All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Researchers unearth 'time bomb' in Chinese APT

05 Mar 2013
Hacker's hands on keyboard

Researchers have uncovered a regional variant of a recently-discovered Chinese APT which could have been used for secondary attacks in Japan.

According to a report from Seculert, the malware instructed infected computers to only communicate with command and control (C&C) servers at specific times. Outside of this small time window, the infected machines were set to communicate with legitimate websites.

This appears to be an attempt to mask the location of the true C&C servers, Securlert noted.

The server, which has since been suspended, would have presumably sent instructions or a new malware payload to infected systems. Unlike previous "time bomb" worries, such as the 2009 Conficker worm, this attack could have been a visible and significant operation had it been triggered.

Aviv Raff, chief technology officer for Seculert, told V3 that the targeted nature of the APT meant that the malware's creators likely had a major event in mind when they set the event up.

"The are no similarities between Conficker and this, as Conficker was more of an opportunistic attack which didn't target any specific entities. While this is a targeted attack, which targeted a specific region and people," he explained.

"This means that most probably the next phase would be an information stealing malware, and right after that a malware that will cover the tracks of the attack - like Shamoon."

The APT, first discovered by researchers with Mandiant, is believed to have infected select individuals at more than 140 companies worldwide. While researchers have traced the attacks to military operations in China, state officials have denied any wrongdoing or involvement in the operation.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

Windows 10 poll

What are your first impressions of Windows 10?
13%
4%
10%
4%
21%
4%
44%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
V3 Sungard roundtable event - Cloud computing security reliability and scalability discussion

CIOs debate how to overhaul businesses for the digital era

V3 hosts roundtable with Sungard Availability Services

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

IT Security Solutions Consultant

IT Security Solutions Consultant Get first-hand experience...

Delivery Manager - ERP / COBOL - Sussex

Delivery Manager - ERP / COBOL - Sussex Delivery Manager...

Information Security Consultant

Are you an Information Security Consultant looking for...

VoIP Application Engineer (Telephony, Dialler, TCP, IVR)

VoIP Application Engineer (VoIP Telephony, Dialler, TCP...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.