Waledac malware returns after two years with password-stealing capabilities

A new version of the Waledac malware. capable of stealing passwords and BitCoins, has been detected in the wild

A new version of the Waledac malware has been spotted on the Internet, but unlike previous variants, which were mainly used for spamming purposes, this one steals various log-in credentials and BitCoins, a type of virtual currency.

"The sample was originally detected on Feb 2nd and the first coverage by a major AV was not observed until Feb 13th," researchers from network security firm Palo Alto Networks announced in a blog post on Tuesday.

The original Waledac botnet was one of the top spam sources on the Internet until it got shut down by Microsoft in cooperation with other security vendors in March 2010.

However, the new version's primary goal might no longer be spam, said Wade Williamson, a senior product manager at Palo Alto Networks. That's because it also steals FTP, POP3 and SMTP user passwords, as well as .dat files for BitCoin wallets.

This is the first time that Palo Alto Networks' firewall products have spotted Waledac-related activity since the original botnet was shut down two years ago, Williamson said.

The botnet's two-year inactivity was confirmed by antivirus firm BitDefender. "We have closely monitored the Web space during international events such as the deaths of political leaders and calamities – moments when the Waledac botnet would run at peak capacity before the takedown and did not notice any malicious activity on that front," said BitDefender E-Threats Analyst Bogdan Botezatu.

It's difficult to determine with certainty if the new version is the creation of the original Waledac authors, but its high similarity to the old variant suggests that it is the work of someone with access to the original source code, Williamson said.

"What it is sure is the fact that the newly added functionalities (email and FTP credentials harvesting) will contribute to an explosive development of the new botnet," Botezatu said. "FTP accounts will likely be used to accommodate binary copies of the bots, while the e-mail accounts will be used to propagate spam through not-yet-blacklisted mail servers."

Palo Alto Networks researchers have determined that the new Waledac version is being distributed through Web sessions, probably with the help of exploits hosted on compromised websites. According to Botezatu, BitDefender is also investigating this possibility.

"We recommend users to deploy and update a security solution with antispam and antivirus modules," Botezatu said. "We also advise that users rely on SFTP and SSL when connecting to FTP and mail servers, respectively, in order to minimize the risk of network sniffing."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?