So it seems something big was brewing with Conficker, they just didn’t want to do what everyone expected and unleash it on April 1st when all eyes were on them.
Smart move really, they kept quiet and waited a week or so after before dropping some fairly serious and complex payloads (encrypted rootkits).
It seems like they are going for the old ransom tactic and duping users into buying dodgy anti-virus software.
An updated version of the Conficker worm is installing malware that attempts to lure people into buying rogue anti-virus software. Security researchers also say the worm is downloading malware tied to the notorious Waledac botnet.
Conficker’s latest move may be tied to a scheme to lure users into downloading fake anti-virus software.
Security researchers monitoring the Conficker worm’s activities say the malware has been observed downloading a file detected by Kaspersky Lab as FraudTool.Win32.SpywareProtect2009.s.
“Once it’s run, you see the app interface, which naturally asks if you want to remove the threats it’s ‘detected,'” wrote Aleks Gostev on Kaspersky Lab’s Analyst’s Diary blog. “Of course, this service comes at a price—$49.95.”
It seems like Conficker is not going to be laying dormant any more, perhaps they weren’t making enough from renting out sections to spammers and DDoSers – now they really want to monetize the infected machines they have gathered.
In addition to that file, the worm is also now downloading the Waledac malware, which steals passwords and turns computers into bots for spamming operations. Waledac has emerged as a key part of spamming operations over the past several months, and is widely considered a reincarnation of the infamous Storm botnet.
“Fear is used, universally, as a means to control people,” said Sendio CTO Tal Golan. “Governments use it. Large businesses use it. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that ‘cyber-bad guys’ use it.”
At the moment, the rogue anti-virus software comes from sites located in the Ukraine (131-3.elaninet.com.220.127.116.11) although the worm is downloading it from other sites, according to Kaspersky Lab.
Unsurprisingly the source for much of the rogue software is in Eastern Europe, a hotspot for cybercrime and hackers skilled in malware and cryptography.
There’s some updates from F-Secure here: