Weekly Cybernote #9

For this 9th edition of our Weekly Cybernote, we will as usual cover three topics. The first concerns the new banking malware Dyreza, while the second will be about how YouTube is used by hackers to sell credit card numbers. Lastly, the third point revisits an old story about Nokia, who allegedly gave in to a hacker’s threats and paid millions of euros to regain control over its OS Symbian.

Dyreza: the new malware that targets users of banking websites
After Zeus, which has become famous for all the wrong reasons, researchers identified the Dyreza Trojan horse that was used to dupe the clients of banking websites with man-in-the-middle attacks that intercept internet users’ login credentials. The malware Zeus (or Zbot), already rampant since 2006 and targeting bank clients, gave way to Dyreza, also known as “Dyre”. As for this other Trojan, it also attacks bank clients. Recently identified by security researchers, it is used for launching MITM (Man in the middle) attacks, with the cybercriminal intercepting unencrypted traffic and misleading users into thinking they are on a secure connection with their bank. Even though Dyreza bears several similarities to Zeus, it is not a derivative but rather a new malware program. It uses an interception technique on the targeted browser to view unencrypted traffic in order to sneak in when a user attempts to set up a secure SSL connection with a website. During a Dyreza-led attack, the user will be under the impression that he is entering his authentication credentials on his bank’s website and establishing an SSL connection, but the malware is in fact redirecting traffic to its own servers.

YouTube, new platform for selling credit card data
You would think that to obtain stolen credit card numbers, you would need to arm yourself with all the latest complex cryptographic tools and plunge into the Darknet, as was the case for Silk Road, the underground Canadian supermarket shut down by the FBI in 2013. Today there is a much simpler way to do this: log on to YouTube. A report that the Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA) has just published shows that Google’s website is indeed used by a large number of hackers to promote their illegal services. Simply type in the right keywords, such as “CC info with CVV” or just “how to get credit card numbers”. YouTube will then return a whole list of film adverts, which sometimes run into tens of thousands. This is the opportunity for the hacker to show some samples, just to prove that he has what he claims to have. You will then see rows of a table listing credit card numbers, the type of card (Visa, Mastercard, etc.), the cardholder’s first name and last name and even the 3-digit security code (CVV).

Nokia paid millions of euros in ransom for Symbian
A Finnish television channel recently revealed that the telecoms manufacturer Nokia was blackmailed 6 years ago by hackers and paid a “ransom” of several million euros. The events have been partially confirmed by the police. Apparently, hackers had gotten their hands on the keys allowing the decryption of a central portion of the Symbian source code, the operating system on older Nokia terminals. They then threatened to go public with the code, which would have compromised its integrity. It would have been possible to insert malware programs without them being detected. This was obviously a risk that Nokia did not wish to take. Following the orders they received, Nokia left a suitcase of bills in a parking lot, which the hackers immediately took. Nokia had warned the police beforehand, but they were unable to keep track of the blackmailers. The investigation is still ongoing.

One thought on “Weekly Cybernote #9

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  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something
    which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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