Malware Signed With Valid SONY Certificate (Update: This was a Joke!)

Published: 2014-12-10
Last Updated: 2014-12-10 16:06:25 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
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Update: Turns out that the malware sample that Kaspersky was reporting on was not actual malware from a real incident. But the story isn't quite "harmless" and the certificate should still be considered compromised. A researcher found the certificate as part of the SONY data that was widely distributed by the attackers. The filename for the certificate was also the password for the private key. The researcher then created a signed copy of an existing malware sample retrieved from Malwr, and uploaded it to Virustotal to alert security companies. Kaspersky analyzed the sample, and published the results, not realizing that this was not an "in the wild" sample. [1] The certificate has been added to respective CRLs.

--- original story ---

We haven't really mentioned the ongoing SONY compromise here. In part, because there is very little solid information public (and we don't want to just speculate), and also, without a good idea about what happened, it is difficult to talk about lessons learned.

However, one facet of he attack may have wider implications. Securelist is reporting that they spotted malware that is signed with a valid SONY certificate. It is very likely that the secret key used to create the signature was part of the loot from the recent compromise. Having malware that is signed by a major corporation will make it much more likely for users to install the malware. It also emphasizes again the depth at which SONY was (or is) compromised. [2]

An effort is underway to revoke the certificate. But certificate revocation lists are notoriously unreliable and slow to update so it may take a while for the revocation to propagate. 

Stolen certificate serial number: 01 e2 b4 f7 59 81 1c 64 37 9f ca 0b e7 6d 2d ce
Thumbprint: 8d f4 6b 5f da c2 eb 3b 47 57 f9 98 66 c1 99 ff 2b 13 42 7a


Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.

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