McAfee Labs Threats Report
Report
McAfee Labs
Threats Report
February 2015
Millions of mobile app
users are still exposed to
SSL vulnerabilities.
About McAfee Labs
McAfee Labs is one of the world’s leading sources for threat
research, threat intelligence, and cybersecurity thought
leadership. With data from millions of sensors across key
threats vectors—file, web, message, and network—McAfee
Labs delivers real-time threat intelligence, critical analysis,
and expert thinking to improve protection and reduce risks.
McAfee is now part of Intel Security.
www.mcafee.com/us/mcafee-labs.aspx
Follow McAfee Labs
Introduction
In our last Threats Report, we published nine threats
predictions for 2015. It’s just two months into the new year,
but some of our predictions have already come true.
“Small nation states and foreign terror groups will
take to cyberspace to conduct warfare against their
enemies. They will attack by launching crippling
distributed denial of service attacks or using malware
that wipes the master boot record to destroy their
enemies’ networks.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has attributed the
attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which included
master boot record wiping, to North Korea.
“This vector of attack [Shellshock] will be the entry
point into infrastructures from consumer appliances
to enterprises that are heavily dependent on nonWindows systems. As a result, we expect to see
a significant increase in non-Windows malware
during 2015.”
Malware exploiting the Shellshock vulnerability
is attacking unpatched network attached storage
(NAS) devices from QNAP.
“There are many untrusted app stores and direct app
download websites whose apps frequently contain
malware. Traffic to these malevolent app stores and
sites is often driven by “malvertising,” which has grown
quickly on mobile platforms. In 2015, we will continue
to see rapid growth in malvertising that targets mobile
users, perpetuating the growth in mobile malware.”
McAfee Labs researchers, working in conjunction
with Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Centre
for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt, uncovered
malware spread through Torrent that poses as an
Android app and promises to download the movie “The
Interview,” but instead infects mobile devices with a
banking Trojan. As many as 20,000 devices have been
infected to date.
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 2
“We have already seen techniques that exploit
vulnerabilities and escape application sandboxes.
It’s only a matter of time before those techniques
are offered to cybercriminals on the black market.
We believe that will happen in 2015.”
Some final comments:
■■
On January 13, Microsoft reported that an Internet
Explorer elevation-of-privilege vulnerability allowed
a sandbox escape and became a zero-day attack in
the wild.
Cybercriminals are so predictable!
For those of you attending Mobile World Congress
in March, we’ve written an alarming Key Topic about
the exposure of information, including usernames and
passwords, as vulnerable mobile apps communicate with
their companion websites. You might want to ponder this
story as you make your way to Barcelona. We’ve also
added a few mobile-specific charts in the Threats Statistics
section of the report that you should find interesting.
We’ve also developed a fascinating Key Topic around the
Angler exploit kit, which very quickly succeeded the Blacole
exploit kit after the latter’s creator was arrested in late
2013. Angler is even more powerful and prevalent than
Blacole. And because Angler is simple to use and widely
available through online dark markets, it has become a
preferred method to transport malware.
■■
■■
In September, Intel Security joined three other
security vendors to form the Cyber Threat
Alliance. The purpose of the alliance is to drive
more effective industry-level collaboration on
the analysis and eradication of cybersecurity
threats, and to deliver stronger protection to
individuals and organizations across all industries. We are happy to report that more than
100 security vendors have expressed an interest in joining the alliance. As these vendors join,
we think the network effect of the alliance
will significantly benefit all customers.
We recently published the report Hacking
the Human Operating System, which parses
the concept of social engineering and how it
is used by cybercriminals. It’s a good read, and
we encourage you to take a look.
We continue to receive valuable feedback from
our readers through our Threats Report user
surveys. If you would like to share your views
about this Threats Report, please click here to
complete a quick, five-minute survey.
—Vincent Weafer, Senior Vice President, McAfee Labs
Our final Key Topic highlights the challenging world
of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). PUPs are
applications that have legitimate uses but have functions
and behaviors that can be exploited against the user
without the user’s consent. As this story highlights, some
PUP creators are becoming more sinister, so PUP policies
must be frequently updated to ensure proper protection.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 3
Contents
McAfee Labs Threats Report
February 2015
This report was researched
and written by:
Carlos Castillo
Alex Hinchliffe
Patrick Knight
Chris Miller
Rajesh Nataraj KP
François Paget
Eric Peterson
Arun Pradeep
Craig Schmugar
Rick Simon
Dan Sommer
Bing Sun
Adam Wosotowsky
Executive Summary
5
Key Topics 6
Mobile users exposed: SSL/TLS vulnerabilities live on 7
After the death of Blacole: the Angler exploit kit 16
Fifty shades of gray: the challenging world
of potentially unwanted programs 25
Threats Statistics
34
Executive Summary
Mobile users exposed: SSL/TLS vulnerabilities live on
Months after popular mobile
app vendors were notified that
their apps exposed users to
SSL/TLS vulnerabilities, many
remain unsecure.
Our lead Key Topic discusses cryptographic vulnerabilities in popular mobile
apps that allow cybercriminals to establish man-in-the-middle attacks when
users sign on to their mobile apps’ companion websites. Poor programming
practices by these app developers expose their users to a variety of SSL/TLS
vulnerabilities such as BERserk and Heartbleed, which relate to the formation
of secure sessions. As a result, all communications between the mobile apps
and their websites, including usernames and passwords, are potentially viewable by cybercriminals. This exposure, coupled with the commercial availability
of mobile malware source code and the McAfee Labs prediction that mobile
malware generation kits will soon be offered on the dark web, is a recipe for
theft and could lead to an erosion of trust in the Internet.
After the death of Blacole: the Angler exploit kit
The Angler exploit kit has taken
over for Blacole to become one
of the most popular and powerful
attack kits.
An exploit kit is an off-the-shelf software package containing easy-to-use
attacks against known and unknown vulnerabilities. Very quickly after the
arrest of the Blacole exploit kit’s creator in 2013, cybercriminals migrated to
the Angler exploit kit to deliver their payloads. Because Angler is simple to use
and widely available through online dark markets, it has become a preferred
method to transport malware. In the second half of 2014, the Angler exploit kit
gained the attention of the security industry because of its prevalence and because of new capabilities such as fileless infection, virtual machine and security
product detection, and its ability to deliver a wide range of payloads including
banking Trojans, rootkits, ransomware, CryptoLocker, and backdoor Trojans.
