BLACK HAT USA, LAS VEGAS -- The researcher who first discovered a motherlode of stolen enterprise user names and passwords in June has found that nearly 9,000 of them are bank and credit-card account credentials from around the world that were grabbed by an old but crafty botnet. And it turns out the initial 50 gigabytes' worth of data that included 463,582 passwords on the crime server is only about one-fourth of the total number of accounts stolen by the so-called Coreflood botnet. (See Researchers Raise Alarm Over New Iteration of Coreflood Botnet and SecureWorks Finds Massive Cache of Stolen Data.)
Stewart said he has been able to discern how the command and control server was configured, as well as glean clues of the identities of the bad guys behind Coreflood: he says he believes they are directly connected to the Joe Lopez case of 2004, where Miami businessman sued his bank after his account was compromised by the Coreflood Trojan.
Coreflood is trying to steal financial information, and has stayed under the radar pretty well. Its not in-your-face sending out emails, Stewart says.
He was able to verify that the Coreflood operators used the command-and-control server as their base of operations. Among the organizations victimized by Coreflood were a major U.S. university hospital, with nearly 5,000 infected machines; a county school system, with 31,000 bots; a hotel chain, with over 14,000 bots; as well as mortgage, pharmaceutical, oil, and chemical companies. Coreflood even infected 315 machines in a state policy agency in the U.S., according to Stewarts new data.
[Corefloods operators] are very interested in the name of your company and the copy your Windows machine is registered to. They are very aware of who they are infecting, Stewart says.
Aside from some drive-by infections, the Coreflood botnet sets a trap inside an organization by infecting the domain administrators account -- either directly, or via an infected client machine he logs into. Then the bot does an administrative rollout of itself to the enterprise to automatically infect as many machines as it can, Stewart says. It sits there and waits, setting a trap for the domain admin they are very patient.
The less-malicious but pervasive Storm botnet, meanwhile, is apparently trying out some new things, which Stewart will outline in a presentation here today. For the first time were starting to see Storm use peer-to-peer like BitTorrent to get new users, then it can steal their address books and get more potential victims, he says.
Stewart says hes also seen Storm conducting more distributed denial-of-services attacks. We saw that happening in the middle of last year, but then it just stopped. A month ago, we started to see it picking up again, with DDOS commands with specific targets, Stewart says.
I was surprised how little the actual protocols and encryption had changed over time I would expect them to change up the encryption key at least, he says.
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