Several months ago I wrote a blog post about an adware downloader which after execution downloaded a few adware programs and installed them on the computer, giving no chance for the user to skip or bypass their installation. This time, we will analyze an application, which installs similar types of adware programs on user computers.
We received a file which appeared to be a crack of Pinnacle Studio HD Ultimate. After displaying the initial splash screen, it offers the user to install Pinnacle Pixie Activation 500. After confirmation, the crack is installed, but in addition to the crack, other programs and toolbars unexpectedly appeared on the compromised computer. Pinnacle was not the only target of this kind of attack. Cracks for programs like Sims, Nero, Rosetta Stone, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 were also used in distribution.
When analysing malware you are most likely to encounter samples which use all kinds of obfuscation in order to hide from antivirus software that protects your computer. This is also true for malware written in flash (more specifically, ActionScript). Flash is very popular among malware writers these days because many people use it on daily basis. Sometimes, they don’t even know it’s flash that runs all the fancy stuff which takes place on their screen! Recently I came across a sample that uses a very nice trick to hide its purpose from everyone who tries to look under its hood. What is more interesting, this sample is actually smaller than 140 bytes, which means it could fit in a Twitter message! That is rather unusual for flash files, which tend to be considerably larger. But don’t worry, this is not a case of malware spreading through Twitter in its binary form. Maybe via malicious links, but that is another story.