Google Code is Google’s official open source site meant for developers to host their program’s source code and related files, mostly in text format. However, using our sourcing system in Brazil, we were able to capture a malware written in Java that downloads BANKER malware from a recently created project called “flashplayerwindows”. Of course, this bogus project has nothing to do with Adobe.
The said file (detected as JAVA_DLOAD.AFJ) is a compiled file that downloads and execute the “AdobeFlashPlayer.exe”, which we have verified to be malicious (detected as TSPY_BANKER.VIX, renamed from TROJ_BANLOAD.JFK). Once executed, this Trojan connects to Google Code to download other files. The people behind this threat may have uploaded these files to the said Google Code page, which notably include BANKER variants. These malware are notorious for stealing banking and email account information. Typically, they perform their data stealing routine by using phishing sites spoofing banking sites to lure users into disclosing information. Once they gather these data, they can use these to initiate unauthorized transactions such as money transfers.
Previously, BANKER malware were seen hosted on compromised Brazilian government sites, which affected users from Brazil, the United States, and Angola. Another fraud project containing malware was also discovered, which goes to show that similar threats might still be out there.
Besides the danger of the BANKER malware, this use of a well-known site like Google Code provides a good cover-up for cybercriminals. The malware being hosted in an official Google website means that downloading the malware will be encrypted with valid SSL certificates, which can bypass traditional security technologies. Because Google is a legitimate and reputable domain, traditional reputable services may not prevent the downloading.
If this threat seems familiar, it’s because this abuse of open-source project sites has been done before. Last June, we blogged about GAMARUE variants being hosted on SourceForge, which like Google Code, is popular among developers and users alike.
This incident shows that as we have predicted for 2013, legitimate cloud providers like Google Code are likely to come under attack this year. With services like Google Code are likely to increase traction among users, we can expect that similar cases will appear (and increase) in the coming days. Trend Micro protects users from this by detecting and deleting these BANKER variants.
As of this writing, the said files are no longer available on Google Code.