Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Malware & Threats

New Self-Propagating Zeus Variant Detected in the Wild

The Zeus/ZBOT Trojan is no newcomer to the malware scene, but that hardly means it does not have any new tricks up its sleeve.

The Zeus/ZBOT Trojan is no newcomer to the malware scene, but that hardly means it does not have any new tricks up its sleeve.

According to Trend Micro, researchers have discovered a new version of the ZBOT that is self-propagating. This is a new trick for ZBOT, which typically spreads through drive-by downloads that occur when users visit sites compromised to host exploit kits serving the malware.

“This particular ZBOT variant arrives through a malicious PDF file disguised as a sales invoice document,” blogged Abigail Pichel of Trend Micro.

If the user opens the file with Adobe Reader, it triggers an exploit that causes a pop-up window appear.

“While this is going on, the malicious ZBOT variant – WORM_ZBOT.GJ – is dropped onto the system and run. It is here that several differences start to appear,” Pichel explained. “First of all, WORM_ZBOT.GJ has an autoupdate routine: it can download and run an updated copy of itself. Secondly, however, it can spread onto other systems via removable drives, like USB thumb drives. It does thus by searching for removable drives and then creating a hidden folder with a copy of itself inside this folder, and a shortcut pointing to the hidden ZBOT copy.”

In February, Trend Micro observed an increase in ZBOT samples. The surge in new infection attempts continued through at least May 7. The new propagation technique is unusual for ZBOT, Pichel noted, and could mean an increase in ZBOT infections moving forward.

“This unusual behavior, however, is in line with our2013 predictions, which noted that we believed that older threats would continue to be seen in 2013, although they would have refinements to make them more effective. In the past, some ZBOT variants have used unusual means – like file infectors – to spread as well,” she blogged. 

Written By

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Malware & Threats

Microsoft plans to improve the protection of Office users by blocking XLL add-ins from the internet.

Cybercrime

CISA, NSA, and MS-ISAC issued an alert on the malicious use of RMM software to steal money from bank accounts.

Cybercrime

Chinese threat actor DragonSpark has been using the SparkRAT open source backdoor in attacks targeting East Asian organizations.

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Cyberwarfare

Russia-linked cyberespionage group APT29 has been observed using embassy-themed lures and the GraphicalNeutrino malware in recent attacks.

Application Security

Electric car maker Tesla is using the annual Pwn2Own hacker contest to incentivize security researchers to showcase complex exploit chains that can lead to...

Malware & Threats

Cybercrime in 2017 was a tumultuous year "full of twists and turns", with new (but old) infection methods, a major return to social engineering,...

Malware & Threats

Norway‎-based DNV said a ransomware attack on its ship management software impacted 1,000 vessels.