June 26, 2013 By Etay Maor 2 min read

Earlier this week, IBM reported that the Carberp malware source code was on sale in Russian forums. Since then, the source code was leaked and is now available to criminals and researchers alike for free.

The leaked Carberp source code includes an “anti-Rapport” function as well as an old copy of IBM Security Trusteer Rapport’s installer for testing purposes. Over the years, we’ve seen many anti-Rapport modules incorporated into different malware strains. It started back in 2009 with a series of anti-Rapport modules incorporated into Zeus, then a couple of anti-Rapport modules incorporated into SpyEye. It has now been incorporated into different malware strains, including Carberp. In terms of functionality, these modules try to achieve one of three main goals:

  • Prevent Trusteer Rapport from installing on the computer
  • Remove Trusteer Rapport from the computer
  • Avoid one or more of Rapport’s browser protection mechanisms

Over the years, we’ve learned how to effectively fight these attempts with a combination of strong intelligence capabilities, multiple layers of protection and rapid response capabilities.

Just as with previous attempts, Trusteer Rapport protects users from Carberp and is not affected by the anti-Rapport function. This was true before the Carberp source code leak and is still true now.

Learning More About Carberp

IBM intelligence operations collect current threat data from tens of millions of protected endpoints and other sources around the world. Our special response teams track every piece of financial malware 24/7 and can swiftly analyze it and develop countermeasures. By designing an infrastructure that allows for maximum flexibility, Trusteer Rapport can quickly adapt to any change in the threat landscape and shut down cyber criminals’ window of opportunity. As it combats sophisticated financial malware, Trusteer Rapport represents a serious roadblock to malware-based fraud. We take great pride in the fact that criminal groups see us as a threat to their livelihood and are constantly trying to find ways around us. We also remain vigilant and keep enhancing our intelligence capabilities, product functionality and operational processes.

Update: July 25, 2013

A French researcher was able to find a scenario in which our Carberp protection mechanism didn’t kick in. While we believe this is a rare scenario, we activated another layer to protect against it. We would like to thank this researcher for his help and cooperation.

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