Menu
North Korean official news agency site serves malware

North Korean official news agency site serves malware

The site hosts malware that masquerades as a Flash Player installer, security researchers found

Users who visited the site of the state-run North Korean news agency, to see the country's response to the Sony hacking accusations or for other reasons, might want to scan their computers for malware.

A security researcher found that the site hosts a malicious file called FlashPlayer10.zip that is served by JavaScript code loaded from kcna.user.exploit.exploit.kcmsf (kcmsf is a custom file extension used by the site).

FlashPlayer10.zip contains two executable files called "Install Flash Player 10 Activex.exe" and "Install Flash Player 10 Plugin.exe." Both of the files are malicious, according to scans done with VirusTotal, an online file scanning service that uses multiple antivirus engines, said the researcher, who uses the online alias InfoSecOtter, in a blog post Sunday.

Security researchers from antivirus firm Bitdefender independently confirmed Tuesday that the files are malicious after obtaining the ZIP archive themselves from kcna.kp, the site of the Korean Central News Agency.

A quick look at the executable files suggests that the malware might steal passwords from browsers, said Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender. It might also do other things, but more time is required to perform a thorough analysis.

One of the files was already in the VirusTotal database since October 2013, but they might be much older. The timestamp on the files in the ZIP archive suggests they were created in December 2012.

This means the attempt to infect users through the site most likely predates the attack against Sony Pictures in December that the FBI attributed to North Korea.

It's also not clear when the site serves the FlashPlayer10.zip file, as not all users are prompted to download it. The JavaScript code that triggers the download might check for special conditions like the user system's browser version, OS, language preference, location, or other attributes. That mechanism has not yet been researched.

There are also multiple references to the word exploit in different files and directories on the site, as well as code that appears to dynamically generate PDF file names for download.

Since many aspects of this attack are still uncertain, like whether the site contains other exploits in addition to the malware that masquerades as Flash Player, users who visited the site should err on the side of caution and scan their computers for malware and take security precautions if visiting the site in the future.

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intrusiononline safetysecuritymalwarebitdefender

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments