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...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Apple/Mac
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
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:



Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.


 Apple/Mac
1.   Mac OS Yosemite Beta 4 Released
2.   Apple Smart Watch Patent Surfaces
3.   iPhone 6: Bad for Apple Tablet Sales?
4.   Longtime Apple Director Steps Down
5.   Business Impact of IBM-Apple Deal


advertisement
Apple Digital Book Settlement Set
But company still appealing decision.
Average Rating:
Mac OS Yosemite Beta 4 Released
Public preview could be coming soon.
Average Rating:
iPhone 6: Bad for Apple Tablet Sales?
Most likely, it will be a huge hit.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Array
(
    [143] => Array
        (
            [93499] => 93499
            [93492] => 93492
            [93416] => 93416
        )

)

Network Security Spotlight
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 
34 European Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
Criminals have been finding gaping holes in Android-based two-factor authentication systems that banks around the world are using. The result: 34 banks in four European countries have been hit.
 
New Web Tracking Technologies Defeat Privacy Protections
Recently developed Web tracking tools are able to circumvent even the best privacy defenses, according to a new study by researchers at Princeton and the University of Leuven in Belgium.
 
Juniper DDoS Solution Aims at High-IQ Networks
In the face of more complex attacks, Juniper Networks is boosting its DDoS Secure solution to help companies mitigate the threats with more effective security intelligence throughout the network fabric.
 
Large-Volume DDoS Attacks Hit Record in 2014
The number of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks set a record in the first half of 2014, according to a report by Arbor Networks. The number of attacks over 20 GB/sec doubled.
 
Can Google Put an End to Zero Day Flaws?
Google wants the Internet-using world to know that security is a top priority. That’s the message behind Project Zero, a team of researchers on the prowl for cyber threats and bugs.
 
U.N.: Nations Hide Rise in Private Digital Snooping
Governments on every continent are hiding an increasing reliance on private companies to snoop on citizens' digital lives, the U.N. human rights office says, with grave concerns about privacy.
 
Google Sends Hacker Team to Hunt Bugs
If it takes a thief to catch a thief, Google is hoping that it takes a hacker to catch a hacker. Project Zero is a team of top security researchers whose job is to track down zero-day vulnerabilities.
 
Russian Hackers Attack CNET Database
It’s hardly Anonymous, but the results are similar. CNET was attacked by Russian hackers over the weekend. Twitter user @rev-priv8 put up an image of an apparent remote access to a CNET.com server.
 
FBI Cyber-Expert Is Ex-Discount Furniture Salesman
J. Keith Mularski's world has expanded greatly since he stopped selling discount furniture to join the FBI in 1998. He is now recognized as one of the country's foremost experts on cybercrime.
 
Chinese Man Accused of Hacking into U.S. Computers
Authorities have charged a Chinese businessman with hacking into the computer systems of U.S. companies with large defense contracts, including Boeing, to steal data on military projects.
 
Report: Chinese Hackers Hit U.S. Personnel Networks
Hackers from China broke into the computer networks of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 
Another Day, Another Internet of Things Consortium Is Born
In the emerging Internet of Things, zillions of devices will be talking to each other. Samsung, Intel and Dell just formed a consortium to ensure each thing can understand what others are saying.
 
Gartner Sales Study Sees Tablets Up, PCs Down but Recovering
Are PCs on the comeback trail? That depends on how you define "comeback." While tablet sales remain strong, Gartner's latest study found PC shipments aren't dropping as fast as they did last year.
 
Oracle Unveils Upgrades to ZS3 Storage Server Line
Enhancements to the ZFS Storage ZS3 Series were released by Oracle Wednesday, enabling the ZS3-2 to handle more than 16,000 virtual machine boots from a single platform in less than 7 minutes.
 
Intel Heralds New Xeon Server Chip, Most Powerful Ever
It’s called Knights Landing and it’s the most powerful version of Intel’s Xeon Phi supercomputing processor. The chip is set to be available in commerical systems in the second half of 2015.
 
Review: Warming Up to Tablets with Keyboard Covers
If you've ever thought tablets with keyboard covers were just a poor excuse for a laptop, think again. Nokia's Lumia 2520 comes with an optional keyboard cover that just may change your mind.
 
Facebook Unveils Wedge Open-Source Network Switch
It turns out Facebook is into networking that is more than just social, unveiling an open-source, software-defined networking switch that could ultimately disrupt the networking equipment market.
 
Review: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 an iPad Alternative
When Microsoft announced the Surface, the tablet was unsuccessfully pitched as an iPad alternative. Now it's being marketed to consumers as a replacement for both their iPads and MacBooks.
 
Schneider Electric Unveils Data Center Power Modules
New modules for data center electricity needs are being offered by Schneider Electric. The company described the new prefabricated approach as "revolutionary" in its flexibility and customization.
 
Broadcom Unveils XLP500 Series with SDN in Mind
With so much focus on software-defined networks, Broadcom is expanding its XLP II multi-core communications processors line to meet evolving industry needs with the XLP500 Series.
 
Best of Interop 2014 Finalists Announced
Judges have chosen finalists for this year's Best of Interop awards, with winners to be named April 1 in Las Vegas. The nine categories include networking, mobility, security, cloud and data storage.
 
Cisco Telecom Router Ready for Internet Traffic Flood
The Carrier Routing System-X unveiled by Cisco for the telecom industry is a 400 Gbps per slot system that can be expanded to nearly 1 petabit per second, enough to deal with the coming flood in demand.
 
Interop: Networking Leaders Demo Shortest Path Bridging
Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Spirent and HP are teaming to endorse Shortest Path Bridging for fabric networking, and they're demonstrating their multi-vendor network for the first time at Interop Las Vegas.
 

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.