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TA16-336A: Avalanche (crimeware-as-a-service infrastructure)

US-CERT Security Alerts - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 21:00
Original release date: December 01, 2016 | Last revised: December 02, 2016
Systems Affected

Microsoft Windows

Overview

“Avalanche” refers to a large global network hosting infrastructure used by cyber criminals to conduct phishing and malware distribution campaigns and money mule schemes. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is releasing this Technical Alert to provide further information about Avalanche.

Description

Cyber criminals utilized Avalanche botnet infrastructure to host and distribute a variety of malware variants to victims, including the targeting of over 40 major financial institutions. Victims may have had their sensitive personal information stolen (e.g., user account credentials). Victims’ compromised systems may also have been used to conduct other malicious activity, such as launching denial-of-service (DoS) attacks or distributing malware variants to other victims’ computers.

In addition, Avalanche infrastructure was used to run money mule schemes where criminals recruited people to commit fraud involving transporting and laundering stolen money or merchandise.

Avalanche used fast-flux DNS, a technique to hide the criminal servers, behind a constantly changing network of compromised systems acting as proxies.

The following malware families were hosted on the infrastructure:

  • Windows-encryption Trojan horse (WVT) (aka Matsnu, Injector,Rannoh,Ransomlock.P)
  • URLzone (aka Bebloh)
  • Citadel
  • VM-ZeuS (aka KINS)
  • Bugat (aka Feodo, Geodo, Cridex, Dridex, Emotet)
  • newGOZ (aka GameOverZeuS)
  • Tinba (aka TinyBanker)
  • Nymaim/GozNym
  • Vawtrak (aka Neverquest)
  • Marcher
  • Pandabanker
  • Ranbyus
  • Smart App
  • TeslaCrypt
  • Trusteer App
  • Xswkit

Avalanche was also used as a fast flux botnet which provides communication infrastructure for other botnets, including the following:        

  • TeslaCrypt
  • Nymaim
  • Corebot
  • GetTiny
  • Matsnu
  • Rovnix
  • Urlzone
  • QakBot (aka Qbot, PinkSlip Bot)
Impact

A system infected with Avalanche-associated malware may be subject to malicious activity including the theft of user credentials and other sensitive data, such as banking and credit card information. Some of the malware had the capability to encrypt user files and demand a ransom be paid by the victim to regain access to those files. In addition, the malware may have allowed criminals unauthorized remote access to the infected computer. Infected systems could have been used to conduct distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Solution

Users are advised to take the following actions to remediate malware infections associated with Avalanche:

  • Use and maintain anti-virus software – Anti-virus software recognizes and protects your computer against most known viruses. Even though parts of Avalanche are designed to evade detection, security companies are continuously updating their software to counter these advanced threats. Therefore, it is important to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date. If you suspect you may be a victim of an Avalanche malware, update your anti-virus software definitions and run a full-system scan. (See Understanding Anti-Virus Software for more information.)
  • Avoid clicking links in email – Attackers have become very skilled at making phishing emails look legitimate. Users should ensure the link is legitimate by typing the link into a new browser (see Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information).
  • Change your passwords – Your original passwords may have been compromised during the infection, so you should change them. (See Choosing and Protecting Passwords for more information.)
  • Keep your operating system and application software up-to-date – Install software patches so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. You should enable automatic updates of the operating system if this option is available. (See Understanding Patches for more information.)
  • Use anti-malware tools – Using a legitimate program that identifies and removes malware can help eliminate an infection. Users can consider employing a remediation tool. A non-exhaustive list of examples is provided below. The U.S. Government does not endorse or support any particular product or vendor.

          ESET Online Scanner

          https://www.eset.com/us/online-scanner/  

          F-Secure

          https://www.f-secure.com/en/web/home_global/online-scanner

          McAfee Stinger

          http://www.mcafee.com/us/downloads/free-tools/index.aspx

          Microsoft Safety Scanner

          https://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx

          Norton Power Eraser

          https://norton.com/npe

         Trend Micro HouseCall

          http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

References Revision History
  • December 1, 2016: Initial release
  • December 2, 2016: Added TrendMicro Scanner

This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-130 - Critical: Security Update for Microsoft Windows (3199172) - Version: 1.1

Microsoft Security Notifications - Wed, 11/23/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.1 (November 23, 2016): Updated the vulnerability description for CVE-2016-7222. This is an informational change only.
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if a locally authenticated attacker runs a specially crafted application.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-140 - Important: Security Update for Boot Manager (3193479) - Version: 1.1