As of this writing, it remains one of the most popular exploit kits.
Fifty shades of gray: the challenging world of potentially
unwanted programs
Potentially unwanted programs
(PUPs) live in the world between
nuisance and malicious malware
but are becoming more and
more aggressive.
PUPs are applications that have legitimate uses but have functions and
behaviors that can be exploited against the user without the user’s consent.
The most common distribution techniques for PUPs include piggybacking
legitimate apps, social engineering, online ad hijacking, unintended installation of
browser extensions and plug-ins, and forced installation along with legitimate apps.
They are hard to police because they don’t exhibit the kind of malicious behavior
typically caught by security products. As this story highlights, some PUP creators
are becoming more sinister, so PUP policies must be frequently updated to ensure
proper protection.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 5
Key Topics
Mobile users exposed: SSL/TLS
vulnerabilities live on
After the death of Blacole: the Angler
exploit kit
Fifty shades of gray: the challenging
world of potentially unwanted
programs
Share feedback
Key Topics
Mobile users exposed: SSL/TLS
vulnerabilities live on
—Carlos Castillo, Alex Hinchliffe, and Rick Simon
Mobile app usage is undoubtedly on the rise. Indeed, Apple’s slogan “there’s an
app for that” is truer today than ever before.
According to a 2014 Nielsen study of about 5,000 smartphone users, the number
of apps used by a typical person over the course of a month increased to almost
27 in 2013 from 23 in 2011. More significant, the amount of time spent using those
apps increased at a greater rate. During the same two-year period, smartphone
users increased their time spent using mobile apps by 65%, to more than 30 hours
per month in 2013, up from 18 hours per month in 2011. People have become
more dependent on mobile apps and those apps are more engaging.
Average Apps Used and Time Per Person Per Month
30:15
30
23:02
25
20
18:18
15
23.3
26.5
26.8
Q4 2011
Q4 2012
Q4 2013
10
5
0
Number of apps
Time per person (hh:mm)
Source: Nielsen, 2014.
Although the increases are excellent news for marketers and consumers (and
business app developers and their customers), they present security and privacy
problems that are a challenge to overcome.
Some security and privacy problems are the product of overly aggressive app
developers or the ad networks incorporated into their apps. For example, while
games is the most popular Apple app store category, it is also the most abused
category, according to the February 2014 McAfee Mobile Security Report. An
astounding 82% of mobile apps track when the Wi-Fi and data networks are
used, when the device is turned on, or the device’s current and last location. And
in most cases, users agree to share that information when apps are first installed.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 7
Key Topics
Other mobile app security problems are unintended, and we highlight one very
significant class of vulnerabilities in this Key Topic.
Cryptographic vulnerabilities: plentiful and very serious
During a man-in-the-middle attack
an attacker surreptitiously inserts
code into the communication
channel between two parties.
The attacker can do a number
of things, from eavesdropping
to manipulating the entire
conversation. MITM attacks begin
by breaking the cryptographic
process of authentication between
the two parties. SSL /TLS is the
most common cryptographic
protocol and is thus the most
commonly broken.
The genesis of this mobile app vulnerability has nothing to do with mobile apps
per se but rather the cryptographic process used by mobile apps to establish
secure connections with Internet websites.
In the McAfee Labs Threats Report: November 2014, we discussed in detail the
BERserk vulnerability, a flaw in the RSA signature verification process that is
performed by both mobile and nonmobile applications when establishing secure
connections. The BERserk vulnerability makes it possible for an attacker to forge
RSA certificates and establish man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks without the user’s knowledge. As a result, the confidentiality and integrity of sessions between
customers and their most trusted websites can be compromised.
A similar flaw is Heartbleed, a vulnerability in the OpenSSL implementation
of the SSL/TLS protocol that allows attackers to exploit seemingly secure
connections between users and websites. Again, both mobile and nonmobile
applications often establish secure connections through OpenSSL. At the time
of disclosure, it was estimated that about 17% (around 500,000) of the world’s
secure web servers were vulnerable to Heartbleed exploits. Due to its prevalence,
many consider Heartbleed the worst vulnerability ever discovered.
McAfee Labs documented the aftermath of Heartbleed in the McAfee Labs
Threats Report: August 2014. We pointed out that within days of its disclosure,
the security industry shared data, people, and tools to quickly address this
problem. And although most high-traffic websites were quickly patched, we
noted that many low-traffic sites and IP-enabled devices remain vulnerable
to Heartbleed exploits.
Both BERserk and Heartbleed are notable examples of cryptographic vulnerabilities. Others share the characteristic that secure connections between users and
websites appear to be safe but they are not because they have been compromised by an exploit. As a result, these vulnerabilities erode trust in the Internet.
Cryptographic vulnerabilities and mobile apps
What does all of this have to do with mobile app security?
With the increasing use of mobile apps, the significant number of cryptographic
vulnerabilities, and the impact those vulnerabilities have on trust in the Internet,
application developers must to do all they can to ensure the security and privacy
of their users, both mobile and nonmobile.
CERT, the first Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie Mellon
University, announced in August 2014 the release of “CERT Tapioca”
(Transparent Proxy Capture Appliance), a preconfigured virtual machine
appliance that acts as a transparent network-layer proxy to perform MITM
analysis of software. A couple of weeks later, CERT published a blog post about
the automated discovery of SSL vulnerabilities in mobile apps using Tapioca.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 8
Key Topics
In September 2014, CERT
published a list of mobile apps
that are vulnerable to MITM
attacks because they don’t
properly validate SSL certificates.
McAfee Labs found that 18 of the
25 most downloaded vulnerable
apps that send credentials via
insecure connections are still
vulnerable.
The result of that investigation is the Vulnerability Note VU#582497, published
in September 2014, which exposes the fact that more than 20,000 mobile
applications fail to properly validate SSL certificates and thus are vulnerable to
MITM attacks. All the tested applications and their details (tested versions, genre,
number of downloads, CVE identifiers, and CERT VU# identifiers, among other
information) are available in this public spreadsheet.
Recently, McAfee Labs decided to examine the most frequently downloaded
mobile apps from that public spreadsheet to verify that they are no longer
exposed to one of the most basic SSL vulnerabilities: improper digital certificate
chain validation. Specifically, we dynamically tested the top 25 downloaded mobile
apps that had been identified as vulnerable by CERT in September to ensure that
usernames and passwords are no longer visible as a result of improper verification
of SSL certificates. To our surprise, even though CERT notified the developers
months ago, 18 of the 25 most downloaded vulnerable apps that send credentials
via insecure connections are still vulnerable to MITM attacks.
The most downloaded vulnerable app in this group is a mobile photo editor with
between 100 million and 500 million downloads. The app allows users to share
photos on several social networks and cloud services. In late January, McAfee Labs
tested the most current version of the app downloaded from Google Play using
CERT Tapioca; we were able to intercept the app’s username and password
credentials entered to log into the cloud service to share and publish photos:
Example output from CERT Tapioca MITM analysis of a vulnerable mobile app. Note exposed
username and password near bottom.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 9
Key Topics
A mobile weather app in the group shares the same
problem as the photo editor, in that the credentials
vulnerable to interception belong to the web services
of the developers of the app. However, in the case of a
very popular mobile device file-management app, the
credentials exposed due to improper or lack of digital
certificate validation belong to a third-party cloud service,
Microsoft OneDrive:
CERT Tapioca output showing exposure of Microsoft OneDrive credentials by a vulnerable mobile file-management app.
In fact, the credentials exposed by the mobile device file
management app can be used to access not only Microsoft
OneDrive but also almost any Microsoft service because
the attacker will have access to the Microsoft account of
the victim.
Luckily, not all the news is bad. In the group of mobile apps
with more than 10 million downloads, three apps identified as vulnerable by CERT last August have been fixed. All
these apps show a network error when the MITM attack is
in place:
Examples of mobile apps
that have fixed their SSL/TLS
vulnerabilities.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 10
Key Topics
Although the warnings cannot be considered confirmation
that MITM attacks are currently in progress, they could give
the user a hint that something is wrong. Regarding the rest
of the vulnerable mobile apps with more than 10 million
downloads, we were able to intercept credentials to steal
identities for two social networks, access one app’s parent
dashboard, and control another app’s music video playlists.
In the group of vulnerable mobile apps with more than five
million downloads, three have fixed their vulnerabilities
but the other five remain vulnerable. Two of these are very
curious cases because, even when the websites are using
HTTPS, the credentials are sent in the URL—so they can
be intercepted by simply sniffing the network traffic. In
one case, both the username and password are traveling
in the URL.
This mobile app passes the username and encrypted password in the
URL. Packet-sniffing and password-cracking tools allow attackers to
capture credentials.
Although the intercepted password is a cryptographic hash
instead of the keyword, it is relatively easy to obtain the
password by performing attacks such as rainbow tables or
brute force, given that most people use weak passwords.
In the second curious case, only the username travels in the
URL, but McAfee Labs was still able to intercept the password because the app does not properly validate the digital
certificate of the website.
Example of a mobile app that passes the username in the URL
and improperly validates the digital certificate, thereby exposing
credentials to MITM attacks.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 11
Key Topics
In some cases, the vulnerable
mobile apps exposed credentials
to popular third-party services,
including Facebook, Instagram,
and Microsoft OneDrive.
One mobile social app presents another interesting case, in which the app uses
the Facebook Single Sign On feature to log in and provide users a new interface
for their Facebook information. However, as seen in the following screen, the
app is still vulnerable to improper digital certificate validation; we were able to
intercept Facebook credentials:
Facebook credentials are exposed by this mobile app that improperly validates the digital
certificate, allowing MITM attacks.
The same problem occurs with a mobile instant messaging app: Instead of
Facebook credentials, we captured the victim’s Instagram credentials for the
app and service:
Share this Report
This mobile app exposes Instagram credentials because it improperly validates the digital
certificate, allowing MITM attacks.
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 12
Key Topics
One sports-related mobile app in the group of five million downloads provides
free content such as headlines, game schedules, results, and statistics. The app
also lets users watch live regular-season games if they purchase a “season pass.”
In order to access that feature, a user must log in with a service username and
password, which we were able to intercept:
Example of a popular sports-related mobile app that exposes username and password.
In the last group of vulnerable mobile apps, each has more than one million
downloads according to Google Play. The group has seven apps of which only
one provider fixed the issue. The rest remain vulnerable at the time of this
writing. Just like other analyzed apps, this group exposes credentials from thirdparty services and social networks such as Instagram and Microsoft, or they
expose credentials that belong to their own systems and services. Finally, in the
case of one dating app, if there is an MITM attack in place, the user will receive
the following notification:
This vulnerable mobile app detects
unsafe networks but gives the user
an option to proceed.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 13
Key Topics
However, there is still the option “Trust this network.” If the user selects that
option, the attack will succeed:
If a user of this vulnerable mobile app selects “Trust this network,” the credentials will
be exposed to MITM attacks.
We noted in the McAfee Labs Threats Report: November 2014 that open and
commercial mobile malware source code is on the rise and predicted that mobile
malware generation kits would soon be offered on the dark web. These off-theshelf products will lower the barrier of entry for would-be thieves and will, in
effect, become cybercrime multipliers for mobile devices.
Couple our 2015 mobile security prediction with the continued exposure of
popular apps to SSL vulnerabilities, and we have a recipe for significant theft
by cybercriminals.
Addressing the problem
It is very positive news for the entire ecosystem—mobile platforms, app stores,
security vendors, and app developers—when issues like those raised by CERT
and Intel Security are fixed at the source: in the code of the vulnerable apps.
The news is less positive when the fixes are partial, such as in the case of the
aforementioned dating app, which allows users to make decisions to trust a
network, thereby exposing their login credentials.
What can be done when fixes have yet to be released?
As with most security issues, we can take some actions. But sometimes we’re
at the mercy of other variables, including app developers, app updates, and
OS versions.
Let’s start with the apps: Normally, we recommend that you download only highly
rated and well-known apps from trusted sources (known companies or reputable
marketplaces like Google Play), but in this case that advice falls short. All of
the apps we examined are well known, with high ratings, from trusted sources.
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 14
Key Topics
Learn how Intel Security can help
protect against this threat.
Nonetheless, this is still sound advice. If you are in an enterprise environment in
which some apps are provided through an internal “app store,” then you should
contact your IT team to ensure those apps are being tested to verify that they
aren’t subject to vulnerabilities like those we have discussed in this Key Topic.
What can users do? You can’t be expected to set up analysis tools and analyze
code to learn if you’re at risk, but you can reconsider that app and ask yourself
some questions. Why must you login? What benefit or purpose does it serve?
Are the “pro version” options really worth the potential compromise of personal
data? If the login uses a current social network account, consider whether the
convenience of doing so could cost you more than expected. You can also read
an application’s privacy policy to understand the what, why, and how of data
sharing. In short, you can STOP, THINK, CONNECT.
