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Internet security threat updates and insights.

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    Happy New Year, everyone! Despite the lack of blog updates over the Holidays, we continued to intercept malicious campaigns over the same period of time, proving that the bad guys never take holidays. In this post, I’ll profile two prolific, social engineering driven type of malicious spam campaigns that we intercepted over the Holiday season, and naturally (proactively) protected you from. More details: The first campaign successfully impersonates Adobe’s License Service Center, in an attempt to trick users into thinking that they’ve successfully purchased a Creative Suite 6 Design Standard software license key. Sample screenshot of the first spamvertised campaign: Detection rate […]

    The post ‘Adobe License Service Center Order NR’ and ‘Notice to appear in court’ themed malicious spam campaigns intercepted in the wild appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    First official working week of 2014 and cybercriminals are already busy pushing new releases into the underground marketplace. The goal? Setting up the foundation for successful monetization schemes to be offered through cybercrime-friendly boutique E-shops known for selling access to compromised accounting data obtained through the use of DIY (do-it-yourself) type of services. In this post, I’ll discuss a newly released passwords/game keys stealing tool whose Web-based command and control interface is successfully mimicking Windows 8′s Home Screen, and some of the most common ways through which this very same stolen accounting data would eventually be monetized. Sample screenshots of […]

    The post New “Windows 8 Home Screen’ themed passwords/game keys stealer spotted in the wild appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    Driven by popular demand, the underground market segment for TDoS (Telephony Denial of Service) attacks continues flourishing with established vendors continuing to actively develop and release new DIY (do-it-yourself) type of tools. Next to successfully empowering potential customers with the necessary ‘know-how’ needed to execute such type of attacks, vendors are also directly contributing to the development of the market segment with new market entrants setting up the foundations for their business models, using these very same tools, largely relying on the lack of situational awareness/understanding of the underground market transparency of prospective customers. Positioned in a situation as ‘price takers’, […]

    The post Vendor of TDoS products resets market life cycle of well known 3G USB modem/GSM/SIM card-based TDoS tool appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    In the marketing world, it’s widely known sex sells. This is so true the “adult” industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. This is also why malware authors have long used adult content to attract unwitting victims. Lately, this threat researcher has seen way too much of it. There has been an influx of Trojan-like APKs using adult content to trick users into sending premium SMS messages. Let’s take a deeper look at one of these apps. When you open the app it displays a page showing “GET IT NOW” in the middle, and “NEXT” at the lower right corner. If […]

    The post SMS Trojans Using Adult Content On The Rise In Android appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    In need of a good example, that malicious adversaries are constantly striving to ‘innovate’, thereby disrupting underground market segments, rebooting TTPs’ (tactics, techniques and procedures) life cycles, standardizing and industrializing their fraudulent/malicious ‘know-how’? We’re about to give you a pretty good one. Regular readers of Webroot’s Threat Blog, are no strangers to the emerging TDoS (Telephony Denial of Service) underground market segment. Primarily relying on the active abuse of legitimate services, such as, for instance, Skype and ICQ, as well as to the efficient and mass abuse of non-attributable SIM cards, for the purpose of undermining the availability of a victim’s/organization’s […]

    The post New TDoS market segment entrant introduces 96 SIM cards compatible custom GSM module, positions itself as market disruptor appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    Throughout 2013, we not only witnessed the re-emergence of proven mass, efficiency-oriented Web site hacking/exploitation tactics, such as, the reliance on Google Dorks scanning, good old fashioned brute-forcing, but also, the introduction of new concepts, successfully utilizing/standardizing, both, compromised accounting data, and server-farm level access, in an attempt to fraudulently monetize the hijacked traffic from legitimate Web sites. As we’ve seen on numerous occasions throughout the years, despite sophisticated ‘innovations’, cybercriminals are no strangers to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. Case in point in terms of Content Management Systems (CMSs) is WordPress, whose market share is naturally proportional with […]

    The post DIY Python-based mass insecure WordPress scanning/exploting tool with hundreds of pre-defined exploits spotted in the wild appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    By this point, just about everyone is aware of the major breach of the Target POS systems.  Recent estimates indicate as many as 110 million customers had their card number compromised over the holiday season (including yours truly).  We all know that there was a breach of their network, but so far, no one has shared the method by which the malicious attacker gained access.  Well, with the recent (and terrific) reports from KrebsOnSecurity, we may now have an answer. The above circled function was located in one of the few malware samples available and that was reportedly used to […]

