Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 10:13

Windows banking trojan uses known names to target Australians


Malicious attackers are using the names of well-known firms like Xero and Tax Store Australia to try and trick Australians into installing a variant of the Ursnif banking trojan on their Windows computers.

The trojan steals banking credentials and profiles of infected PCs.

Researchers from security firm Proofpoint said they had observed an increase in the number of emails which contained Ursnif targeting Australian users.

The email typically contains a Microsoft Word attachment and the content refers to it as an invoice that is due.

When the Word file is downloaded, macros within it are used by the attacker to install the trojan.


Another email posed as one from Tax Store Australia, a network of accounting firms and taxation professionals.

Proofpoint said many of these emails were sent by a financially motivated actor it referred to as TA543 aka Sagrid, who frequently abused legitimate email services like Sendgrid, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp to send malicious spam at scale.

TA543 has also frequently abused Microsoft SharePoint to host malware, although recent Microsoft security upgrades to SharePoint are limiting the ability of actors like TA543 to abuse the service.

While Ursnif appeared to be the malware of choice for targeting Australians over the last quarter, ransomware and other banking trojans also appeared in a number of campaigns.

Proofpoint said it had also observed broad, multi-regional attacks including the Locky ransomware and The Trick banking trojan affecting Australia while actors less frequently distributed other credential-stealing malware like CoreBot and Zloader in the region.

Two multi-faceted campaigns targeting Australia, among other regions attempted to install ZLoader, a Windows-targeting banking malware based on Zeus, and an Android banking malware variant in the same email.

Corebot was seen only in a few cases, Proofpoint said.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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