Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Eliminate costly downtime!
Find out how with Free White Paper
& enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Data Security
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Skype Messages Link to Malware, Make  PCs Bitcoin Slaves
Skype Messages Link to Malware, Make PCs Bitcoin Slaves

By Jennifer LeClaire
April 5, 2013 2:34PM

    Bookmark and Share
"I think some people overthink the motivation and actions of 'bad guys,' " said security expert Alex Horan. "Yes, there are absolutely skilled people doing this type of activity explicitly on behalf of their nation or government....But there are a lot more people just out there to make a buck." The latest is targeting Skype with malware to turn PCs into slave Bitcoin generators.
 



Skype users beware. Malware is targeting your favorite messaging app. Kaspersky is sounding the alarm this week with back-to-back posts about malicious campaigns on Skype.

One is a campaign that presents a malicious URL. The other uses its victim's machine to mine Bitcoins. Both are serious, but the second attack is getting major media attention.

Dmitry Bestuzhev, a Kaspersky Lab expert, on Thursday pointed out an infection vector via social engineering that's abusing infected Skype accounts by massively sending messages to contacts, with a link to a photo and the sentence, "I don't think I will ever sleep again after seeing this photo."

A Slave to Bitcoin

"Goo.gl short URL service shows that at the moment there are more than 170k clicks on the malicious URL and only 1 hour ago there were around 160k clicks," Bestuzhev said. "It means the campaign is quite active with around 10k clicks per hour or with 2.7 clicks per second!"

But most of the victims are from Russia and the Ukraine so far. Hours later, Bestuzhev turned his focus to the Bitcoin malware that's trending in Google News. He said it's a similar campaign in terms of propagation but different in terms of origins and purposes. Average clicking is also high, with more than 2,000 clicks per hour. Most of the potential victims live in Italy, followed by Russia, Poland, Costa Rica, Spain, Germany and Ukraine.

"Once the machine is infected it drops to the system many other pieces of malware. Downloads come from the Hotfile.com service. At the same time the malware connects to its C2 server located in Germany," Bestuzhev wrote in a blog post. "So what does malware do? To be honest many things but one of the most interesting is it turns the infected machine to a slave of the Bitcoin generator. The usage of CPU grows up significantly."

Cyber Economics

Alex Horan, a senior product manager at Core Security, said this is simple economics: How much does it cost to rent a large group of machines from a botnet herder? And how much money can I make in that period of time via Bitcoin? If the amount of money to be made is higher than the money to be spent, he said, then you are in business.

"I think some people overthink the motivation and actions of 'bad guys.' Yes, there are absolutely skilled people doing this type of activity explicitly on behalf of their nation or government -- or without explicit instructions, but with patriotic zeal," Horan told us. "But there are a lot more people just out there to make a buck. And if the scam du jour is Bitcoin harvesting via compromised machines then you can expect to see a lot of people -- of varying skill levels -- trying this out."

So how do you stop this? Horan said you can stop Bitcoin the same way you stop most other crimes -- stop it from being profitable.

"If paper money was so simple that you could not tell the difference between a photocopied note and a real one, a lot more people would be photocopying money," he said. "But creating passable counterfeit money requires a significant investment. Bitcoin needs to create some kind of equivalent, some way to distinguish between the actions of a machine that is being enslaved into work vs. those machines that have actively chosen to participate."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Data Security
1.   Tor Internet Privacy Service Breached
2.   Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
3.   Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
4.   Hackers Breached StubHub Accounts
5.   Juniper DDoS for High-IQ Networks


advertisement
Tor Internet Privacy Service Breached
Users should assume they're affected.
Average Rating:
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Even if your data was compromised.
Average Rating:
Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
Bug reportedly reveals ID of users
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tor Internet Privacy Service Warns Users It Was Breached
You may never have heard of the Tor Project, but the Internet privacy service is making headlines. Tor’s devs say users might be victims of an attack launched against the project earlier this year.
 
Canadian Government Charges China With Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
 
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's ARM-Based Opteron Out in $3K Dev Kit
It's dubbed "Seattle" and it's AMD's first 64-bit ARM-based Opteron processor. The low-power chip is being released as part of AMD’s Opteron A1100-series developer kit, and aimed at high-end data center needs.
 
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Dell, BlackBerry Not Sweating Apple-IBM Alliance
IBM's recent move to partner with Apple to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Smartphone Plans
As the wireless carrier wars continue heating up, Virgin Mobile just threw the customization coal onto the fire. The firm has debuted a no-annual-contract plan with rates based on individual use.
 
Collaboration Provider Asana Revamps Mobile App
Asana, a collaboration software provider started by a Facebook founder, is now out with a rebuilt native iOS mobile app. It replaces one that even the company admits was not up to par.
 
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.