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Cybercriminals Shifting To Bugat 48

wiredmikey writes "Cybercriminals are changing up their weapons, trying to diversify their attack tools using a platform that is less well known and therefore harder to detect and block. With so much focus on the ZeuS Trojan, recent attacks utilized a variant of 'Bugat,' another Trojan horse that steals information from a compromised computer and sends it to a remote host. Bugat was first discovered in January of this year but, like ZeuS, has seen some different variants. In last week's attack, LinkedIn users received emails alerting them of a 'Contact Request,' and encouraging them to click through to a malicious URL where a java applet fetched and installed the Bugat executable."
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Cybercriminals Shifting To Bugat

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  • Never ever click on a link in an email, and preferably not on a forum either.
    Always type the urls you are going to yourself, so you know what they are.

    I keep thinking I need to setup a VM that all it does is run my chrome and IE stuff, and I can just burn it down if need be.

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:59AM (#33869984) Homepage Journal

      Let's start with email and forums, yes.

      But the question is open: What are these "hyperlinks" really for, anyway? The dubious benefits delivered at the other end of clicking is seldom worth the exhilaration. I say that we should just eliminate them, altogether!

      I envision a large screen - you could make it large enough to occupy a central place in the household. This could be used to deliver appropriate, scheduled media and information: remote through a wireless, one-to-many transport or stored locally on different removable media.

      I think there are significant opportunities to greatly simplify the user interface of such a device, and we will eliminate the risks associated in hyperlinking.

      • by sabs ( 255763 )

        Damn I wish I had mod points :) that's a funny patent worthy description of a television :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Jesus_666 ( 702802 )
        Your idea is intriguing but with the lack of accountability as to who is consuming what when, the content industry would never allow the distribution of movies and shows over your new network. Without multimedia capabilities, who would use it?
      • I envision a large screen - you could make it large enough to occupy a central place in the household.


        I think a much better solution would involve tents (or perhaps some sort of lean-to), a campfire, and a professional story teller who roams from encampment to encampment, bartering for pottage.

    • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

      If you don't set up a VM, I highly recommend sandboxie and running your browsers inside of that. It isn't as secure as a VM, but it can be configured to disallow anything but the Web browser to make outgoing network connections, and can be told to only run stuff in a sandbox as a limited user without admin authority. Plus, sandboxie can disallow stuff that normally would download and run from executing at all. This, coupled with the fact that all writes are redirected ensures decent protection against ma

      • FYI, there's a special "Anti-Sandboxie" setting in many of the builders for these trojans; as well as Anti-VirtualPC, etc.

        • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

          Very true. I'm sure there is anti a lot of things. However, even with code to detect Sandboxie or VirtualPC, just the fact that all writes are redirected to a safe location and that it runs in a user context with no ability to get to anything administrative locks out almost anything it could do, other than try to fill the filesystem, RAM, or process space.

      • by RulerOf ( 975607 )

        If you don't set up a VM, I highly recommend sandboxie

        I've thought of getting Sandboxie for a long time, but I'd really prefer F/OSS for this kind of thing.

        Know of anything comparable?

        • by vk2 ( 753291 )
          Here you go - []
        • by mspohr ( 589790 )
          VirtualBox ( is a solid FOSS virtual machine. Runs on Windows, Mac and Linux (among others) and can run Window, Linux and other OSs.

          If you are running Windows, the best way to protect yourself would be to NOT run Windows. But if you are dependent on it (emotionally, financially, programmatically, etc.), the best solution would be to do all of your web browsing and email in a VirtualBox running Linux. For example, Ubuntu Linux is easy to install in a VirtualBox VM. It comes with FireFox an

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mspohr ( 589790 )
      Not "clicking through" is not a realistic option.

      I switched to Linux (and my wife and daughters to Macs) a few years ago and I don't worry about malware any more. (Note to partisans: I know that both of these OSs can be "theoretically" compromised but the reality is that it just doesn't happen since you need to be a really stupid user and type in your password to give the malware access to do any real damage.)

      I've set up VMs for Windows if I absolutely must run some Windows software but I've found I rare

    • I need to setup a VM that all it does is run my chrome and IE stuff, and I can just burn it down if need be.

      Same here, just not enough cores yet :-(

      It's been surprisingly difficult to sandbox the browser into a VM in such a fashion that it looks and behaves just like a native one. Until recently, using VMware you couldn't get Aero glass to come through, and now that you can, it's still a chore to synchronize all your cookies and downloads and drag/drop of pictures and the like and still be able to do a snapshot/restore in such a fashion that you don't lose settings or saved passwords or all sorts of whatnot, an

    • BTW. Does sabs mean "green"?

  • Make Up Your Mind (Score:3, Informative)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:34AM (#33869626)
    In the linked article they claim "Bugat" was being distributed via the recent attack targeting LinkedIn users but the article [] they use as their reference clearly states the LinkedIn spam was distributing "ZeuS". Make up your mind, M'kay?
  • The Bugat team really knows their stuff. Good job guys!
  • Finally! (Score:3, Funny)

    by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:55AM (#33869924)
    After years of inactivity and wondering exactly what is its purpose, I have now discovered a reason to having a profile on LinkedIn.
    Meeting new people, discovering professional contacts and getting viruses!
  • Whether this also affects Linux users, and secondly, how does one configure java/flash/their browser etc, to prevent this happening?

    • > Whether this also affects Linux users...

      It doesn't.

      > does one configure java/flash/their browser etc, to prevent this happening?


