Microsoft December patches advance notice

Rich Quick Make Money!

Published: 2012-12-06
Last Updated: 2012-12-06 18:54:27 UTC
by Daniel Wesemann (Version: 1)
2 comment(s)

Based on reader reports (thanks Fred!) it looks like some carefully crafted spam is making its way past filters at the moment. The spams have content like

To all of my friends who didn't have the a moment to watch me on the channel-20 news last Tuesday talking about my blog, and financial accomplishments. I'm forwarding you the News Article, so you can read the whole story on how I became financially independent and wealthy. hxxp://r,turn,com/r/formclick/id/Ln5c6GsFyTbGgAsAbQABAA/url/%68%74%74%70%3a%2f\%6a%2e%6d%70/TSQHMO?djyna

I'm using hxxp and , instead of . to keep the domains from becoming clickable .. and to hopefully keep your spam/virus filter from panicking belatedly over this ISC diary instead of over the real spam earlier :)

We first expected some sort of Fake AV malware campaign, but it looks like the site "only" pushes the latest work-at-home-get-rich-quick scam. At least for the moment. Looking at the URL closely, here's what's going down: r,turn,com has an open redirect. The bad guys use this as a trampoline to bounce whoever clicks on the link to the next stage.

"%68%74%74%70%3a%2f\%6a%2e%6d%70" is really only hexadecimally encoded ASCII, and translates to "hxxp:/\j,mp", so the next stage is hxxp://j,mp/TSQHMO?djyna.  

There, we get a redirect to hxxp://wallyplanet,info/fizo.htm?33722, where we get a file that contains window.location = "hxxp://bit,ly/Vn3lWj".  Which redirects to hxxp://picklecook,us/fizo2.htm, where we get a file that contains window.location = "hxxp://CNBC-20NEWS,NET/momstory294b.htm", where we finally get the sob story and the get-rich-quick scam.

I doubt the spam filters follow this mess all the way, hence the URL reputation score in the spam filters apparently got tricked, and let the email through.


2 comment(s)

Comodo DNS hiccup on

Published: 2012-12-06
Last Updated: 2012-12-06 17:27:14 UTC
by Daniel Wesemann (Version: 1)
2 comment(s)

We received a report from a reader (thanks Marco!) that earlier today, "", a domain used by Comodo CA, apparently was pointing elsewhere for a while.  From information captured by passive DNS sensors, it indeed looks like the NS records were changed to "" and the A records were changed to point to, both indicative of a domain that has been "parked" by Network Solutions. Two hours later, the DNS records were updated again, and pointed back to Comodo.  Given that the registration record on Network Solutions' WHOIS shows a renewal date of December 5 for the domain, it is probably fair to assume that "something" went wrong in the renewal.



Keywords: comodo dns
2 comment(s)

Fake tech support calls - revisited

Published: 2012-12-06
Last Updated: 2012-12-06 12:20:44 UTC
by Daniel Wesemann (Version: 1)
2 comment(s)

Back when this scam started to become "popular", the caller usually claimed to be from Microsoft or any other large well known techie company, and tried to talk the person answering into running some commands or programs on the PC "in order to fix a critical problem".  But the latest twist of this scam seems to get more targeted: We have had two reports of fake tech support calls where the caller claimed to be representing the firm to which the called company had in fact outsourced its IT Support.

This isn't really rocket science on the attackers' part - some basic internet searches will give them lots of press releases and marketing blah where service providers tout their success in winning over a big support contract for company XYZ.  I tried a search on my own based on one of the samples, and even found job postings where the service provider was explicitly looking for techies to work on the XYZ account. Next, I went on a LinkedIn search to find techies working for the service provider, and filtered to discover if any were connected to anyone at company XYZ.  Not surprisingly, there were quite a few. Stuff like this is a gold mine for phishers, social engineering, and fake tech support scammers. 

There is little point though in trying to keep the Internet free from such information. Company XYZ might have been able to control what the marketing people of the service provider write about their "reference customer", but they can't really control who is connected to whom on social networks.

In terms of countermeasures, as a service provider, make sure you have an established way how your staff identifies itself to your customer. As a company with outsourced services, make sure there is a well defined conduit how the service provider interacts with your employees, that your employees are aware of this, and that there is a defined mechanism (known call back number, etc) in place to verify a call if your employees have any doubt.

Please report fake tech support calls on


2 comment(s)

How to identify if you are behind a "Transparent Proxy"

Published: 2012-12-06
Last Updated: 2012-12-06 03:25:35 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
6 comment(s)

Traveling a lot? You may still be one of the unlucky few who not only connects to hotel networks regulary, but doesn't have easy access to a VPN to bypass all the nastyness they introduce. In addition, even some "normal" ISPs do introduce a feature called "transparent proxy" to manage traffic. Transparent proxies are nice in that they are easy to setup up and invisible ("transparent") to the user. However, the browser isn't aware of them, and as a result the transparent proxy even if configured non-malicious can still cause confusion bout the same origin policy browser depend on to isolate web sites from each other.

A transperent proxy works in conjunction with a firewall. The firewall will route traffic to the proxy, but changing the desitination IP address of the packet to the proxy's IP address. The proxy now relies on the "Host" header to identify the target site. As a result, the relationship between IP address and host name that the client established is lost.

There is a pretty simple test to figure out if you are behind a simple transparent proxy: Telnet to a "random" IP address (e.g. on port 80. Then, copy/past a simple HTTP request, that includes the host header (the part you type is shown in bold font:

telnet 80
Connected to (
Escape character is '^]'.
GET /infocon.txt HTTP/1.1
If this works, and you are connected to "" and not "" (which doesn't exist), then you are behind a proxy. The response may now also include headers inserted by the proxy. For example (abbreviated):
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2012 03:05:12 GMT
Content-Length: 5
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Via: 1.0 localhost:3128 (squid/2.7.STABLE9) <--- PROXY HEADER
And other similar headers. (X-Cache-Lookup, X-Cache ...)
If https connections are proxied, you will also see SSL warnings. Disconnect if you see them. Using an "open" internet connection without a VPN to tunnel you back to the safety of the known-evil home ISP is your best choice. There are plenty of decent options. Some home routers now include either OpenVPN or IPsec gateways. Personally, I like OpenVPN, but for mobile devices, IPsec is more common. You may need both anyway as some special-evil networks block VPN connections. OpenVPN for example can even work by encapsulating your TCP/IP traffic in HTTP requests that will be passed along by an evil transparent proxy. Setting up a PPP connection over SSH is another option, but it is less supported by non-linux clients. Of course, you should still use SSL to connect to critical services to get an end-to-end authenticated and encrypted tunnel.

Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.
SANS Technology Institute

6 comment(s)
ISC StormCast for Thursday, December 6th 2012


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