Botnets

Fake blogs and search engines

urls in this post should be considered as unsafe.

fake sites and se poisoning are nothing new. the use of blogs for this is far from new, either. thousands of new fake blogs pop up every day on blogspot, livejournal, etc.

web spam is a subject i have written about in the past, and some of you may be familiar with it regardless of me (no kidding), especially if you run a blog yourself.

a new fake blog which looks like blogspot, but has its own “domain”, recently popped up in a google alert on my name.

i get hits on these fake pages all the time as my name is a key word used by some of these spammers to grab attention to their pages.
this time around they really over-did it.

the page has a blogspot layout, and continues with ads to pornographic sites or malware (is there any difference anymore?)

then the site shows the youtube video which can be found under my name.
following that is a post i made to a mailing list recently (poorly formatted).
then we have a few pictures of girls, linking once more either to pornographic sites or malware drive-by sites (if there is a difference, again).

they finish the page off by adding comments, which are actually some old securiteam posts by me.

heck, it looks fake, but it is obvious the bad guys are investing more in their fake web pages. their auto-creation tools seem to be getting more impressive, and i believe we will see much improved believable sites, soon.

google blog search displays this site as (nasty words replaced with beep):

gadi evron
2 sep 2007
gangbeep facial asian amateurs, bang bus jessica hardcore pictures bang your head, asian virgins.asts. teen cherry action – nice brunette teen beeped hard on the bed and getting a beepy beepshot. beep beeping boy beep teen legs, …
untitled – h ttp://n ewadult.celeberia.com/

url:
h ttp://n ewadult.celeberia.com/sun-shine

again, i am unsure if these urls are safe.

for those of you wondering if these web pages mean anything to the bad guys, the answer is absolutely yes. search engine ranking, indexing, etc. helps them advance their own sites (or their clients’). then of course, there is advertising and google ads.
it works. and the advertising space on unrelated key words is a plus.

the concept is very similar to comment spam. comment spam may not contribute to se ranking anymore due to the nofollow tag attached to links in comments, but these get indexed and that’s all the bad guys care about. nofollow is crap, and what shows up when you search is what matters.

as an example of how these things work, in a recent blog post of mine a buddy left a comment (see here http://sunshine.livejournal.com/8859.html for the example).

he left a url for his legitimate python/math/music/origami blog in his comment, and now when you search for his blog you find my post placed in the 4th place with the title ‘a jew in a german camp’ (about the ccc camp in germany). he is not pleased, but it is obvious how the bad guys abuse this, and infect millions of computers just because their owners surf the net.

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com.

ISOI 3 is on, and Washington DC is hot

following up on that strange title, isoi 3 (internet security operations and intelligence), a workshop for do-ers who work on the security of the internet and its users, is happening monday and tuesday in washington, dc.

this time around we have even more government participation (we’re in dc, duh), but a bit less from academia (who can try and look at long term solutions), rather than just us security researchers, and operators (who respond, contain and mitigate incidents).

i am very pleased with our progress on encouraging global cooperation, and getting more industry information sharing going. i am also happy we are moving from “just” good-will based relationships to the physical world with our efforts, being able to take things to the next level with world-wide operational task forces and, indeed, affecting change.

if you are interested in this realm of internet security operations, take a look at isoi 3’s schedule, and perhaps submit something for the next workshop.

some reporters are somewhat annoyed that entrance is barred to them, but i hope they’d understand that although we make things public whenever we can as full disclosure is a strong weapon in the fight against cyber crime, folks can not share as openly when they have to be on their toes all the time.

the third isoi is here because after dhs ended up unable to host it, sponsors emerged who were happy to assist:

afilias ltd.: http://www.afilias.info/
icann: http://www.icann.org/
the internet society: http://www.isoc.org/
shinkuro, inc.: http://www.shinkuro.com/

it’s going to be an interesting next week here at the swamp. atendees better show up with their two forms of id. :)

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com.

eWeek: Estonian Cyber-War Highlights Civilian Vulnerabilities

i posted a column on eweek on what critical infrastructure means, looking back at the estonia incident.

they edited out some of what i had to say on home computers and their impact as a critical infrasrtcuture, but hey, word limitations.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2166125,00.asp

Gadi Evron,
ge@linuxbox.org

Using honeypots to fight comment spam

The guys at rustylime describe how they are using a honey pot form fields to detect spam bots.

This method is interesting, since the false positive rate will be close to zero – any decent browser will not show the ‘honey pot’ fields and a human won’t be able to enter information there accidentally. The false negative will be low, since most spam bots will enter information on those fields. The problem, of course, is that the spam bots can be adjusted specifically for rustylime (now that they outlined their spam comment fighting technique), either by looking for these specific field names or by calibrating their spam bots to render the page and filter out invisible parts (this would be a serious technical challenge for the spammers).

