Carberp banking malware upgrades itself

Researchers have seen it upgrade its encryption to avoid intrusion protection systems

A piece of banking malware that researchers have been keeping an eye on is adding more sophisticated capabilities to stay hidden on victims' PCs, according to the vendor Seculert.

Carberp, which targets computers running Microsoft's Windows OS, was discovered last October by several security companies and noted for its ability to steal a range of data as well as disguise itself as legitimate Windows files and remove antivirus software. It has been billed as a rival to Zeus, another well-known piece of malware.

Carberp communicates with a command-and-controller (C&C) server using encrypted HTTP Web traffic. Previous versions of Carberp encrypted that traffic using RC4 encryption but always used the same encryption key.

Using the same key meant it was easier for intrusion protection systems to analyze traffic and pick out possible communication between the infected Carberp computers and the C&C servers, said Aviv Raff, CTO and co-founder of Seculert. Seculert runs a cloud-based service that alerts its customers to new malware, exploits and other cyberthreats.

A new version of Carberp is mixing it up, using a randomly different key when it makes an HTTP request, said Raff. When it uses the same key, there are some static patterns that can be detected. Even Zeus, which is begrudgingly respected for its high-quality engineering, uses the same key that is embedded in the malware.

"Most network based security solutions are using traffic signatures to detect bots trying to connect to the C&C," Raff said. "This new feature is used to evade this type of detection and make it hard and almost impossible to create such signatures."

Seculart has posted a writeup about Carberp.

Carberp has also expanded the scope of the victims it seeks to infect. The latest version is targeted users in Russian-speaking markets, Raff said. Previous versions targeted banks in the Netherlands and the U.S., he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securitymalwaredata protectiondata breachencryptionExploits / vulnerabilitiesSeculert

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?