Paper: Life after the apocalypse for the Middle Eastern NJRat campaign

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Aug 14, 2015

Malware authors upped their game following 2014 disruption of No-IP.

In June last year, somewhat controversially Microsoft moved against dynamic DNS provider No-IP and seized 22 of its domains, subdomains of which were used to spread and control the NJRat (also known as Bladabindi) and NJw0rm (also known as Jenxcus) malware families, both of which primarily operated in the Middle East.

A week later, Microsoft settled with No-IP parent company Vitalwerks, which regained control of the domains. This hasn't stopped its service from being used for the spread of malware though.

Today, we publish an article by Intel Security researchers Abhishek Bhuyan and Ankit Anubhav, who looked at current NJRat campaigns in the Middle East.

  Count of unique malicious domain names found among the top 10 Middle Eastern countries (domains sorted by the geolocation of the IP address to which they point).

Historically, malware authors based in the region have made little effort to hide their goals, sometimes even calling their malware 'trojan.exe'. Recently, however, they have upped their game, one sign of which is an Arab cybercrime forum where tutorials are posted on how to make sure the malware isn't detected by different anti-virus vendors.

Abhishek and Ankit found more than 5,000 unique domains used, a little less than half of which were still active. Surprisingly, Windows XP remains a popular choice among those running NJRat, suggesting that their level of security isn't much better than those of their victims — many of whom, a Skype conversation with the malware author revealed, are sent the trojan executable disguised as a popular file type.

You can read the article here in HTML format or download it here as a PDF.

  Snippets of the researchers' chat conversation with the malware author via Skype.

Posted on 14 August 2015 by Martijn Grooten
twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2018 paper: Internet balkanization: why are we raising borders online?

At VB2018 in Montreal, Ixia researcher Stefan Tanase presented a thought-provoking paper on the current state of the Internet and the worrying tendency towards raising borders and restricting the flow of information. Today we publish both his paper…

The malspam security products miss: banking and email phishing, Emotet and Bushaloader

The set-up of the VBSpam test lab gives us a unique insight into the kinds of emails that are more likely to bypass email filters. This week we look at the malspam that was missed: banking and email phishing, Emotet and Bushaloader.

VB2018 paper: Where have all the good hires gone?

The cybersecurity skills gap has been described as one of the biggest challenges facing IT leaders today. At VB2018 in Montreal, ESET's Lysa Myers outlined some of the things the industry can do to help address the problem. Today we publish Lysa's…

Preview: Nullcon 2019

We look forward the Nullcon 2019 conference in Goa, India, at which VB Editor Martijn Grooten will give a talk on the state of malware.

From Amazon to Emotet: a look at those phishing and malware emails that bypassed email security products

We see a lot of spam in the VBSpam test lab, and we also see how well such emails are being blocked by email security products. Recently some of the emails that bypassed security products included a broken Amazon phishing campaign, a large fake UPS…

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.