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:

In memoriam: Yonathan Klijnsma

We were very sorry to learn of the passing of researcher Yonathan Klijnsma last week. Here, former VB Editor Martijn Grooten shares his memories of a talented researcher and a very kind person: this month, infosec lost a really good one.

VB2020 localhost videos available on YouTube

VB has made all VB2020 localhost presentations available on the VB YouTube channel, so you can now watch - and share - any part of the conference freely and without registration.

VB2020 presentation & paper: 2030: backcasting the potential rise and fall of cyber threat intelligence

At VB2020 localhost, threat intelligence consultant Jamie Collier used the analytical technique of backcasting to look at the rise and fall of the cyber threat intelligence industry.

VB2020 presentation: Behind the Black Mirror: simulating attacks with mock C2 servers

At VB2020 localhost, Carbon Black's Scott Knight presented an approach he and his colleagues have taken to more realistically simulate malware attacks.

VB2020 presentation & paper: Advanced Pasta Threat: mapping threat actor usage of open-source offensive security tools

At VB2020, researcher Paul Litvak revealed how he put together a comprehensive map of threat actor use of open-source offensive security tools.

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.