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.

Risk

2/27/2008
05:42 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Stolen FTP Credentials Offered for Sale: Major Firms at Risk

Nearly 9,000 stolen FTP server admin credentials offered with an automated crimeware kit, Finjan says

Cybercriminals are selling a new crimeware package that can automatically infect nearly 9,000 FTP servers at some major global companies, researchers said today.

Researchers at Finjan say they recently stumbled upon a Website selling and trading these stolen FTP server administrator credentials in a software-as-a-service model.

“They are providing an application where you can trade and validate [these credentials], and even get their Google page ranking,” says Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO at Finjan. “You don’t need to hack or develop your own Trojan, and there’s no need to compromise a server by yourself” to gain access to the FTP servers and ultimately, the victim organization’s Website, he says.

Finjan won’t divulge which organizations’ FTP credentials it found among the stolen, but they include companies in the financial, manufacturing, government, IT, and security industries, many of which Finjan has already alerted in addition to law enforcement. “There were some big names on the list,” Ben-Itzhak says, including some of the world's top 100 domains as ranked by Alexa.com.

The so-called meoryprof.info (Me-or-you-Profit) site is selling username, password, and server addresses of these FTP servers as well as the NeoSploit Version 2 crimeware package, which basically lets the bad guys who buy it instantly infect these sites with malicious code -- with the goal of stealing valuable and confidential data from them as well as any visitors to the sites. It also “qualifies” the stolen accounts so that buyers either can then set a price to resell the compromised FTP credentials to other cybercriminals, or determine which are the more potentially lucrative sites to hack.

“With a click of a button they say ‘I want to infect his FTP server’ with the crimeware,” says Ben-Itzhak. Finjan did not test all of the sites to see if they had been infected yet or not.

“The significance of the theft of the FTP credentials really depends upon the security practices in place at each site and the content on the server,” says Randy Abrams, director of technical education for Eset. “Unfortunately, the people most likely to have encountered the theft probably are not at the top of their security game. If the FTP server and other assets share the same logon credentials, the entire organization is owned. This is a very likely scenario.”

An attacker with admin credentials can replace any file, he says, and that could mean swapping valid apps for keyloggers, bots, and other crimeware.

Companies that run FTP services on the same server as their Web apps are even more at risk. “If the FTP server is not a dedicated server, then the gamut of content the thieves have access to can be devastating. Storing HR records on the same box? Storing sensitive trade secrets, client records, client lists, etc. on the same box?" Abrams says.

The "service" works like this: A buyer can purchase an exclusive list of FTP domains to attack, and the SaaS-like crimeware site provides the tool that injects iFrames into the compromised FTP servers.

This SaaS-like model basically replaces manual hacking of a site. “Before, they had to go online and buy a malicious toolkit, and then go and compromise the Website... Now they don’t need to download anything or do any manual hacking of a remote server,” Ben-Itzhak says.

Finjan isn’t sure who’s behind the scam, but there were many pages on the server written in Russian. “We don’t know if it’s the [Russian Business Network] or other groups... We just know it exists and is operating,” Ben-Itzhak says.

One interesting twist to this operation: The bad guys behind the scam inadvertently tipped their hand to Finjan while trying to make their code undetectable. Finjan researchers about a month ago noticed someone submitting the same URL over and over to its URL analysis page that checks for malicious code.

“They were trying to write malicious code that would be undetected by security products,” Ben-Itzhak says. That then led Finjan to the meoryprof.info site, and to the database of stolen FTP credentials.

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

  • Finjan Software Inc.
  • ESET 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
    Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
    7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
    Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
    News
    Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
    Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
    Commentary
    Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
    Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
    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-2021-29040
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-16
    The JSON web services in Liferay Portal 7.3.4 and earlier, and Liferay DXP 7.0 before fix pack 97, 7.1 before fix pack 20 and 7.2 before fix pack 10 may provide overly verbose error messages, which allows remote attackers to use the contents of error messages to help launch another, more focused att...
    CVE-2021-29041
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-16
    Denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerability in the Multi-Factor Authentication module in Liferay DXP 7.3 before fix pack 1 allows remote authenticated attackers to prevent any user from authenticating by (1) enabling Time-based One-time password (TOTP) on behalf of the other user or (2) modifying the othe...
    CVE-2021-29047
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-16
    The SimpleCaptcha implementation in Liferay Portal 7.3.4, 7.3.5 and Liferay DXP 7.3 before fix pack 1 does not invalidate CAPTCHA answers after it is used, which allows remote attackers to repeatedly perform actions protected by a CAPTCHA challenge by reusing the same CAPTCHA answer.
    CVE-2021-22668
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-16
    Delta Industrial Automation CNCSoft ScreenEditor Versions 1.01.28 (with ScreenEditor Version 1.01.2) and prior are vulnerable to an out-of-bounds read while processing project files, which may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.
    CVE-2021-29039
    PUBLISHED: 2021-05-16
    Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Asset module's categories administration page in Liferay Portal 7.3.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the site name.