WildFire has recently detected a new variant of the Waledac botnet, along with a few new modifications. As a reminder, Waledac was a fairly large spamming botnet that was taken down in 2010 when Microsoft was able to take ownership of the many domains used by the botnet.
On February 2nd, WildFire began seeing a new variant of Waledac showing up in customer networks and this time its doing more than just sending spam. The new version has upgraded its malicious abilities to include stealing of passwords and authentication data. This includes the ability to sniff user credentials for FTP, POP3, SMTP and steal .dat files for FTP and BitCoin. All of this information is uploaded to the botnet, and of course would be very valuable for enabling further attacks.
WildFire was able to detect this new malware hitting customer networks and was blocking it before any antivirus vendor had coverage for it. The sample was originally detected on Feb 2nd and the first coverage by a major AV was not observed until Feb 13th. As a reminder, the WildFire feature allows the firewall to capture unknown files for analysis in a virtualized malware sandbox, where new malware can be identified based on its behaviors.
The MD5 for this sample is 0766243f2520c32f1f6b4661c0b5592e, and customers can login to the WildFire Portal to see the analysis if this malware was detected on their network. Palo Alto Networks customers who are running PAN-OS version 4.1 are strongly encouraged to enable WildFire if they have not already done so in order to gain protection from similar threats in the future. (Note: All Palo Alto Networks customers with a valid Threat Prevention license are already protected if they have applied the latest AV updates). WildFire is a free feature, and users benefit from protections from threats seen by all Palo Alto Networks customers worldwide.
To avoid confusion it is important to note that this is a new variant of the botnet, and not the original version, which remains under the control of Microsoft.