Posted by Virus Bulletin on May 13, 2013
USAID sympathizers targeted with links from 'like-minded people'.
Two social networking accounts have been discovered that were used in a recent targeted attack.
Opinions on social networking vary, but there are many users who allow apparently like-minded people - that they may otherwise never have come across - to connect with them. Unfortunately, as blogger Eric Romang points out, this eagerness to connect with others who share the same interests has been abused by those with less sincere intentions.
When researching the watering hole campaigns that led to the discovery of IE8 zero-day vulnerability CVE-2013-1347, he found both a Twitter account and a Facebook account that had been used to spread malware as part of the same campaign.
Each account appears to belong to an enthusiastic supporter of a USAID programme to improve health systems in Cambodia - several messages related to the campaign had been posted from each account. While the Facebook account has since been suspended, the Twitter account is currently still active.
Apart from three dozen Tweets and Retweets, it shows a URL in the profile which, through the goo.gl shortener, links to a file hosted on Dropbox. While its filename suggests it is a profile picture, it is actually a copy of 'Poison Ivy', a malicious Remote Administration Tool. The analytics page for the shortened URL shows that the URL had been clicked four times before the campaign was uncovered, though it is unclear whether any of these clicks led to the malware being installed. Dropbox has since removed the file.
A number of Tweets also link to University Research Co. Cambodia, a local project supported by USAID, whose website was one of those discovered to be compromised as part of the watering hole campaign. It is not known how often these links had been clicked.