Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beware - New, Improved Trojans Target Banks

Malware Variants Seek Corporate Accounts

Security researchers are warning financial institutions about the Qakbot Trojan, a rare kind of malware that is allegedly infiltrating large banks and other global financial institutions. It's unlike other types of malware because it has the ability to spread like a worm, but still infect users like a Trojan.

The Qakbot Trojan, named for its primary executable file, _qakbot.dll, is not new, but its qualities and difference in attack set it head and shoulders above other more well-known Trojans, such as Zeus, in that it can infect multiple computers at a time.

In another disturbing find, security researchers at TrustDefender Labs have found a new Gozi Trojan variant that shows a zero percent detection rate. The Trojan targets financial institutions and is invisible to the most used anti-virus software.

Gozi has been attacking banks for three years, but has managed to stay low and undetected. TrustDefender researchers warn that by targeting specific financial institutions, mainly business and corporate banking, Gozi has avoided wider attention from businesses as the Zeus Trojan has grabbed the headlines.

The new Gozi variant has many of the same characteristics of its earlier variants that were researched a year ago. Gozi developers evade signature patterns so much that the history of the Trojan is mostly unknown. TrustDefender's CTO Andreas Baumhof states that an increasing number of Trojans are using SSL and HTTPS to hide their presence. Gozi is also using client-side logic to go around two-factor authentication, as are other Trojans including Zeus, Spyeye and Carberp.

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