A new Trojan has the potential to become a pervasive threat, researchers said.
While developers are promoting it to be an alternative to the Zeus Trojan, Pandemiya, is similar to its banking attacker counterpart in that it allows cyber criminals to steal form data, login credentials, and files from infected computers, according to RSA’s Fraud Action team.
While both Trojans focus on the banking industry, it would be wise to keep a weather eye toward them because smart attackers steal code and use it for their own use in other industries.
Like Zeus, Pandemiya also has a modular design, making it easy for attackers to expand and add functionality, said Uri Fleyder, cybercrime research lab manager at the RSA Research Group.
Pandemiya has all the capabilities typical among banking Trojans, such as injecting fake elements into websites, capturing screenshots of the user’s computer screen, and encrypting its communications with the control panel. What sets Pandemiya apart from all other banking Trojans is it started from scratch without sharing any source code with Zeus, Fleyder said.
Other banking Trojans like Citadel/Ice IX and Carberp did not go about reinventing the wheel and the share Zeus’s source code. Pandemiya doesn’t have any code in common with leaked versions of Zeus or other toolkits, Fleyder said.
The developer behind Pandemiya spent “close to a year” developing the Trojan, which has more than 25,000 lines of original C code, according to a RSA Fraud Action blog post.
As is typical with commercial Trojans, the botmaster controls how to infect victim computers and install the malware, such as using a wholly different exploit pack to trigger a drive-by download attack, according to RSA. Fleyder said he and his team came across Pandemiya as part of its monitoring of underground forums and marketplace.
Pandemiya’s core application includes website injects and grabbers for three leading Internet browsers, a loader with unique tasks and statistics, and the ability to sign files to prevent other criminals and security experts from hijacking or analyzing them. The plugins include a reverse proxy, a way to hook into Facebook, and an FTP stealer. Because of Pandemiya’s modular architecture, new features will add in over time.
Pandemiya is currently available at prices ranging from $1,500 for the core application to $2,000 for the core application and additional plugins.
This places Pandemiya solidly in the expensive category, considering that Zeus is available for hundreds of dollars, Fleyder said. The higher price tag would likely limit Pandemiya’s spread and popularity as criminals would not like to pay so much for what is fairly standard set of capabilities, he said.