Thursday, March 22, 2012

LinkedIn & BBB Spam Driving Traffic to Compromised WordPress Sites Spreading Cridex Malware

WordPress sucked into a black hole! Ahh!Cybercriminals are actively spamming out fraudulent emails purporting to come from trusted companies like the Better Business Bureau and LinkedIn in order to direct users to compromised WordPress sites housing exploit kits.

Both TrendLabs and M86 Security have taken notice to the mass compromise of websites running on the popular WordPress blogging platform and the corresponding spam campaign that’s striving to infect as many computers as possible with the Cridex Trojan.

The attack starts out by the user receiving a spoofed email stating they've received LinkedIn invitations and have pending messages or that a customer has filed a complaint about their company with the BBB, as the sample email shown below claims:

BBB Spam with Compromised Site LinksScreenshot Credit: TrendLabs

Subject: Better Business Bureau complaint

Attn: Owner/Manager

Here with the Better Business Bureau would like to inform you that we have received a complaint (ID XXXXXXXX) from one of your customers in regard to their dealership with you.

Please open the COMPLAINT REPORT below to find the details on this matter and inform us about your point of view as soon as possible.

We are looking forward to your prompt reply.

Gerard Johnson

Dispute Counselor
Better Business Bureau
Council of Better Business Bureaus

4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203-1838
Phone: 1 (703) 276.0100
Fax: 1 (703) 525.8277

When the user clicks on the link to review the (non-existent) complaint - or pending LinkedIn messages - they will be taken to one of the compromised WordPress sites, ultimately leading them to the residing [Phoenix or Blackhole] exploit kit  that would attempt to leverage vulnerabilities within Adobe Reader and Acrobat (CVE-2010-0188) and Windows Help Center (CVE-2010-1885) to infect the target machine with WORM_CRIDEX.IC (Cridex).

When executed, Cridex will attempt to download its configuration files from a remote server.

Cridex is said to have capabilities similar to ZeuS and SpyEye banking Trojans, including the ability to:

  • Take screenshots of every webpage accessed by the user in real-time.

  • Blacklist and redirect URLs.

  • Intercept browser requests and change the displayed content according to its configuration file in order to trick the user into entering private information.

All of the information captured by Cridex is then uploaded to a remote C&C server.

To avoid being hit by this malware attack, users are advised to exercise caution when following links within unsolicited emails. Traps like these can typically be avoided by taking a moment to hover your mouse over a link to see what the true destination URL is.

WordPress site owners can minimize the chances of their website being compromised by avoiding WordPress plug-ins with known vulnerabilities, using strong FTP credentials and exploring the numerous ways to help secure WordPress.

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