April 30, 2009

The Underground of the Cyber Age, PT II

Following the post below, I found a post on one of the sites i found. I found it very interesting. I'm not going to go into the entire story of what it's about, but i will give you one in particular post. It just makes you think twice about what is really happening in the world of the underground.

The post was original made December 22, 2008. Shortly after the Conficker worm was detected. I've also included related links in the posted text.

Originally Posted by XXXXXXXXXX View Post
What are you smoking?

Zeus have never been open source and it isn't a phishing botnet too. It is professional form grabber, used for banking and similar things. Webpart have not been encrypted, but that doesn't mean that it is opensource!

My, didn't YOU get out of the wrong side of the bed, XXXXXXXXXXX! A water pump in a car does not make a motor car what it is. It just pumps water around the engine serving a basic purpose. It is the sum total of all the other parts that make the car what it is. Change the water pump for any other type that has the same specs, and the car is still the same car it always was.

Zeus, in the context of this thread, IS a phishing botnet!

And looking at the version I got from meta-human (see his post), I am looking at 62/63 totally open source files of html, PHP and config related text files. Oh, and one little exe (aka the water pump).

Zeus (the phishing botnet) was first developed by a very smart Russian programmer who calls himself A-Z, and is said to be about 24 yars old. He cut his teeth by infecting the world with worms for fun, but then decided to monetize his efforts when he became a hired/contract gun for the Russian Business Network (though it wasn't called that then).

He started by selling his phishing botnet for $3,000, but then found market prices crashed when many others rebranded his open scripts, control panel etc, and so he took a different tack.

Last summer he helped a German cybercrime gang empty $6,000,000 from the commercial customers of 20 European banks by customizing his Zeus phishing botnet.

How it worked was that from the HUGE number of phished bank account data collected, they combed it to find those accounts which were commercial accounts. The reason being was that the banks had limited Internet transfers to commercial customers with special certifcates.

The A-Z/Zeus/German gang then used a "spear phishing" campaign against these commercial customers with a "man in the middle technique".

Spear phishing is basically a targeted phishing attack, and man-in-the-middle is where the real customer logs into his real account, and the botnet sneeks through a cash transfer of $5,000-$10,000 while he is not looking.

All very clever, all well coordinated, all undertaken by use of the Zeus phishing botnet by its author, A-Z.

Here are a few interesting links of reading, that delve a little deeper into what is happening out there.

Interview with originator of MPack.
There's a Cyber War Looming
RBNExploit Blog


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