The list of monetization tactics a cybercriminal can take advantage of, once they manage to hijack a huge portion of Web traffic, is virtually limitless and is entirely based on his experience within the cybercrime ecosystem.
In this post, I’ll profile two cybercrime-friendly iFrame traffic exchanges, with the second ‘vertically integrating’ by also offering spamming services, as well as services violating YouTube’s ToS (Terms of Service) such as likes, comments, views, favorites and subscribers on demand, with an emphasis on the most common ways through which a potential cybercriminal can abuse any such traffic exchange network.
Operating in the open since 2009, a bulletproof hosting provider continues offering services for white, grey, and black projects, as they like to describe them, and has been directly contributing to the epidemic growth of cybercrime to the present day through its cybercriminal-friendly services.
From Traffic Distribution Systems (TDS), to doorways, pharmaceutical scams, spam domains and warez, the provider is also utilizing basic marketing concepts like, for instance, promotions through coupon codes in an attempt to attract more customers.
Throughout the last couple of years, the persistent demand for geolocated traffic coming from both legitimate traffic exchanges or purely malicious ones — think traffic acquisition through illegally embedded iFrames — has been contributing to the growing market segment where traffic is bought, sold and re-sold, for the sole purpose of monetizing it through illegal means.
The ultimately objective? Expose users visiting compromised, or blackhat SEO-friendly automatically generated sites with bogus content, to fraudulent or malicious content in the form of impersonations of legitimate Web sites seeking accounting data, or client-side exploits silently served in an attempt to have an undetected piece of malware dropped on their hosts.
A recently spotted cybercrime-friendly underground traffic exchange service empowers cybercriminals with advanced targeting capabilities on per browser version basis, applies QA (Quality Assurance) to check their fraudulent/malicious domains against the most popular community/commercial based URL black lists, and ‘naturally’ we found evidence that it’s already been used to serve client-side exploits to unsuspecting users.
After a relatively long lag period without seeing any particular new and exciting Mac malware, last week we saw the surfacing of a new and interesting method of compromising the OSX system. Malware authors have taken a new approach by altering file extensions of malicious .app packages in order to trick users into thinking they are opening relatively harmless .pdf or .doc files. Changing file extensions in Mac OSX can be tricky due to a built in security feature of the OS that detects attempts to change the extension and automatically annexes the extension of its correct file or package type. So what’s the trick you may ask? Well, in order for malware authors to get around this built in OSX security feature, they are implementing what is called “right-to-left encoding” using the built in Mac OSX Character Viewer. OSX Character Viewer allows the user to very easily insert a vast array of characters and text input methods, which in this case, gives the malware author the ability to insert a fake file extension using the “right-to-left” encoding character. Continue reading →
Last Friday we blogged about the radical Android OS bug 8219321, better known as the “Master Key” bug, which was reported by Bluebox Security. Check out last weeks blog if you haven’t already: “The implications are huge!” – The Master Key Bug. We mentioned how we have been diligently working on protecting those not yet covered by patches or updates, and finding a solution for older devices as well. We are happy to report we have the solution! The newest version of Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile with a patch for the “Master Key” bug can be found on the Google Play store now: Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile.
Malware is always evolving, and so are we. No matter what new exploits are thrown our way, we have you covered. From all of us at the Webroot Mobile Team, stay safe.
Last week, Bluebox Security reported they’d found a new flaw with the Android OS, saying “The implications are huge!”. The bug, also known as the “Master Key” bug or “bug 8219321”, can be exploited as a way to modify Android application files, specifically the code within them, without breaking the cryptographic signature. We call these signatures the “digital certificate”, and they are used to verify the app’s integrity. Since the bug is able to modify an application and still have the certificate appear valid, it is a big deal. Continue reading →
This practice led to the emergence of DIY (do-it-yourself) tools and managed service platforms that allow virtually anyone to start monetizing these fraudulently or automatically registered accounting data, signaling a trend towards an efficiency-driven cybercrime ecosystem – a concept that’s been materializing on a daily basis for a couple of years.
In this post, I’ll profile a desktop-based tool that allows cybercriminals to automatically syndicate lists of free/paid proxies— think malware-infected hosts — adding an additional layer of anonymity in the process of uploading their doorways/malicious scripts on any given FTP server whose accounting data they’ve managed to compromise or automatically register.