffer format uses indices f...
CVE-2020-15212
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In TensorFlow Lite before versions 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, models using segment sum can trigger writes outside of bounds of heap allocated buffers by inserting negative elements in the segment ids tensor. Users having access to `segment_ids_data` can alter `output_index` and then write to outside of `outpu...