Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yet Another Web Malware Exploitation Kit in the Wild

With business-minded malicious attackers embracing basic marketing practices like branding, it is becoming increasingly harder, if not pointless to keep track of all XYZ-Packs currently in circulation. How come? Due to their open source nature allowing modifications, claiming copyright over the modified and re-branded kit, the source code of core web malware exploitation kits continue representing the foundation source code for each and every newly released kit.

In fact, the practice is becoming so evident, that anecdotal evidence in the form of monitoring ongoing communications between sellers and buyers reveals actual attempts of intellectual property enforcement in the form of exchange of flames between an author of a original kit, and a newly born author who seems to have copied over 80% of his source code, changed the layout, re-branded it, added several more exploits and started pitching it as the most exclusive kit there is available in the underground marketplace.

What's new about this particular kit anyway? Changed iframe and js obfuscation techniques, doesn't require MySQL to run, with several modified Adobe Acrobat and Flash exploits - all patched and publicly obtainable. This is precisely where the marketing pitch ends for the majority of malware kits released during the last quarter.

As always, there are noticable exceptions to the common wisdom that time-to-underground market isn't allowing them to innovate, but thankfully, these exceptions aren't yet going mainstream. What is going to change in the upcoming 2009? Web malware exploitation kits are slowly maturing into multi-user cybercrime platforms, where traffic management coming from the SQL injected or malware embedded sites is automatically exploited with access to the infected hosts or to the traffic volume in general offered for sale under a flat rate, or on a volume basis.

Converging traffic management with drive-by exploitation and offering the output for sale, all from a single web interface, is precisely what malicious economies of scale is all about.


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