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.

Analytics

Storm Botnet Turned Toward Phishing Attacks

Major banks targeted in intensive phishing effort driven by infamous botnet

First it was spam, then it was denial of service. Now the operators of Storm have found a new use for the botnet: phishing.

Phishers masquerading as Barclays Bank and the Halifax unit of the National Bank of Scotland are now pumping out bogus messages to unwary users, according to separate alerts issued by Fortinet and Trend Micro last night.

Many of the phishing messages were distributed from hosts known to be part of the Storm botnet. "We can only suspect that perhaps a portion of the Storm botnet is being rented out to phishers," Trend Micro said. It is the first time that researchers have traced a major phishing campaign back to Storm.

Ironically, the phishing message purports to be an "account review" from the bank that is being conducted in order to reduce fraud. Of course, clicking on the link in the email sends users to a fake site that allows phishers to steal bank account information.

The attack began as a message from Barclays, but the link to the fake Barclays site was shut down late on Monday and the same hosts began pumping out messages from Halifax on Tuesday, according to Fortinet. "This is a precursor that other banks may be targeted as well," the security vendor says.

Trend Micro warned that it detected the phishing attacks while monitoring activity on the Russian Business Network, a popular launching pad for hacking and criminal activities. This indicates that Storm and RBN are hooking up now, if they hadn't done so previously, the researchers say.

Both Fortinet and Trend Micro say they are adding the phishing sites to their lists of domains that will be blocked. However, such blocking doesn't prevent the criminals from launching attacks from other Storm hosts, sending messages purporting to be from other banks.

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.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Attackers Leave Stolen Credentials Searchable on Google
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2021
How to Better Secure Your Microsoft 365 Environment
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/25/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: I can't find the back door.
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-21275
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-25
The MediaWiki "Report" extension has a Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability. Before fixed version, there was no protection against CSRF checks on Special:Report, so requests to report a revision could be forged. The problem has been fixed in commit f828dc6 by making use of Medi...
CVE-2021-21272
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-25
ORAS is open source software which enables a way to push OCI Artifacts to OCI Conformant registries. ORAS is both a CLI for initial testing and a Go Module. In ORAS from version 0.4.0 and before version 0.9.0, there is a "zip-slip" vulnerability. The directory support feature allows the ...
CVE-2021-23901
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-25
An XML external entity (XXE) injection vulnerability was discovered in the Nutch DmozParser and is known to affect Nutch versions < 1.18. XML external entity injection (also known as XXE) is a web security vulnerability that allows an attacker to interfere with an application's processing of XML ...
CVE-2020-17532
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-25
When handler-router component is enabled in servicecomb-java-chassis, authenticated user may inject some data and cause arbitrary code execution. The problem happens in versions between 2.0.0 ~ 2.1.3 and fixed in Apache ServiceComb-Java-Chassis 2.1.5
CVE-2020-12512
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-22
Pepperl+Fuchs Comtrol IO-Link Master in Version 1.5.48 and below is prone to an authenticated reflected POST Cross-Site Scripting