Microsoft Security Notifications - Wed, 11/23/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.1 (November 23, 2016): Revised bulletin to announce a detection change for certain servers running Windows Servers 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016. Affected servers will not automatically receive the security update. For more information about the servers affected by this detection change, see Knowledge Base Article 3193479
Summary: This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow security feature bypass if an attacker installs an affected boot policy and bypasses Windows security features.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-137 - Important: Security Update for Windows Authentication Methods (3199173) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin published
Summary: This security update resolves multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The more severe of the vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege. To exploit this vulnerability, the attacker would first need to authenticate to the target, domain-joined system using valid user credentials. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could elevate their permissions from unprivileged user account to administrator.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-091 - Important: Security Update for .NET Framework (3170048) - Version: 1.1

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.1 (November 8, 2016):
Summary: This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft .NET Framework. The vulnerability could cause information disclosure if an attacker uploads a specially crafted XML file to web-based application.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-138 - Important: Security Update for Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk Driver (3199647) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin published.
Summary: The Windows Virtual Hard Disk Driver improperly handles user access to certain files. An attacker can manipulate files in locations not intended to be available to the user by exploiting this vulnerability.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-136 - Important: Security Update for SQL Server (3199641) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin Published.
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft SQL Server. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow an attacker could to gain elevated privileges that could be used to view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts. The security update addresses these most severe vulnerabilities by correcting how SQL Server handles pointer casting.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-133 - Important: Security Update for Microsoft Office (3199168) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin revised to announce the availability of the 14.7.0 update for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 (3186805) and the 15.28 update for Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac (3186807). Customers running affected Mac software should install the appropriate update for their product to be protected from the vulnerabilities discussed in this bulletin. Customers running other Microsoft Office software do not need to take any action. see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3198807. and Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3198798. for more information and download links.
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Microsoft Office file. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerabilities could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-139 - Important: Security Update for Windows Kernel (3199720) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker runs a specially crafted application to access sensitive information. A locally authenticated attacker could attempt to exploit this vulnerability by running a specially crafted application. An attacker can gain access to information not intended to be available to the user by using this method.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-131 - Critical: Security Update for Microsoft Video Control (3199151) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution when Microsoft Video Control fails to properly handle objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. However, an attacker must first convince a user to open either a specially crafted file or a program from either a webpage or an email message.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-135 - Important: Security Update for Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers (3199135) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Click here to enter text.
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to an affected system and runs a specially crafted application that could exploit the vulnerabilities and take control of an affected system.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-129 - Critical: Cumulative Security Update for Microsoft Edge (3199057) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Edge. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Microsoft Edge. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users with administrative user rights.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-142 - Critical: Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (3198467) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-132 - Critical: Security Update for Microsoft Graphics Component (3199120) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe being of the vulnerabilities could allow a remote code execution vulnerability exists when the Windows Animation Manager improperly handles objects in memory if a user visits a malicious webpage. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. This security update is rated Critical for all supported releases of Microsoft Windows. For more information, see the Affected Software and Vulnerability Severity Ratings section.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-134 - Important: Security Update for Common Log File System Driver (3193706) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege when the Windows Common Log File System (CLFS) driver improperly handles objects in memory. In a local attack scenario, an attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities by running a specially crafted application to take complete control over the affected system. An attacker who successfully exploits this vulnerability could run processes in an elevated context.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-141 - Critical: Security Update for Adobe Flash Player (3202790) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (November 8, 2016): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player when installed on all supported editions of Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows 10.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-120 - Critical: Security Update for Microsoft Graphics Component (3192884) - Version: 1.1

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.1 (November 8, 2016): Revise bulletin to announce a detection change to address an issue in supersedence, specifically in WSUS environments where various updates applicable to Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 were incorrectly marked as being superseded. This is a detection change only. There were no changes to the update files. Customers who have already successfully installed the update do not need to take any action
Summary: This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Skype for Business, Silverlight and Microsoft Lync. The most serious of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user either visits a specially crafted website or opens a specially crafted document. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-035 - Important: Security Update for .NET Framework to Address Security Feature Bypass (3141780) - Version: 2.6

Microsoft Security Notifications - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V2.6 (November 8, 2016): Revised bulletin to announce that a detection change was made to account for .NET Framework 4.6.1 hotfix rollup customers who were not being properly offered security updates applicable to the .NET Framework 4.6.1.
Summary: This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft .NET Framework. The security feature bypass exists in a .NET Framework component that does not properly validate certain elements of a signed XML document.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-128 - Critical: Security Update for Adobe Flash Player (3201860) - Version: 1.0

Microsoft Security Notifications - Thu, 10/27/2016 - 09:00
Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (October 27, 2016): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves a vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player when installed on all supported editions of Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows 10.
Categories: Security Alerts

MS16-110 - Important: Security Update for Microsoft Windows (3178467) - Version: 1.1

Microsoft Security Notifications - Fri, 10/21/2016 - 09:00
Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.1 (October 21, 2016): Bulletin update to remove duplicated sections. This is an informational change only.
Summary: This security update resolves multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an attacker creates a specially crafted request and executes arbitrary code with elevated permissions on a target system.
Categories: Security Alerts
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