Menu
WikiLeaks: CIA used bits of Carberp Trojan code for malware deployment

WikiLeaks: CIA used bits of Carberp Trojan code for malware deployment

The CIA's hacking operations allegedly borrowed elements from the Carberp financial malware when the code was leaked in 2013

When the source code to a suspected Russian-made malware leaked online in 2013, guess who used it? A new release from WikiLeaks claims the U.S. CIA borrowed some of the code to bolster its own hacking operations.

On Friday, WikiLeaks released 27 documents that allegedly detail how the CIA customized its malware for Windows systems.

The CIA borrowed a few elements from the Carberp financial malware when developing its own hacking tool known as Grasshopper, according to those documents.

Carberp gained infamy as a Trojan program that can steal online banking credentials and other financial information from its victims' computers. The malware, which likely came from the criminal underground, was particularly problematic in Russia and other former Soviet states.

In 2013, the source code was leaked, sparking worries in the security community that more cybercriminals might use the malware.

Friday's WikiLeaks release includes supposed CIA user manuals that show the agency took an interest in the malware, especially with the way it can survive and linger on a Windows PC.

"The persistence method, and parts of the installer, were taken and modified to fit our needs," the U.S. spy agency allegedly wrote in one manual, dated January 2014.

It’s unclear why the agency chose Carberp. However, the borrowed elements were only used in one "persistence module" meant for the CIA's Grasshopper hacking tool. That tool is designed to build custom malware configured with different payloads, according to a separate document.

The WikiLeaks' release describes several other modules that work with Grasshopper to let malware persist on a PC, such as by leveraging Windows Task Scheduler or a Windows registry run key.

However, no actual source code was included in Friday's release. Nevertheless, the documents will probably help people detect the CIA's hacking tools -- which is WikiLeaks' intention in releasing the classified information.

Last month, WikiLeaks began releasing a trove of secret files allegedly obtained from the CIA. Those first leaks described how the agency has a library of hacking techniques borrowed from malware out in the wild.

The U.S. spy agency has so far declined to comment on the authenticity of WikiLeaks' document dump.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments