Thursday, August 25, 2016

Roman Seleznev (AKA Track2 / Bulba / Zagreb / smaus) Found Guilty on 38 of 40 Charges

Roman Seleznev has been found guilty to 38 of 40 charges against him by a Seattle-based jury.  Seleznev's case created an international stir when he was arrested while vacationing in the Maldives and arraigned in July of 2014 in the US Territory of Guam (as we wrote about.  See: "Roman Seleznev (AKA Bulba, AKA Track2, AKA NCUX) appears in US Court in Guam").

According to the DOJ Press release: "Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that the malware would steal the credit card data from the point-of-sale systems and send it to other servers that Seleznev controlled in Russia, the Ukraine or in McLean, Virginia.  Seleznev then bundled the credit card information into groups called “bases” and sold the information on various “carding” websites to buyers who would then use the credit card numbers for fraudulent purchases, according to the trial evidence.  Testimony at trial revealed that Seleznev’s scheme caused 3,700 financial institutions more than $169 million in losses."

Sentencing will be held Dec 2, 2016.

Some of the charges to which he was found guilty include five counts of Bank Fraud,  eight counts of Intentional Damage to a Protected Computer, eight counts of Obtaining Information from a Protected Computer, one count of "Posession of Fifteen or More Unauthorized Access Devices" (yes, 1.7 million is more than 15!), two counts of Trafficking in Unauthorized Access Devices, and five counts of Aggravated Identity Theft.

Seleznev was indicted in a RICO racketerring case regarding his role in the website, where many criminals have already been sentenced.  That case, known as "Operation Open Market" focused on Cameron Harrison, aka Kilobit, and 55 co-defendants.  The investigation began back in March 2007 when an alert manager of a Whole Foods recognized Justin Todd Moss as someone who had used fake ID to steal from his store.  Moss turned out to be "Celtic", a seller of online ids.  Secret Service agent Mike Adams assumed Moss's online persona, and began selling counterfeit identifications to several of the people who have now found themselves in prison because of this investigation.  WIRED magazine's Kevin Poulsen has a great write-up on that aspect of the case.  (See: "The Secret Service Agent Who Collared Cybercrooks By Selling Them Fake IDs")

In total, at least 33 of the 56 indicted criminals have already been sentenced, although several, including at least two of the leaders, are still at large with rewards pending for their arrest.  Want to make some money?

Konstantin Lopatin, aka Graf, DOB 09/11/1982, Russian.  $1 Million reward:

Roman Olegovich Zolotarev, aka Admin, aka DJ Goren, DOB: 10/20/1985. $2 Million reward

The case was broken down into several trials. Case No: 2:12-CR-004 was specifically focused on the activities:

Harrison, aka Kilobit was a 28 year old hacked from Augusta, Georgia, who was sentenced to 115 months in prison for his part in causing $50 Million in online identity theft trouble.  When he was arrested he was found to be in possession of 260 compromised credit and debit card numbers.  Seleznev possessed 1.7 million cards.

Alexander Kostyukov, aka Temp, aka KLBS, 29, of Miami - sentenced to 9 years on December 9, 2015

Jermaine Smith, aka SirCharlie57, aka Fairbusinessman, 34, of New Jersey - sentenced to 150 months on April 9, 2015

Makyl Haggerty, aka Wave, aka G5, 24, of Oakland, California - sentenced to 100 months on August 22, 2014

Michael Lofton, aka Killit aka Lofeazy, 36, of Las Vegas - sentenced to 24 months May 28, 2014 and 63 months on May 22, 2014 - he committed additional crimes while awaiting sentencing on the first case!

David Ray Camez, aka Bad Man, aka doctorsex, 22 years old - sentenced to 20 years in prison on May 15, 2014.

Case No: 2:12-CR-083 also was concerned with Stolen Identity Refund crimes against the IRS, but all of these were also members of

Jason Maclaskey, aka Shinnerbock, aka That Guy, of Spring, Texas - sentenced to 10 years + 3 years supervised release on July 27, 2015.   Sentenced at the same time as Jason were Omar and Heather:

Omar Butt, aka Fear, of Brooklyn, New York - sentenced to 40 months on July 27, 2015.

Heather Dale, 25, of Grant Alabama - sentenced to 24 months.

Billy Steffey, aka Oink Oink, aka FredFlintstone, aka Yomamma,

Case No. 2:12-CR-084 included Thomas Lamb, Jonathan Vergnetti, Roger Grodesky, and John Holsheimer.

