Russian-speaking virus writers have brewed up a stealthy strain of banking Trojan that communicates over peer-to-peer networks using an encrypted darknet protocol that's arguably even stealthier than TOR: I2P.
The i2Ninja malware offers a similar set of capabilities to other major financial malware such as ZeuS and SpyEye – including an HTML injection and form-grabbing for all major browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome), as well as an FTP grabber and a soon-to-be released VNC (Virtual Network Connection) module, which will allow remote control of compromised desktops.
In addition, the Trojan also provides a PokerGrabber module targeting major online poker sites and an email grabber.
But what really sets the malware apart is is arcane communications technology, as a blog post by transaction security firm Trusteer explains.
The i2Ninja takes its name from the malware’s use of I2P – a networking layer that uses cryptography to allow secure communication between its peer-to-peer users. While this concept is somewhat similar to TOR and TOR services, I2P was designed to maintain a true Darknet, an Internet within the Internet where secure and anonymous messaging and use of services can be maintained. The I2P network also offers HTTP proxies to allow anonymous internet browsing.
Using the I2P network, i2Ninja can maintain secure communications between the infected devices and command and control server. Everything from delivering configuration updates to receiving stolen data and sending commands is done via the encrypted I2P channels. The i2Ninja malware also offers buyers a proxy for anonymous internet browsing, promising complete online anonymity.
Trusteer, which was recently acquired by IBM, came across the i2Ninja malware through posting on a Russian cybercrime forum. Etay Maor, a fraud prevention manager at Trusteer, explains that around-the-clock support is on hand for potential customers of the cybercrime tool.
"Another feature of I2P by i2Ninja is an integrated help desk via a ticketing system within the malware’s command and control," Maor explains. "A potential buyer can communicate with the authors/support team, open tickets and get answers – all while enjoying the security and anonymity provided by I2P’s encrypted messaging nature. While some malware offerings have offered an interface with a support team in the past (Citadel and Neosploit to name two), i2Ninja’s 24/7 secure help desk channel is a first."
The post advertising i2Ninja was actually copied from a different source and shared within the forum on a thread discussing P2P Trojans, Maor adds.
"The cybercriminal who originally made the offer commented on this thread and confirmed that indeed this malware is for sale at this time. As the thread progressed that same cybercriminal requested that the thread [be] shut down as he [had] received many requests for purchasing the i2Ninja malware," he adds.
Trusteer reckons the malware would most likely spread via the usual vectors - drive-by-download infection, fake ads, email attachments etc. The purchase or rental price of Trojan remains undetermined. ®