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posted by azrael on Saturday July 12 2014, @08:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the tricorder-malfunction dept.

Handheld scanners are installed with sophisticated malware by China-based threat actors in order to target shipping and logistics organizations all over the world says the security firm TrapX (report 15 MB PDF).

The attack begins at a Chinese company that provides hardware and software for handheld scanners used by shipping and logistics firms worldwide to inventory items they handle. The manufacturer installs the malware on the embedded Microsoft Windows XP devices.

Experts determined that the threat group target servers that stores corporate financial data, customer data and other sensitive information. A second payload downloaded by the malware then establishes a sophisticated C&C on the company's finance servers, enabling the attackers to exfiltrate the information they're after.

The malware used by the Zombie Zero attackers is highly sophisticated and polymorphic, the researchers said. One observed attack revealed that 16 of the 48 scanners used by the victim were infected, and the malware managed to penetrate the targeted organization's defenses and gain access to servers on the corporate network.

Interestingly, the C&C is located at the Lanxiang Vocational School, an educational institution said to be involved in the Operation Aurora attacks against Google, and is physically located one block away from the scanner manufacturer, TrapX said. Another possible attack vector is of course the labels with printed binary data. Compartmentalized networks and a strict API enforcement gateway may be ways to combat threats like these.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by kaszz on Saturday July 12 2014, @10:57PM

    by kaszz (4211) on Saturday July 12 2014, @10:57PM (#68277) Journal

    One can choose different organized listen-and-interfere agency whether it's Russia, China or USA. But the point with a free operating system like NetBSD-OpenBSD-DragonFly-FreeBSD is that you can audit both operating system and drivers (unless binary blob). So you firmware may be compromised. But you can check the source for should-it-do-this and how-does-it execute this?

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  • (Score: 1) by Horse With Stripes on Saturday July 12 2014, @11:48PM

    by Horse With Stripes (577) on Saturday July 12 2014, @11:48PM (#68291)

    Absolutely. But you can't really audit the manufacturer's application binary (which is where this little prize is probably residing).