BlueMaho Project – Bluetooth Security Testing Suite

BlueMaho is GUI-shell (interface) for a suite of tools best used for Bluetooth security testing. It is freeware, opensource, written on python, uses wxPython. It can be used for testing BT-devices for known vulnerabilities and major thing to do – testing to find unknown vulns. Also it can form nice statistics. I did get interested [...] The...

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TorLocker ransomware variant designed to target Japanese users

New file-encrypting ransomware variant is the first to specifically target Japanese users.
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Ransomware is nothing new to Japan. Symantec’s research has found that Japan ranks among the regions that are the most affected by global ransomware attacks. However, no attacks specifically targeting Japanese users have ever been confirmed. That is, until now. In the recent weeks, Symantec has observed a ransomware variant in the wild that was designed to target users who speak Japanese.

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Figure 1. Ransomware attacks in November 2014 by region

The ransomware threat in question is a localized variant of TorLocker. The malware encrypts files with certain file extensions on the compromised computer and demands that the user pays in order to decrypt the files. Symantec has confirmed multiple variants of this particular Japanese ransomware threat.

TorLocker has been used in ransomware attacks around the world. The threat is part of an affiliate program, where the program’s operator gives participants the builder to create custom ransomware, access to the TorLocker control panel to track infections, and miscellaneous files to be used in conjunction with the malware. In return, the participants give a portion of the profit from the attack to the affiliate program’s operator.

The localized variant’s attacks on Japanese users have occurred on compromised websites that commonly host blogs. However, it is also possible that the attacker is renting an exploit kit to automatically compromise victims’ computers by exploiting software vulnerabilities. In one case, a recently compromised site owned by a Japanese publishing company redirected traffic to several domains hosting the Rig exploit kit. This may have ultimately served the ransomware as a payload.

In another case in late November, a blog site was compromised to display a fake Adobe Flash Player installer page.

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Figure 2. Fake Adobe Flash Player installer page

If the user clicks on the yellow install button, they are prompted to download and execute a setup file to install the plugin. However, the file does not contain the typical icon used in Flash Player installers. The file is not digitally signed either, which suggests that the installer is a phony.

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Figure 3. Icon of the installer downloaded from the fake Flash Player page

Once the setup file is executed, it does not install Flash Player. Instead, it encrypts certain files and displays a message in Japanese in popup window, stating that the computer has been locked. The message then asks the user to pay in order to unlock their files. The demanded ransom ranges from 40,000 yen to 300,000 yen (approximately US$500 to US$3,600).

Figure 4. Pop-up window of the TorLocker ransomware variant targeting Japanese-speaking users

Stay protected
Japan is approaching its week-long New Year holiday. The long break is a perfect opportunity for the attacker to perform its campaign, as many users will likely surf the internet during the time off. Symantec has the following recommendations to avoid or mitigate ransomware infections:

  • Update the software, operating system, and browser plugins on your computer to prevent attackers from exploiting known vulnerabilities.
  • Use comprehensive security software, such as Norton Security, to protect yourself from cybercriminals.
  • Regularly back up any files stored on your computer. If your computer has been compromised with ransomware, then these files can be restored once the malware is removed from the computer.
  • Never pay the ransom. There’s no guarantee that the attacker will decrypt the files as promised once they receive payment.

Symantec and Norton products detect all of the ransomware variants discussed in this blog as Trojan.Cryptlocker.

Some 100,000 or more WordPress sites infected by mysterious malware

About 100,000 or more websites running the WordPress content management system have been compromised by mysterious malware that turns the infected sites into attack platforms that can target visitors, security researchers said.

The campaign has prompted Google to flag more than 11,000 domains as malicious, but many more sites have been detected as compromised, according to a blog post published Sunday by Sucuri, a firm that helps website operators secure their servers. Researchers have yet to confirm the cause of the infection, but they suspect it's related to a vulnerability in Slider Revolution, a WordPress plugin, that was disclosed in early September. Update: In a new blog post published after Ars went live with this brief, Sucuri says it has confirmed the so-called "RevSlider" vulnerability is the culprit.

The in-the-wild attack observed by Sucuri causes infected sites to load highly obfuscated attack code on every webpage that includes the following:

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Worm exploits nasty Shellshock bug to commandeer network storage systems

Criminal hackers are actively exploiting the critical shellshock vulnerability to install a self-replicating backdoor on a popular line of storage systems, researchers have warned.

The malicious worm targets network-attached storage systems made by Taiwan-based QNAP, according to a blog post published Sunday by the Sans Institute. The underlying shellshock attack code exploits a bug in GNU Bash that gives attackers the ability to run commands and code of their choice on vulnerable systems. QNAP engineers released an update in October that patches systems against the vulnerability, but the discovery of the worm in the wild suggests a statistically significant portion of users have yet to apply it.

"The attack targets a QNAP CGI script, /cgi-bin/authLogin.cgi, a well known vector for Shellshock on QNAP devices," Johannes B. Ullrich, dean of research at Sans, wrote. "This script is called during login, and reachable without authentication. The exploit is then used to launch a simple shell script that will download and execute a number of additional pieces of malware."

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