Trend Micro has obtained samples of malware implicated in a recent incident that forced the Israeli police department offline. According to media reports, the severity of the attack was enough for all police computers to be taken temporarily offline last Thursday.
The attack began with a spammed message purporting to come from the head of the Israel Defense Forces, Benny Gatz. The From field has the email address, bennygantz59(at)gmail.com and bore the subject IDF strikes militants in Gaza Strip following rocket barrage to make it more legitimate.
When unsuspecting recipients open the email, they will find a .RAR file attachment, which leads to the backdoor detected by Trend Micro as BKDR_XTRAT.B. Examining the e-mail headers, the target appears to have been within the Israeli Customs agency:
Based on our analysis, this backdoor is an Xtreme remote access Trojan (RAT) that, like all RATs, can be used to steal information and receive commands from a remote attacker. The Xtreme RAT appears to have been used in previous attacks targeting Syrian anti-government activists. In addition to the standard features that are common to every RAT, the newest Xtreme RAT version also has the following features:
- Windows 8 compatibility
- improved audio and desktop capture capabilities
- improved Chrome and Firefox password grabbing; it can also grab passwords from Opera and Safari
- free updates from the developer
In the past, Trend Micro has reported various incidents where cybercriminals employed the web to launch attacks and/or used political issues as social engineering tactics:
- Malicious Email Campaign Uses Current Socio-Political Lure for Targeted Attack
- Mediterranean Hacktivism on the Rise
- Political Issues Bleed Through the Web
- Iranian “Cyber Army” Strikes at China’s Search Engine Giant, Chinese Hackers Retaliate
We’ve also reported on other RATs like Poison Ivy and PlugX earlier:
- The “Nitro” Campaign and Java Zero-Day
- PlugX: New Tool For a Not So New Campaign
- Unplugging PlugX Capabilities
- Watering Holes and Zero-Day Attacks
Trend Micro Smart Protection Network protects users from this threat by detecting the spammed message and the malicious file.