You are on page 1of 22

Spyware and Rootkit

Definition of Spyware
Spyware

is software that aids in gathering information


about a person or organization without their knowledge
and that may send such information to another entity
without the consumers consent, or that asserts control
over a computer without the consumers knowledge.
In short, Application that send
information from your computer
to the creator of the spyware
without your attention.

History of spyware
The

first recorded use of the term Spyware occurred on


16 October 1995 in a Usenet post that poked fun at
Microsofts business model.
In 1999 Zone Labs used the term when they made a press
release for the Zone Alarm Personal Firewall
As of 2006, Spyware has become one of the preeminent
security threats to computer system running Microsoft
Windows operating system.

Classification of Spyware
Spyware
1)
2)
3)
4)

is mostly classified into four types:


System Monitors
Trojans
Adware
Tracking cookies

1) System monitors
A

system monitor is a hardware or software component


used to monitor resources and performance in a computer
system.

2) Trojans
Non-self-replicating

type of malware program


Having some malicious code
when executed carries out action determined by the nature of
the Trojan
Typically causing loss or theft of data, and possible system
harm.
The Trojan often acts as a backdoor, contacting a controller
which can then have unauthorized access to the affected
computer.

3) Adware
Adware,

or advertising-supported software, is any


software
package
which
automatically
renders
advertisements in order to generate revenue for its author.
The advertisements may be in the users interface of the
software or on a screen presented to the user during the
installation process.

4) Tracking cookies
Tracking

cookies are not viruses or malicious code.


Cookies are only text files and therefore cannot be
dangerous to your computer.
The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and
possibly prepare customized web pages for them.

Gator, Cydoor, and eZula


These

three are spyware programs


All three are spybot or adware class programs
They are typically packaged with popular free software.
They all send and retrieve information from remote
servers using the HTTP protocol.

Gator
Gator

is adware that collects and transmits information


about a users Web activity.
Goal is to
Gather demographic information
Generate a profile of the users interests for targeted
advertisements.
Gator

ways.

can be installed on a users computer in several

When a user installs one of several free software programs


produced by Claria Corporation (the company that produces
Gator), such as a free calendar application or a time
synchronization client.

Cydoor
Cydoor

displays targeted pop-up advertisements whose


contents are dictated by the users browsing history.
User is connected to the Internet
The Cydoor client pre-fetches advertisements from the Cydoor
servers.
Displayed whenever the user runs an application that contains
Cydoor, whether the user is online or offline.

eZula
eZula

attaches itself to a clients Web browser and


modifies incoming HTML to create links to advertisers
from specific keywords.
When a client is infected with eZula, these artificial
links are displayed and highlighted within rendered
HTML.
It is also known as Top Text, ContextPro or Hot Text.

Effects of Spyware
Positive

Effect

Spyware is mostly used for the purpose of tracking and


string internet users movements on the web and serving
up pop-up ads to internet users.
Negative

Effect

A computers performance by installing additional


software, redirecting web browser searches, changing
computer setting, reducing connection speeds, changing
the homepage or even completely disrupting network
connection ability.

What is a Root kit?


Collection of attacker tools installed after an intruder
has
gained access
Log cleaners
File/process/user hiding tools
Network sniffers
Backdoor programs
In short, Root kits are software that
makes an operating system lie
The Legendary Q

Root kit Goals


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Remove evidence of original attack and activity that led


to root kit installation
Hide future attacker activity (files, network connections,
processes) and prevent it from being logged
Enable future access to system by attacker
Install tools to widen scope of penetration
Secure system so other attackers cant take control of
system from original attacker

How do you get infected with a root kit?

Attacker can install it once they've obtained root access


Result of direct attack on a system

Exploited a known vulnerability


Password cracking,
Social engineering
Phishing with embedded link
Website enticement games, adult websites or torrents

Spyware and
rootkit

Spyware

How root kits work?

Vulnerable system targeted


Unpatched,
Zero-day exploit,
Poor configuration - leaving vulnerable processes up
Targeted system exploited
Root or Administrator access is obtained!!!
Root kit Payload is installed

Operating

Gandhinagar Institute of

Root kit Operations

Root kit hides its presence


Controls interfaces between Operating System components
Intercepts and alters interface communications
C:\> dir RootkitFile.exe
C:\> no files found

Root kit Operations


Example

1. Application tries to see if executable file


for root kit X exists
2. Application calls Find File API, via Operating System
3. Invisible to application, root kit X has compromised
API interface to file manager
4. Root kit intercepts applications call to Find File,
returns incorrect message file does not exist
5. Root kit file is hidden from application and its users
despite fact that it clearly still exists

Classification of Root kits


Root kits are classified in two types,
User Mode
Kernel Mode

Operating System Design

Intel has four privilege levels


or rings
Linux and many other OS
vendors use only two rings
User Mode : In this level some
restriction in accessing system
hardware and certain memory
regions apply.
User address
space restricted to application
memory maps
Kernel Mode : Everything is
allowed

Supervisor /
Kernel Mode

User Mode

User Mode Root kits


Critical operating system components are replaced or
modified by attacker to create backdoors, hide on the
system

Example Programs
Linux Root Kit 5 (lrk5)
T0rnKit for Linux, Solaris
Other platform specific Root kits
SunOS, AIX, SCO, Solaris

Kernel-level Root Kits


The operating system itself is modified to allow backdoor
access and allow attacker to hide

Example Programs
Knark for Linux
Adore for Linux
Plasmoids Solaris Kernel-level Rootkit
Hacker Defender - Windows

THANK YOU