Bulletin

An indispensable source of reference for anyone concerned with computer security, the Bulletin is the forum through which leading security researchers publish the latest security research and information in a bid to share knowledge with the security community. Publications cover the latest threats, new developments and techniques in the security landscape, opinions from respected members of the industry, and more. The Bulletin archives offer informative articles going back to 1989. Our editorial team is happy to hear from anyone interested in submitting a paper for publication.

VB2015 paper: Digital ‘Bian Lian’ (face changing): the Skeleton Key malware

Chun Feng (Microsoft)
Tal Be'ery (Microsoft)
Stewart McIntyre (Dell SecureWorks)

When the Skeleton Key malware is installed on a domain controller, the attacker can play a face-changing trick on the domain by logging in as any user it chooses and performing any number of actions on the system including, but not limited to,…

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Throwback Thursday: I say Virus, You say Trojan (January 1998)

In January 1998, VB Technical Editor Jakub Kaminski asked: If trojans seem to be more dangerous than viruses, why don’t anti-virus vendors tackle those too?

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VB2015 paper: POS Fraud Trends and Counter-Actions to Mass Fraud

Ken Dunham (iSIGHT Partners)

Point-of-Sale (POS) e-crime fraud was of little discussion until the fall of 2013. Since then, a large number of retail stores in the US have announced major breaches. The number of infected organizations is in the thousands, with credit card…

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VB2015 paper: It's A File Infector... It’s Ransomware... It's Virlock

Vlad Craciun (Bitdefender)
Andrei Nacu (Bitdefender)
Mihail Andronic (Bitdefender)

Win32.Virlock, with all its variations, is both a new kind of file infector and a piece of ransomware (screen-locker) at the same time. In this paper, we aim to cover the techniques used by this virus and discuss methods that can be used to detect…

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VB2015 paper: Sizing Cybercrime: Incidents and Accidents, Hints and Allegations

Stephen Cobb (ESET)

Cybercrime certainly feels like a major threat to the security of networked systems upon which so much of daily life depends in the world today. Criminals routinely use digital networks to steal data, defraud companies and consumers, and disrupt…

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VB2015 paper: The Evolution of Ransomware: From CryptoWall to CTBLocker

Christy Chung (Fortinet)
Neo Tan (Fortinet)

The CryptoLocker ransomware was first discovered in late 2013. Millions of computers were infected, billions of files were encrypted, and millions of dollars’ worth of ransom was collected within several months. It caught a lot of researchers’…

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VB2014 paper: Can we trust a trustee? An in-depth look into the digitally signed malware industry

Adrian Stefan Popescu (Bitdefender)
Gheorghe Jescu (Bitdefender)

An increasing number of developers are using certificates issued by Certificate Authorities (CAs) to create a more trustworthy environment for users. Although certificates should be used by legitimate developers only, we are seeing an increasing…

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VB2014 paper: How they’re getting the data out of your network: a survey of methods used for exfiltration of sensitive data, recommendations for detection and protection

Eric Koeppen (IBM)

Exfiltration of data has been a feature of many attacks, where confidential customer information has been leaked to malicious actors - such infections can have disastrous effects on a company’s brand, customer loyalty, and competitive advantage. In…

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VB2014 paper: Protecting financial institutions from man-in-the-browser attacks

Xinran Wang (Shape Security)
Yao Zhao (Shape Security)

It is reported that more than 1,400 financial institutions have been targeted by attackers using banking trojans, and the top 15 targeted financial institutions were attacked by more than 50 per cent of the trojans in 2013. One major tactic of…

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VB2014 paper: Tech Support Scams 2.0: An inside look into the evolution of the classic Microsoft tech support scam

Jérôme Segura (Malwarebytes)

Tech support scams have been around for a long time, and despite all the attention they have received, they are only getting worse. Scammers are diversifying - no longer just using the Microsoft cold-calling technique but now also using deceptive ads…

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