Ramnit Worm Stealing Facebook Account Passwords, E-mail Address & Bank Details

Outsmart Malicious Hackers


Oh look, another Facebook worm – this one seems pretty nasty and as usual it’s going for Facebook access details and then diving into banking credentials if it can find them.

It’s mostly targeted at the UK though, worms of these type usually are geographically limited as they are targeting bank information – it’s better to go after a certain niche of users.

45,000 isn’t a huge number though considering the latest stats say there are over 30 millions Facebook users from the UK alone.

A bank account-raiding worm has started spreading on Facebook, stealing login credentials as it creeps across the site, security researchers have revealed.

Evidence recovered from a command-and-control server used to coordinate the evolving Ramnit worm confirms that the malware has already stolen 45,000 Facebook passwords and associated email addresses. Experts from Seculert, who found the controller node, have supplied Facebook with a list of all the stolen credentials found on the server. Most of the victims are from either the UK or France.

Ramnit differs from other worms, such as Koobface, that have used Facebook to spread because it relies on multiple infection techniques and has only recently extended onto social networks. Koobface, by contrast, only uses Facebook or Twitter to spread.

“Ramnit started as a file infector worm which steals FTP credentials and browser cookies, then added some financial-stealing capabilities, and now recently added Facebook worm capabilities,” Aviv Raff, CTO at Seculert, told El Reg.

“We suspect that they use the Facebook logins to post on a victim’s friends’ wall links to malicious websites which download Ramnit,” he added.

There was indeed Koobface some time back, but that was purely on Facebook – the danger with worms like Ramnit is that Facebook is only 1 of the vectors they are using to spread.

It’s a good job researchers got hold of one the command and control nodes – or this could have gotten a whole lot messier. Facebook has been pretty good lately blocking malicious strings and clamping down on worms as soon as they show up.


Ramnit first appeared in April 2010. By last July variants of the malware accounted for 17.3 per cent of all new malicious software infections, according to Symantec. A month later Trusteer reported that flavours of Ramnit were packing sophisticated banking login credential snaffling capabilities – technologies culled from the leak of the source code of the notorious ZeuS cybercrime toolkit at around the same time.

The new Ramnit configuration was able to bypass two-factor authentication and transaction-signing systems used by financial institutions to protect online banking sessions. The same technology might also be used to bypass two-factor authentication mechanisms in order to gain remote access to corporate networks, Seculert warns.

The move onto Facebook by the miscreants behind Ramnit seems designed primarily to expand the malware’s distribution network and infect more victims.

“We suspect that the attackers behind Ramnit are using the stolen credentials to expand the malware’s reach,” Seculert concludes, adding that capturing the login credentials of Facebook accounts creates a means to attack more sensitive accounts that happen to use the same email address and password combination.

“The cyber-criminals are also taking advantage of the fact that people usually use the same passwords for different web-based services (Facebook, Gmail, Corporate SSL VPN, Outlook Web Access, etc.) to gain remote access to corporate networks,” it said.

The Ramnit outbreak on Facebook follows the November outbreak of an earlier worm that tried to infect victims with a variant of ZeuS.

The scary part is that the latest version of Ramnit can bypass two factor authentication! I’m not exactly sure how it does that, but it seems to have snagged a lot of features from the source code leak of ZeuS.

I would agree with the article though, people do tend to re-use passwords, they trust things shared on Facebook and it’s a good platform to spread malware rapidly.

Source: The Register

Posted in: Malware, Spammers & Scammers, Web Hacking

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