Tier-3 says new trend in banner ad infection Trojans can be beaten

Tier-3, the behavioural analysis IT security specialist, says that a new Trojan, spotted in various forms by Symantec in recent weeks, now poses a potentially serious threat to most authentication systems being rolled out by banks to protect their electronic customers.

Tier-3, the behavioural analysis IT security software specialist, says that a series of banner ad attacks on Expedia.com and Rhapsody, the Real Networks-owned online music site, can be beaten by using behavioural analysis technology.

"The attacks, which centre on the use of malware infections planted in banner ads that route users to sites apparently containing anti- spyware software, end up with users downloading the malware they are trying to avoid," said Geoff Sweeney, Tier-3's CTO.

"This new attach vector, which was identified last week by Sandi Hardmeir Australian spyware researcher, attempted to persuade users to download the TROJ_GIDA.A Trojan," he added.

According to Sweeney, this new banner ad infection technique builds on the earlier rogue URL strategy found on some DoubleClick ads last year and is yet another example of how most antivirus and anti spyware technology is powerless to protect against attacks that the security software vendors dont know about.  Whilst consumers and business alike continue to rely on reactive rule based technologies to defend against these sorts of attacks there will always be a time window where they risk becoming infected whilst they wait for the latest definition file to become available. 

"In that episode, adverts for the National Hockey League and the Economist magazine were used to launch the malware. Clearly this new trend is malware attack vectors is evolving rapidly and companies need to be aware of the need to review their security strategies and install behavioural analysis software where appropriate," he said.


Tier-3, with headquarters in Sydney, is the inventor of Behavioural Anomaly Detection (BAD) technology which is the cornerstone of the HUNTSMAN Threat Management System. HUNTSMAN enables enterprises to scale security management while, at the same time, improving its effectiveness by offering for the first time, insight into enterprise ICT infrastructure and real-time risk-based threat management. Tier-3s significant customer base includes government, financial institutions, major corporations, and organisations in the critical infrastructure and intelligence areas around the world.

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