1. Symantec/
  2. Security Response/
  3. Infostealer.Gampass


Risk Level 1: Very Low

November 12, 2006
March 16, 2007 7:51:32 AM
Also Known As:
LIneage YI [Computer Associates], Bloodhound.KillAV [Symantec]
Infection Length:
Systems Affected:
Background information
Historically, Infostealer.Gampass threats focused on stealing registration keys for popular video games, allowing the attacker to play the game without paying for it. However, as the popularity of online video games rose, criminals looking to make money illegally began to take more notice.

While registration keys could be sold in the underground economy, a much more enticing market is in-game items. Given the high premium some users were willing to pay for such items, a portion of the underground economy has developed that focus on stealing and then selling such items below the legitimate market price.

How do these threats arrive on a computer?
While there are many different avenues to infection, the more common methods include file-sharing networks and online forum posts.

In the file-sharing realm, hackers often make their threat available under the guise of cracks, enhancements, or mods for a popular game. When a user downloads the files the Trojan is often bundled alongside the intended download. In other cases, the intended download may not be included at all, leaving the user with nothing but a Trojan when the download is run.

These threats are usually obtained through game forums, linked by spammed comments in various discussions. A spammer may offer a solution to a gaming problem requiring a download, or simply add unrelated comments to a thread.

In both cases, the threats are often tailored to the specific game in question, be it the file-sharing search result or the forum the user is in. Given the intended goal in either situation, the user generally has the game installed on their computer, and if the threat is run, the information is successfully stolen by the hackers.

What games are targeted?
While there are a number of threats that focus on different games, the Infostealer.Gampass detection classifies threats based on the stealing of gaming credentials, rather than a specific threat or game. If a threat is logging game credentials, it will generally be detected by Symantec products as Infostealer.Gampass.

What is the goal of these threats?
While in some cases a hacker may use a stolen account to play the game, the original user can often change their password or disable the account once they realize the theft has taken place. Given this, the underlying goal of most threats detected as Infostealer.Gampass is to obtain in-game items. The accounts gathered by hackers using such threats are often cleared of in-game items, selling them off to other players in-game, or by putting them up for sale on online auction sites.

Are there any tell-tale signs?
While the actual actions carried out by these threats generally goes unnoticed, the end result is not. A user may one day, upon logging into their game, find that their in-game items are gone. I other cases, they may not be able to log in at all. This could either be because the hacker has changed their password, or their account has been banned by the game administrators.

What are the risks?
The largest risk is the time and money invested in the online game. Users generally find it very difficult to get their in-game items back. Reestablishing a hacked account that has been banned by game administrators can be equally as challenging.

What can I do to minimize the risks?
As a general rule, users should always run up-to-date antivirus software with real-time protection such as Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security, Norton 360 or Symantec Endpoint Protection. In addition, a firewall -- or better still, an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) -- will help to block download activities initiated by these types of malicious programs. Program controls such as those found in Symantec Endpoint Protection can also help to prevent programs such as these from executing in the first place.

How can I find out more?
Advanced users can submit a sample to Threat Expert to obtain a detailed report of the system and file-system changes caused by a threat.


Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":

  • Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
  • Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
  • Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
  • Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
  • Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
  • Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
  • If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
  • Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
  • Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
  • Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
  • Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
  • If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
  • For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.
Writeup By: Kaoru Hayashi
Summary| Technical Details| Removal

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