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

11/13/2017
03:55 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New Banking Trojan Similar to Dridex, Zeus, Gozi

IBM researchers uncover a new form of banking malware distributed as a second-stage infection via the Emotet Trojan.

A newly discovered banking Trojan called IcedID looks a lot Gozi, Zeus, and Dridex - but without any code overlap.

IcedID, which was discovered by IBM X-Force researchers, has capabilities similar to those older financial-stealing malware. "Overall, this is similar to other banking Trojans, but that's also where I see the problem," says Limor Kessem, executive security advisor for IBM Security.

It's rare to see new banking Trojans not based off existing variants, Kessem explains. Indeed, this year has already seen the spread of Scylex, which also shares similarities with Zeus, as well as a Trojan called Silence, which mimics techniques from the Carbanak hacker group to steal from financial organizations.

IcedID - which first emerged in September of this year - targets banks, payment card providers, mobile service providers, payroll, Web mail, and ecommerce sites in the United States and Canada. Two major banks in the United Kingdom are also on the target list.

One sign of IcedID's sophistication is its distribution through the Emotet Trojan, which is designed to amass and maintain botnets. Emotet arrives on target machines via spam emails and is typically disguised in productivity files containing malicious macros. It infects the target endpoint and remains there as a silent tool for cybercriminal groups to distribute malware.

Now it's being used to serve up IcedID, which has a few tactics, tricks, and procedures (TTPs) that stand out from other common Trojan features.

IcedID can propagate over a network, which researchers say is a sign its creators intend to target large businesses. Nation-state attackers commonly use network propagation but banking Trojans rarely do, Kessem explains. The malware can move to other endpoints and infect terminal servers, an indication it targets employees' email to get onto business machines.

Similar to the GootKit Trojan, IcedID monitors victims' online activity by setting up a local proxy to listen and intercept communication from targeted endpoints. Attack tactics include both Web injection attacks and advanced redirection attacks, similar to the strategy employed by Dridex, researchers explain in a blog post.

The redirection scheme is designed to appear as seamless as possible. The legitimate bank's URL is displayed in the address bar and the bank's correct SSL certificate is visible. The malware listens for the target URL and when it encounters a trigger, executes a Web injection. Victims are redirected to fake banking websites and tricked into submitting their credentials, which are sent to the attacker's server.

From this point forward, the attacker controls the session and typically uses social engineering to fool victims into sharing transaction authorization data.

Who broke the ice?

"The company it keeps is already a telling sign that this is not an amateur group," Kessem says. "The sophistication of the code is modular, and it has different details reminiscent of other organized crime groups."

Emotet, originally a banking Trojan and precursor to Dridex, has been used among Eastern European cybercrime groups. Comments in IcedID's code indicate the actors are from Russian-speaking areas, so experts can deduce they are from a certain region.

While researchers believe this is the work of a new attacker, it's difficult to say with certainty. A few malware groups have disappeared from the scene, Kessem explains, and there aren't too many developers who know how to create this Trojan. It's possible the actors are related to another previously disbanded malware but because the code isn't copied, it's tough to tell.

Right now, IcedID deploys on endpoints running various versions of Windows. It does not have any advanced anti-virtual machine or anti-research techniques, aside from requiring a reboot to complete full deployment and possibly evade sandboxes, and communicating via SSL for extra security and to bypass intrusion detection systems.

Researchers believe IcedID's authors aren't done, however, and will add anti-forensic features into the malware over time.

Related Content:

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two days of practical cyber defense discussions. Learn from the industry’s most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the INsecurity agenda here.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... 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 5/28/2020
Stay-at-Home Orders Coincide With Massive DNS Surge
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Can you smell me now?
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-2020-11844
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
There is an Incorrect Authorization vulnerability in Micro Focus Service Management Automation (SMA) product affecting version 2018.05 to 2020.02. The vulnerability could be exploited to provide unauthorized access to the Container Deployment Foundation.
CVE-2020-6937
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
A Denial of Service vulnerability in MuleSoft Mule CE/EE 3.8.x, 3.9.x, and 4.x released before April 7, 2020, could allow remote attackers to submit data which can lead to resource exhaustion.
CVE-2020-7648
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker before 4.72.2 are vulnerable to Arbitrary File Read. It allows arbitrary file reads for users who have access to Snyk's internal network by appending the URL with a fragment identifier and a whitelisted path e.g. `#package.json`
CVE-2020-7650
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker after 4.72.0 including and before 4.73.1 are vulnerable to Arbitrary File Read. It allows arbitrary file reads to users with access to Snyk's internal network of any files ending in the following extensions: yaml, yml or json.
CVE-2020-7654
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker before 4.73.1 are vulnerable to Information Exposure. It logs private keys if logging level is set to DEBUG.