Managing passwords can be a painful affair. However, if you ensure that every
login for every app is unique, your risk is mitigated because only that app’s
credentials can be intercepted in an MITM attack. Unique credentials can be
managed manually, but applications are available to automate the process.
You can subscribe to updates from CERT or Intel Security to learn more about
these and other vulnerable applications, or you can perform web searches when
you are considering new apps. If you are concerned with something you read
about an app, try another one offering similar services. There is often more than
one for every need!
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 15
Key Topics
After the death of Blacole: the Angler
exploit kit
—Rajesh Nataraj KP
An exploit kit is an off-the-shelf software package containing easy-to-use packaged attacks on known and unknown vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals use exploit
kits to spread malware. These toolkits exploit client-side vulnerabilities, mostly
targeting the web browser and programs that can be accessed by the browser.
Exploit kits can track infection statistics and can remotely and covertly control
compromised machines.
The powerful Angler exploit
kit has become popular because
it is simple to acquire and use.
Sometimes law enforcement enjoys success against exploit kits. The creator of
the popular Blacole exploit kit was arrested in late 2013. However, the malware
authoring community quickly migrated to the Angler exploit kit to deliver their
payloads. In the second half of 2014, Angler gained the attention of the security
industry because of its prevalence and new capabilities such as fileless infection,
virtual machine and security product detection, and its ability to deliver a wide
range of payloads including banking Trojans, rootkits, ransomware, CryptoLocker,
and backdoor Trojans. The threat research community also discovered that
Angler is the first exploit kit to deliver ransomware by exploiting a vulnerability
in Microsoft Silverlight.
Because Angler doesn’t require technical proficiency to use and because it is
accessible through online “dark” markets, it has become one of the most popular
methods to transport malware.
Exploit kits mostly target vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome.
They also take advantage of holes in programs such as Adobe Flash Player, Adobe
Reader, and Java.
The following chart illustrates the most prevalent exploit kits of 2014.
Exploit Kits Prevalence in 2014
5% 1%
Angler
Sweet Orange
11%
26%
Flashpack
Magnitude
12%
Rig
17%
13%
Neutrino
15%
Share this Report
Infinity
Styx
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 16
Key Topics
Next we see the number of exploit kit variants throughout the past year.
Number of exploit kit variants
Variants Among Exploit Kits in 2014
15
10
5
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2014
Angler
Sweet Orange
Flashpack
Magnitude
Rig
Infinity
Neutrino
Styx
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Now let’s focus on the most popular exploit kit—Angler—and take a look at how
it works, what it targets, how it stays hidden, and how it has changed.
Active Angler
Angler employs a variety of
evasion techniques to remain
undetected by virtual machines,
sandboxes, and security software.
The Angler exploit kit is very active, frequently changing patterns and payloads
to hide its presence from security products. Angler has several key features:
■■
■■
■■
■■
■■
■■
Uses two levels of redirectors before reaching the landing page.
Compromised web servers hosting the landing page can be visited only
once from an IP. The attackers are clearly actively monitoring the hosts.
Detects the presence of virtual machines and security products in the
system.
Makes garbage and junk calls to be difficult to reverse engineer.
Encrypts all payloads at download and decrypts them on the
compromised machine.
Uses fileless infection (directly deployed in memory).
When a potential victim accesses a compromised web server through a vulnerable
browser, the server redirects the connection to an intermediate server, which then
redirects to the malicious server that hosts the exploit kit’s landing page. The page
checks for the presence of plug-ins (Java, ShockWave Flash, and Silverlight) and
version information. When a vulnerable browser or plug-in version is found, the
host delivers the payload and infects the machine.
The following graphic shows the complete infection chain.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 17
Key Topics
The Angler Exploit Kit Infection Chain
Victim
1
2
Vulnerable browser
3
Redirector 1
Compromised server redirecting
to a malicious server
4
Redirector 2
Either hosted by Angler
or compromised server
Server serving Angler
exploit kit page
5
NO
6
Compromised system
Server delivering exploits
and malicious payloads
Checks for virtual machine
and security products
YES
Ends with JavaScript
exception error
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 18
Key Topics
Reconnaissance
The Angler exploit kit inspects the target machine so it can serve the proper
landing page and payload.
■■
■■
Checks for browser name, version, and operating system using the
user agent.
Identifies the installed vulnerable browser plug-ins and their versions.
Once the vulnerable browser components have been identified, Angler’s landing
page executes the malicious code to serve the exploit.
Angler is equipped with various exploits and dynamically serves them based
on the vulnerable application. Angler can exploit several Internet Explorer
vulnerabilities:
■■
CVE 2013-2551: Targets IE Browser VML shape object memory
corruption.
■■
CVE-2013-0074: Silverlight double dereference vulnerability.
■■
CVE-2013-2465: Targets Java runtime environment.
■■
CVE-2014-0515: Targets Adobe ShockWave Flash Player.
Angler exploit kit code showing different vulnerabilities that it can exploit.
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 19
Key Topics
Delivery
Compromised or malicious servers deliver exploits and malicious payloads to the
victims. Exploit kit cybercriminals choose the method of delivery through malformed URLs known as campaigns. The variation in URL patterns or campaigns
suggests that they originate from different cybercriminal groups.
Two types of Angler campaigns have been seen in the wild and are classified
based on the serving domains, suggesting that several cybercriminal groups
extensively use Angler. The two campaigns:
■■
A regular exploit kit landing page without any unique pattern.
■■
A 32x32-gate-format landing page.
––[Malicious.Domain/[a-f0-9]{32}.php?q=[a-f0-9]{32}]
Exploitation
A typical Angler exploit kit landing page is highly obfuscated to make reverse
engineering difficult and challenging for threat researchers. It also includes junk
contents in the code to evade detection. The following image shows a landing
page that contains the exploit code.
Exploit kit landing page.
The encrypted content is stored in the html <p> tag, which defines a paragraph
and also supports global attributes. The encrypted content is stored inside
multiple <p> tags on the landing page.
The landing page script used to decrypt the content inside the <p> tag is scrambled and compressed with no proper format. Random variables, split strings, and
garbage functions make detection difficult.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 20
Key Topics
An obfuscated landing page.
The landing page decryption logic is pretty simple. The
encrypted content is replaced based on the substitution
cipher to get decrypted content.
