Danish cybersecurity researchers have discovered newer and improved variants of the notorious Carbanak Trojan, now surfacing to target banks and financial institutions in U.S. & Europe.
Carbanak, the malware that enabled a cyber-gang to siphon over $1 billion from a hundred financial institutions all over the world has made its presence known again. Peter Kruse, a security specialist at CSIS, details the findings with an analysis in a blog post.
The malware has evolved over time and now has its own proprietary communications protocol and samples researched by security researchers confirm they are digitally signed.
The Billion-Dollar Heist
The Carbanak malware marked a milestone in cybercriminal activity, wherein malicious hackers started to target banks directly, rather than end-users.
Between 2013-15, the Carabank malware was used as a sophisticated exploit to gain remote access to machines in the targeted bank’s network.
- It started as a spear-phishing campaign via emails containing malicious attachments housing the Carbanak backdoor.
- Once compromised, the malware enabled malicious hackers to gain remote access to the machine.
- Over time, the criminals used their ill-gained entry into the bank’s network through the compromised machine to siphon money in multiple ways.
The unprecedented cyber-crime spanning the global banking sector was only discovered due to the efforts of various law enforcement agencies on a global scale and Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity company.
These bank heists were surprising because it made no difference to the criminals what software the banks were using. So, even if its software is unique, a bank cannot get complacent.
“The attackers didn’t even need to hack into the banks’ services: once they got into the network, they learned how to hide their malicious plot behind legitimate actions. It was a very slick and professional cyber-robbery,” explained Sergey Golovanov, a Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
The entire Carbanak report can be found here.
Carbanak Makes a Return
Researchers at CSIS have now discovered newer variants of the Carbanak malware with unique characteristics. Specifically, the folder where Carbanak initiates a self-install and the filename used are both static. Additionally, the malware also injects itself into the svchost.exe process to avoid detection.
“Just recently, CSIS carried out a forensic analysis involving a Microsoft Windows client that was compromised in an attempt to conduct fraudulent online banking transactions. As part of the forensic task, we managed to isolate a signed binary, which we later identified as a new Carbanak sample,” Kruse noted in his analysis.
Like most other sophisticated malware, Carbanak uses plugins and the new variant of the malware show that plugins are installed using Carbanak’s own protocol “with a hard coded IP address over TCP port 443.”
CSIS analyzed the signatures on the samples and discovered them to be from Comodo while the certificate is issued from a Moscow-based company.
Kruse confirms that targets in U.S. and Europe have been struck with new variants of the Carbanak malware.
“Carbanak is what we define as a financial APT. In its nature, it is very targeted, and it is being deployed in small numbers. In this way, it tends to slide under the radar.“
We have observed at least four different new variants of Carbanak targeting key financial personnel in large international corporations,” Kruse added.
A comprehensive report of the original Carbanak malware can be found here.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
Uber Is Paying Hackers to Keep Quiet
Uber Technologies Inc. has reportedly paid hackers to delete scores of private data stolen from the company in a security breach that was concealed for over a year. The revelation provides further confirmation that, when it comes to cyber security, crime does pay.
Massive Data Breach
According to Bloomberg Technology, hackers retrieved the personal data of 57 million Uber customers and drivers at some point last year. Nobody heard about it because the rideshare company paid the hackers $100,000 to keep quiet. A purge at the front office of Uber also ensured that the massive cyber breach was kept under wraps.
The compromised data was from October 2016 and included the names, phone numbers and addressed of 50 million Uber riders globally. About seven million drivers had their personal information accessed as well.
At the time of the cyber attack, Uber was inundated with a slew of legal issues stemming from alleged privacy violations. Rather than shine even more negative spotlight on the company, Uber executives decided to pay hackers to stay quiet.
“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO in September, said in a statement that was published by Bloomberg. “We are changing the way we do business.”
Hackers have done a masterful job infiltrating companies and governments in recent years. As a reminder, recent cyber attacks levied against Yahoo!, Target Corp and Equifax Inc. dwarf Uber’s 57 million compromised accounts.
Various reports indicate that cyber attacks are bleeding the global economy dry. One report, issued by the World Economic Forum, suggests that cyber crime cost the world economy $445 billion in 2016. If cyber crime were its own market cap, it would exceed Microsoft Inc., Facebook Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp
The Fall of Uber?
Uber revolutionized the ride-hailing business over the span of seven years by giving more power to the consumer. Several missteps later, the company finds itself in legal hot water, with its future appearing less certain than it did just one year ago.
The rideshare company faces at least five U.S. probes ranging from bribes to illicit software and right up to unethical pricing schemes. According to another Bloomberg report, Uber is under investigation for violating price transparency regulations, not to mention the alleged theft of documents for Google’s autonomous cars.
Some governments are sensing weakness in the ride-hailing service, and are moving toward banning the Uber app entirely. London is the most prominent example of a city that has taken definitive steps to outlaw the service over a “lack of corporate responsibility.”
Even with its legal troubles, Uber is a revolutionary technology that has influenced a bevy of other innovations aimed at improving the human experience.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
The Pirate Bay is Hijacking PCs to Stealth-Mine Cryptocurrency
For the second time in as many months, The Pirate Bay has been caught mining cryptocurrency on your computer without consent. The torrent platform was actually test-driving cryptocurrency mining in your browser – no doubt a lucrative revenue stream.
The Pirates Are At It Again
The news was later confirmed by Bleeping Computer, which reported that,”The Pirate Bay, the internet’s largest torrent portal, is back at running a cryptocurrency miner after it previously ran a short test in mid-September.”
