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Cyber Attack: Shamoon Malware Infects, Steals, Wipes MBR

By - Source: Securelist | B 36 comments

There is a new malware making the rounds that has security researchers scratching their heads.

Shamoon, also known as Disttrack, is unusual as it infects a PC, steals certain data, sends the data to another infected PC and then overwrites the PC's master boot record, which makes the system virtually useless.

There has been some speculation why the attacker may have an interest in actually destroying the infected PC. Kaspersky Labs hinted that the 900 KB malware could be related to Wiper, that was used in a cyber attack on Iran in April. After an analysis, the company concluded that this malware is more likely to come from "scriptkiddies" who were inspired by Wiper.

"Our opinion, based on researching several systems attacked by the original Wiper, is that it is not," Kaspersky wrote in a blog post. "The original “Wiper” was using certain service names (“RAHD...”) together with specific filenames for its drivers (“%temp%\~dxxx.tmp”) which do not appear to be present in this malware. Additionally, the original Wiper was using a certain pattern to wipe disks which again is not used by this malware."

However, Kaspersky also said that there have been only two reports of Shamoon in the wild, both cases in China, which led them to believe that the malware was used in "very focused targeted attacks."

Symantec followed up with a detailed description of a 3-phase attacked structure consisting of a dropper, wiper and reporter component that were used "against at least one organization in the energy sector."

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    wiinippongamer , August 18, 2012 7:20 PM
    ^wow dude you're a badass.
  • 13 Hide
    cRACKmONKEY421 , August 18, 2012 8:22 PM
    "makes the system virtually useless"

    I guess fixmbr doesn't work?
  • 12 Hide
    thorkle , August 18, 2012 7:56 PM
    freggoI'd like to spend 10 minutes alone with the idiot who created this, in a sound proof room; I will bring my favorite baseball bat.

    Why do you have do many baseball bats that you would have a favorite bat? :-P
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    pharoahhalfdead , August 18, 2012 7:06 PM
    "Scriptkiddies?..." Is this another article about Anonymous? lol
  • -5 Hide
    freggo , August 18, 2012 7:09 PM
    I'd like to spend 10 minutes alone with the idiot who created this, in a sound proof room; I will bring my favorite baseball bat.
  • 22 Hide
    wiinippongamer , August 18, 2012 7:20 PM
    ^wow dude you're a badass.
  • 3 Hide
    jhansonxi , August 18, 2012 7:21 PM
    Quote:
    Shamoon, also known as Disttrack, is unusual as it infects a PC, steals certain data, sends the data to another infected PC and then overwrites the PC's master boot record, which makes the system virtually useless.
    Scary, but it's not PC-specific. It's just more Windows malware. Obviously not the usual suspects since most malware is used to gain control of a system for spying or botnets.
  • 12 Hide
    thorkle , August 18, 2012 7:56 PM
    freggoI'd like to spend 10 minutes alone with the idiot who created this, in a sound proof room; I will bring my favorite baseball bat.

    Why do you have do many baseball bats that you would have a favorite bat? :-P
  • 2 Hide
    face-plants , August 18, 2012 8:13 PM
    According to the BBC's reporting on the Shamoon bug 2 days ago, it was a Saudi Arabian company, Aramco (their national oil provider and one of the largest in the world) not a Chinese one who first announced they were infected.
  • 1 Hide
    kristoffe , August 18, 2012 8:21 PM
    Good article, and if you're worried about it, just make a record of your MBR to a USB drive or dropbox it to yourself.

    http://www.ghacks.net/2010/09/01/how-to-backup-and-restore-the-mbr-in-windows/

    you can also start your pc up with HIREN'S BOOT CD and restore your MBR from the backup you have made as well :) 

    http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd
  • 13 Hide
    cRACKmONKEY421 , August 18, 2012 8:22 PM
    "makes the system virtually useless"

    I guess fixmbr doesn't work?
  • -6 Hide
    olaf , August 18, 2012 8:27 PM
    yawwwnnn lame nothing more then a hindrance rly ... your data is still on the drive, makes for good business i guess if you fix computers :D 
  • 8 Hide
    hetneo , August 18, 2012 8:29 PM
    cRACKmONKEY421"makes the system virtually useless"I guess fixmbr doesn't work?

    LOL @ Wolfgang Gruener. Don't worry monkey, fixmbr always works.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , August 18, 2012 8:29 PM
    pharoahhalfdead"Scriptkiddies?..." Is this another article about Anonymous? lol


    They aren't referring to Anon.
  • 3 Hide
    blazorthon , August 18, 2012 8:32 PM
    Quote:
    Must be a real problem for people that still own PCs


    It wouldn't be difficult to make a similar malware for OSX and Linux, especially OSX. It might even be able to simply be ported over. Furthermore, as others have said, it's not hard to avoid letting something like this cause an MBR problem.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , August 18, 2012 8:42 PM
    So they changed a hard-coded file path, and a hard-code service name, ya know, the kind of things that antivirus could look for? Yup, couldn't possibly be the same people, I've authored or co-authored about 10 pieces of software, and I never change file paths or service names...

    I never cared about Kaspersky because I run the hardened, server-grade, no-need-for-antivirus OS known as Linux on my home PCs, but if Kaspersky thinks that it couldn't possibly be the same virus because 2 arbitrary file names were changed, then I'll come right out and say that Kasperky are idiots.

    *Queue Up Idiots Who Say Linux Doesn't Need Antivirus Because 90% Marketshare of Web Servers Isn't Enough for Hackers to Care About it Yet*
  • 0 Hide
    Inferno1217 , August 18, 2012 9:00 PM
    You can pull the drive and scan to remove then reinstall and fix the boot mbr.
  • 6 Hide
    danwat1234 , August 18, 2012 9:50 PM
    thorkleWhy do you have do many baseball bats that you would have a favorite bat? :-P


    I think he's talking about his penis.
  • 10 Hide
    Camikazi , August 18, 2012 9:52 PM
    djcolleyMust be a real problem for people that still own PCs

    You mean like over 90% of the people who have computers?
  • 3 Hide
    kristoffe , August 18, 2012 11:37 PM
    It's best to back up the MBR instead of trying to use the generic fixmbr, if you know how these infections hit, and have ever done data recovery, you can't just rebuild something removed and purposefully scrambled if the right things have been introduced to the attack process.

    as for the jackass trolls who talk about "PC" systems, they're just pissed that apple computers and phones of all types are being infected at a crazy fast rate, you know the one's that "can't" get infected? lol.
  • 7 Hide
    house70 , August 19, 2012 12:44 AM
    djcolleyMust be a real problem for people that still own PCs

    Why? Do you rent yours?
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , August 19, 2012 1:40 AM
    pharoahhalfdead"Scriptkiddies?..." Is this another article about Anonymous? lol


    what other kids group would they be talking about LOL
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