RBN - Storm Botnet, the Changing Chessboard

In a follow up to the earlier Russian Business Network (RBN) "New and Improved Storm Botnet for 2008" the chessboard changes yet again. In this game of chess our opponents started over Christmas with a full frontal attack, but have already now switched to a flanking moves. Perhaps on this occasion the community may be able to slow down the advance to force a draw or maybe even win this particular game of chess?

The key is to understand and combat the Storm 2008's innovative elements and attempt to quantify progress of the game. With the aid of early analysis by Thorsten Holz / The German Honeynet Project and based on limited initial data we have attempted to produce a predictive trend analysis of the Storm Botnet to rebuild and reach 1 million PCs. This is shown in figure 1, given current analysis shows a growth from say 10,000 on Dec-22 to 30/40,000 by Jan-03, on a conservative analysis Storm should reach 1 million by Mid Feb 08.

So at least a we now have a potential game progress definition; for the RBN it would be a disappointment if they did not easily clear this target, for the community the aim is to limit the target. Game on?

To play this game we all better know the rules of deception, on a current assessment of progress against the innovative Storm elements:

# First the good news so far 2,147 fake and or infected Blogspots have been detected and are flagged by Google as shown in the StopBadWare clearing house.

# Further good news on checking most of the Storm attack domains (see list below) are either SBL or XBL listed on Spamhaus et. al.

# Some confusion in the ranks as assumptions are made as to locations or even selective attacks. As described elsewhere the botnet control panel(s) are now much more sophisticated, with the ability to decide which geographic region and areas to attack. Interestingly if the PC still subject to earlier infection there will be no further re-infection.
# As noted the polymorphic nature is clearly present to confuse i.e. the virus or exploits have the ability to alter its signature in an attempt to combat anti-virus tools.

# Most worrying is the constant stream of domains and the "fast-flux" technique used to avoid detection as mentioned in this case is actually “double-flux” characterized by multiple nodes within the network registering and de-registering their addresses. This implies as fast as IPs are block listed, it would seem "Snort" which is capable of performing packet logging and real-time traffic analysis on IP networks, may at last demonstrate its earlier promise.

# Finally it is fairly safe to predict there will be further attacks on the search engines and via social engineering i.e. Face Book, etc.

The current Storm attack domains and related fakes (also ref links below: Malwaredomains, Emerging Threats, honeywall blog, and US Cert) although of limited number to begin with are now:

10000xing(dot)cn - 222360(dot)com - adslooks(dot)info - bnably(dot)com - eqcorn(dot)com - familypostcards2008(dot)com - freshcards2008(dot)com -happy2008toyou(dot)com - happysantacards(dot)com - hellosanta2008(dot)com - hohoho2008(dot)com - kqfloat(dot)com - ltbrew(dot)com - mymetavids(dot)com - obebos(dot)cn - parentscards(dot)com - postcards-2008(dot)com - ptowl(dot)com - qavoter(dot)com - santapcards(dot)com - santawishes2008(dot)com - siski(dot)cn - snbane(dot)com - snlilac(dot)com - tibeam(dot)com - tushove(dot)com - wxtaste(dot)com - yxbegan(dot)com

The specific Storm exploits have overlapped with fake anti-malware and fake codecs which are polymorphic in their nature:
ArcadeWorld(dot)exe - ArcadeWorldGame(dot)exe - ClickHere(dot)exe - codecnice1126(dot)dmg - codecnice1126(dot)exe - codecultra1123(dot)dmg - codecultra1123(dot)exe - ecard(dot)exe - fck2008(dot)exe - Flash_Postcard(dot)exe - FlashPostcard(dot)exe - Full Story(dot)exe - FullClip(dot)exe - FullNews(dot)exe - FullVideo(dot)exe - GreetingCard(dot)exe - GreetingPostcard(dot)exe - happy_2008(dot)exe - happy2008(dot)exe - Install_video_3913230(dot)exe - MoreHere(dot)exe - NflStatTracker(dot)exe - Postcard(dot)exe - Read_More(dot)exe - ReadMore(dot)exe - sony(dot)exe - stripshow(dot)exe - Video(dot)exe - VideoAccessCodecInstall(dot)exe - virusranger(dot)exe - vrsvc(dot)exe

Storm Growth analysis - German HoneyNet
Emerging Threats
US Cert