October 16, 2009

New York-based Trusteer, a customer protection company for online businesses, issued a security advisory that exposes and provides protection recommendations against a stealth new Zeus/Zbot phishing attack. The Trojan is aimed at harvesting log-in credentials used for web banking, financial, HR, and SaaS accounts from enterprise users. The attack is highly effective, according to Trusteer, because it pretends to be an e-mail from the corporate IT department asking the user to update their Microsoft Webmail (Outlook Web Access) settings.

Once installed, the Trojan injects itself into the browser and monitors all traffic. It then steals login credentials to sensitive websites. Zeus also changes web pages presented in the browser, asking for additional sensitive information which it then sends to the attackers. Trusteer has located servers in Russia, Chile, Hungary, Colombia, and Romania which are being used in this very organized criminal attack.

"This attack illustrates how organized Internet crime syndicates are expanding their focus from consumers to enterprises, by targeting employees with credentials to access high value banking, financial, and other web-based applications," said Mickey Boodaei, CEO of Trusteer. "The level of personalization used in these Phishing messages and the fact that they appear to be coming from the company's IT department makes this attack very convincing and by extension very dangerous. We are urging enterprises to warn their employees and lock down browser settings to prevent unauthorized code execution inside the browser."

The full Trusteer report is available at here.