'Nitro attacks' continue

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Dec 13, 2011

PoisonIvy trojan sent attached to email warning about the same trojan.

Researchers at Symantec report that the 'Nitro attacks', which target a number of large companies, many of which are active in the chemical industry, are continuing, using the same methods as before.

In the most recent part of this attack, employees of the targeted companies received emails containing a password-protected zip archive. The archive contained an executable (although the filename suggested it was a PDF document) which installed a variant of the PoisonIvy trojan. At the same time, a harmless PDF was dropped onto the victim's machine, apparently in an attempt to distract the user from the malicious installation that had taken place.

None of these techniques are new, nor are they very sophisticated. What is remarkable in this case is that the emails contained a warning against the PoisonIvy trojan itself and claimed that the attachment contained 'a special kill poison Ivy Trojan anti-virus software', apparently released by Symantec. The harmless PDF dropped onto the victim's machine was the very document Symantec published earlier about these Nitro attacks.

It is important for users to be aware of such attacks, especially if they target the industry they are working in. This example shows, however, that one should never blindly install software even if it is supposed to provide protection.

More at Symantec's blog here.

At the 3rd VB 'Securing Your Organization in the Age of Cybercrime' Seminar, Symantec.cloud's Martin Lee will talk about targeted attacks. The seminar takes place on 19 April 2012 at the OU Campus in Milton Keynes, UK; registration is now open.

Posted on 13 December 2011 by Virus Bulletin



Latest posts:

It's 2016. Can we stop using MD5 in malware analyses?

While there are no actually risks involved in using MD5s in malware analyses, it reinforces bad habits and we should all start using SHA-256 instead.

Throwback Thursday: Holding the Bady

In 2001, ‘Code Red’ caused White House administrators to change the IP address of the official White House website, and even penetrated Microsoft’s own IIS servers.

Paper: The Journey of Evasion Enters Behavioural Phase

A new paper by FireEye researcher Ankit Anubhav provides an overview of evasion techniques applied by recently discovered malware.

Guest blog: Espionage toolkit uncovered targeting Central and Eastern Europe

Recently, ESET researchers uncovered a new espionage toolkit targeting targeting Central and Eastern Europe. They provide some details in a guest post.

Avast acquires AVG for $1.3bn

Anti-virus vendor Avast has announced the acquisition of its rival AVG for 1.3 billion US dollars.