Crime follows the money, as the saying goes, and once again, cybercriminals have acted accordingly. The underground is flooded with so many offerings of cryptocurrency malware that it must be hard for the criminals themselves to determine which is best. This kind of malware, also known as cryptomalware, has a clear goal, which is to make money out of cryptocurrency transactions. This can be achieved through two different methods: stealing cryptocurrency and mining cryptocurrency on victims’ devices surreptitiously (without the victims noticing), a process also known as cryptojacking. In this post, we discuss how these two methods work, and see whether devices connected to the internet of things (IoT), which are relatively underpowered, are being targeted.Read More
Using a machine learning system, we analyzed 3 million software downloads, involving hundreds of thousands of internet-connected machines, and provide insights in this three-part blog series. In the first part of this series, we took a closer look at unpopular software downloads and the risks they pose to organizations. We also briefly mentioned the problem regarding code signing abuse, which we will elaborate on in this post.
Code signing is the practice of cryptographically signing software with the intent of giving the operating system (like Windows) an efficient and precise way to discriminate between a legitimate application (like an installer for Microsoft Office) and malicious software. All modern operating systems and browsers automatically verify signatures by means of the concept of a certificate chain.
Valid certificates are issued or signed by trusted certification authorities (CAs), which are backed up by parent CAs. This mechanism relies entirely and strictly on the concept of trust. We assume that malware operators are, by definition, untrustworthy entities. Supposedly, these untrustworthy entities have no access to valid certificates. However, our analysis shows that is not the case.Read More
In our exploration of the different cybercriminal underground markets, we often note that these black markets are often hard to infiltrate, or even find in the first place. It takes a specific set of skills and knowledge to be able to get inside these underground economies. But not the North American underground. Unlike its counterparts…Read More
Cybercrime doesn’t wait for anything or anyone. Two years after publishing our last report on the wares and services traded in the bustling Chinese underground, we found that the market’s operations have further expanded. From traditional malware, Chinese cybercriminals are now looking toward newer innovations and technologies to boost their operations. The Chinese underground now…Read More
By now cybercrime has become the fastest growing criminal enterprise of the 21st century, run by efficient organizations with great professionalism. Today, news headlines are mostly about large-scale breaches orchestrated by large criminal syndicates. But smaller one-man operations can be equally devastating to the unwitting home users and businesses. This reminds us that cyber criminals…Read More