Virus Bulletin - March 2013


Editor: Helen Martin

Technical Consultant: John Hawes

Technical Editor: Morton Swimmer

Consulting Editors: Ian Whalley, Nick FitzGerald, Richard Ford, Edward Wilding

2013-01-03


Comment

Yesterday’s solutions to today’s problems

‘The collection of detailed statistics, their interpretation and analysis, combined with the desire to improve society, resolved many of the problems of the industrial revolution. The same approaches can be used today to end the high-risk work practices that leak data, to drive the adoption of best practices, and to provide the justification for investments in better security.’ Martin Lee, Symantec.

Martin Lee - Symantec, UK

News

Australia signs cybercrime treaty

Australia becomes latest country to sign the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime.

Helen Martin - Virus Bulletin, UK

Cybersecurity centre for Arab region launched

Oman hosts region's cybersecurity hub.

Helen Martin - Virus Bulletin, UK

Convicted cybercriminal hacks prison's computer systems

Epic fail as convicted hacker enrolls in IT class for inmates.

Helen Martin - Virus Bulletin, UK

Malware prevalence report

January 2013

The Virus Bulletin prevalence table is compiled monthly from virus reports received by Virus Bulletin; both directly, and from other companies who pass on their statistics.


Malware analyses

The evolution of Zortob

Zortob didn't make big headlines when it first appeared a little over a year ago, but a new generation of the malware hitting the lab's honeypots prompted Dong Xie to take a closer look.

Dong Xie - Fortinet, China

It’s mental static!

We have seen viruses with binary components, viruses with script components, and viruses with binary components that drop script components. Now comes a virus whose binary component executes its script component directly in memory by using a binary interface, instead of dropping the script component first. Peter Ferrie has the details.

Peter Ferrie - Microsoft, USA

Feature

What are browser exploit kits up to? A look into Sweet Orange and ProPack

Blackhole has been the major player in the exploit kit market for a while now, but the Sweet Orange and ProPack kits have recently entered the market and are rapidly gaining in popularity. Aditya Sood and colleagues take a look at advancements in the design of the new kits on the block.

Aditya K. Sood - Michigan State University, USA, Richard J. Enbody - Michigan State University, USA & Rohit Bansal - Independent security researcher, USA

Tutorial

Shellcoding ARM: part 2

In the first part of this series Aleksander Czarnowski covered the background information needed to understand the principles of ARM shellcoding. In this follow-up article he moves on to dissect some previously crafted shellcode.

Aleksander P. Czarnowski - AVET Information and Network Security, Poland

Comparative review

VBSpam comparative review March 2013

While 17 out of 19 complete anti‑spam solutions performed well enough to earn a VBSpam award, 15 of them missed more spam than they did in the last test. Martijn Grooten has the details.

Martijn Grooten - Virus Bulletin, UK

Calendar

Anti-malware industry events

Must-attend events in the anti-malware industry - dates, locations and further details.


 

Latest articles:

Run your malicious VBA macros anywhere!

Kurt Natvig wanted to understand whether it’s possible to recompile VBA macros to another language, which could then easily be ‘run’ on any gateway, thus revealing a sample’s true nature in a safe manner. In this article he explains how he recompiled…

Dissecting the design and vulnerabilities in AZORult C&C panels

Aditya K Sood looks at the command-and-control (C&C) design of the AZORult malware, discussing his team's findings related to the C&C design and some security issues they identified during the research.

Excel Formula/Macro in .xlsb?

Excel Formula, or XLM – does it ever stop giving pain to researchers? Kurt Natvig takes us through his analysis of a new sample using the xlsb file format.

Decompiling Excel Formula (XF) 4.0 malware

Office malware has been around for a long time, but until recently Excel Formula (XF) 4.0 was not something researcher Kurt Natvig was very familiar with. In this article Kurt allows us to learn with him as he takes a deeper look at XF 4.0.

APT vs Internet service providers – a threat hunter's perspective

Organizations in the telecommunications sector are faced with a multitude of threats, ranging from targeted attacks to malicious actions attributable to the criminal or activist world. Telsy researcher Emanuele De Lucia reports what he observed in…

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