DarkFiber Consulting – IT Managed Services

Malicious Code Circulating via Social Security Administration Phishing Messages

December 10th, 2009 . by DarkFiber Consulting

DarkFiber Consulting is aware of public reports of malicious code circulating via phishing email messages that appear to come from the Social Security Administration. The messages indicate that the users’ annual Social Security statements may contain errors and instruct users to follow a link to review their Social Security statement. If users click this link, they will be redirected to a seemingly legitimate website that prompts them for their Social Security number. If users enter their Social Security number and continue to the next page, they will be given an option to generate a statement. If users attempt to generate a statement, malicious code may be installed on their systems. This malicious code attempts to collect online banking traffic to gain access to the users’ bank accounts.

DarkFiber Consulting encourages users and administrators to take the following preventative measures to help mitigate the security risks:

  • Install antivirus software, and keep the virus signatures up to date.
  • Do not follow unsolicited links and do not open unsolicited email messages.
  • Use caution when visiting untrusted websites.
  • Use caution when entering personal information online.
  • Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for more information on avoiding email scams.
  • Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks document for more information on social engineering attacks.

DarkFiber Consulting will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Airline Ticket Email Scam

December 11th, 2008 . by DarkFiber Consulting

DarkFiber Consulting is aware of public reports of an email scam circulating that is targeting holiday travelers. The email messages related to this scam appear to come from legitimate major airlines and contain a .zip attachment.  This .zip attachment appears to contain a purchase invoice and flight ticket. If a user opens this attachment, malicious code may be installed on the system.

DarkFiber Consulting encourages users to do the following to help mitigate the risks:

Malware Spreading via Social Networking Sites

December 8th, 2008 . by DarkFiber Consulting

DarkFiber Consulting is aware of public reports of malware spreading via popular social networking sites. The reports indicate that this malware is spreading through spam email messages appearing to come from Myspace.com, Facebook.com, and Classmates.com. The email contains a message indicating that there is a YouTube video available and instructs the user to follow the link to view the video. If users click on this link, they will be prompted to update Adobe Flash Player. This update is not a legitimate Adobe Flash Player update–it is malicious code.

DarkFiber Consulting encourages users and administrators to do the following to help mitigate the risks:

  • Install antivirus software and keep the virus signatures up to date.
  • Do not follow unsolicited links.
  • Use caution when downloading and installing applications.
  • Obtain software applications and updates directly from the vendor’s website.
  • Configure your web browser as described in the Securing Your Web Browser document.
  • Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for more information on avoiding email scams.
  • Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks document for more information on social engineering attacks.

Malicious Code Spreading Through USB Flash Drive Devices

November 20th, 2008 . by DarkFiber Consulting

DarkFiber Consulting is aware of public reports of an increase in malicious code propagating via USB flash drive devices. Currently, there are two popular methods by which USB flash drives are being infected with malicious code. Please note that these are not the only two methods available.

The first of these methods is referred to as simple file copy. This means that the malicious code initially resides on an infected computer and copies itself to all the storage devices connected to the affected computer. This method requires the user to access the USB flash drive and execute the malicious code.

The second method is referred to as AutoRun.inf modification. This means that the malicious code alters or creates an autorun.inf file on targeted storage devices connected to the affected computer. When an infected USB flash drive is connected to another computer, the malicious code can be automatically executed with no additional user interaction.

DarkFiber Consulting encourages users to do the following to help mitigate the risks:

  • Install antivirus software and keep the virus signatures up to date.
  • Do not connect an unknown or untrusted USB drive to your computer.
  • Disable AutoRun or AutoPlay features for removable media.
  • Review the Using Caution with USB Drives Cyber Security Tip for more information on protecting your USB flash drive.
  • Review The Dangers of Windows AutoRun Vulnerability Analysis Blog entry for more information regarding AutoRun.

U.S. Federal Reserve Fraudulent Email Scam

November 13th, 2008 . by DarkFiber Consulting

DarkFiber Consulting is aware of public reports of a fraudulent email scam circulating via messages that falsely appear to be from the U.S. Federal Reserve. These email messages contain information about a phishing scam and links for users to follow to obtain additional information about the scam. If a user follows the links, they will be redirected to a malicious website where a PDF exploit is used to install malicious code on the affected system.

DarkFiber Consulting encourages users to do the following to help mitigate the risks:

Adobe Reader Exploit Circulating

November 7th, 2008 . by DarkFiber Consulting

DarkFiber Consulting is aware of public reports of active exploitation of a recent Adobe Reader vulnerability. This exploit appears to arrive in the form of a maliciously crafted PDF file and leverages the JavaScript buffer overflow vulnerability addressed in Adobe Security Bulletin APSB08-19. Successful exploitation may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial-of-service condition. Additionally, the reports indicate that this exploit is currently undetectable by common antivirus applications.

DarkFiber Consulting encourages users and administrators to do the following to help mitigate the risk:

  • Review Adobe Security Bulletin APS08-19 and update to Adobe Reader 9.
  • Use caution when opening untrusted files.
  • Install antivirus software and keep the virus signatures up to date.

United States Presidential Election Email Attack

November 6th, 2008 . by DarkFiber Consulting

DarkFiber Consulting is aware of public reports of email attacks circulating that are related to the recent U.S. presidential election. The email messages appear to be coming from a seemingly legitimate source and contain a message indicating that additional news coverage of the election is available by following a link. The link directs users to a website that appears to contain a video of the president elect. The website will instruct the user to update to a new version of Adobe Flash Player in order to view the video. This update is not a legitimate Adobe Flash Player update; it is malicious code. If the user downloads this executable file, malicious code may be installed on the system.

DarkFiber Consulting encourages users to take the following preventative measures to mitigate the security risks:

  • Install antivirus software, and keep the virus signatures up to date.
  • Do not follow unsolicited links.
  • Use caution when visiting untrusted websites.
  • Use caution when downloading and installing applications.
  • Obtain software applications and updates directly from the vendor’s website.
  • Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for more information on avoiding email scams.
  • Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks document for more information on social engineering attacks.

Torpig Trojan Horse Attack Activity

November 6th, 2008 . by DarkFiber Consulting

DarkFiber Consulting is aware of public reports of a high volume of financial accounts compromised by the Torpig (also known as Sinowal or Anserin) Trojan horse. This Trojan horse uses HTML injection to add fields to web pages in order to convince users to provide additional user credentials or financial account information. Systems compromised by this Trojan horse are being used by attackers to obtain FTP credentials, email addresses, and digital certificates of the current user.

This Trojan horse uses an MBR rootkit known as Mebroot. This rootkit contains configuration information for the Trojan horse as well as techniques used to keep the Trojan horse undetectable.

DarkFiber Consulting encourages users to do the following preventative measures to mitigate the security risks:

  • Install antivirus software, and keep the virus signatures up to date.
  • Investigate anomalous or slow-running machines, looking for unknown processes or unexpected Internet connections as this may be a sign of malicious programs operating in the background.
  • Examine firewall logs of systems for connections to or from anomalous IP addresses.
  • Consider traffic analysis to identify compromised systems that are exfiltrating data.

Worm Exploiting Microsoft MS08-067 Circulating

November 3rd, 2008 . by DarkFiber Consulting

DarkFiber Consulting is aware of public reports of a worm circulating that has the capability of exploiting the recently patched vulnerability described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067.

DarkFiber Consulting encourages users to do the following to help mitigate the risks:

  • Review Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067 and apply the update or workarounds listed.
  • Install antivirus software, and keep the virus signatures up to date.

DarkFiber Consulting will provide additional information as it becomes available.