New "Bugat" trojan harvesting banking credentials

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Researchers discovered a new banking trojan that is being used to steal the financial credentials of customers at approximately 15 large- and mid-size U.S. banks.

The "Bugat" trojan, discovered by SecureWorks researchers in January, has capabilities similar to the notorious data-stealing trojans Clampi and Zeus, Jason Milletary, security researcher with SecureWorks' research team, the Counter Threat Unit (CTU), told SCMagazineUS.com on Tuesday.

The malware monitors an infected user's web browsing activity and searches for the URLs of more than a dozen financial institutions, Milletary said. When a user accesses one of the targeted URLs, the trojan captures account credentials and sends them back to the criminal's remote server.

Milletary could not reveal which banks are currently being targeted, but said the trojan is updating its configuration data to include new financial institutions.

For certain targets, the trojan also conducts a phishing attack to extract additional information from a user that can be used for fraudulent transactions, Milletary said. The malware attempts to modify a bank's login page to include additional fields asking a user for information, such as their PIN number, date of birth or mother's maiden name.

In addition, the trojan can be used to steal Internet Explorer, Firefox and Flash cookies, browse and upload files from an infected computer, download and execute programs, upload a list of running processes, delete system files and render Windows unable to boot. 

The Bugat trojan is new and does not appear to be widespread, Milletary said. Currently, the trojan is being distributed by a Zeus botnet.

“We happened to observe one version of the Zeus botnet sending out instructions to infected machines to download and execute this trojan,” Milletary said.

Whoever is behind the trojan is probably testing it out to see how effective it is, he added.

The introduction of this tool demonstrates that there is a demand on the criminal market for malware designed for financial theft, Milletary said.

“This might be a low-cost alternative, or one that's not as well-known as  Zeus,” Milletary said.

The Bugat trojan has some capabilities not commonly found in other banking trojans, he added. For example, it uses HTTPS to secure its command-and-control communications to keep stolen data safe from other hackers. Also, it has the functionality to steal FTP credentials.

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