Malware Alert: GameOver Zeus Peer to Peer Malware
This alert was taken from the National Cyber Awareness System:
- Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and 8
- Microsoft Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, and Server 2012
GameOver Zeus (GOZ), a peer-to-peer (P2P) variant of the Zeus family of bank credential-stealing malware identified in September 20111, uses a decentralized network infrastructure of compromised personal computers and web servers to execute command-and-control. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), is releasing this Technical Alert to provide further information about the GameOver Zeus botnet.
GOZ, which is often propagated through spam and phishing messages, is primarily used by cybercriminals to harvest banking information, such as login credentials, from a victim’s computer2. Infected systems can also be used to engage in other malicious activities, such as sending spam or participating in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Prior variants of the Zeus malware utilized a centralized command and control (C2) botnet infrastructure to execute commands. Centralized C2 servers are routinely tracked and blocked by the security community1. GOZ, however, utilizes a P2P network of infected hosts to communicate and distribute data, and employs encryption to evade detection. These peers act as a massive proxy network that is used to propagate binary updates, distribute configuration files, and to send stolen data3. Without a single point of failure, the resiliency of GOZ’s P2P infrastructure makes takedown efforts more difficult1.
A system infected with GOZ may be employed to send spam, participate in DDoS attacks, and harvest users’ credentials for online services, including banking services.
Users are recommended to take the following actions to remediate GOZ infections:
- Use and maintain anti-virus software – Anti-virus software recognizes and protects your computer against most known viruses. It is important to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.
- Change your passwords – Your original passwords may have been compromised during the infection, so you should change them.
- Keep your operating system and application software up-to-date – Install software patches so that attackers can’t take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should enable it.
- Use anti-malware tools – Using a legitimate program that identifies and removes malware can help eliminate an infection. Users can consider employing a remediation tool (examples below) that will help with the removal of GOZ from your system.
To inquire about any of the above solutions, or if you believe your computer is infected with this or any other type of malware please contact USF Health IS immediately at 813-974-6288 Option #2.