Kneber Botnet Hits More Than 2,500 Firms Worldwide

As many as 75,000 personal computers in around 2,500 organisations worldwide have fallen prey to a botnet based on a new variant of the infamous ZeUS Trojan, codenamed Kneber, it has been emerged.

The botnet, which was unearthed by a US-based networks forensic firm NetWitness, has been afflicting damages to both private entities and government agencies throughout the world.

The botnet is enabling hackers to steal the users’ login credentials for social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and email systems, like Hotmail and Yahoo, as well as passwords for online bank accounts and other such financial sources.

Additionally, cyber fraudsters have also managed to seize control over corporate servers to filch confidential information, including the one companies use for processing payments through credit cards.

A report published in the Wall Street Journal is indicating that the botnet has already affected some of the big firms, including Cardinal Health, Merck, Juniper Networks, Paramount Pictures, among others in the US.

However, Merck and Cardinal Health have already isolated and controlled the problem, with Merck even saying that “no sensitive information was compromised”, the report added.

Noting the gravity of the large-scale attack, Amit Yoran, CEO of NetWitness, said in a statement: “Systems compromised by this botnet provide the attackers with not only user credentials and confidential information, but remote access inside the compromised networks”.

Our Comments

Kneber is still a small problem for the time being as the attacks appear to be targeted and focused on organisations with a large number of installed computers. This might possibly changed at the flick of a (virtual) switch though as Kneber owners look for a critical mass.

Related Links

Kneber Botnet Infects 75,000 Corporate, Government Computers

(Channel Web)

Kneber botnet catches 2,500 companies worldwide

(Guardian)

Global Botnet Attack Hits Enterprise, Government PCs

(Information Week)

Evil Kneber Botnet Packs Mighty Malware Punch

(Tech News World)

Global cyberattacks hit firms, govts: NetWitness

(AFP)