Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Hackers use Dropbox to spread malware

27 June 2014, 10:10Duncan Alfreds, Fin24

Cape Town - Cyber criminals are migrating their strategy to include cloud-based services to launch attacks on computers, new research has revealed.

In a post by security firm Trend Micro, the firm found that hackers had been manipulating online storage utility Dropbox to download command and control settings (C&C) for malware.

Given that the platform offers free and anonymous storage, it has been an ideal platform to host malware which could be used to launch attacks.

"When BKDR_PLUGX.ZTBF-A is executed, it performs various commands from a remote user, including keystroke logs, perform port maps, remote shell, etc., leading to subsequent attack cycle stages. Typically, remote shell enables attackers to run any command on the infected system in order to compromise its security," wrote Maersk Menrige, threats analyst at Trend Micro.

Dropbox has over 300 million users globally, and has been accelerating as internet access becomes more widely available. The platform offers 2GB of free online storage, requesting only an e-mail address.

Trend Micro discovered that in 2013, the service was abused to launch an attack against a Taiwanese government agency, but the latest instance indicates that cyber criminals are using Dropbox to update C&C settings.

"The use of Dropbox aids in masking the malicious traffic in the network because this is a legitimate website for storing files and documents.  We also found out that this malware has a trigger date of May 5 2014, which means that it starts running from that date. This is probably done so that users won’t immediately suspect any malicious activities on their systems," said Menrige.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...