RSA Monthly Online Fraud Report -- July 2013

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The CARBERP Trojan Code is released #INTH3WILD – What's Next ?

This report examines global phishing and cybercrime trends and offers the latest insight from the fraud underground.

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RSA Monthly Online Fraud Report -- July 2013

  1. 1. F R A U D R E P O R T THE CARBERP TROJAN CODE IS RELEASED #INTH3WILD – WHAT’S NEXT? July 2013 Be it internal disagreements within the Carberp team, or law enforcement pressure following the arrests in 2012, the Carberp cyber gang members have disbanded, leaving their Trojan code publicly available following a failed attempt to sell it. Reminiscent of the ZeuS Trojan’s source code leak, we can expect a few things to happen following the incident. But before doing so, let’s review the events that followed the ZeuS leak in 2011.  ZEUS SOURCE CODE LEAK An attempt to sell the ZeuS source code in an underground forum for – according to some estimates – as high as $100,000 started in early 2011. Following the failed sale, Slavik, the developer of ZeuS, handed over the code to a cyber rival, Gribodemon, the notorious SpyEye developer. The underground, abuzz with the news, keenly awaited the release of a merged, mighty SpyEye-ZeuS variant. Before one could be released, the ZeuS code was leaked and made publicly available. As predicted by many, different offspring began appearing, built on top of the ZeuS v2.0.8.9 codebase, and included Ice IX and Odin (both appearing in 2011), and most considerably – Citadel making its appearance in early 2012. As opposed to Ice IX, that mainly fixed bugs in the ZeuS code, Citadel was a major leap forward in terms of the malware’s functionality. Citadel not only repaired bugs in ZeuS, but deployed clever security measures to protect the malware and its infrastructure, as well as provided numerous new plug-ins to boost the Trojan’s functionality. In terms of a Fraud-as-a-Service (FaaS) business offering, Citadel became a lucrative commercial operation, offering its “customers” a CRM, paid tech support and constant version updates. In fact, Citadel was so successful that botmasters started replacing/upgrading existing bots with the malware.
  2. 2. page 2 But as with many great empires of the past, soon they will fall. Starting in mid-2012, RSA researchers began noticing the slow demise of commercial Trojan offerings. In April, the Ice IX business shut down with the disappearance of its developer; SpyEye then made its exit in May; and in a surprising turn of events, Citadel’s spokesperson – “Aquabox”, was banned from the only forum he was selling on (following a quarrel over customer support).  A NEW GENERATION OF MALWARE – WHAT’S NEXT? So, if history repeats itself, what are we to expect? With the above in mind, the following may transpire: –– We’ll see a proliferation of Carberp-based attacks. While this is likely less probable, the leak could spawn an entire business of low-level developers recompiling Carberp and offering it for sale “as is,” with no further feature developments or bug fixes. To demonstrate, the ZeuS code that once sold for $3,000 to $5,000 is now readily available for as low as $11 in the underground.  In terms of Trojan operation and feature set, Carberp is far more complex than ZeuS and less organized for the untrained cybercriminal, making it less appealing for would-be botmasters (or script kiddies). Not to mention the major weaknesses reported in the Carberp server-side, that make it “easier to hack than SpyEye” according to one security researcher.  With the abundance of ZeuS and ZeuS-based malware – according to RSA’s Anti-Fraud Command Center (AFCC), this malware’s share is over 83% of all Trojan attacks – and at very cheap prices, it would be surprising to see Carberp make a big impact in this strong market segment. –– The Carberp code spawns a commercial offspring and/or offerings. This scenario is more likely. As mentioned previously, Carberp is an extremely sophisticated piece of malware, boasting bootkit functionality. As a result, it is more likely that the code will be picked up by a cybercrime gang looking to develop the next big thing in malware.  With the trend towards privatizing malware development operations, the underground is currently lacking a (true) commercial Trojan; this vacuum may provide the right time and place for such an offering. Development may continue in closed, private groups, which develop the software for their own criminal purposes.  CONCLUSION There’s never a dull moment in cybercrime and the Carberp code leak only adds fuel to that fire.  The complexity of Carberp makes it less appearling as an “as-is” offering, but organized professional cybercrime teams may see the opportunity to be the first to finally offer a new, commercial Trojan based on the Carberp code, in the now very privatized underground. RSA FraudAction Research Labs continues to investigate and analyze the code and will publish its findings as those are made.
  3. 3. page 3 Phishing Attacks per Month RSA identified 35,831 phishing attacks launched worldwide in June, marking a 3% drop in attack volume from May, and a 31% decline year-over-year in comparison to June 2012. 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 Source:RSAAnti-FraudCommandCenter 51906 59406 49488 35440 33768 41834 29581 30151 27463 24347 26902 36966 35831 Jun12 Jul12 Aug12 Sep12 Oct12 Nov12 Dec12 Jan13 Feb13 Mar13 Apr13 May13 Jun13 US Bank Types Attacked Nationwide banks remained the most targeted by phishing in June, with 76% of phishing volume directed at them. Regional banks saw a 6% decrease in volume while credit unions witnessed a 3% increase. 0 20 40 60 80 100 Source:RSAAnti-FraudCommandCenter 10% 11% 11% 9% 9% 12% 6% 15% 8% 17% 15% 8% 11% 12% 15% 15% 14% 14% 9% 15% 15% 23% 23% 12% 19% 13% 78% 74% 74% 77% 77% 79% 79% 70% 69% 60% 73% 73% 76% Jun12 Jul12 Aug12 Sep12 Oct12 Nov12 Dec12 Jan13 Feb13 Mar13 Apr13 May13 Jun13
  4. 4. page 4 Top Countries by Attack Volume The U.S. remained the country enduring the highest volume (55%) of phishing attacks in June – a 5% increase from May. The UK was the second most targeted at 10% of volume, followed by Canada, South Africa, India, and the Netherlands. UKGermanyChinaCanadaSouth KoreaAustraliaa United Kingdom 10% U.S. 55% India 3% South Africa 5% Canada 7% Netherlands 3% 49 Other Countries 17% BrasilIndiaNetherlandsCanadaItalyChinaS AfricaUS Top Countries by Attacked Brands U.S. brands remained the most targeted by phishing at 25% of volume, followed by the UK and India. Other countries’ brands that were targeted heavily by phishing in June include Australia, Italy, China, Canada and France. Top Hosting Countries The U.S. remained the top hosting country in June, having hosted 45% of global phishing attacks, followed by Canada which hosted 9% of attacks. Chile and Turkey were both introduced as top hosts for phishing, each hosting 3% of phishing attacks for the month. U.S. 45% 54 Other Countries 23% Canada 9% Netherlands 4% Chile 3% France 3% Turkey 3% Germany 5% United Kingdom 5% BrasilIndiaNetherlandsCanadaItalyChinaS AfricaUSa United Kingdom 10% 50 Other Countries 35% U.S. 25% China 4% Canada 4% France 4% Australia 5% India 8% Italy 5%
  5. 5. www.emc.com/rsa CONTACT US To learn more about how RSA products, services, and solutions help solve your security challenges, contact your local representative or authorized reseller – or visit us at www.emc.com/rsa ©2013 EMC Corporation. EMC, RSA, the RSA logo, and FraudAction are trademarks or registered trademarks of EMC Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective holders. JUL RPT 0713

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