Scareware, Blackhat SEO, Spam and Google Groups Abuse, Courtesy of the Koobface Gang

The Koobface gang is known to have embraced the potential of the “underground multi-tasking” model a long time ago, in order to achieve the “malicious economies of scale” effect. This “underground multi-tasking” most commonly comes in the form of multiple monetization campaigns, which upon closer analysis always lead back to the Koobface gang’s infrastructure. In fact, the gang is so obsessed with efficiency, that particular redirectors and key malicious domains for a particular campaign, are also, simultaneously rotated across all the campaigns that they manage.

For instance, throughout the past half an year, a huge percentage of the malicious infrastructure used simultaneously in multiple campaigns, was parked on the now shut down Riccom LTD – AS29550. From the massive blackhat SEO campaigns affecting millions of legitimate web sites managed by the gang,  to the malvertising attack at the New York Times web site, and the click-fraud facilitating Bahama botnet, the Koobface botnet is only the tip of the iceberg for the efficient and fraudulent money machine that the gang operates.

In this analysis, I’ll once again establish a connection between the ongoing blackhat SEO campaigns managed by the gang (Blackhat SEO Campaign Hijacks U.S Federal Form Keywords, Serves Scareware; U.S Federal Forms Blackhat SEO Themed Scareware Campaign Expanding; Dissecting the Ongoing U.S Federal Forms Themed Blackhat SEO Campaign), with a spam campaign that’s also syndicated across multiple Google Groups, and the Koobface botnet itself, with a particular emphasis on the scareware monetization taking place across all the campaigns.

Related Koobface research and analysis:
The Koobface Gang Wishes the Industry “Happy Holidays”
Koobface-Friendly Riccom LTD – AS29550 – (Finally) Taken Offline
Koobface Botnet Starts Serving Client-Side Exploits
Massive Scareware Serving Blackhat SEO, the Koobface Gang Style
Koobface Botnet’s Scareware Business Model – Part Two
Koobface Botnet’s Scareware Business Model – Part One
Koobface Botnet Redirects Facebook’s IP Space to my Blog
New Koobface campaign spoofs Adobe’s Flash updater
Social engineering tactics of the Koobface botnet
Koobface Botnet Dissected in a TrendMicro Report
Movement on the Koobface Front – Part Two
Movement on the Koobface Front
Koobface – Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
Dissecting Koobface Worm’s Twitter Campaign

This post has been reproduced from Dancho Danchev’s blog.

Author: Dancho Danchev

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