Virus Bulletin - April 2013

Editor: Helen Martin

Technical Consultant: John Hawes

Technical Editor: Morton Swimmer

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



Java security in the era of BYOD

‘It concerns me that my daughter’s favourite game requires access to Wi‑Fi, contacts, the operating system, etc.’ Aleksander Czarnowski, AVET.

Aleksander Czarnowski - AVET, Poland


Ransomware backs up its message

Ransomware goes to extra lengths to convince victims to hand over their cash.

Helen Martin - Virus Bulletin, UK

CIOs spending more time on security

Survey finds 37% of CIOs spending more time managing security.

Helen Martin - Virus Bulletin, UK

Malware prevalence report

February 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

Ogee whiz

The programming of General-Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU) has become a common way to take advantage of the great power available on video cards. The programs, known as ‘shaders’, can be used to implement many things, including the decryption of arbitrary data - and now there is a virus that does exactly that. Peter Ferrie takes a close look at W32/Ogee.

Peter Ferrie - Microsoft, USA

A deeper look into the ZeroAccess clickbot

Click fraud has been one of the biggest concerns for online advertisers for many years, and as researchers invest effort into developing pattern recognition and detection mechanisms to identify the fraudulent patterns, so the attackers tweak and evolve their click fraud methodologies. Wayne Low takes a look at the internal workings of the click fraud module of ZeroAccess.

Wayne Low - F-Secure, Finland

Pushdo's new second generation

The Pushdo botnet has been active in the wild since January 2007, with three main generations seen to date. Neo Tan and colleagues take an in-depth look at three different variants of a new, more advanced version of Pushdo’s second generation.

Neo Tan - Fortinet, Canada, He Xu - Fortinet, Canada & Kyle Yang - Fortinet, Canada


Shellcoding ARM: part 3

In the first and second parts of this series Aleksander Czarnowski covered the background information needed to understand the principles of ARM shellcoding and dissected some previously crafted shellcode. In this final part, he looks at some more advanced topics, including polymorphic shellcode and methods for its analysis.

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


Phishing and fraud: the make-believe industry

The digitization of shopping and banking, the increasing use of social media, and the popularity of the Internet have made users more vulnerable to phishing, identity theft and other forms of online fraud. Bianca Dima and Alin Damian outline some subtle differences between two of the fastest growing online traps, phishing and fraud, and highlight some of the mechanisms that fool people into placing their sensitive data and money into the hands of the attackers.

Bianca Dima - Bitdefender, Romania & Alin Damian - Bitdefender, Romania

Comparative review

VB100 comparative review on Windows XP Professional SP3

This month's VB100 comparative on Windows XP brought something of a mixed bag, as several vendors appear to have decreased support for the platform in favour of the newer Windows 8. John Hawes has the full set of results.

John Hawes - Virus Bulletin


Anti-malware industry events

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


Latest articles:

Fighting Fire with Fire

In 1989, Joe Wells encountered his first virus: Jerusalem. He disassembled the virus, and from that moment onward, was intrigued by the properties of these small pieces of self-replicating code. Joe Wells was an expert on computer viruses, was partly…

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.

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