Ukrainian police have arrested a 42-old-man on charges of infecting over 2,000 users across 50 countries with the DarkComet remote access trojan (RAT).
The man was arrested this week after police executed a search warrant at his residence in the city of Lviv, in Western Ukraine.
In a press release published today, Ukrainian police said they found a modified administrator panel for the DarkCommet RAT on the man’s computer, along with the malware’s installation files, and screenshots of infected victims’ computers.
DarkComet was first released in 2008 and was initially advertised as a legitimate remote administration toolkit. Because of its intrusive spying capabilities, the tool was quickly adopted by malware developers, becoming a popular RAT within months [1, 2].
The tool’s author, French software developer Jean-Pierre Lesueur, stopped developing the tool in 2012 after it became evident that most of the tool’s use cases were for cybercrime and after reports surfaced that Syrian authorities had been using it to crack down on dissidents [1, 2].
Despite this, DarkComet development was picked up by other unofficial developers, and the RAT continued to plague users even to this day[1, 2], being recently spotted even in the arsenal and operations of North Korean government-backed hackers.
DarkCommet works as all your typical RATs, and is comprised of “clients” that are installed on infected computers, which send data back to a “server” module –the administration panel.
The RAT clients can take screenshots of users’ screens, log keystrokes, steal documents, install additional malware on victims’ computers, disable OS features, and steal passwords stored inside other local apps –just to name a few of its many features.
How to determine if you’ve been infected
Ukrainian police did not release the name of the suspect they arrested this week, but they did publish instructions on how to detect if users have been infected by this man’s DarkComet campaign. The instructions are as follows:
- Press the Windows + R keys to open a Run dialog.
- Type “cmd” and press Enter.
- In the command prompt type “netstat -nao” and press Enter.
- In the list of current connections search for one trying to connect to a foreign IP address of 22.214.171.124, on port 1604 or 81.
If users find that their computer is trying to connect to such an IP address, then they’ve been infected by this particular DarkComet RAT campaign. At this point, victims should either wipe and reinstall their operating systems; use an antivirus program to remove the DarkComet malware; or contact a professional to do these things for them.
If you’re a company, then you should contact your legal department first, as they might want to work with your IT staff to investigate and determine what data might have been stolen.
Ukrainian police are also interested in hearing from victims, most likely to build a better case against the suspect and determine the extent of the damage he caused.
Poor OpSec led to the man’s arrest
But while Ukrainian police didn’t reveal any details about the suspect or how they’ve tracked him down, it’s pretty clear how they’ve done it to an external observer.
Searching for the IP address of 126.96.36.199 on Shodan, a search engine for Internet-connected devices, we found a listing for this IP that was marked as a “DarkComet trojan” command-and-control server.
The most obvious detail is that the IP address hosting this DarkComet administration panel wasn’t assigned to the infrastructure of a data center, but to a regular residential internet service provider, meaning the suspect was most likely hosting the DarkComet server on his home computer.
Because of this operational security (OpSec) mistake, tracking the suspect’s real-world identity was most likely a piece of cake for Ukrainian police, who only needed to send a formal request to the ISP to get the man’s real name and home address.
More security coverage:
Phish Fight: Securing Enterprise Communications
Yes, much of the world may have moved on from email to social media and culturally dubious TikTok dances, yet traditional electronic mail remains a foundation of business communication. And sadly, it remains a prime vector for malware, data leakage, and phishing attacks that can undermine enterprise protections. It doesn’t have to be that way.
In a just released report titled “GigaOm Radar for Phishing Prevention and Detection,” GigaOm Analyst Simon Gibson surveyed more than a dozen enterprise-focused email security solutions. He found a range of approaches to securing communications that often can be fitted together to provide critical, defense-in-depth protection against even determined attackers.
Figure 1. GigaOm Radar for Email Phishing Prevention and Detection
“When evaluating these vendors and their solutions, it is important to consider your own business and workflow,” Gibson writes in the report, stressing the need to deploy solutions that best address your organization’s business workflow and email traffic. “For some it may be preferable to settle on one comprehensive solution, while for others building a best-of-breed architecture from multiple vendors may be preferable.”
In a field of competent solutions, Gibson found that Forcepoint, purchased recently by Raytheon, stood apart thanks to the layered protections provided by its Advanced Classification Engine. Area 1 and Zimperium, meanwhile, are both leaders that exhibit significant momentum, with Area 1 boosted by its recent solution partnership with Virtru, and Zimperium excelling in its deep commitment to mobile message security.
A mobile focus is timely, Gibson says in a video interview for GigaOm. He says companies are “tuning the spigot on” and enabling unprecedented access and reliance on mobile devices, which is creating an urgent need to get ahead of threats.
Gibson’s conclusion in the report? He singles out three things: Defense in depth, awareness of existing patterns and infrastructure, and a healthy respect for the “human factor” that can make security so hard to lock down.
When Is a DevSecOps Vendor Not a DevSecOps Vendor?
DevOps’ general aim is to enable a more efficient process for producing software and technology solutions and bringing stakeholders together to speed up delivery. But we know from experience that this inherently creative, outcome-driven approach often forgets about one thing until too late in the process—security. Too often, security is brought into the timeline just before deployment, risking last minute headaches and major delays. The security team is pushed into being the Greek chorus of the process, “ruining everyone’s fun” by demanding changes and slowing things down.
