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Daniel Regalado | 25 Oct 2013 23:11:17 GMT

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On September 4, 2013, we were the first to discover and add detections for a new malware targeting ATMs named Backdoor.Ploutus, as reported by our Rapid Release Definitions. Recently, we identified a new variant of this threat and realized that it has been improved and translated into English, suggesting that the ATM software is now being used in other countries.

Symantec added a generic detection for this new variant as Backdoor.Ploutus.B on October 25, 2013, so Ploutus can be...

Ben Nahorney | 22 Oct 2013 19:42:40 GMT

It can all start with what looks like an innocuous email containing a link to a potential job opportunity. Or perhaps it’s an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be a high-ranking employee, asking you to process an invoice sent by email. It may even be lying in wait behind a website you frequently visit for work.

In many ways, targeted attacks have become public enemy number one in the corporate world, if anything, just for the potential havoc a successful attack can wreak. Stolen intellectual property, a loss of faith by customers, or simply general embarrassment are just a few of the potential outcomes of these attacks.

In this month’s Symantec Intelligence Report we take a detailed look at targeted attacks in 2013. While new techniques have yet to...

Satnam Narang | 22 Oct 2013 14:01:06 GMT

Following media reports that Twitter has restricted URLs in direct messages, spammers found a way around this restriction this weekend in order to push diet pill spam links.

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Figure 1. A direct message sends users to the tweet containing the spam link

We first noticed this when someone we follow on Twitter, who has never followed us before, started following us. Shortly after receiving the notification that we had a new follower, we received a direct message from the user.

Fig2_3.png...

Kevin Savage | 22 Oct 2013 10:36:43 GMT

While Ransomlock Trojans have plagued the threat landscape over the last few years, we are now seeing cybercriminals increasingly use Ransomcrypt Trojans. The difference between Ransomlock and Ransomcrypt Trojans is that Ransomlock Trojans generally lock computer screens while Ransomcrypt Trojans encrypt (and locks) individual files. Both threats are motivated by monetary gains that cybercriminals make from extorting money from victims.

Recently, a new threat detected by Symantec as Trojan.Cryptolocker has been growing in the wild. Trojan.Cryptolocker encrypts data files, such as images and Microsoft Office documents, and then demands payment through Bitcoin or MoneyPak to decrypt them—all within a countdown time period. This Ransomcrypt Trojan uses strong encryption algorithms which make it almost...

Samir_Patil | 17 Oct 2013 12:23:13 GMT

Contributor: Binny Kuriakose

The funding gap in US, which resulted in a shutdown of a large portion of the United States federal government, has  started affecting economic growth in the country. Large portions of the federal workforce were required to work without immediate pay, while some were indefinitely furloughed.

Symantec recently uncovered spam campaigns, which started promptly following the shutdown announcement, targeting the affected victims. In the past,  spammers tried to take advantage of the general gloom, but now they are directly targeting the raw financial state the sudden shutdown has left people in. This could probably be a last ditch effort to haul in more spoils before the US shutdown is lifted, especially in light of the senate’s deal, which is currently being made to end the shutdown.

This new wave of spam is designed  to manipulate  victims into applying for loans and inevitably disclose their...

Candid Wueest | 16 Oct 2013 15:39:32 GMT

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If Hollywood is to be believed, we will all one day be living in a future filled with robots, or less likely, zombies. Robots are everywhere in our predicted future. A common theme on the silver screen is the artificial intelligence mastermind attempting to take over the world. Another is of robots transforming into alternate shapes or robots with the ability to self-repair. Sadly, we are not yet at the stage where cars can transform into fighting robots while doing a front flip in slow motion to a heavy rock soundtrack, but we are getting closer. Researchers at MIT recently presented their exciting new creations, M-Blocks, signalling a new stage of self assembling robots.

The MIT modular robot cubes can rearrange themselves using internal flywheels...

Andrea Lelli | 15 Oct 2013 00:28:33 GMT

Contributor: Satnam Narang

Previously we blogged about Backdoor.Egobot and outlined how it targets specific industries while maintaining a low profile. The cybercriminals behind Egobot may also have developed Infostealer.Nemim for a more widespread and prevalent campaign. Despite a difference in scope, both threats steal information from compromised computers and there are indications these two threats originate from the same source.
 

Nemim components

Symantec detected Nemim in the wild as early as the fall of 2006. One of the earliest samples contained a timer mechanism to determine when to remove itself from the compromised computer. Removal was conditional and tied to a fixed date or based on the number of times the...

Jeet Morparia | 15 Oct 2013 00:26:06 GMT

Attackers use four golden rules in order to drop malicious payloads and steal information

Anand Muralidharan | 14 Oct 2013 10:33:39 GMT

Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is a much loved five-day long Hindu festival. The festival is enjoyed by many people and lifts the mood and spirit of everyone taking part in the celebrations. This year, the festival of Lights is being celebrated in November and as expected Diwali themed scam emails have started to flow into the Symantec Probe Network.

One scam email we have identified, appears to be from the Reserve Bank of India and claims that the email recipient has been awarded a prize of 4 crore and 70 lac Indian rupees, which equates to 10,700,000 Indian rupees or approximately US$175,000, in a Diwali celebration promotion. To claim the prize, the recipient is asked to send their personal information to a given email address.

The following subject line has...

Daniel Regalado | 11 Oct 2013 23:05:17 GMT

Contributor: Val S

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It’s well-known that organized crime in Mexico is always finding new ways to steal money from people.  Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are one of the common targets in this effort, but the challenge there is actually getting the money out of the machine. The three most common ways to accomplish this are:

  1. Kidnapping: Criminals kidnap a person for as long as it takes to withdraw all the money from their account. The time depends on the money available in the account since normally there is a limit on the amount allowed to be dispensed per day.
  2. Physically stealing the ATM: Criminals remove the ATM and take it to a location where they can go to work accessing the cash inside. In this scenario, the loss of cash is only one consequence as the criminals...