FluBot is a new Android malware first discovered in December 2020. During the first few months, FluBot has been active in Spain, Hungary and Poland. Since then, the development of the malware advanced quickly and the malware has set foot in almost all European countries.
On the 18th of June 2021 FluBot version 4.6 was spotted which added a configuration for Switzerland. As of today it is actively being spamertized through SMS.
FluBot is known by different names. The name “FluBot” is best known because this was the name given in the first public technical writing. Below the reference to the most well known aliases:
January 2021, ThreatFabric was the first to give it the name “Cabassous” in a Twitter post
March 2021, ProDaft published a detailed technical report and gave it the name “FluBot”
April 2021, IBM Trusteer took a deeper look at the different FluBot versions and gave it the name “FakeChat“
FluBot is distributed using smishing (a combination from the words SMS and phishing). The victim receives an SMS with a link to an URL which distributes the APK. The installation is straight forward using sideloading.
The event is cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation in Switzerland and Europe. We’re in contact with CIRCL and will try to find a new date as soon as the current situation is back to normal.
SWITCH is organising more MISP Trainings in Switzerland together with CIRCL, the creators of MISP.
This year, we offer two days of MISP training in our Office at Werdstrasse 2 in Zürich.
This is an advanced training for users who have already bit of knowledge of MISP and requires the knowledge of the “MISP Training – Threat Intelligence Introduction for Analysts and Administrors” training.
Use the links above to get more information an register for the trainings.
Switzerland is one of the main targets of the Retefe banking trojan since its first appearance in November 2013. At that time, it changed the local DNS resolver on the computer (See also blog post “Retefe Bankentrojaner” in German only). Almost a year went by until they changed to the still current approach of setting a proxy auto-config (PAC) URL (See also blog post “The Retefe banking Trojan has targeted Switzerland“). To understand the story of this blog post, it helps to understand the modus operandi of the Retefe malware. We recommend you read up on it on our blog links posted above if you are not familiar with it.
While the Retefe actors are constantly changing tactics, for example their newest campaigns also target Mac OS X users, their malware still works the same. One of notable changes was the introduction of Tor in 2016. At first, they started using Tor gateway domain names such as onion.to, onion.link within the proxy auto-config URLs, later on they switched to Tor completely. The advantage of using Tor is of course, anonymity and the difficulty to block or take down the infrastructure.
One of our minions (he was introduced in this blog entry a while ago) recently came to us asking for advice: he was about to automate yet another task, by using his Python-fu, and realized that he misses entries in the file system as well as in the registry.
Notably, he only sees this behaviour on 64bit-versions of the Windows operating system:
The left image shows the folder C:\Windows\System32\Tasks as seen in the Windows Explorer, the right image as seen in a simple 32bit-python application. Only the subfolder Microsoft is listed there. Something is amiss.
Below is the code to produce the right image, when executed in a 32bit-version of Python:
import glob, os
for pathfilename in glob.glob(r"C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\*"):
On a daily basis we collect tons of Spam emails, which we analyze for malicious content. Of course, this is not done manually by our thousands of minions, but automated using some Python-fu. Python is a programming language that comes with many libraries, making it easy for us to quickly perform such tasks.
Python’s email library deals with, well, emails. And it does it well. But on October 3rd, we encountered an attachment that wasn’t there – at least according to Python’s email library.
Now how could that happen?
Emails do have a certain structure, which is described nicely in RFC #822, RFC #2822, RFC #5322, RFC #2045, RFC #2046, RFC #2047, RFC #2049, RFC #2231, RFC #4288 and RFC #4289. Even though these RFC’s are clear in their own way, an illustration might help (we focus on multipart emails only) to understand why Python’s email library got fooled.
If you run your own mail server, you will quickly find out that 90% of the e-mails you receive are spam. The solution to this problem is e-mail filtering, which rejects or deletes unwanted spam. This solution is generally well accepted, and most users would not want the old days back when your inbox was filled with scams. Those people who want spam can also work around it by disabling spam filtering for their e-mail address or opting to run their own mail server.
Spam, scammers and other malicious abuse are not unique to e-mail. One possible approach is to invent a filtering technology for every protocol or service and allow the service owners to block misuse according to their policy. On the other hand, most services on the Internet make use of the Domain Name System (DNS). If you control DNS name resolution for your organisation, you can filter out the bad stuff the same way you filter out spam on e-mail. The difference and the advantage of DNS is that DNS filtering is independent of the service you use.
Back in 2010, ISC and Paul Vixie invented a technology called Response Policy Zones (RPZ) (See CircleID Post Taking back the DNS). While it has always been possible to block certain domain names from being resolved on your DNS resolver, adding host names manually as an authoritative zone does not scale.
In 2014, about 1,800 Swiss websites were cleaned from drive-by code, compared with 2,700 in 2013, a decline of 33%. At the same time, the number of phishing cases affecting .ch and .li top-level domains rose from only a handful in 2013 to more than 300.
Drive-by code on Swiss websites in 2014
Last year, 35,796 suspicious drive-by URLs in the .ch and .li top-level domains were reported to SWITCH. Security experts from SWITCH-CERT automatically sent requests to these servers and analysed the responses, looking for malicious code injected into the HTML source code. When an expert identified malicious code, the registrar or domain name holder and the web hoster were notified and asked to remove it within one working day. This was done for 1,839 domain names in 2014. In 1,493 (81%) cases, the code was removed by the web hoster or domain holder within one day. For the other 346 domains, the deadline was not met, and the domain name was temporarily suspended to prevent further damage to website visitors. Some 264 (14%) of the infected websites were cleaned of malicious code, with the remaining 82 domain names having to be reactivated after five days, the maximum suspension time by law. A request for identification was sent to the holders of all 82 domains, resulting in an additional 59 (3.2%) of websites being cleaned. A total of 23 (1.3% of all notified) domain names were deleted after 30 days because the domain holder failed to respond to the identification request.
A few months ago, we blogged about the banking trojan Retefe (Blog post in German) that was and still is targeting Switzerland. First off, Retefe is different because it only targets Switzerland, Austria and Sweden (and sometimes Japan). Contrast this to many other banking Trojans, which have a much more global and dynamic target list. Not only that, but the Retefe infrastructure also prevents computers from not affected countries to connect to its systems by using geo-location aware access lists and filters. The second unique property of Retefe is the fact, that it only modifies the operating system by adding a fake root certificate and by changing the DNS server for domain name resolution. After infection, the installer removes itself, which makes life hard for anti-virus software trying to detect a malicious Retefe component or activity.
Since a few days, Retefe is back again with a new twist. It still targets the same countries and the same banks. Not too exciting, the spam campaign has changed. However, in this wave Retefe is picky and only installs itself on selected computers. And some icing to the cake, it also installs another malware called DOFOIL. In this blog post, we give a technical analysis of the new Retefe. Continue reading “Retefe with a new twist”
E-Banking ist seit seiner Entstehung ein attraktives Tummelfeld für Betrüger. Oft wird auf spezielle Schadsoftware, auf sogenannte Bankentrojaner, zurückgegriffen, um arglosen Opfern Geld abzuziehen.
Die meisten dieser Bankentrojaner basieren auf technisch betrachtet ziemlich komplexen Softwarekomponenten: Verschlüsselte Konfigurationen, Man-in-the-Browser-Funktionalität, Persistenz- und Updatemechanismen, um einige zu nennen. Im letzten halben Jahr hat sich eine gänzlich neue Variante behauptet, welche erst im Februar 2014 einen Namen erhielt: Retefe. Nur wenig wurde bis an hin publiziert, einer der Hauptgründe ist sicherlich, dass die Schadsoftware nur in wenigen Ländern (CH, AT, SE, JP) agiert und nur einige ausgewählte Banken angreift. TrendMicro (Blogartikel: Operation Emmental (DE), (EN)) und SWITCH-CERT möchten hiermit nun etwas detaillierter über diesen Trojaner berichten.
Das Besondere am Retefe Bankentrojaner ist seine Schlichtheit. Das infizierte System wird wie folgt manipuliert:
Auf dem PC des Opfers wird der Eintrag des DNS-Servers auf einen bösartigen DNS-Server geändert.
Auf dem PC des Opfers wird ein gefälschtes Root-Zertifikat installiert, siehe auch unser kürzlich veröffentlichten Blogartikel zu diesem Thema.
Nach der Infektion löscht sich die Installationsroutine selbst. Ausser dem manipulierten System bleibt nichts zurück, was es schwierig für Antiviren-Programme macht, im Nachhinein eine Infektion festzustellen.
An Eleganz ist diese Schadsoftware schwer zu übertreffen: Sie verzichtet auf die in der Einführung genannten Softwarekomponenten und minimiert damit die Komplexität. Es scheint auch, dass es aus Betrügersicht heutzutage ökonomischer ist, schlicht und einfach neue Opfer-PCs mittels Spam-Kampagnen zu infizieren.
Einbrüche in Datenbanken, gestohlene persönliche Daten, manipulierte Transaktionen im E-Banking, Eingriffe von staatlichen Akteuren in die Kommunikation im Internet und Angriffe auf die Verfügbarkeit von Diensten: Fast täglich wird mittlerweile über diese Sicherheitsvorfälle in den Medien berichtet.
Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) sind mit die Ersten, die auf solche Vorfälle reagieren und versuchen, Gegenmassnahmen zu treffen. Im Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) sind weltweit rund 240 dieser Teams aus der Industrie, von Regierungen und Akademischen Institutionen zusammengeschlossen, das SWITCH-CERT ist eines davon.
SWITCH helps reducing malware infections in Switzerland by a factor of four!
Malware is a big issue in Switzerland too. It comes in many flavours, there is malware which tries to get at your bank account, there is malware, that converts your PC in to a spam machine, the list could be extended.
Last we reported how we remedy websites that distribute this malware. But websites are not the only source of malware. Top on the list are also e-Mail attachments, supposedly originating from Lotteries, Postal offices and so on.
Many internet users get infected, worldwide and in Switzerland. So is that it? After an infection, will you be an eternal net-zombi? Not if you live in Switzerland. Thanks to its international network SWITCH-CERT receives a daily dose of reports about infected IP-addresses in Switzerland. By far the largest number come from Team Cymru‘s CSIRT Assistance Programm. But there are other sources, such as MELANI or our own sensors.
In the 3rd quarter 2012, SWITCH-CERT has helped to clean 1260 malware distributing websites under the .ch and .li top level domains. This is more than twice than in the quarters before.
The dramatic rise of compromised websites in Q3 2012 is most likely due to a vulnerability in the popular Plesk server admin software, that allowed attackers to access the websites and enabled them to inject their invisible code. Exploit kits were commercially available on the internet.