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130,000 UK Computers Infected with Rovnix Trojan: Bitdefender

Researchers at Bitdefender have been monitoring a data theft campaign leveraging the Rovnix Trojan and found that most of the infected computers are in the United Kingdom.

Researchers at Bitdefender have been monitoring a data theft campaign leveraging the Rovnix Trojan and found that most of the infected computers are in the United Kingdom.

According to the security firm, 87% of the computers infected as part of this campaign are in the UK, with a total of more than 130,000 victims.  The infected devices are spread out across the country, but the highest number of compromised PCs has been observed in London (15.77%), Manchester (2.92%), Birmingham (2.80%), Glasgow (2.21%), and Leeds (1.75%).

Rovnix Distribution

Other affected countries, with infection rates between 0.5% and 4%, are Iran, Italy, the United States and Germany.

Bitdefender told SecurityWeek that the attackers are using the Andromeda spam botnet as the primary delivery vector.

This new variant of Rovnix was first analyzed by researchers at Denmark-based security firm CSIS in October, when it was aimed at users in Poland, Norway and other European countries. Bitdefender has confirmed the findings of CSIS regarding the threat’s new domain generation algorithm (DGA).

CSIS noted at the time that the DGA was generating new command and control (C&C) domains based on words taken from the United States Declaration of Independence. Bitdefender says it has also seen domain names based on words from the GNU Lesser General Public License, Request for Comments (RFC) pages, and specifications. The domains for the campaign targeting users in the UK are generated based on the Declaration of Independence.

According to Bitdefender, the DGA generates between 5 and 10 domains per quarter.

The company has also confirmed CSIS’s reports regarding the use of encryption for C&C communications, a technique which helps bypass traditional security systems.

“The campaign targeting UK is proof that the Rovnix botnet is still going strong,” commented Catalin Cosoi, chief security strategist at Bitdefender. “The switch to encrypted communications shows that this e-threat is still under active development; we haven’t seen the last of Rovnix yet and won’t for a while.”


Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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