19 March 2012

"Fileless" malware installs into RAM

Researchers at Kaspersky Labs have found malware which, unusually, does not install any files on its victims PCs.
The researchers aren’t quite sure how unusual it is, describing it as both “unique” and “very rare”, but no matter how scarce this type of malware is it does sound rather nasty as it “… uses its payload to inject an encrypted dll from the web directly into the memory of the javaw.exe process.” That mode of operation means Windows and MacOS are both affected by the exploit, which is hard for many antivirus programs to spot given it runs within a trusted process.
Once under your machine’s guard, the malware tries to attack Windows User Account Control so it install the Lurk Trojan and connect to an associated botnet. That installation attempt is the malware’s key task, as living in RAM means fileless malware won’t survive a system reboot..............

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