  • by tsu doh nimh ( 609154 ) * on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @11:09AM (#33870112)
    Wondering how much this "story" actually differs from the Trusteer press release, below: NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
    Trusteer Researchers Find Criminals are Diversifying Financial Attacks with New Version of Bugat Malware

    Bugat Quietly Distributed in Recent LinkedIn Phishing Assault; Unlike Zeus Trojan, it is Less Well Known and Harder to Detect

    NEW YORK, Oct. 12, 2010 -Trusteer, the leading provider of secure browsing services, today announced that its researchers have discovered a new version of the Bugat financial malware used to commit online fraud. Bugat was distributed in the recent phishing campaign targeting LinkedIn users, which was generally considered to be trying to infect machines with the more common Zeus Trojan. The emergence of this new version of Bugat appears to be an attempt by criminals to diversify their attack tools using a platform that is less well known and therefore harder to detect and block.

    Bugat is similar in functionality to its better known financial malware brethren Zeus, Clampi and Gozi. It targets Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers and harvests information during online banking sessions. The stolen financial credentials are used to commit fraudulent Automated Clearing House

    (ACH) and wire transfer transactions mostly against small to midsized businesses, which result in high-value losses. Bugat is three times more common in the US than Europe, but its distribution is still fairly low.

    In last week's attack, LinkedIn users received emails reminding them of pending messages in their account and providing a malicious URL. When a victim clicked on the link they were directed to a fraudulent website where a java applet fetched and installed the Bugat executable. LinkedIn spam email is an effective tool to push malware to enterprise users, and is being used to gather credentials for commercial bank accounts and other sensitive services used by businesses.

    "Criminals are stepping up their malware distribution efforts by continuously updating configurations of well known malware like Zeus, and using new versions of less common Trojans like Bugat, to avoid detection,"

    said Mickey Boodaei, CEO of Trusteer. "We are in an arms race with criminals. Although Zeus gets a lot of attention from law enforcement, banks and the security industry, we need to be vigilant against new forms of financial malware like Bugat and SpyEye which are just as deadly and quietly expanding their footprint across the internet."

    Trusteer warns that the recent industry focus on Zeus is making it easier for other Trojans, like Bugat, SpyEye, and Carberp which are less wide spread but equally sophisticated, to avoid detection. Carberp currently targets nine banks in the United States, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, and Israel. These lesser known financial malware platforms are expected to increasingly compete with the Zeus toolkit to become the new Trojan of choice for criminal groups.

    Blocking and Removing Bugat

    The Trusteer Secure Browsing Service protects banking and other online sessions by blocking attacks and then disinfecting machines that are infected with Bugat and other financial malware including Zeus, SpyEye, and Carberp. When a Trusteer user browses to sensitive websites such as internet banking, Webmail, or online payment pages, the service immediately locks down the browser and creates a tunnel for safe communication with the web site. This prevents malware like Bugat from injecting data and stealing information entered and presented in the browser. The service is directly connected to the bank (or other online business protected by Trusteer) and to Trusteer's 24x7 fraud analysis service. Attempts to steal money from consumers protected by Trusteer are immediately detected by the bank or operator of the website and are blocked using various layers of protection.
  • woah, i didn't hear about this. I think i got that email
  • by david.emery ( 127135 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @11:16AM (#33870254)

    But of course, I had to dig to find that particular piece of information. Most of the write-ups ignore the question of what host OS/systems are vulnerable. []

    It's truly appalling that the great number of discussions are either (a) ignorant of the question of 'host vulnerability', (b) assume that everyone is running Windows; or (c) can't be bothered to determine what hosts are vulnerable. If I were sufficiently paranoid, I'd believe this is part of the continuing conspiracy to make everyone believe that such vulnerabilities are a 'fact of life' for all computers, and not just Microsoft products.

    • It's interesting that Windows Vista was on that list but not Windows 7. Did they finally improve things a little?

  • Running Mac OS... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chris Tucker ( 302549 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:17PM (#33871400) Homepage a user account when online, NEVER as Root, and Little Snitch [] is ALWAYS running in the background in ALL accounts, especially Root.

    Ad Block Plus is also running at all times, that helps to eliminate the threat posed by hijacked banner or other ads.

    Yes, the potential for the Mac to be compromised is there, but I'd have to do something really stupid to get malicious code onto the machine.

    (Insert your own gratuitous but not unwarranted slams against the Windows OS here.)

  • Simple solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:25PM (#33871542) Homepage

    When is the simple solution going to be applied by users: never trust links in e-mail. If I got an e-mail from LinkedIn telling me about a contact request, I'd ignore any URL in the e-mail. I'd go to LinkedIn itself through the bookmark already in my browser. If it's a real contact request, it'll be sitting in my inbox there waiting for me. I don't need to trust anything in the e-mail. And if there isn't anything waiting in my inbox, then the e-mail was a fake and I shouldn't be trusting anything in it.

    It's the same rule as for unsolicited phone calls. If someone calls you up claiming to be from the power company saying you've got an overdue balance and you have to pay up or have power shut off, you do not accept their helpful offer of doing the payment over the phone if you'll just give them your bank-account number to do an e-check. You've no idea whether it's actually the power company calling or just some random con-man. You thank them, hang up, pull out your last bill and get the customer-service number from that. Then you call that number and ask them about the status of your account. And if they say you are, it's now safe enough to do an e-check because (barring someone having usurped the phone company's switches themselves, or having switched physical bills on you) you know you're really talking to the power company.

  • It's nice to see that even /. will not clearly specify that this is a Microsoft Windows-only problem. The Microsoft PR drones have been "generalizing" and "de-Windowfying" the trojan/virus/malware problem for a while now. And quite successful it seems when even /. serves its articles the way Microsoft's PR drones like to see them. If you read the first sentence then it is basically unclear, to the untrained, inexperienced eyes of this world, that this is not a problem for all Operating Systems and platforms

    • It's nice to see that even /. will not clearly specify that this is a Microsoft Windows-only problem.

      On /. it is taken for granted that malware is a Microsoft-only problem.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!