But as we know, in the complex, multi-cloud and containerized environment we find ourselves in, security is becoming more important and challenging than ever. And the costs of security failure are not only measured in slower deployment, but in compliance breaches and reputational damage.
The term “DevSecOps” has been coined to characterize how security needs to be at the heart of the DevOps process. This is in part principle and part tools. As a principle, DevSecOps fits with the concept of “shifting left,” that is, ensuring that security is treated as early as possible in the development process. So far, so simple.
From a tooling perspective, however, things get more complicated, not least because the market has seen a number of platforms marketing themselves as DevSecOps. As we have been writing our Key Criteria report on the subject, we have learned that not all DevSecOps vendors are necessarily DevSecOps vendors. Specifically, we have learned to distinguish capabilities that directly enable the goals of DevSecOps from a process perspective, from those designed to support DevSecOps practices. We could define them as: “Those that do, and those that help.”
This is how to tell the two types of vendor apart and how to use them.
Vendors Enabling DevSecOps: “Tools That Do”
A number of tools work to facilitate the DevSecOps process -– let’s bite the bullet and call them DevSecOps tools. They help teams set out each stage of software development, bringing siloed teams together behind a unified vision that allows fast, high-quality development, with security considerations at its core. DevSecOps tools work across the development process, for example:
- Create: Help to set and implement policy
- Develop: Apply guidance to the process and aid its implementation
- Test: Facilitate and guide security testing procedures
- Deploy: Provide reports to assure confidence to deploy the application
The key element that sets these tool sets apart is the ability to automate and reduce friction within the development process. They will prompt action, stop a team from moving from one stage to another if the process has not adequately addressed security concerns, and guide the roadmap for the development from start to finish.
Supporting DevSecOps: “Tools That Help”
In this category we place those tools which aid the execution, and monitoring, of good DevSecOps principles. Security scanning and application/infrastructure hardening tools are a key element of these processes: Software composition analysis (SCA) forms a part of the development stage, static/dynamic application security testing (SAST/DAST) is integral to the test stage and runtime app protection (RASP) is a key to the Deploy stage.
Tools like this are a vital part of the security layer of security tooling, especially just before deployment – and they often come with APIs so they can be plugged into the CI/CD process. However, while these capabilities are very important to DevSecOps, they can be seen in more of a supporting role, rather than being DevSecOps tools per se.
DevSecOps-washing is not a good idea for the enterprise
While one might argue that security should never have been shifted right, DevSecOps exists to ensure that security best practices take place across the development lifecycle. A corollary exists to the idea of “tools that help,” namely that organizations implementing these tools are not “doing DevSecOps,” any more than vendors providing these tools are DevSecOps vendors.
The only way to “do” DevSecOps is to fully embrace security at a process management and governance level: This means assessing risk, defining policy, setting review gates, and disallowing progress for insecure deliverables. Organizations that embrace DevSecOps can get help from what we are calling DevSecOps tools, as well as from scanning and hardening tools that help support its goals.
At the end of the day, all security and governance boils down to risk: If you buy a scanning tool so you can check a box that says “DevSecOps,” you are potentially adding to your risk posture, rather than mitigating it. So, get your DevSecOps strategy fixed first, then consider how you can add automation, visibility, and control using “tools that do,” as well as benefit from “tools that help.”
High Performance Application Security Testing
This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research. It is hosted by an expert in Application and API testing, and GigaOm analyst, Jake Dolezal. His presentation will focus on the results of high performance testing we completed against two security mechanisms: ModSecurity on NGINX and NGINX App Protect. Additionally, we tested the AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) as a fully managed security offering.
While performance is important, it is only one criterion for a Web Application Firewall selection. The results of the report are revealing about these platforms. The methodology will be shown with clarity and transparency on how you might replicate these tests to mimic your own workloads and requirements.
Register now to join GigaOm and sponsor NGINX for this free expert webinar.
China likely to attempt its Chang’e 5 Moon landing on Tuesday
Enlarge / Technicians celebrate the successful launch of the Chang’e-5 spacecraft at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China....
Tesla update will allow drivers to view the camera feed remotely
Tesla is always working on new features for its series of automobiles out in the field. The new features can...
2021 Audi TT and TTS gets new equipment and Bronze Selection trim
Audi is spicing up the TT coupe and roadster in Europe. The newest TTS with the ‘competition plus’ package not...
Super Nintendo World theme park will open on February 4, 2021
Visitors to Universal Studios Japan will get the opportunity to enjoy some Nintendo-themed activities in the new Super Nintendo World...
Apple on the hook for €10M in Italy, accused of misleading users about iPhone water resistance – TechCrunch
Apple’s marketing of iPhones as ‘water resistant’ without clarifying the limits of the feature and also having a warranty that...
Social10 months ago
CrashPlan for Small Business Review
Gadgets2 years ago
A fictional Facebook Portal videochat with Mark Zuckerberg – TechCrunch
Mobile2 years ago
Memory raises $5M to bring AI to time tracking – TechCrunch
Social2 years ago
iPhone XS priciest yet in South Korea
Cars2 years ago
What’s the best cloud storage for you?
Security2 years ago
Google latest cloud to be Australian government certified
Cars2 years ago
Some internet outages predicted for the coming month as ‘768k Day’ approaches
Social2 years ago
Apple’s new iPad Pro aims to keep enterprise momentum