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.

News & Commentary

02:07 PM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb

TrickBot Has Evolved to Become More Dangerous

TrickBot has been an active botnet since around October of 2016. It's well known as part of the threat landscape, and has been operated in the past by GOLD BLACKBURN.

TrickBot has been an active botnet since around October 2016. It's well known as part of the threat landscape, and has been operated in the past by GOLD BLACKBURN.

The trick to it is that it can manipulate web sessions by intercepting network traffic before it is rendered by a victim's browser. It fools you.

Secureworks, Inc. has found new activity by TrickBot that leaves mobile users in the US open to a new form of attack. They found that TrickBot is injecting code with different optimizations.

In their blog post about it, they say that, "In August 2019, the dynamic webinjects used by TrickBot were augmented to include the following US-based mobile carriers:

August 5: Verizon Wireless
August 12: T-Mobile
August 19: Sprint."

OK, TrickBot jumped on the three carriers. But what did it do to them? Secureworks saw that the injected code (that happened when the web sites of the above carriers were visited) caused an additional form field to be created which requests the user's account PIN code.

They note in the post that, "the legitimate server response is intercepted by TrickBot and proxied through a command and control (C2) server. This C2 server injects additional HTML and JavaScript into the page, which is then rendered in the victim's web browser." That's where the field for the PIN comes from.

The bot knows what to do with the PIN it snarfs too. TrickBot's record (rcrd) functionality is invoked at this point to create an additional HTTP request that contains the victim's username, password, and PIN. The request is transmitted to the TrickBot C2 server. These "recordings" are presented to TrickBot operators as they browse through infected hosts in their web panel.

Securework's take on this is that it "suggests an interest in perpetrating port-out or SIM swap fraud. This fraud allows an attacker to assume control of a victim's telephone number, including all inbound and outbound text and voice communications. The interception of short message service (SMS)-based authentication tokens or password resets is frequently used during account takeover (ATO) fraud."

The researchers also recommend that organizations use time-based one-time password (TOTP) multi-factor authentication (MFA) rather than SMS MFA when feasible. SMS MFA was the method the Social Security Administration had to scrap about a year ago because, as can be seen by the last paragraph and some advisories from CERT, it's easy to fraud.

Similarly, telephone numbers should not be used as password reset options on important accounts.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Concerns over supply chain vulnerabilities and attack visibility drove some significant changes in enterprise cybersecurity strategies over the past year. Dark Reading's 2021 Strategic Security Survey showed that many organizations are staying the course regarding the use of a mix of attack prevention and threat detection technologies and practices for dealing with cyber threats.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-27
Race condition issues were found in Calibre at devices/linux_mount_helper.c allowing unprivileged users the ability to mount any device to anywhere.
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-27
PolarSSL versions prior to v1.1 use the HAVEGE random number generation algorithm. At its heart, this uses timing information based on the processor's high resolution timer (the RDTSC instruction). This instruction can be virtualized, and some virtual machine hosts have chosen to disable this instru...
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-27
An improper input validation vulnerability in Helpu solution could allow a local attacker to arbitrary file creation and execution without click file transfer menu. It is possible to file in arbitrary directory for user because the viewer program receive the file from agent with privilege of adminis...
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-27
The move_uploaded_file function in godomall5 does not perform an integrity check of extension or authority when user upload file. This vulnerability allows an attacker to execute an remote arbitrary code.
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-27
WebAccess/NMS (Versions prior to v3.0.3_Build6299) has an improper authentication vulnerability, which may allow unauthorized users to view resources monitored and controlled by the WebAccess/NMS, as well as IP addresses and names of all the devices managed via WebAccess/NMS.