In the preceding example, a 20-character key is split and
stored in an array. The split key is sorted based on ascending order and is stored in a separate array. A script on the
landing page uses the IndexOf () method to compare these
two arrays to generate a cipher. The method searches the
array for the specified characters, and returns its position.
These positions become the cipher that shifts the encrypted contents to decrypt.
The decrypted content still contains many functions that
use similar substitution algorithms to generate exploit
URLs, parameters, and payload information.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 21
Key Topics
Checking for defenses
Angler uses the RES:// protocol or the Microsoft XMLDOM ActiveX control method to identify the files in a system directory. It also checks for the presence of
security products or virtual machines.
An anti–virtual machine technique avoids infecting virtual machines and evades
automated analysis environments.
Angler searches for several files, including:
■■
■■
■■
■■
■■
A virtual keyboard plug-in to identify Kaspersky software.
tmactmon.sys, tmevtmgr.sys, tmeext.sys, tmnciesc.sys, tmtdi.sys,
tmcomm.sys, and tmebc32.sys (Trend Micro).
vm3dmp.sys, vmusbmouse.sys, vmmouse.sys, and vmhgfs.sys
(VMware).
vboxguest.sys, vboxmouse.sys, vboxsf.sys, and vboxvideo.sys
(Virtual Box VM).
prl_boot.sys, prl_fs.sys, prl_kmdd.sys, prl_memdev.sys, prl_mouf.sys,
prl_pv32.sys, prl_sound.sys, prl_strg.sys, prl_tg.sys, and prl_time.sys
(Parallel Desktop virtualization).
Payload installation
Once Angler detects
vulnerabilities, it can deliver a
growing list of malicious payloads.
Some malware can be dropped
directly into memory, making it
harder to detect.
After successful exploitation, the infection method is chosen based on the
vulnerable applications identified in the browser. Two infection methods have
been observed in Angler:
■■
■■
Fileless infection: Angler uses a new technique in which it injects the
payload directly into the exploited program’s memory by creating
a new thread in the exploited application. By using this approach,
Angler avoids dropping the file on the disk, which reduces the
likelihood that it will be detected by security software. This payload
might download additional malware.
Direct download of encrypted payloads: Payloads that are hosted
in the malicious server are encrypted using XOR encryption with an
8-byte key. After successful exploitation, these encrypted payloads
are downloaded to the targeted machine, where they are decrypted
and executed.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 22
Key Topics
■■
Andromeda
■■
Cryptowall
■■
Necurs
■■
Simda
■■
Vawtrak
■■
Zbot
The variety of payloads delivered
by this exploit kit indicates its
widespread use by different hacker
communities.
Payloads Delivered by Angler Exploit Kit in 2014
20
Number of payload variants served
Common malware families distributed
through Angler are shown here. These
payloads are discussed elsewhere and
are not the subject of this Key Topic.
15
10
5
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2014
Zbot
Simda
Vawtrak
Ransom
Necurs
Others
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Angler Exploit Kit Changes in 2014
• 32 x 32 gate-format landing page found
• Redirecting to Angler-based IP and user info
• Shellcode and payload XOR-ed together
• VMware and security product awareness
Q1 2014
Q2 2014
• Using Silverlight exploits CVE-2013-0074
• XOR-ing payloads
• CVE-2013-2551 IE browser exploits
• CVE-2013-5330 Flash exploit added
Q3 2014
Q4 2014
• Fileless infection technique
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 23
Key Topics
Safe practices
Learn how Intel Security can help
protect against this threat.
Here are some recommended ways to protect systems against the Angler
exploit kit:
■■
■■
■■
■■
■■
Use a security-conscious Internet service provider that implements
strong antispam and antiphishing procedures.
Enable automatic Windows updates, or download Microsoft updates
regularly, to keep operating systems patched against known vulnerabilities. Install patches from other software manufacturers as soon
as they are distributed. A fully patched computer behind a firewall is
the best defense against Trojan and spyware attacks.
Use great caution when opening attachments. Configure antivirus
software to automatically scan all email and instant-message
attachments. Make sure email programs do not automatically open
attachments or automatically render graphics, and ensure that
the preview pane is turned off. Never open unsolicited emails, or
unexpected attachments—even from known people.
Beware of spam-based phishing schemes. Don’t click on links
in emails or instant messages.
Use a browser plug-in to block the execution of scripts and iframes.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 24
Key Topics
Fifty shades of gray: the challenging
world of potentially unwanted programs
—Arun Pradeep
Potentially unwanted programs
(PUPs) live in the world between
nuisance and malicious malware.
They are often difficult to detect
and categorize.
We assume that all malware is bad and should be blacklisted. However, the class
of malware called potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) is often hard to categorize and combat, and PUPs are not always bad. Adware, spyware, and other types
of nondestructive apps are generally considered PUPs. PUPs lie in a “gray zone”
of classification because they often offer a benefit to the user in addition to
being a risk. Their developers sometimes have reasonable justifications but their
behavior varies considerably, ranging from relatively benign to quite malicious.
McAfee Labs carefully examines PUPs to determine their functions and helps
customers remove them.
Any application a user may find beneficial but that exhibits a tangible underlying
risk to the user may be considered a PUP. The applications generally do not
inform users of these risks. Unlike Trojans, viruses, rootkits, and other forms
of malware, PUPs generally do not steal user identities, banking credentials,
or alter system files. An application can be considered a PUP if it performs any
of the following behaviors:
■■
■■
■■
Modifies system settings, such as browser configuration, without
authorization.
Conceals an unsought program within a legitimate application.
Covertly collects user information, browsing habits, and system
configuration.
■■
Hides application installation.
■■
Makes removal difficult.
■■
Is distributed by confusing or deceptive advertisements.
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 25
Key Topics
Based on their behavior, we classify PUPs into these
subcategories:
■■
■■
■■
■■
■■
■■
Adware: Serves advertisements mainly through
browsers.
■■
Password cracker/revealer: Displays an
application’s hidden password.
■■
Remote administration tool (RAT): Monitors
user activities on the installed machine or
allows remote control of the system without
user awareness or consent.
Keygen: Generates product keys for legitimate
applications.
Browser hijacker: Changes the home page,
search page, browser settings, etc.
Hack tools: Standalone apps that can facilitate
system intrusions or loss of critical data.
Proxy: Redirects or hides IP-related information.
Tracking tools: Spyware or keylogging
applications that collect user keystrokes, log
personal communications, monitor user online
activities, or capture screens without user
awareness.
