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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

3/4/2010
09:24 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New BlackEnergy Trojan Targeting Russian, Ukrainian Banks

Botnet lets attackers steal online banking credentials and DDoS Russian and Ukrainian banks

SAN FRANCISCO -- RSA Conference 2010 -- Russian hackers have written a more sophisticated version of the infamous BlackEnergy Trojan associated with the 2008 cyberattacks against Georgia that now targets Russian and Ukrainian online banking customers.

Joe Stewart, a security researcher with SecureWorks, says Russian hackers are using the Trojan spread via the BlackEnergy botnet to hit Russian and Ukrainian banks with a two-pronged attack that steals their customers' online banking credentials and then wages a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on the banks as a cover: "They may be emptying the bank accounts while the banks are busy cleaning up from the DDoS," Stewart says.

Dubbed by Stewart as "BlackEnergy 2," this new version of the Trojan is a full rewrite of the code that features a modular architecture that supports plug-ins that can be written without access to its source code. It currently comes with three different DDoS plug-ins, as well as one for spamming and two for online banking fraud, according to Stewart.

And with the ability to target users in Russia and the Ukraine, BlackEnergy 2 is a departure from the tradition where many Russian hackers won't target their fellow countrymen or those from other former Soviet Republic countries. "The rules have changed," Stewart says. "There was once an unwritten rule that they didn't attack their own banks."

But like most cybercrime operations, money is money, and the BlackEnergy botnet gang appears to be expanding its operations for more profit.

Stewart says he has seen no public release of the development kit for BlackEnergy 2, but he was able to match "fingerprints" in the code of this new version with other source code written by the author.

So far the attackers using the Trojan and its new plug-ins against banks in Russian and the Ukraine appear to be infecting banking customers via pay-per-install malware scams -- likely via email, according to Stewart, who has notified Russian and Ukrainian law enforcement authorities about the botnet's new activities.

And in an especially nasty twist, one plug-in destroys the victim's hard drive. "Then they can't log into their bank," Stewart says. "But we've not seen that" being used in attacks yet, he says.

While the Zeus Trojan remains the most popular Trojan, Stewart says BlackEnergy 2 can do things Zeus cannot, such as stealing online credentials plus DDoS'ing. BlackEnergy 2 also steals the user's private encryption key. Stewart has written an analysis of the Trojan, available here.

So far the BlackEnergy 2 Trojan is targeting only Russian and Ukrainian online banking customers, but Stewart also has spotted two other banking Trojans that also target only Russian and former Soviet Union banking customers.

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. 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
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Black Hat Q&A: Hacking a '90s Sports Car
Black Hat Staff, ,  11/7/2019
The Cold Truth about Cyber Insurance
Chris Kennedy, CISO & VP Customer Success, AttackIQ,  11/7/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-16863
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
STMicroelectronics ST33TPHF2ESPI TPM devices before 2019-09-12 allow attackers to extract the ECDSA private key via a side-channel timing attack because ECDSA scalar multiplication is mishandled, aka TPM-FAIL.
CVE-2019-18949
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
SnowHaze before 2.6.6 is sometimes too late to honor a per-site JavaScript blocking setting, which leads to unintended JavaScript execution via a chain of webpage redirections targeted to the user's browser configuration.
CVE-2011-1930
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
In klibc 1.5.20 and 1.5.21, the DHCP options written by ipconfig to /tmp/net-$DEVICE.conf are not properly escaped. This may allow a remote attacker to send a specially crafted DHCP reply which could execute arbitrary code with the privileges of any process which sources DHCP options.
CVE-2011-1145
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
The SQLDriverConnect() function in unixODBC before 2.2.14p2 have a possible buffer overflow condition when specifying a large value for SAVEFILE parameter in the connection string.
CVE-2011-1488
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
A memory leak in rsyslog before 5.7.6 was found in the way deamon processed log messages are logged when $RepeatedMsgReduction was enabled. A local attacker could use this flaw to cause a denial of the rsyslogd daemon service by crashing the service via a sequence of repeated log messages sent withi...