    The post Could a Novell vulnerability be behind the Target breach? appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    It can be easily argued, that CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), is the modern day’s ‘guardian of the Web’, in the context of preventing the mass, systematic, and efficient abuse of virtually each and every Web property there is. Over the years, CAPTCHA developers continued to strike a balance between the actual usability and sophistication/resilience to attacks, while excluding the beneath the radar emergence of a trend, which would later on prove to successfully exploit a fundamental flaw in the very concept of the CAPTCHA process. Namely, the fact that, the very same humans […]

    The post Google’s reCAPTCHA under automatic fire from a newly launched reCAPTCHA-solving/breaking service appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    Operating in a world dominated by millions of malware-infected hosts acting as proxies for the facilitation of fraudulent and malicious activity, the Web’s most popular properties are constantly looking for ways to add additional layers of authentication to the account registration process of prospective users, in an attempt to undermine automatic account registration tactics. With CAPTCHA under automatic fire from newly emerging CAPTCHA solving/breaking services, re-positioning the concept from what was once the primary automatic account registration prevention mechanism, to just being a part of the ‘authentication mix’ these days, in recent years, a new (layered) authentication concept got the attention […]

    The post Fully automated, API-supporting service, undermines Facebook and Google’s ‘SMS/Mobile number activation’ account registration process appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    Regular readers of Webroot’s Threat Blog are familiar with our “A Peek Inside a Boutique Cybercrime-Friendly E-shop” series, originally started in 2012, highlighting the trend emerging at the time of boutique based E-shops selling access to compromised/hacked accounts. Popping up on our radars on systematic basis, this maturing market segment is already entering in a new life cycle stage in early 2014. The current stage is the direct result of the ongoing efficiency-oriented mentality applied by cybercriminals over the years in the face of the active implementation of tactics such as, for instance, templatization, ultimately leading to standardization of key […]

    The post Newly launched managed ‘compromised/hacked accounts E-shop hosting as service’ standardizes the monetization process appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    Driven by the never ending supply of newly released DIY (do it yourself) underground market releases, in combination with the systematically rebooted life cycles of releases currently in circulation, cybercriminals continue actively developing new cybercrime-friendly malware generating/botnet building applications. Motivated by the desire to further continue the monetization of this ever-green market segment, a key driving force behind the consequential rise of E-shops offering access to compromised accounting data like those we’ve extensively profiled at Webroot’s Threat Blog in the past, these cybercriminals continue to ‘innovate’ and reboot the life cycles of known releases through the systematic and persistent introduction of […]

    The post Newly released Web based DDoS/Passwords stealing-capable DIY botnet generating tool spotted in the wild appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    In need of a fresh example of penetration pricing, within the cybercrime ecosystem, used by a cybercrime-friendly vendor in an attempt to quickly gain as much market share as possible in the over-supplied market segment for keylogging-specific systems? We’re about to give you a very fresh one. A newly released, commercially available PHP/MySQL based, keylogging-specific malware/botnet generating system, with full Unicode support, is currently being offered for $5o, with the binary re-build priced at $20, in a clear attempt by the vendor to initiate basic competitive pricing strategies to undermine the market relevance of competing propositions. Just like the Web […]

    The post Cybercriminals release new Web based keylogging system, rely on penetration pricing to gain market share appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    Since its inception in 1996, Alexa has positioned itself as primary Web metrics data portal, empowering Web masters, potential investors, and marketers with access to free analytics based on data gathered from toolbars installed on millions of PCs across the world. Successfully establishing itself as the most popular, publicly accessible Web site performance benchmarking tool, throughout the years, the Alexa PageRank has acted as a key indicator for the measurement of a Web site’s popularity, growth and overall performance, often used in presentations, competitive intelligence campaigns, and comparative reviews measuring the performance/popularity of particular Web sites. Operating in a world […]

    The post Cybercriminals release Socks4/Socks5 based Alexa PageRank boosting application appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    Digital security is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about during the Sochi Olympics, but should be something that is on your mind when travelling to popular areas.  Just as scams are popular in tourist areas around the world, hacking is on the rise where media professionals, security, and large groups of travelers will be gathering.   In the past, malicious attacks through the digital infrastructure have occurred at the Olympics and other such events, and the Sochi Olympics will not be any different.  So, as you get ready to hit the Russian mountains, here are some […]

