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Chrome extension caught stealing crypto-wallet private keys

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A Google Chrome extension was caught injecting JavaScript code on web pages to steal passwords and private keys from cryptocurrency wallets and cryptocurrency portals.

The extension is named Shitcoin Wallet (Chrome extension ID: ckkgmccefffnbbalkmbbgebbojjogffn), and was launched last month, on December 9.

According to an introductory blog post, Shitcoin Wallet lets users manage Ether (ETH) coins, but also Ethereum ERC20-based tokens — tokens usually issued for ICOs (initial coin offerings).

Users can install the Chrome extension and manage ETH coins and ERC20 tokens from within their browser, or they can install a Windows desktop app, if they want to manage their funds from outside a browser’s riskier environment.

Malicious behavior breakdown

However, the wallet app wasn’t what it promised to be. Yesterday, Harry Denley, Director of Security at the MyCrypto platform, discovered that the extension contained malicious code.

According to Denley, the extension is dangerous to users in two ways. First, any funds (ETH coins and ERC0-based tokens) managed directly inside the extension are at risk.

Denley says that the extension sends the private keys of all wallets created or managed through its interface to a third-party website located at erc20wallet[.]tk.

Second, the extension also actively injects malicious JavaScript code when users navigate to five well-known and popular cryptocurrency management platforms. This code steals login credentials and private keys, data that it’s sent to the same erc20wallet[.]tk third-party website.

According to an analysis of the malicious code, the process goes as follows:

  • Users install the Chrome extension
  • Chrome extension requests permission to inject JavaScript (JS) code on 77 websites [listed here]
  • When users navigate to any of these 77 sites, the extension loads and injects an additional JS file from: https://erc20wallet[.]tk/js/content_.js
  • This JS file contains obfuscated code [deobfuscated here]
  • The code activates on five websites: MyEtherWallet.com, Idex.Market, Binance.org, NeoTracker.io, and Switcheo.exchange
  • Once activated, the malicious JS code records the user’s login credentials, searches for private keys stored inside the dashboards of the five services, and, finally, sends the data to erc20wallet[.]tk

At the time of writing, the extension was still available for download through the official Google Chrome Web Store, where it listed 625 installs.

It is unclear if the Shitcoin Wallet team is responsible for the malicious code, or if the Chrome extension was compromised by a third-party. A spokesperson for the Shitcoin Wallet team did not reply to a request for comment before this article’s publication.

Desktop app

On the extension’s official website, 32-bit and 64-bit installers were also made available to users.

Scans with VirusTotal, a website that aggregates the virus scanning engines of several antivirus software makers, show both files as clean.

However, numerous comments posted on the wallet’s Telegram channel suggest the desktop apps might contain similarly malicious code, if not worse.

shitcoin-wallet-telegram.png

Image: ZDNet



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The Five Pillars of (Azure) Cloud-based Application Security

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This 1-hour webinar from GigaOm brings together experts in Azure cloud application migration and security, featuring GigaOm analyst Jon Collins and special guests from Fortinet, Director of Product Marketing for Public Cloud, Daniel Schrader, and Global Director of Public Cloud Architecture and Engineering, Aidan Walden.

These interesting times have accelerated the drive towards digital transformation, application rationalization, and migration to cloud-based architectures. Enterprise organizations are looking to increase efficiency, but without impacting performance or increasing risk, either from infrastructure resilience or end-user behaviors.

Success requires a combination of best practice and appropriate use of technology, depending on where the organization is on its cloud journey. Elements such as zero-trust access and security-driven networking need to be deployed in parallel with security-first operations, breach prevention and response.

If you are looking to migrate applications to the cloud and want to be sure your approach maximizes delivery whilst minimizing risk, this webinar is for you.

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Data Management and Secure Data Storage for the Enterprise

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This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research brings together experts in data management and security, featuring GigaOm Analyst Enrico Signoretti and special guest from RackTop Systems, Jonathan Halstuch. The discussion will focus on data storage and how to protect data against cyberattacks.

Most of the recent news coverage and analysis of cyberattacks focus on hackers getting access and control of critical systems. Yet rarely is it mentioned that the most valuable asset for the organizations under attack is the data contained in these systems.

In this webinar, you will learn about the risks and costs of a poor data security management approach, and how to improve your data storage to prevent and mitigate the consequences of a compromised infrastructure.

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CISO Podcast: Talking Anti-Phishing Solutions

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Simon Gibson earlier this year published the report, “GigaOm Radar for Phishing Prevention and Detection,” which assessed more than a dozen security solutions focused on detecting and mitigating email-borne threats and vulnerabilities. As Gibson noted in his report, email remains a prime vector for attack, reflecting the strategic role it plays in corporate communications.

Earlier this week, Gibson’s report was a featured topic of discussions on David Spark’s popular CISO Security Vendor Relationship Podcast. In it, Spark interviewed a pair of chief information security officers—Mike Johnson, CISO for SalesForce, and James Dolph, CISO for Guidewire Software—to get their take on the role of anti-phishing solutions.

“I want to first give GigaOm some credit here for really pointing out the need to decide what to do with detections,” Johnson said when asked for his thoughts about selecting an anti-phishing tool. “I think a lot of companies charge into a solution for anti-phishing without thinking about what they are going to do when the thing triggers.”

As Johnson noted, the needs and vulnerabilities of a large organization aligned on Microsoft 365 are very different from those of a smaller outfit working with GSuite. A malicious Excel macro-laden file, for example, poses a credible threat to a Microsoft shop and therefore argues for a detonation solution to detect and neutralize malicious payloads before they can spread and morph. On the other hand, a smaller company is more exposed to business email compromise (BEC) attacks, since spending authority is often spread among many employees in these businesses.

Gibson’s radar report describes both in-line and out-of-band solutions, but Johnson said cloud-aligned infrastructures argue against traditional in-line schemes.

“If you put an in-line solution in front of [Microsoft] 365 or in front of GSuite, you are likely decreasing your reliability, because you’ve now introduced this single point of failure. Google and Microsoft have this massive amount of reliability that is built in,” Johnson said.

So how should IT decision makers go about selecting an anti-phishing solution? Dolph answered that question with a series of questions of his own:

“Does it nail the basics? Does it fit with the technologies we have in place? And then secondarily, is it reliable, is it tunable, is it manageable?” he asked. “Because it can add a lot overhead, especially if you have a small team if these tools are really disruptive to the email flow.”

Dolph concluded by noting that it’s important for solutions to provide insight that can help organizations target their protections, as well as support both training and awareness around threats. Finally, he urged organizations to consider how they can measure the effectiveness of solutions.

“I may look at other solutions in the future and how do I compare those solutions to the benchmark of what we have in place?”

Listen to the Podcast: CISO Podcast

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