Security Experts:

Spy Banker Malware Delivered via Facebook, Google Cloud

Researchers at Zscaler have been monitoring a new Spy Banker campaign targeting users in Brazil via attacks leveraging social media networks, the URL shortening service and Google’s cloud platform.

Spy Banker, which has been around since 2009, allows cybercriminals to steal banking credentials from infected computers. The version of the threat analyzed by Zscaler, dubbed Telax, has mainly been delivered via a shortened URL posted on Facebook and Twitter.

The malicious link points to a PHP file hosted on the Google Cloud Platform which redirects victims to a page serving a Spy Banker downloader. The downloader is designed to look like vouchers or popular applications.

Zscaler noticed that users are also lured to the malicious file on Google’s cloud platform from various websites hosted by GoDaddy. The hosting giant has shut down the offending domains and Google has removed the PHP file from its servers.

The attackers have tricked users into clicking on the malicious links by promising them vouchers and various applications, such as WhatsApp and Avast security products. This tactic is apparently highly effective as statistics for the malicious link show that it has been clicked more than 100,000 times, mostly from Facebook.

A large majority of the victims (99%) are from Brazil, but the malicious link has also been clicked from the United States, Portugal, Paraguay, Argentina, Italy, the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

Once it infects a system, the downloader downloads and executes the final payload, Spy Banker Telax. The threat, developed in Delphi, is designed to check the infected system for the presence of virtual environments, after which it starts stealing sensitive information.

Experts noticed that the Telax executable also contains 32-bit and 64-bit rootkit components that are added to the registry depending on what type of operating system is running on the infected machine.

Researchers discovered Telax modules for detecting security products and installing malware on the system. The Trojan also appears to include a feature designed to help attackers bypass two-factor authentication.

Related Reading: Cybercriminals May Have Stolen Billions in Brazilian 'Boletos'

Related Reading: Cyber-Criminal Training Services for Sale in Brazilian Underground

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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.