Legitimate program becomes trojan downloader

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Mar 17, 2008

Website of FlashGet attacked; malicious 'update' automatically downloaded.

By hacking into the website of popular Windows download manager FlashGet, cybercriminals have managed to turn the software into a trojan-downloader.

Like many programs, FlashGet regularly connects to its developer's website to see if there are any updates to be installed. However, attackers have managed to hack into the FlashGet website and substitute an 'updated' version of one of the program's configuration files for a genuine update. The rogue configuration file caused a trojan to be downloaded when the program was launched. The hackers even managed to host the trojan itself on the developer's website, thus making the altered configuration file look less suspicious.

It is believed that the program worked as a trojan downloader for about ten days, after which the problem was fixed and the configuration file was reset to its original state. However, as Kaspersky's Aleks Gostev warns, any piece of malware that is able to change this file can still turn the legitimate program into a trojan-downloader. To make matters worse, FlashGet is usually treated as a trusted application; hence network activity caused by the application is unlikely to be flagged as suspicious.

More can be found on Kaspersky's blog here.

Posted on 17 March 2008 by Virus Bulletin

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