'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

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
googleplus.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

Research shows web security products perform well against exploit kits

Research by Virus Bulletin, in which five web security products were served 54 live exploit kits, shows that the products blocked between 87 and 100 per cent of the kits.

Throwback Thursday: Olympic Games

In 1994, along with the Olympic Games came an Olympic virus, from a group of Swedish virus authors calling themselves ‘Immortal Riot’. We look back at Mikko Hyppönen's analysis in the VB archive.

VB2016 call for last-minute papers opened, discounts announced

Announcing the VB2016 call for last-minute papers and a number of discounts on the conference registration rate.

Guest Blog: Malicious Scripts Gaining Prevalence in Brazil

In the run up to VB2016, we invited the conference sponsors to write guest posts for our blog. In the second of this series, ESET's Matías Porolli writes about malicious Visual Basic and JavaScript gaining prevalence in Brazil.

Romanian university website compromised to serve Neutrino exploit kit

The website of the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy has been compromised to inject a hidden iframe into the site's source code that serves the Neutrino exploit kit and may infect visitors with ransomware.