Newsletters
The Enterprise Security Supersite NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Network Security Viruses & Malware Hackers Security Solutions More Topics...
Vblock™ Systems:
Advanced converged infrastructure
increases productivity & lowers costs.

www.vce.com
Viruses & Malware
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Flame Coders Left Digital Fingerprints Behind
Flame Coders Left Digital Fingerprints Behind

By Jennifer LeClaire
September 17, 2012 4:19PM

Bookmark and Share
Unlike traditional cyber criminals who implement eye-candy Web interfaces which the average user can recognize as a botnet control panel, Kaspersky said, the developers of the Flame Command-and-Control servers made the Flame interface generic and unpretentious. "We believe this was deliberately done to deceive hosting company sys-admins."
 


Security researchers often play the role of Sherlock, but they don't always have such telling clues to sleuth. The hackers behind the Flame malware, which has been used in nation-state espionage attacks, have left a trail of hints that may help authorities tag the culprits.

The clues also point to evidence that the attack was under way and much broader than once thought.

Let's back up a minute. Known as W32.Flamer, Symantec describes this malware as a sophisticated cyber espionage tool. Flamer made headlines after cyber attacks on Middle Eastern countries earlier in 2012. Both Symantec and Kaspersky are now releasing new analyses of the command-and-control (C&C) servers used in those attacks.

"The servers were set up on March 25, 2012, and May 18, 2012, respectively. On both occasions, within only a few hours of the server being setup, the first interaction with a computer compromised with Flamer was recorded," Symantec wrote in its blog. "The servers would go on to control at least a few hundred compromised computers over the next few weeks of their existence."

No Exclusivity

Symantec goes on to reveal that the servers contained the same control framework, but were used for distinct purposes. Symantec estimates the server that was set up in March, for example, collected almost 6 GB of data from compromised computers in just over a week. By contrast, the security firm reports, the server that was set up in May 2012 received just 75 MB of data and was used solely to distribute one command module to the compromised computers.

"Command-and-control happens through a Web application called Newsforyou. The application processes the W32.Flamer client interactions and provides a simple control panel. The control panel allows the attackers to upload packages of code to deliver to compromised computers, and to download packages containing stolen client data," Symantec said.

"This application does not appear to be exclusively used by Flamer. It contains functionality that allows it to communicate with computers compromised with multiple malware identifiers using different protocols."

Script-Kiddies?

For its part, Kaspersky reveals that a European company with data centers in another European Union country own one of the C&C servers it analyzed. Kaspersky managed to get a server image that was an OpenVZ file-system container.

"Our first impression was that the control panel appeared to be implemented by script-kiddies. It looked like a very early alpha version of a botnet C&C control panel," Kaspersky wrote in its blog. "However, revisiting this picture one more time made everything clear -- the attackers deliberately chose this interface."

Unlike traditional cyber-criminals who implement eye-candy Web interfaces which the average user can easily recognize as a botnet control panel, the security firm said, the developers of the Flame C&C made it very generic and unpretentious.

"The C&C developers didn't use professional terms such as bot, botnet, infection, malware-command or anything related in their control panel. Instead they used common words like data, upload, download, client, news, blog, ads, backup etc.," Kaspersky said. "We believe this was deliberately done to deceive hosting company sys-admins who might run unexpected checks."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Barium Ferrite Is The Future Of Tape: Barium Ferrite (BaFe) offers greater capacity, superior performance, and longer archival life compared to legacy metal particle (MP) tape. Click here to learn more.


 Viruses & Malware
1.   Malware Targets Facebook Users
2.   OpenSSL Calls for More Support
3.   How, Why Heartbleed Got Its Name
4.   Android Apps Mine Virtual Currency
5.   Spyware Targets U.S. and Europe


advertisement
Malware Targets Facebook Users
iBanking app spys on communications.
Average Rating:
Android Apps Mine Virtual Currency
Malware drains mobile phone battery.
Average Rating:
OpenSSL Calls for More Support
To find, fix problems like Heartbleed.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached
Arts and crafts retail giant Michaels Stores has confirmed that a data breach at its POS terminals from May 2013 to Jan. 2014 may have exposed nearly 3 million customer credit and debit cards.
 
Heartbleed Could Cost Millions, Could Have Been Prevented
Early estimates of Heartbleed’s cost to enterprises are running in the millions. The reason: revoking all the SSL certificates the bug leaked will come at a very hefty price.
 
Google's Street View Software Unravels CAPTCHAs
The latest software Google uses for its Street View cars to read street numbers in images for Google Maps works so well that it also solves CAPTCHAs, those puzzles designed to defeat bots.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Google Releases Chrome Remote Desktop App for Android
You're out on a sales call, and use your Android mobile device to grab a file you have back at the office on your desktop. That's a bit easier now with Google's Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android.
 
Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly set to launch a smartphone after years of development. Photos of the phone, which may feature a unique 3D interface, were leaked by tech pub BGR.
 
Zebra Tech Buys Motorola Enterprise for $3.45B
Weeks after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility’s assets from Google for $2.91 billion, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal.
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Hackers | Security Solutions | Mobile Security | Disaster Recovery | Windows Security
Data Security | EST 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 | XML/RSS Feed

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.