Trustwave Unveils New Offerings to Maximize Value of Microsoft Security Investments. Learn More

Trustwave Unveils New Offerings to Maximize Value of Microsoft Security Investments. Learn More

Services
Capture
Managed Detection & Response

Eliminate active threats with 24/7 threat detection, investigation, and response.

twi-managed-portal-color
Co-Managed SOC (SIEM)

Maximize your SIEM investment, stop alert fatigue, and enhance your team with hybrid security operations support.

twi-briefcase-color-svg
Advisory & Diagnostics

Advance your cybersecurity program and get expert guidance where you need it most.

tw-laptop-data
Penetration Testing

Test your physical locations and IT infrastructure to shore up weaknesses before exploitation.

twi-database-color-svg
Database Security

Prevent unauthorized access and exceed compliance requirements.

twi-email-color-svg
Email Security

Stop email threats others miss and secure your organization against the #1 ransomware attack vector.

tw-officer
Digital Forensics & Incident Response

Prepare for the inevitable with 24/7 global breach response in-region and available on-site.

tw-network
Firewall & Technology Management

Mitigate risk of a cyberattack with 24/7 incident and health monitoring and the latest threat intelligence.

Solutions
BY TOPIC
Offensive Security
Solutions to maximize your security ROI
Microsoft Exchange Server Attacks
Stay protected against emerging threats
Rapidly Secure New Environments
Security for rapid response situations
Securing the Cloud
Safely navigate and stay protected
Securing the IoT Landscape
Test, monitor and secure network objects
Why Trustwave
About Us
Awards and Accolades
Trustwave SpiderLabs Team
Trustwave Fusion Security Operations Platform
Trustwave Security Colony
Partners
Technology Alliance Partners
Key alliances who align and support our ecosystem of security offerings
Trustwave PartnerOne Program
Join forces with Trustwave to protect against the most advance cybersecurity threats
SpiderLabs Blog

Large scale malicious spam campaign exploiting Boston bombing

In our latest Global Security Report, we noted malicious spam campaigns were on the increase, and roughly 1 in 10 spam messages were malicious.

There is a large scale malicious spam campaign going on that is shamelessly exploiting the Boston bombing. Subject lines are similar to the following:

8010_12cf160a-9fe2-4f77-aee9-84df254cff91

The spam messages are simple plain text, with a simple link with an IP address:

11605_c1536c34-5c40-44be-ad81-25fbd6a75744

The spam is originating from the Kelihos botnet. As I blogged last month, Kelihos has come back from dead with high spam output. However, compared to its usual relatively harmless stock spam, this campaign is downright nasty.

The links lead to many different landing pages, all ostensibly hosting videos of the bombings. Here is an example:

8833_3c8a0836-1315-465d-b20d-995a59d9c5d1

The page however, is not just a series of videos. Hidden at the bottom of the page is an iframe which loads code from another site. Here are some of URLs of these pages that we have seen:

12493_ec099452-6a2a-40d3-b6e9-6a51527319da
12816_fa91be5c-1fc7-4979-a0a1-ba83e59bb483

These pages attempt to load a Java applet something like this:

11376_b5c23941-7c97-4bf5-b832-c5ca67c88d80

This code is none other than Redkit, an exploit kit that attempts to exploit vulnerabilities on your computer. If the exploit is successful, malware is downloaded onto the PC. One of these pieces of malware, named boston.avi_______.exe is actually a copy of the Kelihos bot itself, which when it is installed, will proceed to spam more of the same Boston-themed spam.

This style of campaign has been seen before. Kelihos's ancestor, Storm, got its name for exploiting storm related news in early 2007, and the payload was more Storm bots. Some things never change, except perhaps the depths that the scumbags behind these campaigns sink to.

Trustwave's Secure Email Gateway customers were protected from this Kelihos spam campaign.

Update 04/22/2013:

The Boston bombing spam campaign has morphed overnight into a "Texas Explosion" spam campaign, with subject lines about the explosion at a Texas chemical factory. Some of the Subject lines seen include:

Texas Explosion Injures Dozens

Video footage of Texas Explosion

Texas plant explosion

Plant Explosion Near Waco, Texas

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fertilizer Plant Explosion

The body of the emails is still a single URL with a numeric IP address, only now the web page is labeled "texas.html" instead of "boston.html". Many of the same IPs are being used as the Boston bombing campaign, so these pages are obviously still live.

Latest SpiderLabs Blogs

Using AWS Secrets Manager and Lambda Function to Store, Rotate and Secure Keys

When working with Amazon Web Services (AWS), we often find that various AWS services need to store and manage secrets. AWS Secrets Manager is the go-to solution for this. It's a centralized service...

Read More

Facebook Malvertising Epidemic – Unraveling a Persistent Threat: SYS01

The Trustwave SpiderLabs Threat Intelligence team's ongoing study into how threat actors use Facebook for malicious activity has uncovered a new version of the SYS01 stealer. This stealer is designed...

Read More

Tips for Optimizing Your Security Operations Framework

Building an effective Security Operations framework that provides the right balance of people, processes, and technologies can take years.

Read More