As more links to sentencing documents are found, we'll update this page.  In the meantime, to see which charges were brought against which vendors, please see "Operation Open Market: The Vendors"

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Kelihos Botnet sending geo-targeted Desjardins Phish to Canadians

As we mentioned in our blog last week (see: Kelihos botnet sending Panda Zeus to German and UK Banking Customers), the Kelihos botnet is now using "geo-targeting" based on the ccTLD portion of email addresses.  Today, those recipients whose email address ends in ".ca" are receiving a French language spam message advertising one of many Desjardins phishing websites:

<== French Desjardins Phishing Email || Google Translate ==> 
Some of the email subjects being used include:

Subject:  Renouvellement de votre compte Desjardins
Subject:  Solutions en ligne Desjardins
Subject:  Veuillez regulariser votre compte Acces
Subject:  Desjardins Reactivation
Subject:  Reactivation de votre compte AccesD

Each of these URLs is currently resolving to the IP address


Here is a pictorial walk-through of the phishing website:

We begin by entering a Credit Card number -- it must be a number that passes a Luhn check:

After entering a valid CC#, the next page asks the phishing victim for three security questions and their answers:

And lastly, the phisher's try to get any and all possible additional information they can!

Only after entering a valid password and a number that matches the mathematical rules for a Canadian Social Insurance Number does the phisher send the victim to the real Desjardins website!

Beware, Canadian friends!   And let us hope that our shared victimization increases our mutual law enforcement agencies desire to stop this botnet!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kelihos botnet sending Panda Zeus to German and UK Banking Customers

On August 11th and August 12th the Kelihos botnet has been observed sending malware again.  Unlike the Ransomware that we've seen it send recently (see Kelihos spamming American Airlines Ransomware and Kelihos spamming Dutch Wildfire Ransomware ), this time it is sending links to a Word document that will drop a variant of Zeus.

One interesting observation about the spam is that it is doing "geo-targeting" based on the ccTLD of the email recipient.  Max Gannon, a UAB malware researcher in our lab, has modified his copy of Wireshark with a couple nice extra columns -- "" "imf.from" "imf.subject"

Now we can do a filter in Wireshark like this:

Filter: contains

which reveals only the subject lines that were sent to people in the UK!

The subjects in this run for people were:

Subject: Barclays Personal Banking
Subject: Detected suspicious transaction on your account
Subject: HSBC Personal Banking
Subject: Incomplete transaction
Subject: Locked transaction

(There was also one "The truth about male power" but that's just a counterfeit pharmaceutical website, which is the main thing Kelihos spams when it is not on a special mission!)

Here's an example of the Barclays spam:

And an example of the HSBC spam:

The .de people also got a special German invitation to be infected:

Subject: Bitte beachten Sie in ihre Postbank konto
Subject: Geehrter Kunde
Subject: Info von ihre Bank
Subject: Inkasso von Anton Weber
Subject: Mahnung abhleichen
Subject: Postbank AG
Subject: Postbank info abteilung
Subject: Rechnung bei Postbank AG
Subject: Rechtsanwalt T. Hoffman
Subject: Von Ihre Bank
Subject: Von Postbank
Subject: Weitere Mahnung erfolgt in Ihre bank
Subject: Wir erwarten die Zahlung

(And they also had a few pill-spam subject, "Win your female partner's addiction", etc.)

Here's one of the PostBank samples:

The malicious URL in each of these emails, dropped from several sites, including:

 www dot 1800cloud dot com / infos / report dot doc / bank / report dot doc

VirusTotal hint leads to . . . ZEUS!

A very curious thing when we looked at the file on VirusTotal is that there is an "EXIF comments" section that contains a goodly blob of characters that looked ASCII range to me ... so ...

when decoded by an awesome tool former UAB MS/CFSM student Vicki Carleton built for me 8-) ...

becomes a URL!

and THAT ... is Zeus! (with an 8 of 55 detection rate at VirusTotal as of this writing...)

The Zeus file, when executed, creates a .bat file, which deletes itself after running . . . and then stops me because it is 5:00 PM and I'm hungry . . .

The rest, as we say in Academia, is left as an exercise for the reader . . .

We'll let others dig into the actual Zeus malware that is dropped next, but for now, we have it on good authority that this is the "Panda Zeus" malware, discovered by Fox-IT back in April and blogged about more recently by Arbor Networks and IBM Security Intelligence.

The other Kelihos spam?

100% of the ".com", ".net", and ".pl"  addresses were pill spam
Subject: Achieve pure fun
Subject: Ancient secret of immeasurable nights of happiness
Subject: Are you ready to amaze your woman this night?
Subject: Big dignity will please your lady
(ok, i'll stop ...)

The only other geo-targeted spam was in Italian and targeted only at ".it" email addresses. It seemed to be a romance scam invitation.   ( wants me, and a few million other people, to "scrivere" her "su un personal mail.:)

Lyudmilafedoji had her own set of subject lines:
Al di mare grande, si sei ora?
Avete tuo piani per stasera?
Buon Pomeriggio, come stai?
Buona sera, siamo a conoscenza.
Ciao, come ti nome?
Ciao, scrivimi me.
Ciaooo, io ti conosco!
Forse tu sei tu persona che sara felice
Hi, come stai?
Io voglio il vero amore!
Io voglio incontrarmi con tuo.
and many more . . .
(So for my Italian readers, beware!  She's interested in EVERYONE!)