CIO Today

CIO Today Network Sites:   Top Tech News  |   CIO Today   |   Mobile Tech Today   |   Data Storage Today
Daily Briefing for Technology's Top Decision-Makers
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Friday, April 18th 
The future of tape is here.
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Trending Topics:   Security Heartbleed Big Data Cloud Computing Windows XP Data Centers OS X Mavericks
Home
Enterprise Software
Enterprise Hardware
Big Data
Network Security
Cloud Computing
CRM Systems
Data Storage
Operating Systems
Communications
CIO Issues
Mobile Tech
Chips & Processors
World Wide Web
Business Briefing
After Hours
Press Releases
 
Free Newsletters
Top CIO News
 
Mobile Tech Today
 

Enterprise Hardware

Skype Messages Link to Malware, Make PCs Bitcoin Slaves

Skype Messages Link to Malware, Make  PCs Bitcoin Slaves
April 5, 2013 2:34PM

Bookmark and Share
"I think some people overthink the motivation and actions of 'bad guys,' " said security expert Alex Horan. "Yes, there are absolutely skilled people doing this type of activity explicitly on behalf of their nation or government....But there are a lot more people just out there to make a buck." The latest is targeting Skype with malware to turn PCs into slave Bitcoin generators.

Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.

Skype users beware. Malware is targeting your favorite messaging app. Kaspersky is sounding the alarm this week with back-to-back posts about malicious campaigns on Skype.

One is a campaign that presents a malicious URL. The other uses its victim's machine to mine Bitcoins. Both are serious, but the second attack is getting major media attention.

Dmitry Bestuzhev, a Kaspersky Lab expert, on Thursday pointed out an infection vector via social engineering that's abusing infected Skype accounts by massively sending messages to contacts, with a link to a photo and the sentence, "I don't think I will ever sleep again after seeing this photo."

A Slave to Bitcoin

"Goo.gl short URL service shows that at the moment there are more than 170k clicks on the malicious URL and only 1 hour ago there were around 160k clicks," Bestuzhev said. "It means the campaign is quite active with around 10k clicks per hour or with 2.7 clicks per second!"

But most of the victims are from Russia and the Ukraine so far. Hours later, Bestuzhev turned his focus to the Bitcoin malware that's trending in Google News. He said it's a similar campaign in terms of propagation but different in terms of origins and purposes. Average clicking is also high, with more than 2,000 clicks per hour. Most of the potential victims live in Italy, followed by Russia, Poland, Costa Rica, Spain, Germany and Ukraine.

"Once the machine is infected it drops to the system many other pieces of malware. Downloads come from the Hotfile.com service. At the same time the malware connects to its C2 server located in Germany," Bestuzhev wrote in a blog post. "So what does malware do? To be honest many things but one of the most interesting is it turns the infected machine to a slave of the Bitcoin generator. The usage of CPU grows up significantly."

Cyber Economics

Alex Horan, a senior product manager at Core Security, said this is simple economics: How much does it cost to rent a large group of machines from a botnet herder? And how much money can I make in that period of time via Bitcoin? If the amount of money to be made is higher than the money to be spent, he said, then you are in business.

"I think some people overthink the motivation and actions of 'bad guys.' Yes, there are absolutely skilled people doing this type of activity explicitly on behalf of their nation or government -- or without explicit instructions, but with patriotic zeal," Horan told us. "But there are a lot more people just out there to make a buck. And if the scam du jour is Bitcoin harvesting via compromised machines then you can expect to see a lot of people -- of varying skill levels -- trying this out."

So how do you stop this? Horan said you can stop Bitcoin the same way you stop most other crimes -- stop it from being profitable.

"If paper money was so simple that you could not tell the difference between a photocopied note and a real one, a lot more people would be photocopying money," he said. "But creating passable counterfeit money requires a significant investment. Bitcoin needs to create some kind of equivalent, some way to distinguish between the actions of a machine that is being enslaved into work vs. those machines that have actively chosen to participate."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



 Enterprise Hardware
1. Vaio Fit Battery Danger Forces Recall
2. Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
3. Google Glass Finds a Home in Medicine
4. IBM Mainframes Celebrate 50 Years
5. Fast Seagate 6 TB Drive for Data Center




 Most Popular Articles
1. BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Nasty Spat
2. Cisco, IBM Launch Internet of Things Consortium
3. Salesforce CRM Gets Industry Specific for Internet of Customers
4. IBM Applies Big Data Analytics To Fight Against Fraud
5. Intel Bets on Cloudera for Big Data Analytics

Have an informed opinion on this story?
Send a Letter to the Editor.
We want to know what you think.
Send us your Feedback.

 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  Poll: A Mix of Feelings on Future Tech
  Google, Rockstar Suit Stays in Calif.
  Michaels: Nearly 3M Cards Breached
  'Like' Cheerios, Give Up Right To Sue
  Heartbleed Could Cost Millions

 Technology Marketplace

Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
Cloud Computing
BMC's I.T. solutions unleash the power of your business
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
 
Contact Centers
HP delivers the future of the contact center with HP Qfiniti 10.
 
Data Storage
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Enterprise Hardware
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Enterprise I.T.
BMC's I.T. solutions unleash the power of your business
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 

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
CIO Today
Home/Top News | Enterprise Software | Enterprise Hardware | Big Data | Network Security | Cloud Computing | CRM Systems
Data Storage | Operating Systems | Communications | CIO Issues | Mobile Tech | Chips & Processors | World Wide Web
Business Briefing | After Hours | Press Releases
Also visit these Enterprise Technology Sites
Top Tech News | CIO Today | Mobile Tech Today | Data Storage Today

Services:
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About CIO Today Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Services for PR Pros (In partnership with NewsFactor) | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 CIO Today. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.