Key differences between PUPs and other malware like
Trojans, ransomware, bots, and viruses are shown below:
Techniques
Potentially unwanted programs
Other malware: Trojans, viruses, bots, etc.
Installation
method
Standard application installation procedure,
at times with EULA. Often needs user acceptance
and input to completely install on a system.
Installed as a standalone program without
any user input. Mostly operates as an
independent file.
Packaging
Bundled with clean applications and covertly
installed along with the clean app.
Standalone files with few additional components.
Not packaged as installers.
Uninstallation
Sometimes the package contains an uninstaller,
allowing removal. Often the uninstall procedure
is difficult.
Executables add more complexity in removing
the malware due to hooks into other processes,
process handles, and other complex linkages.
Because these are not installer packages, they
do not appear in Control Panel.
Behavior
Displays unintended advertisements, pop-ups,
pop-unders. Modifies browser settings, collects
user and system data, or allows remote control
of the system without user awareness
or consent.
Steals personal identity and banking information,
modifies system files, makes system unusable,
asks for ransom, etc.
Stealth nature
Behavior is usually not stealthy.
Can hide files, folders, registry entries, and
network traffic.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 26
Key Topics
Propagation
Cybercriminals rely on techniques such as phishing email campaigns, search
engine optimization hijacking, vulnerable web servers, or bots to spread their
malware. PUPs, on the other hand, are typically propagated by abusing the trust
of innocent users as explained in the McAfee Labs Threats Report: November
2014. The most common distribution techniques for PUPs include:
■■
Covertly piggybacking on a legitimate application.
■■
Social engineering.
■■
Selling Facebook likes.
■■
Posting scam messages on Facebook.
■■
Hijacking Google AdSense.
■■
Unintended browser extensions and plug-ins.
■■
Forced installation along with legitimate applications.
Hard to police
Although PUPs do not perform complex evasive maneuvers such as custom
packing, encryption, virtual machine detection, and other stealth behavior
commonly used by Trojans and viruses, they still manage to evade detection
by various security products. But if they aren’t complex, what makes these
programs hard to police?
Innocent-looking propagation techniques adapted by PUP authors allow them
to slip through various security gates—network intrusion prevention, firewall,
and antimalware—and reach their targets, even within enterprises. PUPs do
not have to be stealthy to bypass security checks because they are bundled
with legitimate apps and are sometimes installed with unwitting user consent.
Sometimes these apps are digitally signed to sneak onto systems.
It is easy for threat researchers to reverse engineer files to detect if they are
Trojans, viruses, or bots because they exhibit malicious behavior when analyzed
dynamically or statically, or when they are reverse engineered. PUPs, however,
generally do not exhibit such characteristics. Their behavior is similar to legitimate
programs’; hence they are considered “gray files” by the security community.
Gray program behavior challenges researchers to classify them as PUPs or
clean files.
For many years, PUPs were considered non-critical threats and did not greatly
concern security vendors. PUPs have now significantly enhanced their behavior.
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 27
Key Topics
Abusive adware
Among all the PUP categories, adware has attracted the greatest attention from
security vendors not because of annoying advertisements but because of the
way in which adware abuses trust.
PUPs, especially adware, have
become more aggressive, invasive,
and difficult to eradicate.
Adware has become smarter by implementing various techniques to ensure its
continuous presence on infected systems. Here are some of the methods:
■■
■■
Standalone process running in memory.
Component object model (COM) and non-COM DLL files with
functions built specifically for the app.
■■
Browser helper object registry keys.
■■
DLLs hooked to system processes.
■■
Browser extensions and plug-ins.
■■
Registered system services.
■■
Device driver components performing device control functions.
■■
Low-level filter drivers.
■■
Trojans delivered as payload.
The red zone in the following chart illustrates the multiple vectors targeted by
PUPs in various layers of Microsoft Windows.
USER MODE
Adware Load Points on Microsoft Windows
File on disk
Browser extensions
Cross-platform plug-ins
System services
KERNEL MODE
NTDLL.DLL
Device drivers
Threads
Virtual memory
KERNEL
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 28
Key Topics
PUP trends
Enterprise PUP Escalations
McAfee Labs saw in the third
quarter a high volume of PUPrelated escalations that use adware
techniques. The leading apps
were OutBrowse, SearchSuite,
SearchProtect, and Browsefox.
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
PUP escalations sent to McAfee Labs from enterprise customers in 2014.
PUPs Prevalence on Microsoft Windows
January
SafeSurf
Bitcoin miner
Amonetize
March
Hidewindow
BetterInstaller
Bprotect
May
OurBrowse
MultiDropper
Crossrider
AddLyrics
NewNext
Q1 2014
February
SafeSurf
OpenCandy
Bprotect
BetterSurf
NewNext
July
Browsefox
SearchProtect
SearchSuite
DealPly
Coinminer
Oneinstaller
Q2 2014
April
OurBrowse
MultiDropper
Bprotect
Crossrider
AddLyrics
September
Browsefox
SearchSuite
Crossrider
Amonetizer
OpenCandy
ShopperPro
Q3 2014
June
Browsefox
PriceMeter
SearchSuite
Bprotect
Oneinstaller
AddLyrics
August
Browsefox
SearchSuite
Crossrider
Amonetizer
AddLyrics
November
Browsefox
SearchSuite
Crossrider
DealPly
AddLyrics
Q4 2014
October
Browsefox
SearchSuite
Crossrider
WebProtect
iBryte
RocketTab
DealPly
AddLyrics
December
Browsefox
SearchSuite
Crossrider
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 29
Key Topics
Leading adware
products. These components go deep into kernel mode
and create low-level filter drivers that are usually employed
by applications to interact with hardware devices.
The most prevalent adware families in 2014:
■■
Adware-Browsefox
■■
Adware-SearchSuite
■■
Adware-SearchProtect
■■
Adware-iBryte
■■
PUPs that use the Crossrider framework
Browsefox runs two services on the infected system and
both connect to remote servers using TCP and UDP ports.
UDP connections do not guarantee packet delivery, but
TCP connections do guarantee delivery, thus ensuring
that the data pushed from the remote server reaches the
victim’s machine without fail. This adware’s system services
ensure that the program continuously runs on infected
machines even after a reboot.
SearchSuite adware, analyzed by McAfee Labs in 2014,
revealed significant aggressive behavior. In addition to
a complete install package, browser components, and
system services, SearchSuite can control device drivers
through the device control APIs of Windows. This peculiar
behavior challenges detection methods used in security
The Crossrider framework helps developers build crossplatform browser plug-ins. Now some adware manipulates
this framework, using the Crossrider API to covertly push
advertisements to targeted machines. This is another
trick employed by adware authors to evade detection by
endpoint security products.
PUPs reach out of Windows to take a bite of Apple
Although Trojans still find it difficult to infect Apple
systems, variants of PUP families such as Bundlore, Aobo
Keylogger, Ginieo, and SearchProtect have successfully
infected the Mac. More than 70% of all malware found on
Macs falls under the PUP category. Adware on Macs was
first observed in 2012; now many PUP families are found
on Macs.
Similar to their behavior on Windows, PUPs targeting Macs
are bundled with clean applications like video converters,
YouTube downloaders, and many more legit applications.
Once installed on a victim’s Mac, adware covertly monitors
the user’s browsing habits and serves advertisements
based on those activities.
PUPs Prevalence on Apple Macs
September
Vsearch
Yontoo
AoboKeyLogger
XForce Adobe Crack
Q3 2014
October
Fkcodec
Crossrider
Genieo
Bundlore
Zako
Ventir
November
NetWeird
OpinionSpy
SearchProtect
Puper
Rlogger
CoinMiner
December
Genieo
Spigot
Backtrack
Refog
Yontoo
CoinMiner
Q4 2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 30
Key Topics
Let’s take a look at a day in the life of PUPs. The following map shows reports
gathered from McAfee Labs field telemetry in a 24-hour period:
PUP sources in a sample 24-hour period.
PUPs vs. Other Leading Malware Hits in 24 Hours
■■
■■
PUPs
6%
Other Malware
■■
■■
94%
More than 300,000
unique IPs had some
adware components
running on the host.
PUPs were spread across
170 countries with the
greatest impact in the
United States.
1.5 million unique nodes
had PUP infections.
373,000 unique
hashes with some PUP
components were on
customer machines.
Among the top 50 malware families
monitored in this period, PUPs
dominated, with 94% of total hits.
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 31
Key Topics
In a typical 24 hour period, McAfee detects PUPs on more than
91 million systems.
PUP family
Number of detections reported
in 24 hours
Adware-Browsefox
86,683,015
Adware-BProtect
2,063,861
Adware-SearchSuite
1,133,810
PUP-MultiPlug
314,634
PUP-SoftPulse
209,813
Adware-iBryte
73,381
PUP-Crossrider
41,547
PUP-ShopperPro
33,382
Other PUP detections
1,102,919
McAfee Labs observed more than 9 billion PUP samples in 2014.
Making money through Google’s rankings
While search engine optimizers attempt to increase site rankings to earn more
on Google AdSense, PUP authors use adware to gain higher rankings using
shortcuts. After embedding adware on victims’ machines, remote servers
connect covertly through hijacked ads to increase visitor hits, thereby increasing
a site’s rank. Ads delivered to compromised machines are tailored to victims’
interests to increase the chance of clicks. Higher site ranks make websites appear
higher in Google search results, thus increasing ad-based revenue.
Once an adware app spreads to thousands of victims’ machines, these ad
hijacking and redirecting click traits function as a service, turning the adware
itself into a propagation medium.
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 32
Key Topics
Containing PUPs through aggressive policies
Learn how Intel Security can help
protect against this threat.
To systematically classify
PUPs, McAfee Labs has
established a PUP policy that
is updated as malware authors
change their tactics.
Due to the “grayness” of some PUP files and the difficulty in classifying them,
many security vendors develop PUP policies so that threat researchers can
classify PUPs in a more systematic way. A PUP policy is a document that defines
the rules for evaluating, classifying, and adding PUP detection.
McAfee Labs periodically revises its PUP policy to counter changes adopted by
PUP developers. Our most recent policy includes the following criteria to help
guide McAfee Labs threat researchers as they attempt to determine whether files
are PUPs.
■■
The value that the technology offers the user.
■■
The risk posed by the technology to a user.
■■
The context of the technology or component.
■■
The source or distribution of the technology.
■■
The prevalence of any misuse compared to legitimate use of the
technology.
McAfee Labs threat researchers then examine the following areas:
■■
The extent to which the user is notified of the software’s risks.
■■
The extent to which the user consents to the software’s behavior.
■■
The degree of control that the user has over the software’s
installation, operation, and removal.
At McAfee Labs, we examine every component file of a possible PUP to hunt
for its main installer. We replicate the installation in-house, allowing the installer
to download the complete package. We thoroughly analyze these downloads
and use our latest PUP policy to determine whether the app is a PUP or
legitimate. Once an app is classified as a PUP, users can then configure their
endpoint protection products to allow or block the PUP. Endpoint configuration
guidance for PUPs can be found here.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 33
Threats Statistics
Mobile malware
Malware
Web threats
Share feedback
Messaging and
network threats
Threats Statistics
Mobile malware
New Mobile Malware
900,000
800,000
700,000
600,000
500,000
400,000
300,000
200,000
100,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q1
Q3
Q2
2013
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Total Mobile Malware
7,000,000
The McAfee Labs collection of
mobile malware continued its
steady climb as it broke 6 million
samples in Q4, up 14% over Q3.
6,000,000
5,000,000
4,000,000
3,000,000
2,000,000
1,000,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
2013
Q4
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 35
Threats Statistics
Global Mobile Malware Infection Rate
30%
The infection rate for mobile
malware varies significantly over
time but is nonetheless quite
striking, with at least 8% of all
systems reporting an infection
since Q4 2013. Most of the rise
and subsequent fall since Q4
2013 is caused by the detection
of a single ad network—AirPush—
which is considered a PUP, as are
many ad networks.
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0
Q4
2013
Q1
Q2
Q4
Q3
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Regional Mobile Malware Infection Rates in Q4 2014
12%
For this threats report, we
examined data reported to us by
mobile devices running McAfee
mobile security products. The
information comes from millions of
mobile devices around the world.
An infection rate is the percentage
of time McAfee Labs has detected
some sort of malware on reporting
mobile devices. Malware includes
viruses, Trojans, and PUPs.
10%
8%
6%
4%
2%
0
Africa
Asia
Australia
Europe
North
America
South
America
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 36
Threats Statistics
Malware
New Malware
60,000,000
There are 387 new threats
every minute, or more than
6 every second.
