10 April 2009 | 9,431 views

Conficker Finally Awakes & Dumps Payload

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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.”

There is also some links to Waledac a supposed next-gen botnet for spamming purposes that came shortly after the demise of Storm.

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.78.26.179.107) 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:

New Conficker action

Source: eWeek



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12 Responses to “Conficker Finally Awakes & Dumps Payload”

  1. Bogwitch 10 April 2009 at 5:14 pm Permalink

    I wonder if the long Easter weekend has anything to do with the timing….

  2. HyPnOtIcHaCkEr 11 April 2009 at 1:06 pm Permalink

    doubt it ^^

  3. Morgan Storey 12 April 2009 at 12:42 pm Permalink

    @Bogwitch: if it were me thats when I would launch it. As great military strategists have said if you want to take over a country quickly do it on a long weekend.
    I fits for the update that was pushed out on the 1st, then the payload gets pushed a few days later after you verify your clients have updated.

    I am heartened by the work MS have actually done to contain this, but I think it will quickly disperse into several smaller and less newsworthy botnets, that is unless users actually update their os.

  4. Tom Allen 13 April 2009 at 7:27 pm Permalink

    All that and they do this, couldn’t they have done something more spectacular like DDOS google.
    Fake Anti-virus. Lame.

  5. Bogwitch 14 April 2009 at 7:55 am Permalink

    @Tom Allen,

    I understand what you’re saying, but their motivation is not fame or noteriety, but cash. There is no profit in a DDOS of Google, unless a blackmail attempt on Google would be successful, which I doubt and the fake AV is charged at a high rate which should make the controllers a tidy sum, given the supposed number of infections.

  6. Bogwitch 14 April 2009 at 11:51 am Permalink

    @HyPnOtIcHaCkEr

    On what do you base that?

  7. HyPnOtIcHaCkEr 14 April 2009 at 4:20 pm Permalink

    A whim.

  8. Bogwitch 14 April 2009 at 4:45 pm Permalink

    @HyPnOtIcHaCkEr

    Intelligent input darlin’ why don

  9. HyPnOtIcHaCkEr 14 April 2009 at 5:46 pm Permalink

    No one likes a hater so stop being one.

  10. Bogwitch 14 April 2009 at 7:48 pm Permalink

    Not a hater, just suggesting that if you are going to cast doubt on my suppositions, you should be prepared to back it up with a reasoned arguement rather that the diatribe you spouted.

  11. Tom 15 April 2009 at 1:20 am Permalink

    lol really, you call ‘^^’ or ‘a whim’ a diatribe?

  12. Darknet 15 April 2009 at 5:19 am Permalink

    I think perhaps he meant drivel rather than diatribe.