January 22, 2016 by

Facebook Phishing Attack Contains a Trojan

Social media network Facebook is the target of a new phishing scam by cybercriminals who are believed to be behind a phishing attack targeting popular messaging app WhatsApp.

In a blog post, the Comodo Threat Research team revealed that the Facebook version of a phishing attack containing a Trojan is similar to a previous attack on WhatsApp and a part of the Nivdort malware family. The malware pretends to be an email from Facebook that informs the target that they have an “audible” message.

The email comes with an attached .zip file containing the malware which is essentially an executable inside the compressed file. When the .exe file is launched, it automatically replicates itself to place itself on the C drive as well as the auto-run folder in the computer’s registry. Such an action enables the malware to start every time the computer does.

The Comodo team identified the phishing campaign through domain, IP and URL analysis. In their blog post, they note:

In this age of cyberattacks, being exposed to phishing is a destiny for every company, well-known or not. It may not be the most groundbreaking attack method cybercriminals use — but there’s no denying that cybercriminals are becoming more clever when crafting their messages.

The blog revealed that, as with other Nivdort Trojan strains, this variant collects sensitive information that includes user names and passwords, bank and credit card information and even tax returns. These data are sent to another party’s malicious server hosted in an offshore location.

Fundamentally, the malware operates by relying on the average user’s inherent trust placed on websites and apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

“More frequently, they’re using well-known applications or social platforms and also action-oriented language in the subject lines to entice recipients to open the emails, click the links or attachments and spread the malware,” stated Fatih Orhan, director of technology for Comodo.

The subjects of the emails that include the malware are varied in their approach, attempting to bypass antispam protection. Such evasive measures are evident with each subject line ending

They include:

  • A brief vocal e-mail was delivered. sele
  • An audio announcement has been delivered! Lucqmc
  • An audible warning has been missed. Yqr
  • You got a vocal memo! Fcqw
  • You recently missed a short audible notice. Rtn
  • Ein Videohinweis wurde vermisst! squy (German for “a video note was missed”)

Image credit: Flickr.

About the author

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LIFARS is the global leader in Digital Forensics and Cyber Resiliency Services. Our experience spans two decades working on high profile events, often in concert with Law Enforcement Agencies around the world. Our proprietary methodology derives directly and indirectly from our experience working with and for U.S. Intelligence Agencies, Interpol, Europol, and NATO. We are solely dedicated to Cyber Resiliency and thus pay close attention to all aspects of our clients’ engagements experience while providing a strategic and integrated array of services to minimum risk and disruption while protecting your brand.

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