Mobile, Token, Tokenless, Vulnerability

How the Eurograbber attack stole 36 million euros

Check Point has revealed how a sophisticated malware attack was used to steal an estimated €36 million from over 30,000 customers of over 30 banks in Italy, Spain, Germany and Holland over summer this year.
The theft used malware to target the PCs and mobile devices of banking customers. The attack also took advantage of SMS messages used by banks as part of customers’ secure login and authentication process.

The attack worked by infecting victims’ PCs and mobiles with a modified version of the Zeus trojan. When victims attempted online bank transactions, the process was intercepted by the trojan.

Under the guise of upgrading the online banking software, victims were duped into giving additional information including their mobile phone number, infecting the mobile device. The mobile Trojan worked on both Blackberry and Android devices, giving attackers a wider reach.

With victims’ PCs and mobile devices compromised, the attackers could intercept and hijack all the victims’ banking transactions, including the key to completing the transaction: the bank’s SMS to the customer containing the ‘transaction authentication number’ (TAN). With the account number, password, and TAN, the attackers were able to stealthily transfer funds out of victims’ accounts while victims were left with the impression that their transaction had completed successfully.


The attack infected both corporate and private banking users, performing automatic transfers that varied from 500€ to 250,000€ each to accounts spread across Europe.

The attack involved 10 stages, starting with an initial infection by a modified version of Zeus:

  • Users’ PCs become infected by a modified Zeus trojan by accidentally visiting an infected web page, or following a link from a phishing email. This opened the door for the attack.
  • Users visit their bank’s webpage and log in to their account to make a transaction.
  • The modified Zeus trojan injects malicious code into the bank webpage, including a request for users to enter their mobile information, including its number and operating system.
  • This information is sent over the Internet to the attacker’s “drop zone” system where it is stored.
  • The attacker’s server sends an SMS message to the user’s mobile device that includes a link to the mobile device-targeting trojan, a version of Zitmo (Zeus in the mobile).
  • User are directed to click on a link in the SMS to ‘upgrade the security of the online banking system’. This installs the mobile Trojan on the mobile device and completes the system.
  • Now, every time the user logs into their bank account, the Trojan initiates an automatic transaction to transfer money out of the victim’s account using their real credentials.
  • To complete the transaction, an SMS message containing the TAN is sent to the victim’s mobile device, and the mobile Trojan delivers the TAN to the attacker’s server.
  • The customized Zeus Trojan Javascript running on the victim’s computer receives the TAN.
  • The Eurograbber attack is complete and the attackers transfer money out of a victim’s account.
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Mobile, Vulnerability

Santander downplays risk of ‘personal data-stuffed’ cookies

‘If compromised’, cookies would not allow access to online services ‘on their own’

The Spanish banking giant Santander has downplayed growing concerns over its alleged inclusion of “sensitive data” in its cookies.

The bank did not deny including personal data in cookies.

In a post on widely read security mailing list Full Disclosure, an anonymous contributor details a number of alleged problems on Santander UK’s consumer eBanking site.

He claims that Santander online banking “unnecessarily stores sensitive information within cookies”. Depending on which areas of online banking the customer uses, he claims this data allegedly includes the user’s name, PAN (credit card number), bank account number and sort code, Alias and UserID.

“Of particular concern is the full PAN, which PCI DSS states should be rendered unreadable anywhere it is stored,” the whistleblower stated.

He adds that he had gone public after experiencing problems getting the bank to play attention to (now fixed) cross-site scripting problems he had previously unearthed on its website.

The source alleges that Santander is violating its own cookie policy, which states that session cookies “do not contain personal information, and cannot be used to identify you” as well as the credit card industry’s PCI DSS regulations (PDF).

Santander issued a statement strongly denying allegations that anything was amiss. It said that data stored in its cookies posed no risk to account security.

The data items stored within our cookies, if compromised, would not allow access to our online services on their own and our primary login processes do not rely on cookie data.We review the use of our cookies and the data contained within them, and if necessary will review the IDs used by our customers to limit any future risks.

We take the security of our customer data very seriously. Customers can change their IDs at any time themselves and are reminded not to use the ‘remember me’ function on public or shared computers.

The Full Disclosure critic argues that Santander’s handling of cookies does pose a risk, in cases where customers fail to close their browser after an e-banking session. “Additionally, whilst the cookies expire at the end of a session, they are not overwritten on logout,” he explains. “This mean any user who does not close their browser, even if they log out correctly, will still have these cookies present until they close their browser, [t]hus increasing the window for exposure.”

