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Monster.com torpedoes rogue server as malware scam rolls on




Monster.com torpedoes rogue server as malware scam rolls on
Monster.com torpedoes rogue server as malware scam rolls on



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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/23/monster_torpedoes_rogue_server/ 

By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
23rd August 2007

Trying to contain damage amid reports that con artists are targeting 
online job sites, Monster Worldwide has shut down a rogue server that 
was siphoning personal information from the resumes of job seekers. The 
disclosure came amid new details of a Trojan that's amassed personal 
information on hundreds of thousands of people.

The company, which maintains the employment search site Monster.com, 
warned users on Wednesday that it continues to investigate and "take 
measures to address the impact" of Infostealer.Monstres. The malware was 
first uncovered last week by Symantec. The program managed to access 
sections of the site reserved for confirmed job recruiters so it could 
assemble personal information on "several hundred thousand" job seekers.

According to a more recent posting by Symantec researcher Vikram Thakur, 
criminals behind the Trojan may be using the information to send 
personalized emails that try to trick recipients into turning over 
online bank account credentials.

"The email looks very realistic and may convince many that it has been 
sent from Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com," Thakur warned.

The message, which contains the job seeker's full name, offers a 
position as a "transfer manager" at an investment firm. It offers a 
competitive salary, a $500 signing bonus and the ability to work from 
home.

However, there's a catch: The email also requires candidates to open a 
Bank of America account and transmit the account details, ostensibly so 
they can receive online payments. With that and additional information 
that's requested, it would then be possible for fraudsters to use 
Western Union to withdraw money against the account.

While there are tell-tale signs that the emails are fraudulent, the con 
artists have several things on their side. That would be 1.6m entries 
providing personal information on several hundred thousand people, all 
of whom are actively seeking new jobs.

"The sheer number of people who could receive such targeted spam is 
worrisome," Thakur wrote. "We urge readers to limit the information they 
post on Web sites."

According to Symantec, individual computers infected with 
Infostealer.Monstres were programmed to use pilfered recruiter 
credentials to pull a broad range of information relating to job 
candidates and feed them to a server in Eastern Europe. Because the 
queries were coming from many different internet protocol addresses, 
rather than a single machine, the fraudulent requests were probably more 
difficult for Monster to detect.

Last week's discovery by Symantec of the Trojan and the huge database it 
has assembled coincided with a separate significant finding relating to 
job site security by Atlanta-based SecureWorks. It uncovered a cache of 
personal data stolen by a separate Trojan that is being pushed by ads 
being hosted on job sites.

The PRG Trojan, as SecureWorks has dubbed the malware, has amassed 
usernames, passwords, social security numbers, bank account numbers and 
other details on 46,000 victims, SecureWorks said last week. It added 
that the collection of stolen data was continuing, with as many as 
10,000 victims sending information at any one time. The malware works by 
installing a keylogger on the user's machine that sends sensitive 
information to a server located in the Asia Pacific.

SecureWorks couldn't be reached on Thursday, so it remains unclear which 
job sites were carrying the infected ads or whether those ads continued 
to be be hosted.

Today's press release from Monster provides few details on the rogue 
server the company managed to shut down except that information on it 
"was limited to names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. 
That makes us believe the cache was the one uncovered by Symantec, 
rather than the one SecureWorks stumbled upon.

Monster said it was in the process of determining how many of job 
seekers were included in the database and would "be communicating with 
those affected as appropriate." Monster also unveiled a new security 
alert on its site. It can be found here. =C2=AE


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____________________________________
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Taking place September 3-6 2007 featuring seven tracks of technical 
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