    The post Keeping your digital life safe at the Sochi Olympics appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    The rise of boutique cybercrime-friendly E-shops, which we’ve extensively profiled in our “A Peek Inside a Boutique Cybercrime-Friendly E-Shop” series, continues further expanding as a market segment within the underground marketplace. Driven by the proliferation of public/commercially obtainable DIY (do it yourself) type of malware/botnet generating tools along side the ongoing standardization of the monetization process offered by opportunistic cybercriminals acting as intermediaries between those possessing the fraudulently obtained assets and their prospective customers, the market segment is prone to expand. Having already profiled a managed hosting service, empowering novice cybercriminals possessing compromised/hacked accounting information with efficient ways to monetize the stolen […]

    The post Market leading ‘standardized cybercrime-friendly E-shop’ service brings 2500+ boutique E-shops online appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    Operational Security (OPSEC) has always been an inseparable part of the cybercrime ecosystem, especially in the context of preventing law enforcement agencies from tracking down the activities of fraudulent and malicious adversaries online. Throughout the years, the industry has witnessed active utilization of malware-infected hosts (Socks4/Socks5) as anonymization ‘stepping stones’ and the use of cybercrime-friendly VPN providers, bypassing internationally accepted data retention regulations, as some of the primary anonymization tactics used by cybercriminals. Nowadays, this set of tactics has evolved into a diversified mix of legitimate and purely malicious infrastructure that provides value-added services such as APIs supporting Socks4/Socks5 services, DIY real-time […]

    The post Managed TeamViewer based anti-forensics capable virtual machines offered as a service appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    In the first ThreatVlog of 2014, Marcus Moreno discusses the increase in Potentially Unwanted Applications/Programs and their impact on machines, productivity, and the user experience. Also in the video is a talk on the wonderful audio ads that have been infecting machines and annoying computer users, discussing how they get into the machine and where to find them. Finally, he talks about Microsoft’s call for all security companies to come together to help end malicious malware families.

    The post ThreatVlog Episode 13: Unwanted Applications, Audio Ads, and Microsoft appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    In a cybercrime ecosystem populated by commercially available WordPress brute-forcing and mass vulnerable WordPress installation scanning tools, cybercriminals continue actively capitalizing on the platform’s leading market share within the Content Management System’s market segment. Successfully exploiting tens of thousands of installations on a daily basis, for the purpose of utilizing the legitimate infrastructure to achieve their fraudulent/malicious campaign objectives, the tactic is also largely driven by the over-supply of compromised/accounting data, usually embedded within sophisticated Web-based attack platforms like the ones we’ve profiled in the past. We’ve recently intercepted a malicious campaign exclusively relying on rogue WordPress sites, ultimately serving client-side exploits to users […]

    The post Malicious campaign relies on rogue WordPress sites, leads to client-side exploits through the Magnitude exploit kit appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    In a series of blog posts published throughout 2012, we’ve been highlighting the existence of a vibrant underground market segment, namely, that of ‘hacking for hire’ services, email hacking in particular. Commercially available as a service for years, the practice’s growth was once largely fueled by the release of DIY Web-based popular email provider hacking tools, which once acquired by prospective cybercriminals, quickly became the foundation for a successful business model. How have things changed nowadays, in terms of tactics, techniques and procedures? Profoundly. Case in point, we’ve been tracking two such ‘hacking for hire’ services, both of which offer […]

    The post ‘Hacking for hire’ teams occupy multiple underground market segments, monetize their malicious ‘know how’ appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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    Today, at 2014-02-12 12:16:20 (CET), we became aware of a possible evasive/beneath the radar malvertising based g01pack exploit kit attack, taking place through the DoubleClick ad network using an advertisement featured at About.com.  Investigating further, we were able to identify the actual domains/IPs involved in the campaign, and perhaps most interestingly, managed to establish a rather interesting connection between the name servers of one of the domains involved in the attacks, and what appears to be a fully operational and running Ukrainian-based ad platform, Epom in this particular case. Actual URL: hxxp://ad.doubleclick.net/N479/adi/abt.education/education_biology;p=1;svc=;site=biology;t=0;bt=9;bts=0;pc=4;oe=iso-8859-1;auc=1;fd=2;fs=1;sp2=0;go=9;a=;kw=;chan=education;syn=about;tile=1;r=1;dcopt=ist;sz=728×90;u=DBIIS70bOkWAXwch41309;dc_ref=http:/biology.about.com/library/glossary/bldefmenlawia.htm;ord=1DBIIS70bOkWAXwch41309 Malvertising domains/URLs/IPs involved in the campaign: adservinghost1.com – 212.124.112.232; […]

    The post DoubleClick malvertising campaign exposes long-run beneath the radar malvertising infrastructure appeared first on Webroot Threat Blog.


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