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Hackers target users with Gameover Zeus malware

Website needs two-factor authentication, says F-Secure
Thu Mar 27 2014, 10:50
Security threats - password theft

HACKERS ARE TARGETING jobseekers and recruiters at Monster Jobs using Gameover Zeus malware, according to security firm F-Secure.

F-Secure researchers reported the campaign in a blog post. F-Secure security analyst Sean Sullivan told The INQUIRER that the campaign uses a two-stage strategy to take control of the accounts. The first stage sees the hackers infect the victim's system with the Gameover malware.

"Gameover Zeus gets installed in the usual fashion from bait of some sort: spam or malvertising, exploit kit, bot installer. Once installed Gameover is able to grab information from forms - so the username and passwords as they are typed," explained Sullivan.

In the second stage of the attack, the hackers attempt to dupe the users to hand over the remaining information needed to fully take control of the account using a bogus security check form, said Sullivan.

F-Secure said the purpose of the attack remains unknown, though it is likely designed to target the accounts of HR departments using Monster.

"HR recruiters with website accounts should be wary of any such irregularities. If the account is potentially tied to a bank account and a spending budget, it's a target for banking Trojans," read the post.

At the time of publishing Monster had not responded to our request for comment on the Gameover Zeus malware campaign.

Sullivan told The INQUIRER that the nature of the malware means it is unclear how many victims the campaign has ensnared. "It's a peer-to-peer botnet so it's tricky to count," he said.

But Sullivan added, "There is some excellent analysis from Dell Secureworks, which details about 24,000 Gameover bots, in July 2012. I haven't seen any attempts to count the entire Gameover botnet recently, but I'm sure it's still in the multiple tens of thousands."

F-Secure said that the campaign could easily be dealt with if Monster adopted a more robust account authentication system. "It wouldn't be a bad idea for sites such as Monster to introduce two-factor authentication, beyond mere security questions," read the post.

Two-factor authentication is an increasingly common security protocol for online service providers. Many companies including Tumblr, Twitter and Dropbox have added the feature over the past two years. µ


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