Security Experts:

'i2Ninja' Malware Kit Using I2P for Anonymity

Security researchers at Trusteer are calling attention to a new malware toolkit that uses the I2P (Invisible Internet Project) networking layer to mask communications between infected machines and the botnet's command-and-control server.

The malware, named i2Ninja, was spotted for sale at an underground Russian cyber-crime forum. At its core, i2Ninja is capable of HTML injection and form grabbing for all major browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome).

i2Ninja MalwareTrusteer's researchers say it can also hijack FTP and e-mail credentials and even contains a 'PokerGrabber' module that targets major online poker sites.

"The i2Ninja takes its name from the malware’s use of I2P – a networking layer that uses cryptography to allow secure communication between its peer-to-peer users. While this concept is somewhat similar to TOR and TOR services, I2P was designed to maintain a true Darknet, an Internet within the Internet where secure and anonymous messaging and use of services can be maintained. The I2P network also offers HTTP proxies to allow anonymous Internet browsing," the IBM company said in a blog post.

By using the I2P network, Trusteer says the malware can maintain secure communications between the infected devices and command and control server. "Everything from delivering configuration updates to receiving stolen data and sending commands is done via the encrypted I2P channels," it added.

The i2Ninja malware also offers buyers a proxy for anonymous Internet browsing, promising complete online anonymity.

The toolkit, which is being peddled among cyber-criminals, also an integrated help desk via a ticketing system within the malware's command and control. This can allow a potential buyer to communicate with the malware creator, open support tickets and get answers via I2P's encrypted messaging feature.

In the past, malware toolkits like Citadel and Neosploit have offered "support" features but Trusteer says i2Ninja’s 24/7 secure help desk channel is a first.

Related: Attackers Hide Communication With Linux Backdoor

Related: Malware Increasingly Using P2P for C&C Functions

Related: Researchers Examine Depths of Cybercrime in Deep Web

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Ryan is the host of the SecurityWeek podcast series "Security Conversations". He is the head of Kaspersky Lab's Global Research & Analysis team in the USA and has extensive experience in computer security user education, specializing in operating system and third-party application vulnerabilities, zero-day attacks, social engineering and social networking threats. Prior to joining Kaspersky Lab, he monitored security and hacker attack trends for over 10 years, writing for eWEEK magazine and the ZDNet Zero Day blog. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.