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According to media reports, the members of the worldwide known hacker group Anonymous have been tricked into downloading the malware after launching denial-of-service attacks on federal sites in frames of their protest campaign over MegaUpload’s closure.
Symantec confirmed that the whole issue started in late January when one of the largest cyberlockers in the world, MegaUpload, was taken offline. In response, Anonymous members began attacking the machines that belonged to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But at the same time, another group of hackers had made a copy after the template of an Anonymous blueprint for starting denial-of-service attacks, which included the Slowloris tool. After they corrupted the template with the Zeus strain, it was reposted on Pastebin. Symantec’s blog explained that when the Trojanized Slowloris tool was downloaded and executed by a supporter of the hacker group, a Zeus (aka Zbot) botnet client was installed. Upon installation of the Zeus botnet application, the malware dropper tried to hide the infection - it replaced itself with the real Slowloris DDoS tool.
Meanwhile, the Zeus client is known for having been actively used for recording and sending financial banking credentials and webmail credentials to the botnet operator. In response, Anonymous hacktivists posted on their Twitter account the warning that Anonymous supporters tricked into installing the trojan, which mustn’t happen to respectful hackers, who should be careful about what they post and click on. The group admitted that it doesn’t know yet how many of its members have been infected with this malware.