Taipei – October 31, 2011 –While the world is in the economic doldrums, cybercrime underground keeps growing. Trend Micro Inc., (TYO: 4704;TSE: 4704) a global cloud security leader, warns users about the growing use of a malware toolkit called SpyEye in the cybercriminal underground. A cybercriminal called "Soldier” successfully used ZeuS, SpyEye and blackhat SEO kits to amass $3.2 million in just over six months.
The operation was run by a young man, who went by the name "Soldier" on underground forums and resided in Russia. His SpyEye botnet compromised 25, 394 systems or 82,999 unique IP addresses between April 19 and June 29, 2011. "About 97 percent of his victims were in the US but we also saw a handful of victims spread across another 90 countries including the UK, Mexico, Canada and India, "said Myla Pilao, Director of Trend Labs. "In six months starting January 2011, his operations earned him $3.2 million, or $17,000 per day. His "top-earning” month was March 2011, when he earned almost $1 million.”
First emerged in 2009 and still being developed, SpyEye is a leading commercially-sold botnet toolkit on the Internet. It was built to target Windows-based systems, with 57% of the infected systems running on Windows XP and 4,500 compromised systems running on Windows 7. Known for stealing bank credentials, SpyEye also steals other personal information. Several well-known Web services with most number of stolen credentials are Facebook, Yahoo!, Google, eBay, Amazon, Twitter, and Paypal.
Once installed on a victim’s system, the SpyEye variant downloads a configuration file, which contains the websites that it monitors. When users visit any of these monitored sites, it performs web injection and logs keystrokes to steal information. SpyEye also utilizes rootkit technology to hide malicious files and processes from affected users, allowing its variants to avoid detection and possible removal.
SpyEye is known for targeting consumers, as well as small and medium businesses. However, large organizations are affected in more recent attacks. Users may encounter SpyEye variants via various infection vectors such as blackhat search engine optimization (SEO), spam, and other malware to infect users’ systems. Its main routine is information, identity, and financial theft. An effective security program with updated signatures should be able to scan and clean system of the bot agents. For manual solution, visit http://about-threats.trendmicro.com/Malware.aspx?language=us&name=TSPY_SPYEYE.EXEI
Since SpyEye is still continuously being modified by cybercriminals, users need to be vigilant about practicing safe computing habits. Prevention/best practices are as follows:
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