Of course, a post on SecuriTeam blogs, a web site that is probably frequently read by spammers, is not going to help them keep a low profile against spammers – so my apologies to the rustylime people. Lets hope their comment spam queue remains clean, and maybe someone can pick this up and find a more generic way to fight comment spam using browser-invisible fields.

Ecards and email filtering

in the past two weeks, ecards became a major threat.

ecards (or electronic greeting cards) were always a perfect social engineering scheme, open for abuse. with the storm worm and massive exploitation, i believe it has become prudent to filter out all ecard messages in your email systems.

further, some training or awareness information on this subject distributed to your organizations could be very useful.

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com

Alternative Botnet C&Cs – free chapter from Botnets: The Killer Web App

syngress was kind enough to allow me to post the chapter i wrote for botnets: the killer web application here as a free sample.

it is the third chapter in the book, and requires some prior knowledge of what a botnet c&c (command and control) is. it is basic, short, and to my belief covers quite a bit. it had to be short, as i had just 5 days to write it while doing other things, and not planning on any writing, but it is pretty good in my completely unbiased opinion. 😉

you can download it from this link:
http://www.beyondsecurity.com/whitepapers/005_427_botnet_03.pdf

for the full book, you would need to spend the cash.

enjoy!

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com.

Botnets != Terrorism, or is it? :)

just last week we were throwing jokes on funsec@, of calling botnets terrorism to get some action going. of course, we decided that’s an extremely bad idea as people are already starting to discount issues when “terrorism” or “2.0” are attached.

no, i am not going to say it, you are going to put these two together on your own! :)

today, fergie (paul ferguson) sent this to funsec:

brian krebs writes in the washington post:

[snip]

the global jihad landed in linda spence’s e-mail inbox during the summer of 2003, in the form of a message urging her to verify her ebay account information. the 35-year-old new jersey resident clicked on the link included in the message, which took her to a counterfeit ebay site where she unwittingly entered in personal financial information.

ultimately, spence’s information wound up in the hands of a young man in the united kingdom who investigators said was the brains behind a terrorist cell that sought to facilitate deadly bombing attacks against targets in the united states, europe and the middle east.

investigators say spence’s stolen data made its way via the internet black market for stolen identities to 21-year-old biochemistry student tariq al-daour, one of three u.k. residents who pleaded guilty

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/05/ar2007070501153.html

enjoy. funny, i just had fun with online forums and terrorism with this a few days ago.

buzzwords for fud are generally a bad idea. botnets are not terrorism. :p but of course, like most malicious activity, they are used.

sunshine.

IPv6, C&C (not botnets, coffee and cats)

So, someone sent this to NANOG:
An IPv6 address for new cars in 3 years?

From: Rich Emmings
Date: Thu Jun 28 17:47:46 2007

Mark IV systems has a spec for OTTO. Mark IV makes automatic
toll collection and related systems O(Not to mention other
automotive products)

The system spec’s show support for IPv6 and SNMPv3. Notably
absent was IPv4 as far as I could tell. No notes on if the IPv6
would be used for Firmware updates or live data collection.
802.1p radio is the spec’d LLP. O/S is VxWorks.

The expectation is for 100% of new cars to have OTTO around
2010.

http://www.ivhs.com/pdf/FactSheet_OTTO_FactSheet1_101105.pdf

Topicality: Looks like someone, somewhere intends to be live
with IPv6 in 3-5 years.
Off Topic: The privacy and security ramifications boggle the
mind….

Which I didn’t read.

Then, this thread happened:

> – — “Suresh Ramasubramanian” wrote:
>
> >On 6/29/07, Rich Emmings wrote:
> >>
> >> Topicality: Looks like someone, somewhere intends to be live with
> >> IPv6
> >> in 3-5 years. Off Topic: The privacy and security ramifications
> >> boggle
> >> the mind….
> >>
> >
> >Fully mobile, high speed botnets?
>
> *bing*

That last bing was from Paul Ferguson, our Fergie.
If I was drinking coffee, I’d have dropped it!

Other followups included Chris Morrow’s:
> I can’t help it:
>
> “If a bot-car is headed north on I-75 at 73 miles per hour for 3 hours
> and a bot-truck is headed west on I-90 at 67 miles per hour, how long
> until they are 129 miles apart?”

And Steve Bellovin’s:
Hmm — I was going to say 127.1 miles apart, but that’s not a v6
address… 1918 miles apart?