50,000,000
40,000,000
30,000,000
20,000,000
10,000,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q1
Q2
2013
Q3
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Total Malware
400,000,000
Total malware in the McAfee Labs
zoo grew 17% from Q3 to Q4.
At this pace, the zoo will contain
more than a half-billion samples
by Q3 2015.
350,000,000
300,000,000
250,000,000
200,000,000
150,000,000
100,000,000
50,000,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
2013
Q4
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 37
Threats Statistics
New Ransomware
400,000
Beginning in Q3, the number of
new ransomware samples began
to grow again after a four-quarter
decline. In Q4, the number of
new samples leaped 155%. We
now count more than two million
ransomware samples.
350,000
300,000
250,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q1
Q2
2013
Q3
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Total Ransomware
2,500,000
2,000,000
1,500,000
1,000,000
500,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
2013
Q4
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 38
Threats Statistics
New Rootkit Malware
120,000
100,000
80,000
60,000
40,000
20,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q1
Q2
2013
Q3
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Total Rootkit Malware
1,600,000
1,400,000
1,200,000
1,000,000
800,000
600,000
400,000
200,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
2013
Q4
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 39
Threats Statistics
New Malicious Signed Binaries
3,000,000
2,500,000
2,000,000
1,500,000
1,000,000
500,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q1
2013
Q3
Q2
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Total Malicious Signed Binaries
18,000,000
After a brief drop in new
malicious signed binaries, the
pace of growth has resumed with
a 17% increase in total malicious
signed binaries in Q4.
16,000,000
14,000,000
12,000,000
10,000,000
8,000,000
6,000,000
4,000,000
2,000,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
2013
Q4
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 40
Threats Statistics
Web threats
New Suspect URLs
35,000,000
The number of new suspect
URLs skyrocketed in Q3 due to a
doubling in the number of new
short URLs, which often hide
malicious websites, and a sharp
increase in the number of phishing
URLs. In Q4, the pace of new
suspect URLs returned to a
typical amount.
30,000,000
25,000,000
20,000,000
15,000,000
10,000,000
5,000,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q1
Q2
2013
URLs
Q3
Associated Domains
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Location of Servers Hosting Suspect Content
3%
1%
<1%
15%
46%
North America
Europe–Middle East
35%
Q4
2014
Asia-Pacific
Latin America
Australia
Africa
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 41
Threats Statistics
New Phishing URLs
3,000,000
We primarily attribute the immense
leap in new phishing URLs in Q3 to
a single Russian pill-spam phishing
campaign that created a separate
subdomain for every recipient. The
campaign was not renewed in Q4.
2,500,000
2,000,000
1,500,000
1,000,000
500,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2013
URLs
Q1
Q2
Q3
Associated Domains
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Top Countries Hosting Phishing Domains
United States
Germany
United Kingdom
27%
France
49%
Brazil
Netherlands
2%
2%
2%
Russia
Canada
3%
Others
3%
4%
8%
Q4
2014
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 42
Threats Statistics
New Spam URLs
700,000
600,000
500,000
400,000
300,000
200,000
100,000
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2013
URLs
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
2014
Associated Domains
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Top Countries Hosting Spam Domains
United States
China
18%
2%
Germany
2%
Hong Kong
3%
52%
3%
Japan
4%
4%
Russia
12%
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Others
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 43
Threats Statistics
Messaging and network threats
Global Spam and Email Volume
(trillions of messages)
The abrupt increase beginning in
Q3 for legitimate email is due to
improvements in how we gather
data. The Q3 and Q4 figures are
not directly comparable to prior
quarters, but in the future we will
have a more accurate historical
measure of email volume.
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q1
Q2
2013
Spam
Q3
Q4
2014
Legitimate Email
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Spam Emails From Top 20 Botnets
(millions of messages)
Q4 brought a sharp decline in
spam volume from known botnet
senders. The Kelihos botnet, while
highly active throughout 2013–14,
became sporadic in its sending
behavior at the end of last year.
Overall, the trend during Q4 was
that of a decline in pharmaceutical
and get-rich-quick spam, and
an increase in spam distributing
malicious payloads from as yet
unidentified botnets.
1,500
1,000
500
0
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q1
Q2
2013
Share this Report
Q3
Q4
2014
Kelihos
Slenfbot
Snowshoe
Gamut
Darkmailer
Festi
Cutwail
Asprox
Darkmailer 2
Others
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 44
Threats Statistics
Top Network Attacks
1%
Browser, denial of service, and
brute force remain the top three
network attacks in Q4, though
DoS declined by almost half
from Q3. SSL increased by 4%
and Shellshock now appears on
our threats pie, in fifth place, due
to the continuing popularity of
Heartbleed and Shellshock attacks.
2%
1%
Browser
Denial
of Service
6%
5%
26%
6%
Brute Force
SSL
Shellshock
12%
Scan
22%
18%
Remote
Procedure Call
Buffer Overflow
Backdoor
Others
Source: McAfee Labs, 2015.
Share this Report
McAfee Labs Threats Report, February 2015 | 45
About Intel Security
Feedback. To help guide our
future work, we’re interested in
your feedback. If you would like to
share your views, please click here
to complete a quick, five-minute
Threats Report survey.
Follow McAfee Labs
McAfee is now part of Intel Security. With its Security Connected strategy,
innovative approach to hardware-enhanced security, and unique Global
Threat Intelligence, Intel Security is intensely focused on developing proactive,
proven security solutions and services that protect systems, networks, and
mobile devices for business and personal use around the world. Intel Security
combines the experience and expertise of McAfee with the innovation and
proven performance of Intel to make security an essential ingredient in every
architecture and on every computing platform. Intel Security’s mission is to give
everyone the confidence to live and work safely and securely in the digital world.
www.intelsecurity.com
The information in this document is provided only for educational purposes and for the convenience of McAfee
customers. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice, and is provided “as is,” without
guarantee or warranty as to the accuracy or applicability of the information to any specific situation or circumstance.
McAfee. Part of Intel Security.
2821 Mission College Boulevard
Santa Clara, CA 95054
888 847 8766
www.intelsecurity.com
Intel and the Intel logo are registered trademarks of the Intel Corporation in the US and/or other countries. McAfee and the
McAfee logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the US and other countries. Other
marks and brands may be claimed as the property of others. The product plans, specifications and descriptions herein are
provided for information only and subject to change without notice, and are provided without warranty of any kind, express
or implied. Copyright © 2015 McAfee, Inc. 61755rpt_qtr-q4_0215_fnl_PAIR
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement