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



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


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


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


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


Anti-malware industry events

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


Latest articles:

The TAO of Automated Iframe Injectors – Building Drive‑by Platforms For Fun and Profit

Aditya Sood and Rohit Bansal present the design of distributed infection models used by attackers to inject malicious iframes on the fly in order to conduct large-scale drive-by download attacks.

Throwback Thursday: Following the Breadcrumbs

Christine Orshesky describes how one large organization (with over 40,000 systems in its decentralized computing environment and a diverse population of over 20,000 employees spread over various departments and networks) decided to find out how and…

Behavioural Detection and Prevention of Malware on OS X

Malware on Apple’s OS X systems is proving to be an increasing security threat, and one that is currently countered solely with traditional anti-virus (AV) technologies. Traditional AV technologies impose a significant performance overhead on the…

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’. Mikko Hyppönen had the details.

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 the mighty Microsoft’s own IIS servers. In August 2001, Costin Raiu analysed the Win32/Bady.worm,