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    Archive for February 11th, 2014




    Patch-Tuesday_gray

    This month’s Patch Tuesday features seven bulletins, with four rated as critical. Updates for Internet Explorer take the spotlight as one bulletin, MS14-010, addresses 24 vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. These vulnerabilities could result in remote code execution, which could allow an attacker the same user rights as the current user.

    A second bulletin, MS14-007, addresses a separate vulnerability in Direct2D that can trigger remote code execution by opening a malicious website in Internet Explorer or opening an email attachment.

    The remaining critical vulnerability of most importance for most users is MS14-011, which patches a vulnerability in the VBScript scripting engine. If exploited, this could also trigger remote code execution.

    Another critical bulletin, MS14-008, affects Microsoft Forefront for Exchange. While this product is now discontinued, Microsoft has promised security updates until December 2015. Three other bulletins released today were rated as important by Microsoft.

    Other vendors have also been busy patching flaws in their software. Last week, Adobe released a patch to Flash Player to deal with reported in-the-wild vulnerabilities, and this week Shockwave Player received an update as well.

    Users are advised to apply these security updates as soon as possible, as well as visit the Trend Micro Threat Encyclopedia page for further information. Appropriate rules for Trend Micro Deep Security have also been created and are available for use by system administrators.

     
    Posted in Vulnerabilities | Comments Off



    2013 was another year marked by many changes – for good and bad – in the threat landscape. Some threats waned, others grew significantly, while completely new threats emerged and made life difficult for users. What remained constant, however, were the threats against the safety of digital information. In this entry, we present some of these threats that were seen last year. These are described in more detail in our roundup titled Cashing In On Digital Information

    Cybercrime: Banking Malware, CryptoLocker Grow; Blackhole Exploit Kit Tumbles

    Some malware types linked to cybercrime grew significantly in 2013. We saw almost a million new banking malware variants, which was double what we saw in 2012. Much of this growth occurred in the latter half of the year:

    Figure 1. Volume of new banking malware

    Two countries – the United States and Brazil – accounted for half of all banking malware victims:

    Figure 2. Countries most affected by banking malware

    We saw ransomware become far more potent in the latter part of the year as CryptoLocker emerged as a new threat that hit users hard. This new threat – an evolution of previous ransomware attacks – encrypted the data of users, requiring a one-time payment of approximately $300 (payable in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin) before their data would be decrypted. In some ways, CryptoLocker became as serious a problem for end users as fake antivirus malware had in previous years.

    The fall of the Blackhole Exploit Kit in 2013 due to the arrest of its creator, Paunch, was a significant event that appreciably changed the threat landscape. It significantly cut the use of malicious links in spam messages by attackers. While other exploit kits have emerged into the threat landscape since then, no other kit has achieved BHEK’s levels of prominence.

    Targeted Attacks and Data Breaches: Still In Operation

    Despite reduced media attention, targeted attacks continued to hit organizations across the world last year. We observed attacks in many parts of the world, with countries in Asia at particular risk from these coordinated targeted attacks. Well-organized campaigns like EvilGrab and Safe highlighted the capabilities and sophistication of modern targeted attacks.

    Figure 3. Countries affected by targeted attacks

    Data breaches also continued to plague organizations. Companies like Adobe, Evernote, and LivingSocial were all hit by various breaches that exposed the customer data of millions of users. Breaches like these not only cause a loss of face for the affected organizations, but may also put them at legal risk for failing to protect the data of their users.

    Mobile Threats: Mobile Banking Under Fire

    Mobile threats continued to flourish last year, with an estimated one million malicious and high-risk apps found in the year alone. Significantly, we saw increasing use of mobile banking threats like the PERKEL and FAKEBANK families, both of which put users of mobile banking apps and websites at the same risk of fraud and financial loss that other users face. Information stealers like banking malware are now the third most common type of malicious/high-risk app found, behind traditional standbys like premium service abusers and adware:

    Figure 4. Types of mobile malware threats

    Digital Life: Privacy at Risk

    Revelations about government spying made many question if online privacy was still alive, or even possible. Previously, users had always worried that cybercriminals could get their hands on one’s personal information; now they worry about large, previously trusted organizations – both government and private – doing the same thing.

    Attacks delivered via social media (combined with social engineering) have now become the norm, with newer social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr suffering from their own scams as well. Indeed, attacks on all social media platforms have become so common, it may almost be considered “business as usual.”

    For a more comprehensive analysis of these threats, check our 2013 roundup titled Cashing In On Digital Information.

     
    Posted in Bad Sites, Data, Exploits, Malware, Mobile, Social, Spam, Targeted Attacks | Comments Off



    The interesting turn of events surrounding the game Flappy Bird has had the Internet buzzing: after becoming massively popular (downloaded more than 50 million times), the developer suddenly announced that he will take down the game from app stores, and then actually did it. The decision brought the interest around the game to an even greater scale, with similar apps seen emerging in app stores, and even auctions for devices with the app installed.

    The next development we saw, however, is a less desirable one: we found a bunch of fake Android Flappy Bird apps spreading online.

    Especially rampant in app markets in Russia and Vietnam, these fake Flappy Bird apps have exactly the same appearance as the original version:

    140212comment01

    All of the fake versions we’ve seen so far are Premium Service Abusers — apps that send messages to premium numbers, thus causing unwanted charges to victims’ phone billing statements. As seen below, the fake Flappy Bird app asks for the additional read/send text messages permissions during installation — one that is not required in the original version.

    140212comment02

    After the game is installed and launched, the app will then begin sending messages to premium numbers:

    140212comment03

    And while the user is busy playing the game, this malware stealthily connects to a C&C server through Google Cloud Messaging to receive instructions. Our analysis of the malware revealed that through this routine, the malware sends text messages and hides the notifications of received text messages with certain content.

    Apart from premium service abuse, the app also poses a risk of information leakage for the user since it sends out the phone number, carrier, and Gmail address registered in the device.

    Other fake versions we’ve seen have a payment feature added into the originally free app. These fake versions display a pop up asking the user to pay for the game. If the user refuses to play, the app will close.

    These fake Flappy Bird apps are now detected as ANDROIDOS_AGENT.HBTF, ANDROIDOS_OPFAKE.HATC, and ANDROIDOS_SMSREG.HAT.

    We advise Android users (especially those who are keen to download the now “extinct” Flappy Bird app) to be careful when installing apps. Cybercriminals are constantly cashing in on popular games (like Candy Crush, Angry Birds Space, Temple Run 2, and Bad Piggies) to unleash mobile threats. Our past entry, Checking the Legitimacy of Android Apps, enumerates some tips on how to do avoid suspicious or malicious apps. Users may also opt to install a security app (such as Trend Micro Mobile Security) to be able to check apps even before installation.

     
    Posted in Mobile | Comments Off


     

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