Information Security News
by Sean Gallagher
The Russian antivirus vendor Dr. Web has reported the spread of a new botnet that exclusively targets Apple computers running Mac OS X. According to a survey of traffic conducted by researchers at Dr. Web, over 17,000 Macs worldwide are part of the Mac.BackDoor.iWorm botnet—and almost a quarter of them are in the US. One of the most curious aspects of the botnet is that it uses a search of Reddit posts to a Minecraft server list subreddit to retrieve IP addresses for its command and control (CnC) network. That subreddit now appears to have been expunged of CnC data, and the account that posted the data appears to be shut down.
The Dr. Web report doesn’t say how Mac.BackDoor.iWorm is being distributed to victims of the malware. But its “dropper” program installs the malware into the Library directory within the affected user’s account home folder, disguised as an Application Support directory for “JavaW." The dropper then generates an OS X .plist file to automatically launch the bot whenever the system is started.
The bot malware itself looks for somewhere in the user’s Library folder to store a configuration file, then connects to Reddit’s search page. It uses an MD5 hash algorithm to encode the current date, and uses the first 8 bytes of that value to search Reddit’s “minecraftserverlist” subreddit’—where most of the legitimate posts are over a year old.
We all know that anti virus, the necessary evil of basic computer security, isn't a stranger to false positives. So no big surprise here when John is writing that he ran into such a false positive during an incident response:
I was scanning a forensic drive image with clamav and scored a positive hit on a file.
Great. ClamAV, a free anti-virus product. Of course, we don't trust it. So John did what most of use would have done, and submitted the suspect binary to Virustotal:
Virustotal showed 14 out of other 50 AV vendors' products thought it was malware as well.
Ouch! 14 out of 50? Many actual malware samples I submit get a lower rate then that. Turns out the binary in question was a desktop management software, "lunchwrapper.exe", and the AV tools picked up on it's file download component (the famous "generic downloader" signatures).
But you think this is bad? Listen what happened next according to John:
The scary part was that after I submitted the sample, other major AV vendors decided that the submitted sample was malicious and our endpoint software starting quarantining the program after the AV dats had updated.
After all, as my fellow developer can attest?too: The reason we allow people to use our applications is so that we don't have to do any testing ourselves.
(BTW: Virustotal/Google are doing great work, and I think it is a good thing that they are distributing samples. The problem is how AV vendors use this information.)
Security incidents are up - and pricier! - but infosec budgets are dwindling
The number of security incidents is rising, as are associated costs to clean them up. Global corporate security budgets, meanwhile, seem to be hiding in the closet, just hoping it all goes away. The news of this depressing state of affairs comes ...
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