Sunday, November 1, 2009

The New Moon Trojan

While the sentence of the Pinch Trojan authors is about to expire within the following few months, the code of their Trojan is still being morphed by others into other nasty forms.

Apart from its known ability to gather system information and steal confidential information such as user names and passwords, the Pinch is now capable of delivering the stolen details to the remote website by utilizing a powerful news management system called "Cute News".

What's not cute in this case however is that the name of the website established by the remote attackers to collect stolen credentials is disguised under the name of the forecoming movie blockbuster New Moon.

The infection starts from an image displayed with the purpose of distracting user attention while the Trojan gets activated. While the user stares at the picture, the Trojan starts harvesting user details, passwords, email addresses and other contents from the configuration files of the installed email clients Eudora, Thunderbird, Outlook, The Bat!, FTP clients FileZilla, WS_FTP, CuteFTP, and several other applications.

The Trojan then collects system information that includes installed application names and their versions, serial numbers, user and computer names, the names of the running applications, user’s email account settings, and some other system details.

The collected information is then encoded into Base64 format and posted into the remote Cute News service hosted by the attackers at

The post takes place via HTTP protocol allowing attackers to use the power of the Cute News system to accept, collect and use the stolen information without setting up any databases as all information is stored in flat files.

Automated analysis is available here.