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“Panda” is hacking Brazilian banking system

“Panda” is hacking Brazilian banking systemNew Zeus Trojan variant known as Panda, that started targeting banks in Europe and North America early this year has now spread to Brazil, IBM X-Force Research reported.

Panda now targets 10 local bank brands and multiple payment platforms right as Brazil hosts a global sporting event.

At first, botnets spreading and attacking users with this malware primarily targeted banks in Europe and North America, focusing on the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Canada, the U.S. and others. While Panda configurations focus on targeting personal online banking services, they are rather diverse. Other targets include online payments, prepaid cards, airline loyalty programs and online betting accounts, to name a few.

The malware continues to spread to new geographies and is now targeting users in Brazil. First appearing in Brazil in July 2016, the related Panda variant likely has links to a locally operated, professional cybercrime faction. The variants fetched a new Brazil-focused configuration, which was set up to steal credentials from users of 10 major bank brands in the country, as well as those of bitcoin exchange platforms, payment card services and online payments providers, among others, per X-Force findings.

According to attack attempts detected by IBM Security antifraud solutions, Panda’s operators’ favored fraud methodology is account takeover, in which victim credentials are stolen and then used to initiate a transaction from another device. The victim is held online by deceptive pop-up windows that require one-time passwords and allow the attacker to complete a fraudulent transaction in real time.

Zeus Panda’s top infection vector is poisoned Word documents with macros that activate the malware deployment on victims’ machines. It also targets company email addresses with personalized messages designed to lure victims on a more selective basis than indiscriminate spam.

Panda’s move to Brazil is a very interesting occurrence in the country. This migration of a new and commercial Zeus variant into Brazil underscores the growing collaboration between Brazil-based cybercriminals and cybercrime vendors from other countries and underground communities — a trend that has been picking up speed in Brazil since the beginning of this year.
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  • 08-12-2016, 10:29
  • : 10:29
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