Friday, 24 July 2009

The economics of Botnets


Yury Namestnikov of Kaspersky Lab has published an informative white paper on the current economics of botnets and related cybercrime, including the going rates for various cybercrime services.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Growing Threat to Business Banking Online

Source: Security Fix

Brian Krebs reports that phishing and money mule problems are escalating in the USA -- to about the level we experienced in Australia back in 2006 or earlier. There are some differences: phishing is now accomplished primarily by keystroke-monitoring rootkits rather than social engineering, and American businesses are discovering that their banks don't offer them much in the way of protection from this kind of fraud. Losses per incident are frequently six-figure sums.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Signed Malware Coming To A Phone Near You?

Source: Trend Micro

The Trend Micro Malware Blog reports that there is a signed Symbian application in the wild which sends the user's "subscriber, phone, and network information" back to a central website, and is also capable of receiving instructions (from the same website) to send SMS spam to the user's contacts. This is very similar to the behaviour of many traditional PC botnets -- yet the application has been vetted and signed by the certifying agent, Symbian Signed.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

High Crimes Using Low-Tech Attacks

Source: Security Fix

A new and relatively low tech attack against bank customers has been reported in the wild. A fraudster posing as a bank employee phones up a bank customer and informs them of fraudulent activity on the account, then asks the customer to hold while the call is transferred to a fraud specialist. The scammer then phones the genuine bank, creating a conference call in which he acts as an eavesdropper. This gives the scammer access to various secrets revealed in the conversation between bank and customer.

Friday, 3 July 2009

PC Invader Costs Ky. County $415,000

Source: Security Fix

Cybercriminals from the Ukraine were able to compromise a PC belonging to the treasurer of Bullitt County, Kentucky, USA, and initiate bank transfers in excess of four hundred thousand dollars. Money mules were used to receive the payments and forward them. The mules in question were initially recruited into performing grammar correction and checking work, and only offered the "money mule" aspect of the job after performing that work reliably. The attack also involved some creativity on the part of the attackers to circumvent fraud detection schemes installed by the bank: see the source article for details.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

A Bustling Week for Cyber Justice

Source: Security Fix

This Brian Krebs article summarises recent activity in the US legal system relating to cybercrime issues, including FTC action against "scareware" companies and prosecution of Max Ray Butler for mass credit card fraud.