Trojan data-stealer hijacks ICMP traffic

A Trojan has been discovered that attempts to evade detection by sending stolen data back to its criminal creators using the ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) back channel.

Detected by security company Websense, the unnamed Trojan is a relatively conventional data-stealer up to the point it communicates back to its host.

Once a PC has become infected, the Trojan installs itself as an Internet Explorer browser helper object (BHO), and then waits quietly for the user to access one or more target online banking websites.

If a target site is accessed, it logs the field keystrokes, inserting them into the data part of ICMP ping packets after performing a simple XOR encryption routine on them.

The effect is, Websense claims with some justification, to make the data stream very hard to detect because ICMP is the last place one would normally look to find pilfered data. ICMP packets are normally used to send feelers out to Internet hosts, for example by utilities such as Traceroute or Ping, and are a routine occurrence.

Data and password-stealing Trojans more commonly use conventional channels such as email or HTTP mail to send information out of a network or PC, but this is something that can be blocked.

Websense reports that the Trojan works, after testing it out while entering data on the SSL-based website of Deutsche bank using an infected PC. The Websense website offers an eerie screen grab of the results of this, before and after encoding by the BHO.

Despite being an old criminal pastime, the steady evolution of malware to automate phishing continues. Password stealers still plague Internet users, using every technique going, while others come as a consequence of rapidly-expanding botnet networks.

From being a high-profile crime that depended on social engineering of the gullible, phishing has retreated into a world of automated botnets, and exploits based on subterfuge and stealth. Anyone suffering at the bleeding edge of an ICMP Trojan would never be aware anything was amiss until their bank account suddenly emptied one day.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?