Estimates indicate that the scheme has earned the pirates a total of $43,000 over a three-week period.
Users had no way to opt their computers out of being test-driven by the torrent network. Back in September, The Pirate Bay got away by telling people it was just a test. The site’s owners cannot use the same excuse this time around.
CoinHive advises websites to let their visitors know their browser is being used to mine cryptocurrency.
“We’re a bit saddened to see that some of our customers integrate CoinHive into their pages without disclosing to their users what’s going on, let alone asking for their permission,” the company said.
The good news is most ad-blockers and antivirus programs will block CoinHive, given its recent abuses. That means not all visitors of The Pirate Pay were being used as a conduit for mining Monero.
Monero Joins Global Crypto Rally
The value of Monero (XMR) shot up nearly 8% on Friday, and was last seen trading at $94.17. With more than 15.2 million XMR tokens in circulation, the total market cap for Monero is $1.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s enough for ninth on the global cryptocurrency list.
Twelve cryptos have now crossed the $1 billion valuation mark. A handful of others have made their way north of $500 million.
Ethereum Notches Two-Month High as Bitcoin Offspring Triggers Volatility
Digital currency Ethereum climbed to a two-month high on Monday, taking some of the heat off Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, which have slumped since the weekend.
Ethereum Forges Higher Path
Concerns over Bitcoin created a favourable tailwind for Ethereum (ETH/USD), which is the world’s No. 2 digital currency by total assets. Ether’s price topped $340.00 on Monday and later settled at $323.54. That was the highest since June 20.
At its peak, ether was up 10% on the day and 70% for the month of August.
The ETH/USD was last down 2.2% at $315.02, according to Bitfinex. Prices are due for a brisk recovery, based on the daily momentum indicators.
Fractured Bitcoin Community
Bitcoin and its offshoot, Bitcoin Cash, retreated on Monday following a volatile weekend. The BTC/USD slumped at the start of the week and was down more than 3% on Tuesday, with prices falling below $3,900.00. Just last week, Bitcoin was trading at new records near $4,500.00.
Bitcoin Cash, which emerged after the Aug. 1 hard fork, climbed to new records on Saturday, but has been in free-fall ever since. The BTH was down another 20% on Tuesday to $594.49, according to CoinMarketCap. Its total market value has dropped by several billion over the past two days.
Analysts say that a “fractured” Bitcoin community has made Ethereum a more attractive bet this week. The ether token has shown remarkable poise over the past seven days, despite trading well shy of a new record.
Other drivers behind Ethereum’s advance are steady demand from South Korean investors and growing confidence in a smooth upgrade for the the ETH network. The upgrade, which has been dubbed “Metropolis,” is expected in the next several weeks. Its key benefits include tighter transaction privacy and greater efficiency.
Ethereum Prices Unaffected by ICO Heist
Fin-tech developer Enigma was on the receiving end of a cyber-heist on Monday after hackers took over the company’s website, mailing list and instant messaging platforms. The hack occurred three weeks before Enigma’s planned Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for September 11.
In addition to defacing the company’s website, the hackers pushed a special “pre-sale” ahead of the ICO. While many users realized it was a scam, 1,492 ether tokens – valued at $495,000 – were directed into the hackers’ cryptocurrency wallet by unsuspecting backers.
The irony in all this is that Engima is a cryptography company that prides itself on top-notch security protocols. The company issued a statement that its servers had not been compromised.
- Trade Recommendation: Buy EVHC and EQT on Selling Exhaustion on
- Trade Recommendation: Bitcoin Cash on
- Asian Market Update – Tuesday: Litecoin price skyrockets despite creator’s warning; Asian stocks down on
- Trade Recommendation: Bitcoin Cash on
- Technical Analysis: Litecoin Continues Surge as Bitcoin Tests Highs on
- Asian Market Update – Tuesday: Litecoin price skyr...
- Technical Analysis: Litecoin Continues Surge as Bi...
- Trade Recommendation: Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Flirts With Record Highs as Buterin Compa...
- Monero Forges Ahead as Prices Cross $290
- Is Bitcoin Driving Gold Prices Lower?
- Trade Recommendation: Stellar
- Trade Recommendation: Siacoin December 12, 2017
- Trade Recommendation: Buy EVHC and EQT on Selling Exhaustion December 12, 2017
- Will CME and CBOE Change the Course of Bitcoin Trading? December 12, 2017
- Trade Recommendation: Bitcoin Cash December 12, 2017
- Is Bitcoin Stealing Gold’s Luster? December 12, 2017
- Asian Market Update – Tuesday: Litecoin price skyrockets despite creator’s warning; Asian stocks down December 12, 2017
- Is Bitcoin Driving Gold Prices Lower? December 12, 2017
- Monero Forges Ahead as Prices Cross $290 December 12, 2017
- Ethereum Flirts With Record Highs as Buterin Compares Crypto Surge to Salvator Mundi Auction December 12, 2017
- Altcoin Investing Strategy as Futures Hit the Market December 12, 2017
A part of CCN
Altcoins1 week ago
IOTA Doing Big Things as Microsoft Partnership Announced
Analysis3 days ago
Long-Term Cryptocurrency Analysis: Look Out Below?
Recommendations4 days ago
Trade Recommendation: Litecoin
Analysis1 week ago
$100 Litecoin Looks Poised for Greater Upside
Cryptocurrencies1 week ago
Trade Recommendation: Neo
Cryptocurrencies4 days ago
Trade Recommendation: Stellar
Cryptocurrencies2 days ago
Trade Recommendation: Zcash
Cryptocurrencies6 days ago
Trade Recommendation: Siacoin