In the UK, Santander is the third biggest bank and a major provider of mortgages, with a combined total of more than 25 million British customers. The Full Disclosure posting was brought to our attention by three Reg readers who described it as unverified but potentially noteworthy. ®

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Mobile, News, Vulnerability

A lesser-known new feature in iOS 6: It’s tracking you everywhere

iJust want to alert you to opportunities!

Apple has enabled user tracking of its customers once again, with the recently released iOS 6 enabling advertisers to see which apps users have run, and which adverts they’ve seen – all for the benefit of the users, of course.

The feature wasn’t highlighted by Apple at the launch of iOS 6, as Business Insider points out in its detailed rundown, but the new tracking number is important as it enables advertisers to target users, and provides decent enough obfuscation to make switching it off really quite difficult, though those making use of it would question why one would want to turn it off anyway.

The IFA, or Identification For Advertisers, is a random number generated once by the iOS device which is used to uniquely identify that device between applications. The number is available to apps which can send it to their advertising service of choice to pull down new adverts, perhaps based on previous usage of viewing, without sharing the identity of the user or their equipment.

Prior to iOS 5, developers could use the UDID, a unique device identifier which was available to applications. The UDID worked fine, but there was no way to prevent applications reading it and while lots of applications, and advertisers, were benignly making use of the UDID, customers started to get riled about privacy and (after giving developers a decent warning) Apple pulled the plug.

UDIDs weren’t just used by advertisers, they also allowed apps to download settings when reinstalled into a device where it had previously been used (assuming the vendor kept records), and enabled analytical software (such as Crashlytics) to identify when different applications are crashing on the same device – pointing to faulty hardware – something impossible with alternative schemes.

Apple’s new IFA isn’t guaranteed not to change – the device could generate a new random number at any time, but Cupertino isn’t saying how often, or if, it will. But that shouldn’t matter to advertisers who don’t care if it’s not perfect. More importantly the IFA can be switched off by users, or (more accurately) one can switch the “opt out” option to “on”, assuming one can find it under Settings/General/About/Advertising, not “Privacy” where one might expect to find it – Business Insider has a step-by-step guide with pictures.

While we’re on the subject, Bruce Schneier reminds us that last month Apple posted details of how toopt out of its own advertising platform iAd, or the tracking performed by iAd at least, one has to keep watching the ads as long as one wants free stuff.

Which brings us to the question of why one would bother. We’re told that tracking is used to present adverts in which we might be interested, and ensure that the same adverts aren’t presented repeatedly everywhere we go, but that might not be as true as one would hope if Google is any guide.

Some months ago your correspondent expressed some interest in a Fluke Thermal Imager, from a technical point of view, and since then at least half the websites visited have shown the same advert for Fluke, which eventually phoned to ask if I was going to buy one. I’m not – I have an interest, but no use, for such a thing – but still I’m unable to avoid the adverts everywhere.

If that’s the future of tracked adverts then random selection would seem a more desirable option, and if it enhances one’s privacy then that’s all to the good. ®

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Mobile, News, Vulnerability

New Virus FakeLookout.A Discovered by TrustGo Security Labs

On Oct 17th 2012, TrustGo Security Labs uncovered a new malware on Google Play, named Trojan!FakeLookout.A.

Figure 1

This malware hides itself in the full Application List after installation. It only shows up in the Downloaded app list where it uses Lookout’s icon and the name “Updates”.

Trojan!FakeLookout.A-Cloaking

Figure 2

This malware can receive and execute commands from remote server.

Server address:

hxxp://[hidden]press.com/controls.php

Commands:

clearFileList

getDir

clearAlarm

getFile

getSize

getTexts

According to remote server’s commands, the malware can steal user’s SMS messages and MMS messagesand upload them to remote server via secure FTP. It will also upload the complete file list from the user’s SD card to the remote server. Then remote server will control the malware to upload specific files. This is a severe threat to user’s privacy and sensitive data.

TrustGo Security Labs successfully accessed the FTP server and discovered uploaded files from some victims. The following is the root directory of the FTP server.

Figure 3

Upon exploring the directories, TrustGo Security Labs found a variety of SMS messages and video files from victims.

Figure 4

Based on the static analysis of code and the evidence found on the server, TrustGo positively identified the app as containing malware.

Based on IP address, the server is located in Colorado in the United States.

Further investigation shows remote server hosts a malicious website!

It dropped a backdoor Trojan file (Figure 5) and runs shell code in Windows Powershell. Once the Trojan opens a backdoor, it waits for further commands.

Figure 5

The malicious website is targeting multiple platforms including Windows, Mac and Unix/Linux operating systems (see figure 6). It will drop different Trojan files depending on the user’s operating system.

Figure 6

The hacker is attacking multiple platforms including Windows, Mac, Unix/Linux operating system and Android. The Android malware found on Google Play is just a part of the attack.

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