Speaking with the Devil - Malware Adds Live Chat to Commit Fraud

(PresseBox) ( New York, )
Working with a leading financial institution Trusteer recently discovered a disturbing new attack against online banking users. It uses a technique Trusteer has not seen exhibited before by financial malware. It talks! Technically, it writes to you. That's right, the attack uses the familiar online customer service tool most people are familiar with - live chat.

The attack is being carried out using the Shylock malware platform, which is making a comeback lately. Trusteer wrote about it here a few weeks ago. This particular Shylock configuration uses a classic MitB (Man in the Browser) structure with plenty of fake HTML page injections and uses complex external Javascript resources. It specifically targets business/commercial online banking customers. When the victim logs in to the online banking application, the session stalls for few minutes and the user is told that security checks are being performed. This is where things get, for lack of a better word, interesting.

The following message is displayed in the victim's browser:
The system couldn't identify your PC You will be contacted by a representative of bank to confirm your personality.
Please pass the process of additional verification otherwise your account will be locked.
Sorry for any inconvenience, we are carrying about security of our clients.

This web injection is followed by an elaborate web-chat screen, which is implemented in pure HTML and JavaScript. Within two to three minutes, if the user's login is valid (Trusteer believe), the fraudster engages in a live online chat session with the victim. This exchange is apparently used to gather more information from the victim. The session may even be used to perform real time fraud by enticing the victim to sign/verify fraudulent transactions that Shylock is initiating in the background.

In 2009, RSA discovered a phishing attack that incorporated live chat. You can read about it here. In that attack, the victim was lured to a phishing site where they were presented with a fraudulent chat window. In 2012, apparently, fraudsters have decided to make house calls by extending this capability from phishing web sites and embedding it in malware platforms. By combining MitB techniques and of the flexibility of HTML and JavaScript, criminals are now able to bring live chat right to your browser.

This is yet another example of the ingenuity of fraudsters and their ability to exploit the trust relationship between users and applications provided by their online service providers. This attack could conceivably be used against enterprises and their employees, with the attacker posing as an IT help desk technician.

What's clear now is that the barbarians are taking control of the browser. To prevent malware from getting onto the endpoint in the first place, the browser needs a layer of security that is on par with the protection to afforded networks, databases, servers, and access devices.
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